Spraying and inappropriate urination are among the most common behavioural problems in cats. There are many reasons a cat will pee outside the litter box. The reasons for spraying are often a different case entirely.
Some of the primary reasons for urinating on furniture, bedding or carpets are:
- Stress – Any changes in your household environment can have a profound effect on the mental well-being of your cat. This can cause your cat to pee out of frustration and an attempt to communicate to you that something is wrong.
- Substrate aversion – Your cat might not care for the type of litter you are using. Some cats prefer finer grained litter while others prefer the larger granules. The majority of cats don’t care for scented litter and can often abandon a litter box that contains it.
- Marking – A distinct behavioural issue is territory marking. A cat will urinate on various areas around the house to « claim it’s territory » and as a message for other cats.
So what’s the difference between spraying cats and ones that are inappropriately urinating?
Spraying is essentially a behavioural condition and urinating outside the litter box can be either behavioural or a medical issue.
If you suspect your cat is urine-marking, it’s important to get her into the vet as soon as possible. It’s a possibility that it’s not marking and it’s actually a case of her in the early stages of a urinary tract infection.
This can be quite serious and needs to be addressed quickly.
My wife and I brought our cat to the vet one afternoon after finding a wet spot on our quilt. It turned out that he had a blockage and was put on a special diet on which he remains to this day. The thing is, this wasn’t his first bout of « inappropriate urination ». A few years earlier we brought home a Golden Retriever puppy and our cat promptly decided that she wasn’t welcome. How did he protest? You guessed it.