Why My Cat Peeing Outside Litter Box and How to Stop It?


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Cat Peeing Outside Litter Box

Is your cat peeing outside the litter box? Well, discovering your feline companion peeing on your clothes, flooring or bed is the most frustrating and worrisome situation for any pet owner. However, your cat may not be doing this ostensibly. Still, it should be a concern for your cat’s health and the behavior of your cat.

The cat may pee outside the litterbox because the cat may be experiencing some uncomfortable environment with the litterbox. Whether it is a behavioral or medical problem, it is important to determine the underlying cause of a cat peeing outside the litter box. 

By figuring out the key causes of cat peeing outside the litterbox, you can resolve the issue easily. To stop your cat from peeing outside the litter box, you can try out some of the easy ways. Here is a list of ways using which you can prevent your cat from peeing outside of the litter box. Have a glance!

Reasons For Cat Is Peeing Outside Litter Box

Wondering Why Is My Cat Peeing Everywhere? Peeing outside the litter box in different places of the house like flooring, a pile of clothes, furniture, couch, carpet, etc., is an abnormal behavior of your cat. Sometimes, it could be because of your cat’s underlying health issue. 

Your feline friend may pee outside of the litter box due to a dirty litterbox or a smelly litter box. We can find a plethora of reasons behind ‘Why Is My Cat Peeing Outside The Litter Box‘.

Cat Peeing Outside Litter Box
Cat Peeing Outside Litter Box, Source: Bigstockphoto.com

By conducting a small investigation, you will be able to track the reason behind the cat peeing outside the litter box. This helps you to look out for ways or solutions to stop your feline’s abnormal urination. The two key reasons behind a cat peeing inappropriately include a behavioral issue or a medical issue.

Some of the medical problems that your cat may face include thyroid problems, stones in the bladder, Urinary Tract Infections, and more. On the other hand, the behavioural reasons behind Cat Peeing Outside Of Litter Box include stress, anxiety, bad urine odor, litter box issues, and more.

Check the reasons furnished below to understand the cause of the cat peeing outside the litter box.

1. Litter Box Location

The location of the litter box may be a key cause of your cat peeing outside the litter box. Your cat will be habituated to a certain location where the litter box is placed. If you change the location of the litter box then, your cat may not find the litter box.

Sometimes, the age of the cat also impacts this problem. If the cat is old and suffering from amnesia then, it could be confusing for the feline to spot the litter box location. 

Also, litter boxes should be placed in a location that has low traffic. It should be placed far away from the cat’s food bowl and water fountain. If in case, your home has multiple floors, the litter box should be placed on each floor. 

2. Unclean Litter Box

Another reason behind cats peeing outside litter boxes is an unclean litter box. If the cat’s litter box is dirty, your little munchkin doesn’t like to use it. The litter Box should be cleaned frequently at least twice a day. Cats are the most hygienic animals and they prefer using a litter box that is clean and odorless. 

Cats are highly particular about their toilets. In some cases, the litter box may be covered or turned upside down preventing your feline from accessing it. If the cat finds its poop lumps and urine remains, the cat doesn’t like to use it. This in turn results in the cat peeing outside of the litter box.

3. Didn’t Like The Size Or Shape Of Litter Box

The cat may dislike the size and shape of the litter box. If your cat is peeing outside the litter box then, it’s time to reassess the type of litter box. Try to change the size and shape of the litter box to find the apt one that works perfectly for the cat. 

For instance, you can set up three different types of litter boxes at one location. You can then check what your cat prefers to use daily. If the litter box is too small in size and highly difficult to access, your cat may start peeing outside the litter box.

4. Stress And Anxiety

Why Do Cats Pee Outside The Litter Box? Stress and anxiety are some other reasons behind cats peeing outside the litter box. If anything unusual happens in the case of cats, it could lead to severe stress and anxiety among the felines. Due to the stress, it impacts the kidneys, urethra, and bladder of the cat. 

By peeing outside the litter box, your cat may be trying to tell that they’re stressed for some reason at home. If a new person or animal enters the household, the cat becomes fully stressed. If there are multiple pets in the house and all use the same litter box then, the cat becomes stressed. 

