Be cautious about asking Dr Google why your cat is peeing outside the litter box

You have got to be very careful when deciding why your cat is peeing outside the litter box because it could be (1) a behavioral problem or (2) a medical problem and the latter might be a serious problem which needs a proper veterinary diagnosis and quite possibly prompt attention. You might be very good at cat health diagnosis but you have to be sure.

2 cat bladder stones

2 cat bladder stones. Photo:

In short, urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be life-threatening for cats. If you ask Dr Google why your cat is “inappropriately eliminating” it is likely that the first results on the first page will focus more on behavioral issues such as, for example, stress due to bullying from another cat or because the litter box is in the wrong place. There are other reasons. This might lead the owner to ignore a potentially serious health issue such as, in males, the urethra might become blocked or clogged with crystals causing the bladder to fill with urine which if not treated quickly can be fatal.

Most urinary tract diseases cause a disturbance in the normal pattern of urination which is why it is important to get a proper veterinary checkup for a cat who suddenly stops using the litter box as he has been doing faithfully for many years.

Excessive urination can be caused by diabetes mellitus. Passing blood in urine can be caused by cystitis and often cats with cystitis urinate outside the litter box. Sometimes cats will urinate in unusual locations. Bathtubs and sinks are common alternatives. Blood in urine without pain might be kidney disease whereas if urination is painful the indications are that there is a problem in the urethra or bladder.

Then there is urinary incontinence. This can lead to inappropriate elimination because there is a loss of voluntary control over avoiding caused by a neurological disease. The cat may urinate frequently and the urine might dribble in unusual places.

There might be more than one medical problem making diagnosis more difficult. In short, physical urinary incontinence needs to be diagnosed rather than a behavioral urination elimination problem. Only a good veterinarian in tandem with the cat’s observant and caring owner can do this properly.

In conclusion, Dr Google is useful but the truth of the matter is that quite possibly too many cat owners have learned to rely on Dr Google, the dominant search engine, in order to avoid veterinary bills which can be misleading to some cat owners. I understand the reasons. I hate to criticize Google because website owners depend on this search engine but this massive business is just that: a business concerned with itself and profitability. Always remember that.

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Be cautious about asking Dr Google why your cat is peeing outside the litter box — 2 Comments

  1. Thank you for reminding us what we already know, but sometimes we just need a little nudge. Google has become such a mainstay in our lives; sometimes we rely on Dr. G a bit too much.

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