Why is Your Cat Peeing Outside The Litter Box?

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If your cat is peeing outside the litter box, it could be a sign that he’s not happy with his litter box. Litter box problems are the number one behavioral reason why cats are abandoned. Unfortunately, your cat can develop this issue at any age, and usually, it’s the result of your mistakes. These tips work both to fix and prevent this issue.

Here are some reasons why your cat may be peeing outside of the box.

Common Reasons for Your Cat Peeing Outside the Litter Box

#1: Health Issues 

Cats instinctively expel their bodily waste in dirt or sand, and the refusal to do so means something’s wrong. Any sudden change can be an indicator of a health problem and requires a vet visit.

Male cats are more prone to urethral obstruction and urinary tract infections, which can cause pain and other symptoms. It’s not uncommon for older cats to have urinary tract infections, which can be caused by a number of things, including diabetes, and even the presence of crystals in the urine. Cat’s bladder can be affected by a number of conditions, including tumors. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should bring your cat to the vet. If your cat has been drinking more, or you have been finding yourself needing to clean the litter box more often, your veterinarians may want to run some blood work to check for those problems.

Multiple health problems can cause this unwanted behavior. The cat might associate the pain with the litter tray. If you let this condition aggravate, the cat can become unable to urinate, which is a life-threatening scenario. Now imagine your cat is actually sick, and you’ve given her up instead of taking care of her!

Cat Peeing Outside the Litter Box
Image source: Pixabay

#2: Too Few Litter Boxes 

A common mistake Ideally, you should always have an extra litter box. If you have one cat, get at least two litterboxes, and so on. That’s the standard advice, but there are other things to consider: If you live in a huge house, you should have even more litter boxes. In this way, your cat won’t have to travel far to get to one. My cat Marcel used to pee on the bed, but I solved the issue by adding a litter box in my bedroom.

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So in his case, I think it was a matter of laziness, but it was an easy fix. Besides having the correct number of litter boxes, make sure to have one in each room with a bed or a couch. 

#3: Dirty Litter Box – More Widespread Than You Think! 

How to Deal With Cat Peeing Outside the Litter Box

We all know a dirty litter box is the main reason cats refuse to do their business where they should. Sadly, some cat owners still fail to keep them clean!

If you have a single litter tray, it’s essential to clean it twice a day. But there’s more to it! Some cat litters are better at trapping odors than others. I once used one with a weird green tea scent, but it did nothing to confine the bad smell.

As a result, no cat would use it if there was poop in it.

#4: Harsh Sand – This One is Interesting!

 If you buy silica litter or one with large granules, it’s understandable if Kitty doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. You can try to get a softer one instead. The soft texture is crucial in the case of declawed cats. By the way, if you want a cat, please don’t declaw your kitty!

Declawing is a highly invasive procedure that can lead to pain and litter box problems. Also, don’t change the litter type suddenly to avoid confusing your cat. 

#5: The Litter Tray May Also Be The Culprit! 

If you recently switched to a new type, especially from uncovered to covered or vice versa, your cat might also refuse to use it. Mix and match to find your cat’s favorite.

Here are some other great tips: If your cat is peeing standing up, look for taller litter trays. For injured, old cats or tiny kittens, look for litter trays with low entrances. 

#6: Location Issue – A More Subtle Cause 

Do your best to place the litter boxes in a quiet area, where Kitty can have privacy. But don’t overdo it! Your cat should still have easy access to it. Don’t make it hard for your cat by hiding the litter box in hard-to-access furniture. 

#7: Bullying Issues, More Common Than You Think! 

If you have multiple cats that don’t get along, it’s no surprise accidents happen. Usually, the bullied cat will choose other places to if she’s harassed while using the litter box. In this case, multiple litter boxes will definitely help.

Uncovered litter trays that allow easy escape are another solution. Still, you should also work on improving your cats’ relationship. And if you’re considering getting a new cat, make sure to choose one with a similar playing style and energy level. Here’s something often overlooked: cats can also be bullied by children.

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Try to teach your toddler how to interact with the cat and what behaviors are unacceptable.

#8: Spaying And Neutering 

These procedures are a must for house cats. Males are known for spraying if they sense females in heat, but females also resort to this behavior. Additionally, a female in heat has a very high risk of getting uterine infection and septicemia, which can be deadly. Even males that reached puberty and started spraying will stop immediately or after a few weeks after the procedure, so there’s no reason to give up your cat. 

