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

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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.

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Comments  9

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  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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??

  • suggestions?
    12/17/2013 11:13pm

    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??

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  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • 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.