Conversations With My Cat: Peeing Outside the Litterbox

Over the years, I have seen hundreds of cats brought to the clinic for urinating outside the litterbox. Although figuring out the cause of this behavior can be challenging, I wish that I saw more of these cases.

The truth is that I worry about the cats who pee in inappropriate places (e.g., the closet, your gym bag, places of worship). I think many of us assume that inappropriate urination is a behavioral problem and not a medical one. That’s not always the case. Some patients who “think outside the box” may be suffering from conditions like urinary tract infections, cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), bladder stones, diabetes, hyperthyroidism or early kidney disease.

When people assume that litterbox problems are behavioral, cats with low-grade illness can suffer. If your cat is peeing where he or she shouldn’t, make sure it’s not for a medical reason.

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