Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.


Top Ten Ways to Help Your Cat Stop Peeing Outside the Litter Box

Image: Seregraff / via Shutterstock
Image: Wouter Tolenaars / via Shutterstock
Image: Tiplyashina Evgeniya / via Shutterstock
Image: Olesya Kuznetsova / via Shutterstock
Image: George Kelly / via Flickr
Image: Gregor Smith / via Flickr
Image: Tiplyashina Evgeniya / via Shutterstock
Image: sleep24Photo / via Shutterstock
Image: Tiplyashina Evgeniya / via Shutterstock
Image: Nailia Schwarz / via Shutterstock
Image: Jeffrey Beall / via Flickr


Addressing Inappropriate Urination

When your cat starts shunning its litter box in favor of other places throughout your home, it is definitely not something you want to become a habit. Address the issue quickly with these simple ways to help your cat stop peeing outside of the litter box.

#10 Define the Problem

The first thing you need to do when you discover pee where it doesn’t belong is determine whether it is the result of spraying or inappropriate urination. Spraying is a result of cats marking their territory, and is generally just a splatter, whereas inappropriate urination will be a larger puddle.

#9 Tackle the Problem Quickly

You will want to address any urination outside of the litter box quickly, before it becomes normal behavior for your cat. If your cat is spraying, try making it feel more secure in its territory, as that is often why cats get possessive. In a multi-cat household, it may help to provide separate living areas for each cat.

#8 Thoroughly Clean the Mess

Be sure to thoroughly clean all areas where your cat has peed outside the box. You really want to be sure you’ve eliminated the odor, not just for your own sake, but so the smell doesn’t draw your cat back to that same spot.

#7 Add an Additional Litter Box

One litter box is often just not enough. The general rule of thumb is one box per cat, plus an extra one. Think about it – if you were on the second floor of your house, would you want to run all the way downstairs to use the bathroom? Neither does your cat. Making it convenient for your cat to use the litter box will usually avert problems.

#6 Address Litter Box Location

Think about where you have the litter boxes located. If you have multiple stories, you'll want at least one on each floor. If your litter box is too tucked away, somewhere inconspicuous, your cat may not bother to go find it. If your cat keeps peeing in the same spot despite your best efforts, try moving the litter box over that spot, and then slowly moving it back to where you want it.

 

#5 Try a Different Box

An enclosed litter box may fit nicely within your decorating standards, but your cat may not agree. Enclosed boxes can be small, dark, smelly and difficult to turn around in – not conducive to cats doing their business. You will also want to make sure the sides of your litter box are not too high for the cat to easily step over - especially as the cat reaches old age.

#4 Clean Your Litter Box Regularly

A dirty litter box is one of the first things that will send a cat peeing elsewhere. Cats are very clean creatures by nature. Would you want to go walking barefoot through your cat's litter box? Well, neither do they. Be consistent about cleaning out the box and changing the litter.

#3 Check the Type of Litter

Heavily perfumed litter may seem the better choice (who wouldn’t want to smell perfume rather than a dirty litter box?), but cats tend to disagree. They also like to stick with the familiar, so if you adopt an adult cat, it may urinate outside the litter box if you switch up the standard, non-perfumed litter. Studies have shown that amongst cats, the all-around favorite litter type is a loose, clumping, unscented clay litter containing activated charcoal.

#2 Observe the Social Dynamics

Conflicts between multiple cats, or the introduction of a new cat, may cause inappropriate urination. Occasionally, the case may be that your cats got into an altercation in or near the litter box and it has left one of them with associated bad memories.

#1 Consult Your Veterinarian

If inappropriate urination has become an issue with your cat, the most important thing you can do is make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your cat's doctor will perform a physical exam and urinalysis to determine if the problem is medical. Urinary tract infections and kidney failure are just some of the common health issues that either cause a cat to produce more urine, or add an increased urgency to urination. If your cat is given a clean bill of health, you can then move on to addressing environmental or behavioral issues.

