Not much is worse than coming home to the smell of cat urine that tells you that your kitty is refusing to use the litter box. This particularly bad habit is one of the most common problem behaviors with cats. Inappropriate urination is one of the most common reasons house cats are relinquished to shelters or "put outside".
Not only is inappropriate elimination annoying and unsanitary, but it can cause terrible odor problems in your home. If you have a cat, you know what I mean. The smell can be difficult if not impossible to get out and if you rent your home, it could mean costly cleaning and the loss of your deposit.
The key to solving the problem is first understanding why it happens, so: why do cats urinate outside the box?
Well, this behavior could be caused by any number of things. Here are 10 of the most common reasons cats urinate outside the box:
1. The litter is dirty
2. The box smells like cleaner (especially ammonia)
3. The box is too small
4. They can't get into the box properly
5. You don't scoop often enough
6. They don't like the kind of litter you're using
7. The litter is too deep
8. The litter isn't deep enough
9. The box is in a noisy location / they have no privacy / not enough boxes (you need at least 1 box per cat)
10. They feel sick
Trust me, I know how frustrating it can be to figure out what is causing your cat to eliminate outside their litter box. The first things I would recommend are to clean out the litter box and to make sure that your cat is not suffering from a urinary tract infection or other health issue. Frequently cats will urinate as a way to tell their owners that it's time to clean out their litter, or that they are feeling under the weather. If these two things don't take care of the issue then chances are your cat's behavior is related to an odor problem.
If your cat is urinating outside the box because of an odor issue, it can be a tough problem to solve. That's because once your kitty starts urinating in a spot outside the box, he will continue to do it over and over again. The smell just naturally draws him back to that spot (just as it does when he sprays to mark his territory). By the time that you figure out what's causing the problem, your cat might be so used to urinating in an improper location that it's even harder to get them to go back to the “right” place. Getting rid of the cat urine odor isn't easy, but it CAN be done. I had this problem with my female cat for a period of time, her problem was she didn't like her litter, my male cat was fine with it - but she was a little more fussier than him.
So after changing the litter a few times, and buying NEW LITTER BOXES, she now goes back in her box, trying to understand their minds is almost a full time job. Let me know if any of you have experienced this problem with your little bundles of fur.