Any time a cat is not using his / her litter box (for either urination, bowel movements, or both), it is a sign that something is very wrong – a cry for help. Your cat needs immediate help. He or she needs to be seen by a vet.
If yor cat is urinating outside of the litter box, he or she may have a urinary tract infection or may have crystals in his / her kidneys. Both of these conditions will cause your cat to experience at lot of pain and discomfort, and are serious medical conditions which require medical care. You should get your cat to a vet immediately. Left untreated, both of these conditions will only get worse – they will not improve on their own. Your cat will continue to experience more and more pain, will grow increasingly more sick, and will eventually die a painful death if you do not get him / her the help she/ he needs from a vet.
Other possible reasons for the cat not to use the litter box when urinating or for bowel movements may be that the litter box is not being kept adequately clean – the bacteria in an unclean box can cause painful irritation when the cat squats in the litter box. The smell of an unmaintained litter box may also be more than the cat can tolerate (keep in mind that a cats sense of smell is many times greater than our own). Waste should be removed from the box at least once a day using a sifter, and the litter should be changed once a week. Cats are fastiduously clean animals, which is one of the things that makes them so admirable. Honor that by cleaning your cat’s litter box clean and you’ll help to ensure a healthy, happy cat. (How would you like to use a toilet that hadn’t been flushed for days? Please don’t impose that on your cat!).
Whenever a cat is not using the litter box for bowel movements and urinating, there is a possibility that the cat is allergic to the brand of litter, and therefore isn’t using the box for that reason. When this is the case, the cat will usually make both bowel movements and urinate outside of the box. So if he/she is only urinating outside of the box, but using the box for bowel movements, an allergy is unlikely to be the cause, though it can’t be entirely ruled out.
Lastly, if at cat is feeling very stressed, or insecure in its home environment, it may sometimes urinate outside the litter box. This is not “bad behavior” or “acting out” as many people mistakenly think, rather, it is a natural “marking” behavior. Cats naturally need to mark their territory, and one way they may do this when under high levels of stress is by urinating. Cats do this instinctively to send a signal that say’s “this is my territory” – it stems from their roots in the wild, when they needed to stake their territory with other wild cats. A house cat may do this if it is under stress for any number of reasons, including other cats in the house who are causing it some form of stress which you may or may not be aware of; it may do it if it is under stress due to a new person moving into the household; it may do it if it’s human companion is away from the home a lot (in that case, it may urinate in areas it associates with you in order to feel closer to you).
With all that said, the bottom line is that anytime a cat is not using the litter box, its a deperate cry for help. You need to exercise compassion and get your cat the help he or she needs, so don’t become angry andfrustrated. Your cat needs to be seen by a vet to rule out the possibility of a painful and serious medical condition. Nine times out of ten, this is the problem, but if you get your cat help early, there are things that can be done to make your cat better or at least ease his/ her suffering.
If the vet finds that nothing is wrong medically, you then need to figure out what might be stressing the cat.Cats have much deeper emotions than most people realize, and they are very susceptible to stress.Unlike people, they can not talk about what causes them anxiety or upset, so it is up to us to watch our cats behavior carefully and be sensitive to anything which might be stressing him / her. And you also need to make sure you are not forcing him / her to use a litter box that needs cleaning!
A cat should never be punished in any way or yelled at for going outside the litter box. It is never the cats fault. They don’t do this to be bad. They do this when, for one reason or another, they feel they have no other choice. It is a cry for help indicating that something is very wrong. Cats are meticulous animals. They will only stop using their litter box when there is a medical issue, the box is unsanitary, or they are experiencing something highly stressful.
Your cat needs to be seen by a vet asap. They vet will get to the bottom of it. Remember, the #1 cause of cats not using the litter box (when it comes to urination) is a painful medical condition that your cat may be suffering with. Unlike us humans, he or she can’t speak to tell you how bad he/ she is feeling, nor can your cat go to the doctor on their own. Your cat is relying on you to tune into the fact that something is very wrong, and to get him or her the help they need so it doesn’t become sicker and sicker.
Its important to be a compassionate and responsible cat guardian and get your feline companion to a vet. Cats don’t do this as bad behavior. Tragically, many cats are punished, mistreated, abused, or abandoned due to urinating outside of the litter box or for not using the litter box for bowel movements – when in fact, this is never actually the fault of the cat, rather an important sign that something is medically or environmentally wrong and the cat is in desperate need of your help.
Thank you for caring for your feline companions!