1/11


Comments  41

Leave Comment
  • Cat peeing
    10/03/2013 04:23am

    One (of 2) of my sisters cats, started peeing everywhere after she had a baby. He is a neutered male. He was to the vet, was given a clean bill of health. They told her he'll get over it, but it's been 10 months. She loves her cats so much, and this is really depressing her. Any suggestions?

  • 05/02/2014 09:48pm

    This comment has been flagged as inappropriate.

  • 06/26/2014 08:52am

    Be careful Idiot, else you might get a boot up your ass.

  • 04/03/2015 04:17pm

    Yo Nitwit! I'd like to put my size 14 boot up your butt A..hole.

  • 08/20/2015 12:52pm

    My cat was peeing ALLLLL over the house, I ended up getting this http://754fd30jj93055cagqw9s70o7l.hop.clickbank.net/ HIGHLY recommend it. He stopped peeing within a couple days!

  • 04/03/2015 04:20pm

    You vulgar pig. I would sure like to put my foot to your stupid butt.

  • 10/17/2014 12:12pm

    Please be aware that when a cat pees outside their litter box it's a cry for help. First rule out a physical problem. I keep Diascreen test strips on hand to check the urine but keep in mind if the cat has crystals there might not be blood to show up on the test strip to raise your attention to the problem so bringing a sample to the Vet might be the better idea. If it's emotional, try to put yourself in their paws to figure it out. Be logical. I use Stress Stopper by SpiritEssence.com which works well along with their Peacemaker kit especially if there's a new kitty introduced into the home. Simply put it in their water bowls twice a day or you can mist them as per the directions. PetWellBeing.com makes another great product called Pet Calm which you can spray on their canned cat food twice a day. They key to all of those remedies is to be consistence. You will definitely notice a behavior change within a week or two. If the cat is aging like one of my elder cats it's a symptom of Alzheimer. He gets confused. PetWellBeing.com makes a product called Old Friend for cognitive support which has made a difference in the quality of his life. Cleaning the urine thoroughly is also critical. Since cats can smell 1000 times better than us. If they smell urine they most likely will return to that same spot. There's a product called Roccal-D that you can get off of Amazon. I found out about this from my Vet. It's highly concentrate and is a great disinfectant (1 oz to a gallon of water). This product will get the smell out. I even use it on carpeting. It has not stained. I also use piddle pads and 6ml plastic to protect corners of my house. Cut a piece of plastic and tape with packing tape to cover the wall about 18" and the floor area about 12" just in case they keep marking and spraying high on the wall. It's much easier to blot up urine on plastic than saturated baseboard or carpet. I hope this helps. I've been rescuing kitties for 30 years plus and have a plethora of tricks. Remember urination outside of the box is a cry for help. Yelling and punishing your cat will only make them more upset and magnify the problem.

  • 03/16/2015 01:11pm

    I think the fact that I'm not cleaning the spot outside the litter box well enough is my problem. I wash the mat that's under and around the litter box daily and he (9 yr old) still pees there. Grrr The other cat is peeing in that spot now too.
    He acts fine like he's healthy and even acting happier than I've seen in years.
    Thank you for your comments. I will get the Roccal-D and hope that helps.

  • 03/16/2015 01:13pm

    Ok ... maybe I won't buy that. It's wayyyy over my budget. Any other suggestions?

  • 04/20/2015 06:55am

    Zero odor from bed bath and beyond works well and is much cheaper we've used the expensive things and this is just as good it was recommended from the cat whisperer. We've done everything and haven't found a solution yet. Good luck. We've found that nothing really works on the carpets that have padding. If you have that problem nothing but pulling the carpet and bleaching works but zero odor works for everywhere else of just an occasional spot on the carpet. We've used the expensive and this and it works just as well as the expensive. I hope you find a solution we are still trying.

