Veterinarian and cat specialist Dr Kim Kendall has recently conducted a survey of cat owners around Sydney, Australia to try to determine reasons why cats might urinate inside the house.
Her findings support a hypothesis that cats who are "bullied" by other neighbourhood cats, or struggling to maintain a territory, will "mark" their territory with urine in a desperate attempt to claim it. Another consideration is that stress can prevent the bladder from filling, causing more frequent urination. In some cases, very anxious or stressed cats might develop cystitis. When the bladder wall becomes damaged, urine will irritate the bladder and the problem can become chronic.
"...cats never miss anything, it has nothing to do with how many litter trays, nor the type of litter." Dr Kendall said, going on to say "The average cat owner's observations of their normal cat going about it's business and their interactions with other cats and people in the household does show some interesting things about cats and their relationship in the modern human household."
These findings suggest that attempts to punish the unwanted behavior may contribute to the underlying cause of the behavior, actually making it worse.
Dr Kendall will present her findings at the 16th Annual International Veterinary Behavior Meeting in Italy.