Client education about litter box care and normal elimination behavior is important for
prevention and treatment of medical and behavioral problems. Clients should be aware that
inappropriate urination and defecation often accompany an underlying medical condition and do
not occur “to get back at the owner.”
A cat that is urinating inappropriately may have any number of conditions associated with the
behavior, including lower urinary tract disease, kidney disease, urinary tract infection and
diabetes mellitus. It can also be a sign of arthritis, which makes it difficult for the cat to get into
the litter box.
Blockage of the urinary tract signals a veterinary emergency. A blockage is treatable, but timing
is critical. Once identified, the cat must receive veterinary care as soon as possible. Otherwise,
fatal complications could develop. Signs include straining in the litter box with little or no
results, crying when urinating and frequent attempts to urinate.