Why Cats Pee Outside of their Litter Box

Updated: April 05, 2023

"Cats pee in inappropriate places in an effort to communicate something with their humans."

Why cats pee outside of their litter box?

Whether your cat is “fixed” or not, any cat is capable of peeing outside of the litter box. The question, then, to ask is: Why are they doing it?

Many people think their cat is peeing where they shouldn’t to get back at them. But cats lack the human ego that is required to concoct such an unsubtle piece of revenge. Cats pee in inappropriate places in an effort to communicate something with their humans. Unfortunately they can't use their voices, so they resort to peeing instead! Although this doesn't quite make sense to us and can be frustrating, don't worry, we are here to help you out.

The first thing they are usually trying to tell you is that something is medically or physically wrong with them. Peeing outside of the litter box can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and feline lower urinary tract disease. If your cat suddenly starts peeing where he shouldn’t, you need to get him to the vet and have him checked. Any of these health issues, if left untreated, can become very serious.

Older cats sometimes develop arthritis. This makes it very hard and painful for them to get in and out of the litter box if the sides are too tall, or if the box is placed somewhere that requires too much physical activity to get to, such as climbing stairs. This results in them just going outside of the box because getting in it, isn't easy it for them. Be mindful of this when your cat becomes a senior. 

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Finally, if you have ruled out all illnesses and physical disabilities, it’s time to consider whether there is a behavioral reason your cat is peeing on places where they shouldn’t. Cats don’t like change and can be easily stressed. You can start assessing your surroundings.

  • Have you moved to a new home?
  • Did you bring in a new pet?
  • Are there any stray cats outside the window?
  • Did you rearrange the furniture?

Think of when the inappropriate peeing started and see if you can connect it to any recent event that may cause your cat some anxieties.

Feliway spray is great to keep cats be calm and stress-free. Consider buying some plugins for around your home.

If you have some cats, it’s given that you need to have multiple litter boxes. The general rule is that you must have one box for each cat and add one or two more for good measure. So, if you have three cats you should probably have four or five boxes. You should also clean the litter boxes every day and always make sure you are adding fresh litter. That’s another thing: Did you recently change the litter? Cats have preferences, so if you did change the litter for some reason, consider changing it back.  If you didn’t change it, consider trying out different ones to see which your cat(s) prefer.

It’s also important to mention that not all physical or behavioral issues will be fixed instantly. In these instances, it’s a great idea to usecat diapersto keep your house clean and your sanity intact.

You may have heard about dog diapers, but cats can absolutely wear diapers, too! Pet Parents® cat diapers come in a variety of colors as well as sizes, so you’re sure to get the proper fit for your little fur ball.

Be sure to contact us and give us a message in case you have some questions in mind. We always love to help!

"The general rule is that you must have one box for each cat and add one or two more for good measure."