Why Do Cats Urinate Outside the Litter Box?

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Much to the frustration of the diligent cat owner, some feisty felines will urinate outside of their litter box. Not only does this create an unsightly (and unsanitary) puddle of stench but it also leaves their handler perplexed as to what may have caused this strange outburst.  While the bizarre behaviors of cats are nothing out of the ordinary (we are still wrapping our minds around what compels kitties to eat strange things like string or plastic wrap!), purposely urinating next to the litter box seems baffling.  Nevertheless, below are several possible reasons for your cat’s naughtiness

Reasons Why Cats Urinate Outside the Litter Box

  • He is seeking attention. If a cat feels that he has been neglected, or that his needs are not being met (either in food, affection or playtime) he may act out to get a response from you. By urinating outside the litter box, the cat is insisting you take notice of him and his needs.
  • The litter box is dirty. Your cat might also be giving you a hint that the little box needs to be cleaned.  Cats are well-groomed creatures that do not like eating near the litter box, now entering a soiled one. (Now, if you have recently cleaned it, and your cat still has accidents, he may have a health problem.)
  • He has urinary incontinence. An animal leaving waste outside of the litter box might also indicate a health condition wherein his loses bladder control. This can occur in a pet’s old age, when the muscles weaken around the urethra, or if there is neurological damage, kidney infections, etc. If your cat’s behavior seems otherwise to be normal, the occasional accidents may mean he has urinary incontinence and should see a veterinarian.
  • He is expressing jealousy. Cats are the mysterious species that have inspired many devious characterizations in literature and film. (While this might be difficult to prove) many pet owners who have experienced bad behavior such as eliminating near the litter box have expressed suspicion that their cat may be suffering from jealousy. If you have recently had a roommate move in, or are newly married, your cat might be literally laying claim to his territory, telling the imposter to back off, or communicating to you that he is not pleased with this new arrangement. While this may be nothing more than experiential speculation, one cannot refute the plausibility of such a concept, knowing how possessive and entitled cats can be!

*If you suspect such insubordination, you are not alone! Numerous authors have penned their own concerns about how their cats are plotting their demise.  What appears to be a simple potty mishap might actually be a full-blown sabotage. We wouldn’t put it past these crafty kitties!

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