Inappropriate Elimination?

Soiling in the house in areas other than the litter box is one of the most common behavior problems reported by cat owners. The solution depends on the underlying causes of the behavior. The issue could be medical problems, which would need to be determined by a local veterinarian.

Medical problems such as a urinary tract inflammation, kidney or thyroid diseases, and diabetes, can all cause cats to urinate outside their box. Similarly, digestive tract problems may make it painful for a cat to defecate and decrease the cat’s control. Also, age-related disease or illness may interfere with a cat’s mobility or with cognitive functions.

An aversion to the litter box can also contribute to this problem. It might be the box, the litter, the location or any combination of these things.

There are some things you can do to stop litter box problems:

  • First, address the problem as soon as possible. The longer it persists, the more likely it is to become a habit.
  • Second, if you have more than one cat, identify the culprit.
  • Third, watch your cat for signs of spraying to distinguish between spraying and other forms of house soiling.

Although this is a common and frustrating problem, it can be difficult to control. Getting a full resolution depends on early intervention, detective work to determine the cause, and a little time and effort to solve the problem. Working in partnership with your local veterinarian, cats and the people who love them can live in harmony and good health.

Learn more:

Feline Behavior Problems: House Soiling. Available from:

Stop Feline Inappropriate Elimination. Available from:

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