  • 02/08/2015 07:52pm

    Here's what I did. SOOO worth it. I couldn't take it anymore!!!!!http://4e336x7wm91053f8pdue1x3mf8.hop.clickbank.net/

  • 07/09/2015 01:49am

    Your friend can try a calming collar. They can be purchased at a pet store or on Amazon. They are the pheromones that the mother cat emits when nursing the babies to keep,them calm. Each collar lasts 30 days. Another thing she can try along with the collar is Rescue Remedy, also at Amazon or in the human vitamin section. It is calming flower essences that can be added to food or water. Can be used for cats, dogs or people. He is acting out because of the many changes that happen when there is an dairies to the family. Good luck and I hope this helps.

  • cat won't use the litter
    11/03/2013 01:07am

    I too have a cat that all of a sudden started peeing in different corners of the house. I can't seem to get him to stop. This seem to have started when I started letting him spend the day outdoors and now he treats the house the same way. I have a litter box that he won't even go in. I'm not sure this is something that will ever stop.

  • 06/20/2014 09:46pm

    I have a few cats. Two of them starting peeing in the corners of our home as well. We made a few corner pieces out of pcv materials with a groove cut out. So, when they want to pee in the corner, the pee goes in the groove. They can be cleaned up with pine cleaner or bleach. Doesn't look that great, but at least we saved our wooden floors

  • suggestions?
    12/17/2013 11:12pm

    I have a 9 year old, neutered cat who started peeing outside the litter box , around the same time he also stopped eating as much as he used to. Any suggestions??

  • Cat Peeing Problem
    03/02/2014 04:23pm

    Cat urination problem is really big problem for cat owners. Feline urine has absolutely very unpleasant odor and cats should be trained by cat owners. They can learn not to pee outside of the litter box and you can help them to accomplish this task by cleaning the are and the litter box.You can solve cat urination problem with simple ways. Cats are really fastidious about cleaning and more things. You need to learn everything about them,so you can stop them to inappropriate urination.You should also read this [url=http://www.makeusknow.com/categories/animals&pets/how-to-stop-cats-from-peeing-on-carpet-furniture-and-bed.html]article about cat peeing problem[/url].

  • Pees out the door of box!
    03/18/2014 11:53pm

    I have a cat that uses the litter box, but intentionally (I think) lifts her rear up high enough to pee out the door of it. (it's a covered box) I keep paper down, but it has ruined my hardwood floor. I have no idea how to stop her from doing this. After she gets out of the box, she rustles all the newspaper up that she just peed on. I am very frustrated, not only from the ruined floor, but also the smell is awful. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

  • 02/19/2015 11:34am

    My female kitty does the same thing. She was separated too early from her mother (at the animal shelter) so I think she wasn't properly trained in proper etiquette. I have put puppy pee pads down around the litter box, which are much more absorbant than newspaper and have a protective backing. I also make sure to have the edges slighly under the box so she doesn't move them out of place.

  • 03/29/2015 02:15pm

    I had a girl cat do that, too. I purchased the kitty box where the hole is on top. Pet stores have them.

  • Peeing around house
    03/19/2014 01:54am

    My 12 year old female cat that I have had for 8 years, has just recently started peeing and pooping around the house. The last straw was today when she peed on my bed! I don't know what to do about it. We had a litter of kittens almost a year ago (not hers) and a litter box was brought back into the house. She really didn't seem interested in it all. Over the last few weeks she has used it with the kitten (almost a year and not fixed yet). She has not used a litter box in over 5 years. Always went outside since we moved to a house. I don't want my almost 1 year old outside at all. That's the only reason for the littler. They have an amazing relationship. Cuddling and cleaning each other. So I don't think it's because of the baby. My sons carpet downstairs and now my bed. Pls any advice would help.

  • 06/15/2015 12:46am

    My 15. Yr old female suddenly started peeing on furniture when asleep. Vet could not find the cause. I now give her phenylpropalamine as a transdermal gel in her ears twice a day. It has helped immensely.. You can also buy it in liquid form but it is vile and cats hate it. The gel is much kinder.

    a drug compounding company will make the gel. Road Runner makes it as does a local (people) compounding pharmacy. Good luck!

