When cats urinate and/or defecate outside of their litter box, the cause could be underlying medical problems or behavioral disorders. All medical causes should be investigated by your veterinarian before possible behavioral causes are addressed.
Look into medical causes first.
Medical causes for these behaviors include urinary tract infections, bladder stones, sterile inflammation of the urinary bladder, kidney diseases and other diseases associated with organ function. If a medical cause is diagnosed, it may be treated with medication or special diets.
Then consider behavioral causes.
Behavioral causes can include aversion to a litter box or the litter itself, or some sort of stress in the cat’s life. A cat can develop an aversion to their litter box if it isn’t cleaned frequently enough. Or there could be stress associated with the box, for example painful urination or defecation or bullying from other animals in the household in the region of the litter box.
The magic number of litter boxes that should be kept in every cat household is one litter box per cat plus one additional box. All litter boxes should be scooped of material at least once daily. They should be emptied and cleaned weekly. The box should be kept in a quiet place in the house where the cat can have privacy, away from other animals, people or children. Most cats prefer unscented, clumping litter.
If your cat doesn’t always use their litter box appropriately, give Valley Verde Veterinarians a call for an appointment at 520-393-7387.