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Photo of Milie from Friskies Explorer Kaia
Question from Friskies Explorer jrabinaw
I've had my cat Valentina for 5 years and she's the love of my life. She's always marked her territory by peeing on various walls, even before other cats were in the house. Now, she'll poop in the litter box but she outright refuses to pee in the litter box, peeing on the floor in front of the box. I have three litter boxes, and she does the same thing in front of all of them. Anything I can do to help stop this behavior?
Valentina is a very fortunate kitty to be the love of your life. I’ll bet she’s quite a sweetie. Her behavior of eliminating outside of the litter box is not so sweet, however. If Valentina’s behavior started before having other cats in the home then the addition of those cats might be causing her even more stress. Even though this certainly sounds like a behavioral problem, it’s important that you have Valentina checked out by the veterinarian if you haven’t already done so. This way you can rule out the chance that there might be an underlying medical problem causing the unwanted behavior.
You didn’t mention how many other cats are in the house. The general rule of thumb is to have the same amount of litter boxes as you have cats. Also, the type and placement of each litter box is important. If you have covered litter boxes, remove the lids so Valentina has more of a visual advantage to see if another cat is approaching. Place the litter boxes in various parts of the house and not all in one room. This way, Valentina won’t have to pass by another cat in order to access the litter box.
Scoop the litter boxes at least twice a day. Some cats don’t like to urinate in the same box they use for defecation. Also, some kitties require a completely clean litter box each time. So a twice-daily scooping schedule and a monthly through scrubbing is a good place to start.
Take a look at what could be triggering her behavior as well. Put on your detective hat and try to figure out what happens right before she eliminates outside of the box. Did she have a confrontation with another cat? Did another cat just use the litter box? If there’s any tension in the multicat household then try to create a more peaceful household by making sure everyone has enough room (including hiding places and elevated areas) and work on distracting the cats if they start staring at each other.
Good luck. I hope this gives you a good starting place.