My Cat Has Abandoned Her Litter Box

Your Persian cat Jasmine has always been a pretty predictable feline. On most days, Jasmine spends hours watching the birds from the window sill; in between, she snoozes on the couch and waits for meals. Jasmine has always used her litter box on schedule, too. Lately, though, litter-box-friendly Jasmine seems to have made a special effort to urinate elsewhere. Jasmine has peed on the carpet, nailed the curtains, and even left a smelly puddle on your shoes. Right now, Jasmine isn’t your favorite cat; however, you’re still concerned that she has a medical problem. You’ve asked your Livonia, MI veterinarian to examine Jasmine, determine what’s behind her strange behavior, and make it stop immediately.

Medical Mystery

First, your vet will request a urinalysis, a versatile test that helps him to diagnose many conditions. Jasmine might have contracted one of three urinary system problems that cause painful urination. A urinary tract infection, or UTI, allows her to only produce small trickles of urine. Or, Jasmine might have developed feline interstitial cystitis. This uncomfortable ailment causes bladder inflammation and sudden, unpredictable urination; and often, Jasmine can’t reach her litter box in time. Finally, Jasmine might have developed painful bladder stones or even a blockage; these conditions would make her experience pain when she urinates.

Stress-filled Situations

Jasmine’s behavior might stem from an unpleasant experience with her litter box. Maybe she somehow remembers the pain from a past urinary tract infection. If Jasmine’s living environment has recently changed, or you’ve just adopted a new pet, perhaps Jasmine has suffered stress from those events. If you have multiple cats under the same roof, Jasmine might be expressing her annoyance at sharing a litter box.

Unsatisfactory Litter Box

Maybe Jasmine’s urinary difficulties stem from the litter box itself. If you’ve placed the box in a high-traffic spot, Jasmine might not feel she gets enough privacy while using it. If Jasmine’s an older feline lady with some mobility problems, maybe the box sides are too high for her to easily navigate. Maybe the box is overflowing with cat litter, and Jasmine (and most other cats) would prefer only about two inches of litter on the box’s floor. Perhaps you’ve changed kitty litter brands, and Jasmine is plainly telling you she hates the new brand. Finally, since Jasmine’s not shy, maybe she’s telling you to clean the box more often.

If Jasmine has a medical condition, follow your Livonia, MI vet’s recommendations so Jasmine can feel better. If she’s healthy but annoyed, ask your vet for a behavior modification program that should motivate Jasmine to urinate in her box again.

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