What To Do When Your Cat Goes Outside The Box

Pet Grass TeamHome Living

Kitty litter box and scoop

You love your cat, but when he starts doing his business on your floors instead of in the litter box, that love will be put to the ultimate test. Before you decide on any drastic measures, take your furry friend to the vet to make sure he isn’t suffering from a medical condition, like a urinary tract infection or urinary crystals.

If he gets a clean bill of health, then it’s time to put on your invisible Sherlock Holmes hat (unless you have a real one) and start looking for possible clues in the home to solve the mystery.

  • New litter box: Did you swap out the old litter box for a new one or buy a different kind of litter because it was on sale? Maybe your little guy is just suspicious of all these changes to his potty room.
  • Have you cleaned the box recently? Don’t expect your cat to happily do his business if you haven’t cleaned out his box in a few days. If it’s gross and stinky, no wonder he’s wandering afield. Scoop out his litter box once a day and throw out the litter as soon as it starts to smell.
  • Too much traffic and noise? Your refined feline wants privacy and quiet when he’s in the litter box. If his box is situated in a busy hallway, near a loud washing machine, or in a noisy garage, he won’t want to go in.
  • Not enough boxes: As your furry companion gets older, he may have trouble making it to the litter box in time, especially if you have a lot of square footage in your home and/or a second story. Make his life a little easier by putting a litter box on each floor or on both sides of a big house. Also, you want to make sure each of your felines has his own litter box, as certain cats are territorial.
  • Too close to food: No one likes to eat near their bathroom. Your cat is no exception. Keep the litter box far away from food and water dishes.
  • Too small: He may always be an adorable kitty in your eyes, but as your cat grows, his litter box needs to grow with him. Give him a litter box that is one and a half times the length of his body.
  • Cover boxes: Some cats do not like covered litter boxes, especially if this is a new accessory that they are not used to.
  • Stranger danger: Perhaps something or someone is blocking the litter box or disturbing your pet when he tries to go. Watch how your kids and other pets interact with your cat to see if they are giving him trouble.

If you are still scratching your head as to the cause of your cat’s potty troubles, there is another possibility. If your cat is feeling stressed, he may spray his territory in your house as a defense mechanism. A great way to address stress spraying is to throw your handsome fellow a catnip party (see our previous blog post on the topic). You will also want to try and help your feline relax. It may be as simple as giving him a few more places to jump and hide or bringing him some Pet Grass, so he can feel like he is outside even while he is safe within your walls.