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Why Does My Cat Pee Outside of the Litter Box?

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Ah, the age-old question every cat owner, at some point in his or her life, is going to ask:

“Why does my cat pee outside of the litter box?!”

The bad news? This is the single most popular reported issue our feline companions create for their servants… er… parents. The good news? Since it’s such a common problem, there is a ton of research and case studies readily available for us to find a valid solution.

If you’ve already taken your kitty to the vet to determine that this behavior isn’t the result of a health issue, you may be left scratching your head. Fortunately, in this case, the solution is simple: one of the most popular reasons for urine is overcrowding of the box, you must have one litter box per cat plus one.

What are some of the most popular, effective methods available? There are simple remedies that after a little “troubleshooting” will solve the majority of household litter box issues. Cats will use their urine to express their displeasure with a recent change you’ve made in their “system”.

Was the litter box recently moved?
If yes, move it back! Something as simple as moving the litter box can throw your kitty off-track.

Have you recently changed litter?
If so, change back, or try a new one! Once your cat is satisfied with their litter, they’ll let you know by using it

Have you recently changed the structure of the box (ie added a cover, changed physical box, etc)?
If yes, change it back or try a different litter box until you find one your cats are happy with.

Are there other cats, particularly male, you’ve recently added to the family?
If you have adopted new cats, or have many already, you’ll need to follow the one litter box per cat PLUS one rule. As we all know, cats are very territorial – and one of the main ways they mark their territory is by peeing.

How many often do you clean your litter box?
If you don’t clean the box enough, the scent becomes too strong for your kitty and they will find new, unscented areas to mark. There are no “hard-and-fast” rules, but two times a day seems to do the trick. Any more and your cat may become accustomed to a brilliantly clean litter box, which can create even more problems!

The key is to remember that your cat is trying to communicate their dislike of whatever changed, or their need for something new. A cat is a creature of habit and if you change his or her lifestyle they’ll do their best to change yours (or at least show you their displeasure in your actions).

This article was written by Trevor the Pet Guy, an expert we’ve found helpful for complex kitty pee issues. You can find him on twitter @trevorthepetguy, e-mail, YouTube, or his website.

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