#9: Stress, Anxiety, or Separation Anxiety 

A significant change in your household, such as a baby, changing homes, or a new pet, can all affect our routine-loving kitties. If this is the case, assure your cat everything’s ok by offering her lots of love.

Sad Lonely cat

Consider temporarily confining your cat in one room if you’ve changed places. If your cat has separation anxiety, try to spend more quality time with your cat and discuss it with a veterinarian. You can leave some worn clothes around the house while you’re away, so Kitty will sense your smell. Think if something might have scared your cat while going to the bathroom. If so, remove any device that might frighten her. 

Cats are very social animals. They thrive on interaction with people and other cats. In fact, they love attention. However, it’s also important that they have a safe, comfortable environment. Your home should be a place that provides them with the best possible life. If you don’t, they can become stressed and anxious, leading to behavioral problems such as aggression, biting, and scratching.

Play with your cat and provide toys and enrichment to keep her active. Your vet may recommend a supplement to reduce stress if environmental changes are not effective.

#10 Piles Of Laundry 

If you have the habit of storing your clothes on the ground, this might make your cat think your clothes are a litter box. The soft texture of clothes doesn’t help either. If your cat displays this unwanted behavior, don’t leave your clothes on the floor, and it should fix the problem! 

#11 Persistent Urine Smell 

If your cat peed on the bed and you didn’t clean it using enzyme-based cleaners, the urine smell might still be there.

As a result, it can make your cat choose that spot over and over again. Luckily, there are a ton of enzyme-based products that work great at removing urine smell.

You’ll find them at any pet store. If nothing else works, consider limiting your cat’s access to the problem areas while you’re away. It’s not ideal, but it’s still better than abandoning your cat.

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If your cat peed in a spot that is hard to reach, you may need to buy a cat litter scoop. This will allow you to easily remove the cat’s urine.

If you don’t want to spend money on this, you can also use a paper towel to soak up the urine. You can then throw the paper towel away after you are done.

We mainly talked about urine spraying, but cats can also defecate around the house. Fortunately, this is far less widespread. Pooping outside the litter tray is usually caused by a health problem, declawed paws, a dirty litterbox, or a bad litter smell. 

Passive-aggressive cats can also resort to this behavior. This can have multiple causes such as the tension between cats, severe boredom, or lack of spaying and neutering.

Your cat might also feel unsafe if you keep doing things she hates. In this case, you have again two options: 

  • A) Give up your cat and make her feel even more miserable.
  • B) Put some effort into discovering the underlying issue. 

The solutions are pretty straightforward! Usually, playtime will solve much of the existing tension and will also cure boredom. Stopping the behaviors your cat dislikes will make her feel content.


Your cat has a habit of urinating outside the litter box. This is a very common behavior in cats. If you want your cat to stop peeing outside the litter box, you need to find a solution that works for both you and your cat.

If none of these suggestions work, then you may need to take your cat to the veterinarian to see if there’s an underlying health problem that’s causing her to pee outside the box.

As you can see, there’s no reason to give up your cat if Kitty develops these habits. Probably all litterbox issues can be solved in no time with a little bit of effort. we’d really like to know if your cat ever had litterbox issues and how you solved them. 


How often do you need to change cat litter?

Cat litter boxes should be changed every week or so. Cats are very fastidious about their personal hygiene, and if they are not kept clean they can develop health problems. If your cat does not use its litter box regularly, it may be in pain. The best way to keep your cat healthy and happy is to change its litter box.

How to help a stressed cat?

A stressed cat may appear to be sick or tired, but it could actually be suffering from stress. Cats are very sensitive creatures and they do not like change. When you move into a new home, there is usually a lot of change going on. This can be stressful for your cat. To help them cope with this change, you can try doing some of the following things:
1: Give your cat a lot of attention.
2: Play with your cat.
3: Do some fun tricks.
4: Get your cat used to the new home.
5: Keep your cat’s routine consistent.
6: Give your cat plenty of love and affection.
7: Give your cat a treat every once in a while.
8: Make sure your cat has access to fresh air and sunlight.
9: Make sure your cat has a litter box.
10: Make sure your cat gets enough exercise.

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