One common complaint from cat owners is inappropriate urination. It’s a problem because it points to a medical or behavioral issue, but also because the smell of cat urine is very strong and very difficult to remove.
A cat that stops using the litterbox should always be examined, but here are 10 common reasons that can cause cats to urinate inappropriately.
**Crystals in urine–Crystals in the urine are caused by a variety of reasons, and they can cause discomfort, pain and even urethral obstruction.
**Wrong litter–You might not think your cat cares about the brand litter you use, but some cats are very particular. If you’ve recently switched to a different brand or different type of litter, try switching back.
**Urinary tract infection–Bacteria in the urine can also cause discomfort and pain. UTI’s need to be treated with antibiotics, and usually resolve the problem.
**Bladder stone–Bladder stones are collections of minerals that may present as large, rock-like objects, or as small sand-like grit. Bladder stones can cause pain and blood in the urine, and smaller stones can become lodged in the urethra.
**Diabetes–Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the hormone insulin doesn’t balance blood sugar properly. Excessive urination is a classic sign of diabetes and diabetic cats quite often urinate outside of the litterbox.
**Renal insufficiency–Cats in various stages of kidney disease often urinate outside of the box. As inappropriate urination can sometimes be the first sign of a renal problem, a physical exam is a must.
**Stress–Have you added a new pet or a new baby to your family? Have you moved, or are you in the middle of a large home project? Some cats are quite sensitive and small changes to their usual routine can stress them out and cause them to stop using the litterbox.
**Redirected aggression–Has a stray cat suddenly appeared on your property, or have you adopted a new pet? When a cat is in a high emotional state, but unable to reach the target of his or her aggression, inappropriate elimination may result. If the problem is a stray cat, removing the cat from your property may fix the problem, but if the cat is a new pet, you may need to consult with your vet for strategies.
**Litterbox in wrong location–Have you recently relocated your cat’s litterbox? He or she may object to the new location. Can your cat get to the box easily? Older cats and very young kittens may need the box to be centrally located, rather than climbing up or down stairs. Is the box in a very busy part of the house? Some cats prefer more privacy.
**Dirty litterbox–Again, some cats are pickier than others when it comes to the state of the litterbox. Take a peek at your cat’s box. Has it been scooped recently? When was the last time you completely changed the litter? Does the box smell? Cats are fastidious creatures and most prefer a very clean environment in which to urinate and have bowel movements.