  • Older cat peeing
    03/21/2014 10:05pm

    I have a 16 yr old cat that just recently has started peeing on the dogs beds and the rugs throughout the house. Every time we clean it up or throw away the items. But just today i found that the cat is now pooping outside of the litterbox. No matter what we do it doesn't seem to work. Please help we need it desperately. We love our cat and dont want to have to get rid of her.

  • 11/02/2014 01:06am

    Hi. My cat is also 16. I have had her for about 5 years--she was my friend's cat and I took her when my friend couldn't keep her. We have had problems with peeing before--first because she didn't like a cover on the litter box, then because the location of the litter box changed, and other times because I think she was trying to make a "statement" about her displeasure over one thing or another. (There are no other cats in the house by-the-way.) But things started getting really bad in the past year. I would find that she peed just outside the box (pooped too), or on the floor in the dining room, or in her "kitty house" (a separate soft enclosure to give her a sense of safety when she got scared about something). But then she started peeing on my upholstered furniture. She ruined one of my chairs that went with my couch. No, I didn't kill her, though I really WANTED TO at the time! (Her name is Lucky and I told her she was Lucky to be Alive!) I took her to the vet, and although he said her blood tests looked good and she looked healthy, he wanted to do an X-Ray. But since it cost almost $300, and I'm unemployed, I didn't do it. I WISH I HAD! Things only got worse; she lost weight, slept A LOT (more than usual), kept peeing on things so that I had to put plastic on all the upholstered items. I thought she was just getting old, feeble and senile. One night she began crying and looked like she was convulsing. My neighbor is a vet too (not her regular one) and I called him over. He said she was very dehydrated. He thought she might have something else going on, so I allowed him to do the X-Ray (yes, still almost $300). But it turned out that one of her kidneys was filled with tumors and was non-functioning. She didn't have tumors elsewhere, but the kidney had to come out. Now she is peeing where she is supposed to, eating again and putting on weight, obviously feels good and is acting kind of kittenish again. If only I would have spent that $300! It would have saved my $500 chair and $1800 in surgical costs--and my kitty wouldn't have been in pain for so long!

  • I
    09/15/2014 06:16pm

    I have a cat that will be 1 year next month. Around 4-5 months ago he started peeing on my bed. Then it was my parents bed, then the spare beds, then the carpet and now the lay-z boy. He uses his litter just fine for a few days then bam, something has been peed on. Been to the vet numerous times, supposedly had a uti, got some meds now clean bill of health.the litter is cleaned daily, and he even has two: for upstairs and downstairs. I've tried everything and I don't know how much longer my parents will let me keep him. Please help

  • 09/27/2014 07:47pm

    Here's a suggestion that worked with one of our cats - get some of those puppy pads - I put one in a low open litter box and no litter. For some reason she seems to like the feel of the pads.. I use OUT brand (from Walmart). Our cat was a rescue who was peeing everywhere but the litter box. I also put a small litter box with litter right next to it because she won't poop on the pad but will in the litter.

  • 11/20/2014 03:46pm

    That's a really great idea!! Thank You for sharing!

  • 04/07/2015 12:44pm

    Buy 2 litter boxes...1 with a cover and 1 without...If you have a laundry room or a small room- Place the covered litter box in one area using clumping litter.The 2nd (old school)uncovered litter box put it in another area close by and use non clumping clay litter...
    With these 2 interesting options to your cat or cats you should see the spraying or peeing problem go away.
    Pick up all towels and pillows-Put them up high and away. Do not make it easy for the cats to find something to pee on.
    My cat does not use the open litter box that much but having it there just in case the covered one gets to dirty for him to use.
    I made the mistake of taking the 2nd lightly used litter box away and then he started peeing again.As soon as i brought it back he was happy to pee in the litter box again.

