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Summer Street Cat Clinic

Why isn't my cat using the litter box?

Inappropriate urination is one of the most common and frustrating behavioral problems faced by cat owners. The first step in addressing feline house soiling is to determine if the behavior is caused by a medical condition, such as disease of the bladder or lower urinary tract.  It is VERY important to consult our Veterinary office when your cat is urinating outside of the box so that the Doctor can determine if the cause is medical or behavioral, as these are treated in different ways.  

To determine if there is a medical urinary issue, we must check a urine sample from your cat. Don’t worry! We can help you collect it if you cannot!

Some reasons your cat may inappropriately urinate include having urinary crystals, inflammation of the bladder, bladder or kidney stones, or a urinary tract infection. It is most important to see the cat as soon as possible if you suspect a urinary issue. This especially includes: 

  • straining or crying out when urinating

  • passing small amounts of urine

  • passing bloody urine

  • urinating in odd places around the house or outside the box, 

  • refusing to eat

  • seems depressed

  • is vomiting

  • or spends a long time in the litter box and without producing any urine. 

Because urinary obstructions are life-threatening, it is important to contact us as soon as possible to examine your feline friend and determine the cause!  If inappropriate urination is determined to be a behavioral problem, what can you do?

Litter boxes should be scooped at least 1 or 2 times daily and completely changed weekly. The ideal number of litter boxes is one per cat, plus one. Some cats do better with uncovered vs covered litter boxes. Also, clean any areas the cat inappropriately eliminates with a good enzyme cleaner, such as Anti-Icky Poo. We would be happy to discuss all of these topics in more detail! Call us today for an appointment!