View Full Version : Cat Litter Tray Problems - Urinating Everywhere But The Tray!

December 2nd 06, 01:17 AM
Q. I have a 7 year olf half Himalyan and half Persian being white
in color. We acquired her approx. 4-5 years ago. We've moved several
times and she has adapted well. Just since Hurricane Rita, 1 year ago
and our whole floors throughout the house have been changed to
hardwood. The cat urinates and defacates all over the floor right
beside her litter box. We had the electric one and got rid of it,
thinking she was scared and now we have an open box one and she still
uses the bathroom outside of the box. We don't know what else to try.

A. Thanks for your question.It is quite a common problem you have.
Cats can get an aversion to their litter trays for a number of reasons.
If it has being going on for a year then I agree that it does sound
like a behavioural problem now, although there may be some medical
reasons contributing.
Changes in litter tray shape, depth, and design certainly can put a cat
off using them, as can any changes to the cat litter that you are
using; and also where you place the tray. Cats are very unforgiving and
rival elephants when it comes to memory and holding grudges. If she has
been put off using the tray then it may take some time to encourage her

Medically, conditions such as cystitis may be causing pain during
urination which she is blaming on the litter tray, joint and muscle
pain can also put her off that extra bit of effort. Even if she's had
a recent medical it would be worth letting the vet reexamine once you
have explained her problem so they can rule out some of the common

If the original cause has been and gone (ie. stress, environment
changes etc) then the next step is to get her back into the swing of
using the litter box.

Make sure the litter tray is the same as the old one (not the scary
electric one) with the same litter. Consider adding a second litter
tray somewhere new, where she can get some privacy.

Your vet may be able to help further, I use a product called Feliway,
which replicates the facial pheromones of the cat (the ones that they
rub onto your leg when they greet you!) this helps to reduce stress and
generally make cats feel better about things. There also various
behavioural modifying drugs available but I wouldnt reach for these
just yet.You didnt mention whether she was allowed outside, if she is
then check that there isn\'t anything out there that might be
upsetting her.
If all else fails then there are lots of behavioural specialists out
there who may be able to help, your vet should be able to refer you to

Let me know how you get on, and good luck.

Dr David Brooks is part of the online veterinary team at
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