Cat Articles

"House-Soiling:" Trouble Beyond the Litter Box

Unfortunately, cats don't always connect with the litter box. Even cats that know the drill will sometimes choose another spot at home. "House-spoiling" can become a concern for even the best cat owners. It can be a sign of a serious health issue or simply the result of changes around the house. Pay close attention for clues to put an early end to a nasty problem for both you and the cat you love. 

Signs of a problem:

  • A pattern of urinating and/or defecating outside the litter box
  • Urine spraying- evidence of urine marks around doorways, windows or new objects in the house
  • Spending longer than a normal amount of time in the litter box
  • Vocalizing while in the litter box
  • Going to the litter box more often than normal

Potential causes:

  • Health issues ranging from diabetes mellitus to lower urinary tract disease
  • A dirty litter box or inadequate number of boxes in the home. At least one box per cat plus one is recommended
  • Litter box is located in a remote, noisy or unpleasant surrounding
  • Litter box is inappropriate - covered boxes may maintain odors and large cats may not be able to move around enough in small boxes
  • Wrong type of litter or sudden change in litter type
  • Social changes, such as the addition of a new cat or the sudden presence of outdoor cats

If you change your cat's litter box infrequently, travel a lot, or have multiple cats at home, you're more likely to experience a "house-soiling" problem. Consider making adjustments based on some of the factors described above. If the problem continues, see your vet to investigate possible health problems.  


Article Credit: FLUTD: Thinking Outside (and Inside) the Litter Box - Proceedings of the 2007 Hill's FLUTD Symposium

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