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How Do You Treat a Cat Urinating (Peeing) Outside of the Litter Box?

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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How Do You Treat a Cat Urinating (Peeing) Outside of the Litter Box?

Cats urinating (peeing) outside the litter box is a common problem and a major reason why cats go to the veterinarian or are given up for adoption.

To solve this problem, first you need to consider WHY a cat is urinating outside the litter box. After you've figured that out you can begin fixing it.

For a complete article on Inappropriate elimination in cats (a common medical term for cats urinating or peeing outside the litter box), go to this very good article for more information.

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the inappropriate elimination. Some common treatments for the most popular conditions include:

•        Medical treatments are helpful depending on the underlying problem. Bladder stones can be treated by diet or surgery, infections are treated with antibiotics and inflammatory bladder diseases are often treated with pain medications.

•        Behavioral treatments of urine marking is often treated with spaying or neutering intact pets. This will typically fix the problem in 9 out of 10 cats.

•        Psychological treatments depend on both the problem and the patience of the owner. Adding more litter boxes, offering private places for cats who are bullied, and even antidepressant or antianxiety medications can make a difference for some cats. Commonly used medications such as buspirone (Buspar®) and fluoxetine (Prozac®) have really helped anxiety-based problems.

•        Litterbox changes require a careful evaluation of the litter, box location and type, and scooping schedule. Some helpful changes might include moving the box to a safe quiet location such as a closet, bedroom or spare bathroom. It is also critical that you make sure you have enough litter boxes. The rule of thumb is to have at least one box per cat plus one.

•        Physical treatments including making litter boxes easier for cats with disabilities or arthritis to access. You can cut a lower door in a box and add more boxes around in convenient locations. Some cats having trouble jumping in to high boxes and may not want to walk too far to walk to get to a box.

•        Odor elimination outside the litter box can be key in discouraging inappropriate elimination. Cats will often return to locations where they or other cats have previously urinated. Careful and complete cleaning and neutralization of these odors is essential.

I hope these tips help you deal with a cat peeing outside the litter box.


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