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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  19

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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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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?

 
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