  • DID NOT HELP
    09/17/2014 03:58am

    i tried all these things non of it stopped my cat from peeing around

  • Cat box problems
    09/26/2014 03:48am

    2 years ago my cat was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The vet at the clinic gave her a liquid steroid and it seemed to reverse the ataxia and loos of appetite she had developed overnight(which is what lead us to the clinic in the first place). They told us that with the steroid treatment she would probably be with us for a couple of months. Now, 2 years later, she is 15 years old, receiving the steroid every night and still with us. The problem is, she began pooping outside her box and more recently has added peeing on the floor outside her box. I am going crazy with this. It is so gross!
    I don't know what is going on! She has always slept on or by my feet at night but now sometimes sleeps by my face. She still likes to sit on all of our laps and purr so it's hard to think about the idea of putting her down... But this peeing/pooping thing it making me CRAZY!! What can I do?!!

  • 09/26/2014 03:51am

    *loss of appetite

  • 09/27/2014 07:44pm

    Here's a suggestion that worked with one of our cats - get some of those puppy pads - they come in large and extra large - put it on the ground by the litter box. I use OUT brand (from Walmart). For some reasons one of our rescues stopped using the litter box but we have switched her to puppy pads and have not had any issues as long as we change it once or twice a day.

  • Health or to many cats ?
    11/06/2014 02:44pm

    So I had one kitten, the got another and they became best friends. Both are female. Then my son brings me a male kitten and by this time the others were adults. One of my female cats didn't like the kitten as he got older because he would bite her! Over a few years I rescued 2 more cats , I ended up having 5 indoor cats! My house never had an odor problem even with so many cats. I started noticing the smell of cat pee but couldn't see it anywhere because of the color of my carpet. I decided to pull up the carpet and surprise every room of carpet was ruined! My oldest female I was noticing she was peeing in my sinks as well, so took her to the vets. She had crystals and bacteria in her kidneys, she was 7 years old. I had to put her down.! Everything seemed ok after that as far as I thought she was the only one with the problem, I was wrong. The littlest cat I had rescued is peeing everywhere , not in my sinks but on everything else. She and my other female cat don't get along at all! I have only 3 indoor cats left, one male and two female. The last female I rescued is not fixed yet. Help please?

  • Sudden Urination All Over
    12/01/2014 06:37am

    I have two 12 year old cats (male and Female from same litter) and recently I have rescued another younger male cat around about 4 years in age. My elder male cat has suddenly started urinating EVERYWHERE! He has never been partial to kitty litter (unlike his sister who loves it) so we let him do his business outside. He would meow when he needed to be let out. He has stopped meowing now and just pee's where he wants, even if the back door is wide open in front of him. I think it may be stress as he does not particularly like the new addition to the family but it also seems like his way to show us how angry he is at us. Help! How do I get him return to his old habits of urinating outside?

  • Stop cat peeing on bed
    12/26/2014 01:39am

    [b]"Your cat is trying to tell you something"[/b]

    There are many reasons a cat will pee outside the litterbox but it is always a case of your cat trying to communicate an issue to their owner. Many cat owners give up in frustration and end up having to give their cat away or worse. The thing is, inappropriate urination can be stopped if you just know how to listen to your cat.

    What most people don't realize is that it is often not that hard to fix. But the answer is, [b][i]You can do the simple things for your cat & you can get rid of this problem within 4 days maximum[/i][/b].

    Read my step by step detailed article here. [url=http://www.southseller.com/stop-cat-peeing-on-bed]http://www.southseller.com/stop-cat-peeing-on-bed[/url]

  • Stop Cat Peeing In Bed
    12/26/2014 01:43am

    "Your cat is trying to tell you something"

    There are many reasons a cat will pee outside the litterbox but it is always a case of your cat trying to communicate an issue to their owner. Many cat owners give up in frustration and end up having to give their cat away or worse. The thing is, inappropriate urination can be stopped if you just know how to listen to your cat.

    What most people don't realize is that it is often not that hard to fix. But the answer is, You can do the simple things for your cat & you can get rid of this problem within 4 days maximum.

