Friends, while I work really, really late tonight, I ask you to help me solve a mystery: why is my adorable cat persistently peeing on and out the edge of her litter box? It has reached maddening consistency, and I need to resolve it pronto.

The Facts:

My cat is around 7-8 years old and in good health. She’s an indoor-only beastie and the sole cat (and pet) in our house. A couple months ago, she started this new habit which has persisted and increased in frequency of standing inside the litter box near her designated pee corner of it, and half peeing in the box, half peeing out. At first, it was just a little pee outside but mostly inside, now it’s getting to be a LOT of pee outside the box and only a little in it. There are no signs of her being in pain, urinating more or less frequently than normal, anything funny about the urine itself, and her poop situation is fine. She’s well cared-for and well-fed and seems generally happy. It doesn’t seem to be spraying, as I understand that term to mean.

Changes We’ve Made:

(1) A few months ago (not directly correlated with when this litter box thing started but maybe a month or so off), she started having problems with tummy balding. We took her to the vet, who narrowed it down to fleas or a food allergy. We increased the frequency of her anti-flea treatments (to the recommended amount - and she does NOT have fleas, I am 99.9999999% positive) and put her on a novel-protein diet. The balding has since abated, her tummy furs are growing back, and that’s all good.

(2) We’ve made sure that her box is kept super clean, in case this was her way of saying, “Eew, smelly box.” That doesn’t seem to be affecting things.

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(3) In the midst of this, we moved to a new apartment. By all objective indicators, she likes it there. The problem started before we moved apartments and has continued after. So I don’t think it’s a “It smells like pee so I love to pee here!” problem, because when we moved into this apartment, the area around her box clearly didn’t smell like her pee (it smelled like brand new building).

(4) When she does pee outside the box, we clean the area thoroughly (NOT with ammonia-based stuff, I know that can be a pee trigger). We’ve started putting plastic trash bags underneath her box so her pee doesn’t ruin the wood floors, and we wipe them down with cleaner when she pees, and I also change them several times a week.

(5) Last week, I got her a new box with suuuuuper high sides. Now she’s started peeing out the front of the box (where there’s a divot for her to step into the box). She sort of stands in the doorway and pees just on the very front of the litter and out the front.

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(6) I bought an enzyme cleaner, but it’s sort of more for carpet than hard woods, so I’ve been using it in cautious amounts as part of the post-pee clean-up process.

WHAT ELSE CAN I TRY? WHAT ELSE IS A POSSIBLE CAUSE? WHAT IS UP WITH THIS?? Mr. Kates and I are starting to resent our baby kitty, and it makes me sad.

Thank you, GroupThink!