Cats are highly sensitive creatures. Even minute changes in the surroundings will bring change in the cat causing stress. Try to figure out this situation of your cat and resolve it as soon as possible. By doing so, your cat will try to lessen its stress and start peeing in the right location.

5. Health Issues

Your cat may be suffering from some complicated health issues like urinary problems, bladder issues, blood in urine, urinary tract infections, metabolic disease, etc. If your cat is peeing outside the litterbox, it could be because of some underlying medical condition in the cat. 

In such a case, you must visit the vet to find out the medical issue. The veterinarian will diagnose the cat’s medical problem and treat it accordingly. Mostly, cats pee outside the litter box when they face urinary issues.

Some of the urinary problems in cats include:

  • Urinary Tract Infection [UTI]
  • Bladder Stones [Cystic Calculi]
  • Kidney Disease
  • Feline Idiopathic Cystitis
  • Metabolic Diseases like Thyroid, Diabetes, Liver problems
  • Arthritis [Degenerative Joint Disease]
  • Crystalluria [Urinary Crystals in Cat’s Urine]

6. Behavioral Problems

Why Is My Cat Suddenly Peeing Outside The Litter Box? Sometimes, behavioral issues in the cat can also cause urination problems in felines. Due to various behavioral disorders, your cat may pee outside the litterbox.

Some of the behavioral issues that your cat is facing include an unreachable litter box, an incorrect type of litterbox, stress, more than 1 cat at home, territorial clashes with other pets in the house, separation anxiety, etc. 

Whenever you witness your cat peeing outside of the litter box, you must check that your cat has some behavioral disorders. When you figure out behavioral issues in your cat like stress, you can try out stress-relieving pheromones. By using the pheromone spray, you can ease your cat’s stress.

If your cat is facing behavioral issues due to multiple pets then, try to provide more litter boxes to avoid clashes. If you have ruled out all the aforementioned reasons behind cat peeing outside, contact a certified behaviorist to resolve behavioral problems in your cat.

7. Urine Smells Or Marks

Another reason behind ‘Why Is My Cat Peeing Everywhere’ could be smelly urine. If your feline has peed in some location and you haven’t cleaned it immediately, that smell will remain for a long time. 

When the cat revisits the litter box to pee or poop, it gets the old urine smell which your cat doesn’t like it. In such a case, your cat likely pees outside the litterbox.

8. Any Changes In House Holds

If you change your house to a new location then, your cat may not get adapted to this particular change immediately. Due to the change in household and the change in the placement of the litterbox, your cat may get confused. As a result, it starts peeing outside the litterbox. 

9. More Pets In House

If there are multiple pets in the house, there will be clashes between them. One cat may bully another cat to access the litterbox. Due to this problem, the cat may start peeing outside the litter box. 

To prevent this problem, it is better to have more than 1 litter box at home depending on the number of cats. Also, it is important about the placement of the litterbox in the home. Each litterbox should be placed in a different room in the house. If one cat among them is fearful and timid, try to allocate a separate litter box to it. 

How To Stop My Cat From Peeing Outside Litter Box

Worried pet parents often wonder How To Stop Cat From Peeing Outside Litter Box. The frustrating behavior of the cat peeing outside the litterbox can be stopped by following simple tips. 

If you find out that your cat isn’t doing it out of purpose or being naughty, it’s time to figure out the underlying cause of the problem. Till now, you’ve seen the reasons behind your cat peeing outside the litterbox. 

As you have understood the root cause of your cat peeing everywhere in the house, it is quite simple to tackle the problem. If you ignore this issue, the situation may get worse. We have compiled a list of different ways to stop your cat from peeing outside the litterbox.

1. Clean The Litter Box Properly

If the litter box is filthy, your cat doesn’t like to use it the next time to either pee or defecate. To prevent your cat from peeing outside the litter box, make sure you clean the litter box frequently. In general, the litter box should be cleaned at least once a day. Deep cleaning of litter box is necessary for every one to two weeks. 

If you don’t have time to clean the litter box frequently then, you can purchase a self-cleaning litter box available in the market. You can use a mild non-scented detergent to clean the litter box and rinse it further. Make sure you dry the litter box thoroughly and place it in its original location.

2. Use Multiple And Different Sized Litter Boxes

Try to use multiple litter boxes i.e., one per cat so that your cat doesn’t need to wait until another cat uses it. In some cases, your cat may not be comfortable with the size of the litter box. 

