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Why Is My Cat Peeing Outside The Litter Box? Learn How To Solve This Problemcat urinating in litter box

Suddenly, your perfectly toilet-trained cat has decided the whole of its world (i.e. your house) is its toilet and has started peeing outside the litter box.

If your cat was once trained to use the litter tray and has always been fastidious about cleanliness what could be the reason to suddenly stop using the cat litter box? Read on to learn more about why cats pee outside the litter box and how you can solve this problem.

Why Is My Cat Not Using The Litter Box?

To determine why your cat is not urinating where you want them to involves a little detective work. Often the cause can be either medical or behavioural.

1. Is your cat’s problem a medical problem?

There many potential reasons why your cat is peeing or pooping outside its litter box.  First things first though, does your cat have a medical condition that is either creating urgency to pee or makes it painful or unpleasant to pee in the kitty litter?

Ask yourself why is your cat going outside the litter box?

  1. Are they dribbling urine in multiple places around the house?
  2. Does the urine have blood in it?
  3. Does your cat have trouble getting into the litter tray
  4. Is your cat straining to urinate?
  5. Is your cat drinking more than usual and peeing more than usual, sometimes finding that they can’t find the litter tray in time?
  6. Is your cat disorientated or meowing at night?

If you answer yes to any of these questions please contact our online vets to discuss further management of your cat’s medical problem.

2. Is your cat’s problem a behavioural problem?

To work out the problem of why the cat stopped using the litter box you will need to put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and start observing behaviours and thinking like a cat!

Cats are creatures of habit, any change to their environment can lead to stress. Occasionally a stressed cat will take to urinating outside the litter box as a way of voicing their dislike of a situation.

A good way to work out what the problem may be is to consider changes that may have occurred in the household.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Have you recently moved house?
  2. Has someone left or joined your household? Maybe you have had visitors to stay or you have a new boyfriend or girlfriend?
  3. Have you been decorating or doing alterations in the house?
  4. Have you changed the litter type?
  5. Have you introduced a new pet to the household?
  6. Are there signs of a new cat in the neighbourhood?
  7. How often do you clean the litter tray?
  8. What chemicals do you use to clean the litter tray?
  9. How many litter trays do you have for each cat in the household?

These may sound like weird and bizarre questions, but they help us to get a gauge of what is going on in your cat’s life and why they may not be using the litter box as you want them to.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is possible that this might be the very reason your cat is not using the litter box.

Treating Cat and Dog Urine Contamination In Carpet

First, we need to focus on how to clean up the mess that your cat makes so that they don’t become repeat offenders.

Clean up accidents as soon as possible.

Cat urine has an almighty stink that can be very difficult to get rid of completely. Cat urine contains urea that converts into ammonia as well as a type of pheromone 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol (MMB), a compound that gives cat urine its typical odour.

When cat urine dries, both the stains and smell became near impossible to remove. It is important to remove the smell and stain from these areas to prevent your cat using the floor as it’s toilet again in the future.

You can find the spots where your cat has urinated by using an ultraviolet or black light to highlight the stains. Once located, the most important part of cleaning is to lift all carpeted areas up and ensure that you clean the floor underneath.

Ordinary household cleaners will not do the job properly as they cannot break down the chemical bonds in uric acid. You need to purchase special enzymatic cleaners. These enzyme cleaners target uric acid and remove the lingering smell so kitty does not return to the spot.

How To Stop Your Cat Peeing Outside The Litter Box?

Once we have cleaned up the mess our cat has made it is important to prevent the problem from happening again.

If after answering the questions above you suspect it may be a medical problem, please get in touch with our online vets to determine your next steps.

If you catch your cat in the act of urinating somewhere it shouldn’t please avoid yelling and reprimanding your cat.  Punishment does not help this problem at all.  You will only scare your cat so you never see it learns to go to the toilet in secret.

Instead, we recommend you pick up your cat and lock it in the room where you want to keep the litter tray. Ensure the litter tray is clean.

If this is the first time your cat has done this, always check the litter tray to make sure that a) it has obviously urinated and b) that there is no blood in the urine.

To learn more about how to solve this problem we have designed a guide with all the steps outlined for you.

Please fill out the following form to receive this step by step guide directly to your mailbox.


 Sometimes you can have the best litter box and the best cat litter, but still, your cat refuses to use the litter tray. There is hope. Contact us to receive all the top tips on how you can stop this once and for all.