    Read my step by step detailed article here.

    http://www.southseller.com/stop-cat-peeing-on-bed

  • Peeing outside the box
    01/22/2015 08:30pm

    We have two cats, brother and sister we've had since they were a couple months old. Now they are almost six. They are both fixed. We have had a constant battle with the girl peeing at the litter box or in the immediate area for a long time now. It's a constant battle and we cannot find a solution to it. Our best guess is that maybe the boy is harassing her when she is near the litter boxes. We don't know how to fix this problem.
    We used either Arm & Hammer Essentials or the Kroger or Walmart brand of natural pine litter for over a year now. We had two standard litter boxes with collars, then bought a third. The boxes get scooped twice a day, totally changed every 15 days and washed. The three boxes are in a closet, side by side with folding doors that are kept open. The Sterilite box is kept outside the closet near the other three.
    We recently bought a Sterilite box about 22x16 and made a fourth box. All the boxes have about two inches of litter. I've tried putting aluminum foil at the area she would pee at but she'd just pee on the foil. Recently, to reduce the damage to the new carpet I've put some 30 gallon trash bags on the floor beneath the three boxes and the Sterilite box. Recently, during the night she pawed back the trash bag and peed on the floor as close to the litter box as she could.

  • chronic inappropriate uri
    04/05/2015 10:37pm

    I have three cats, two were adopted as brother and sister (babies), and the third about a year later also as a kitten. The third's mother was killed so he was bottle fed and grew up not knowing much else. The three get along most of the time, the third will beat up on the girl occasionally but no extreme issues. The third grew up with no true issues with the cat box, but then started to urinate outside of the box. First it was near the box, then transitioned to wherever he wanted, and now he has started spraying things. I am at my wits end with him, I love him so much, but my house smells awful! I have taken him to numerous vets (we move due my being in the army) and some have suggested anti-anxiety medicine (which he had been on, but wasn't intended for long term use) then others said he just needed to be played with more. All of his screenings have come back clear. He yowls all through the night and during the day. Sounds like fingernails on a chalk board. He was also neutered as soon as he could be. We have cat boxes on all floors of the house (6 total). We have tried calming collars/diffusers, varying cat toys, different litters, prescription cat food, love/playtime overdoses, and a host of other trial and errors.
    Does anyone have any recommendations!!?

  • Could be the litter
    05/28/2015 02:15pm

    I know that many of you may find this weird, but when my daughter's cat was peeing on her bed we consulted a pet psychic. We were at our wit's end and a friend had had good luck doing this so we tried it. After about a month of tearing our hair out over this problem, it was explained and fixed in a few minutes. She told us "He is a big boy and feels closed in when using the liter box" and "he hates the litter-his feet get wet when he pees hence the bed peeing. The bed absorbs the urine - no wet feet." She recommended an open litter box that gave him room to move around and crystal type litter that would keep his feet dry. There have been no more incidents of peeing outside the litter box.

  • Puppy pads do the trick
    05/28/2015 04:33pm

    I use puppy pads under and around the litter box for when my 17 year old male cat "misses"..... They have been the biggest help for those times and for easy cleanup....

  • Have a very nervous 6 yea
    08/29/2015 12:48pm

    Have a 6 year old nervous cat, solved the peeing problem completely. Aside from a clean litter box everyday, I have been picking her up and walking her to her litter box , reassuring her calmly and talking to her and then gently placing her in the box. I would pet her while reassuring her in the box. I did this a minimum 2 per day . She got to a point she would go when I put her in. She regularly now uses the box. I still do this with her a few times when I change the full litter each month, and also when there are more people in the house like Xmas. It was the only thing I tried that worked, no different than walking your dog :)





  • Cat peeing
    08/29/2015 03:09pm

    Thanks for sharing this nice information.Because i was searching for this because my cat always use to pee on bed only.
    [url=http://www.awwcat.com/how-to-stop-your-cat-peeing-on-bed-house/]Train Your Cats Professionally[/url]

 
MORE FROM PETMD.COM