You can try out using different sizes of litter boxes. Check out which type and size of litter box your cat prefers. An ideal litter box is one and a half times the length of the feline’s body. Mostly, cats prefer litter boxes that come with no cover.

3. Change The Litter Box Often

Changing the litter box quite often is highly important when you notice strong odors from the tray. It is better to change the litter box at least every 2 weeks. 

Felines are extremely picky about their litter boxes that comprise previous feces and urine. If you change the litter box, the cat will be able to prefer its favorite litter box that suits their requirements.

4. Use Automatic Litter Boxes

By using an automatic litter box, it performs the daily cleaning work of the litter box instead of you. Also, it gives an alert to the pet parent when the litter box is full and needs to be emptied. 

Few felines like automatic litter boxes while some don’t. Also, try to place a normal litter box away from the automatic litter box. Consider your cat’s preferred litter box type and use it further.

5. Make Litter Box Accessible

Aged cats and cats suffering from arthritis require a litter box that has low sides and is easy to climb on. The litter box should be easily accessible to the cat. 

In case, there are multiple floors in your house, place a litter box on each story of the house. If your cat is lazy and doesn’t wish to walk down or up the floor, the litter box on that floor will be easy to access.

6. Tackle Any Medical Issues

If your cat is peeing outside the litter box, you must visit the vet immediately to diagnose the underlying cause. There could be some medical issue with your cat due to which it is peeing outside the litter tray. 

To tackle the medical issue of the cat, take the cat to the vet. The veterinarian will perform necessary physical examinations and other medical tests to diagnose the problem. Depending on the test report, the veterinarian will provide the treatment.

UTI: To treat the urinary tract infection in your cat, the vet will prescribe antibiotic therapy that helps in clearing the infection.

Crystalluria: Crystalluria refers to the formation of crystals in the cat’s urine. This could be because of the abnormal pH levels in urine i.e., too acidic and too alkaline. Cats come across this problem when their water consumption is low. 

To treat crystalluria i.e., urinary crystals in the urine, the veterinarian will suggest you provide more water to the cat. The formation of crystals will slow down by changing the cat’s diet.

Kidney Disease: If your cat is suffering from kidney problems, the common symptoms are enhanced thirst, urination, vomiting, loss of weight, etc. Making changes to the diet, using kidney antioxidants, and giving fluid therapy at home will help in curing the kidney disease. This eventually aids in diminishing the urination frequency outside the litter box.

7. Make sure To Reduce Your Cat’s Stress

To reduce your cat’s stress, don’t make frequent changes in the surroundings or environment. Try to make your cat adapt to the entry of new persons or animals into the house. Preventing the stress of a cat is much simpler than treating it further.

Check For Any Territorial Issues And Try To Solve Them:

Cats are territorial creatures and they usually pee inside the litter box. Once the feline claims its territory, it owns the litter box as well as the location. Cats wish to pee in that particular place only.

Make sure To Make Your Cat Adapt For Changes:

Teach your cat about how to adapt to changes that usually happen in the surroundings. By making your cat adapt to the changes, your cat will be able to learn how to pee inside the litter box. 

8. Talk To Your Vet 

Even after ruling out all the causes of your cat peeing outside the litterbox, if the cat continues to do the same, it’s time to contact a veterinarian. Check whether your cat is suffering from any medical issues like low appetite, vomiting, etc. 

Schedule an appointment with your vet. Speak to your vet regarding the medical problems of your cat. The vet will consider your cat’s situation and take the necessary care to treat the problem. The vet will thoroughly check the cat physically and performs necessary tests like urine sample, blood tests, etc.

The vet will also advise you about the behavioral issues faced by the cat and refer you to contact a qualified behaviorist if necessary. Use the medication given by the cat until the problem is resolved. 


That’s all! This is everything you need to understand about the reasons behind Cat Peeing Outside Litter Box. We hope this article has given adequate information about the causes of cat peeing outside of the litter box. We also explained the ways to stop your cat from peeing outside the litter box. 

Do you still have any queries? If so, feel free to ask us in the comments section. Visit our website ‘TheCrazyCats.Net’ to learn more about cat behavior, food habits, feline diseases, and more.

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