Urinary Problems in Cats. FLUTD, UTIs and spraying explained.

Urinary Problems in Cats. FLUTD, UTIs and spraying explained.

The change of seasons and stress factors can cause some urinary symptoms in cats and we cat owners often see a diversion away from our feline friends using their litter box. This can be frustrating, but understanding the reasons why this occurs, can help us provide for our pets’ needs better.

Urinary Tract Infections or UTIs can cause cats to urinate in incorrect locations, however physical factors around the litterbox also contribute.


Type of substrate

Cats naturally have a preference for one type of litter over another. If you’ve adopted a stray cat, the least foreign kind of litter is going to be soil, so consider using potting mix instead of real kitty litter to start with and gradually replace the soil with true cat litter.

My practice uses crystal type cat litter as we find it is superior in lowering odours.

The amount of litter you place in the tray is also of importance as cats have an instinct to cover their droppings. A layer about an inch deep is appropriate, but if in doubt use more.



Our feline friends are clean characters, so make sure that you keep the litterbox as clean as possible. This means scooping both urine and faeces out of the box at least a couple of times a day.



We all have our favourite place to go and cats are no different. The best spots are private, quiet and not in a thoroughfare of a house. Consider the location of speakers and vacuum motors when selecting a location for the tray. Even if you only have one cat, make sure you have at least one other litterbox in a different part of the house to encourage your cat using it.


Bigger is better – make sure the tray is at least one and a half times the length of your cat; however, older, arthritic cats have a hard time making it over high walls, so if you own an older cat, make sure the tray is low-profile for ease of access.