Animals world

Does the cat settle outside the litter box? What could be the cause?

Does the cat settle outside the litter box? What could be the cause?
It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

The urination and defecation of a cat in places not intended for it is a condition that requires increased vigilance on the part of the owner. The reasons why this happens can be both physiological and psychological.

Physiological causes

These include hormonal disorders, diseases, as well as instincts. Only urinary tract diseases pose a real threat, so you need to make sure that they are not the reason for doing physiological activities outside the litter box.

Significance of terrain or hormonal disorders

Mature cats mark their territory quite actively with urine. They do this to attract potential mates and to protect their territory from rivals. Reaching sexual maturity is manifested by long serenades, mood swings and a pungent urine odor. Although the importance of territory is the domain of males, female cats may also do so while in heat or pregnant – imaginary pregnancy should be ruled out, the immediate complication of which may be mastitis.

Urinary tract diseases

A cat may urinate in a place not intended for it due to frequent urination of the bladder or severe pain. In either case, the pet may most simply not have time to run to the litter box. The most common urinary tract disorders include cystitis, accompanied by more frequent passing of small portions of urine and severe pain, as well as urolithiasis, which develops due to the accumulation of deposits in the urinary tract or kidneys – manifested by hematuria. 

In older cats, due to dystrophic changes in organs and tissues, bladder atonia can develop. When the muscles lose their strength and elasticity, the urinary bladder stops holding urine. This begins to leak, in which case the cat simply won’t make it to the litter box in time.


The arrival of a new pet in the house can awaken the cat’s instinct for ownership. By marking the territory, cats demonstrate their superiority, “running down the nose” of four-legged competitors.

Psychological reasons

These include any factors that affect the mental state of the pet. In addition to severe stress and other emotional shock, “hostility” towards the litter box can be caused by unfamiliar smells.

Changing the litter box or litter

Often the reason a cat will settle outside the litter box is to change the litter box or the litter and neutralizer. A cat can be irritated by both the smell of plastic and the external appearance of the new toilet, if the new one differs dramatically from the previous version. Aromatized litter can have an equally repulsive effect on the cat. Floral scent is better sprayed for its own use – in the bathroom.

Lack of intimacy

That’s right – it’s not just humans who need a little privacy to take care of their physiological needs. A wide-open door, noisy company, proximity to a kitchen or living room with a roaring TV are not the best conditions for emptying one’s bladder in peace.

Revenge, sense of injustice, severe stress

By urinating right next to the litter box, pets take revenge for the harm they have suffered. Raising your hand to your pet or shouting sharply can result in revenge. Such parenting methods never do any good, so it is better to avoid them. A sense of harm can also result from a shortage of attention. Owners who spend their days away from home often forget to play with their pets. And if there is another animal or child in the house, the sense of harm will only increase.

main photo: Park

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