top of page

Why Isn't My Cat Peeing in the Litter Box?

 Suddenly, you find your litter-trained cat peeing outside the litter box. This behaviour can be both frustrating and perplexing, and you desire for it to cease as abruptly as it commenced.

Simply put, something is amiss if your cat is defecating everywhere. Your responsibility as a cat caregiver is to determine what.

Your cat may urinate outside the receptacle for the following four primary reasons:

An underlying medical condition that causes increased frequency and pain associated with urination; Issues pertaining to the litter box or litter box itself; Stress or anxiety that has disturbed your cat's routine and sense of security; Behavioural problems or a habit resulting from inadequate cleansing of urine traces.


Let's discuss the issues in detail and try to find out the reasons for your cat urinating outside the litter box. We will also try to discuss some points on how to avoid the same.


Urinating outside the litter box: a health hazard for cats

Prior to anything else, to find an external reason for the question why cats pee outside the litter box, it is critical to ensure that your cat's health is not compromised.

When afflicted with severe bladder inflammation or infection, cats will frequently defecate outside of designated litter boxes.

Additionally, cats frequently defecate in an alternative location when they are under a great deal of tension or anxiety, which can cause chemical imbalances within the body.

It is imperative that you have your cat examined by a veterinarian immediately if it has recently begun defecating in areas other than its litter box.

Cat Peeing Outside litter box
Cat Peeing Outside litter box

Additional Causes Your Cat Might Be Urinating Elsewhere

After health-related causes for your cat's peculiar new behaviour have been ruled out, it is time to consider alternative explanations for why your cat is choosing to defecate elsewhere. Several of the most prevalent are detailed below.

Recent Household Alterations

Your cat has an insatiable appetite for predictability. Issues pertaining to soiling beyond the designated litter box may be initiated by a household transition, including the introduction of a new companion or the departure of an existing member.

Possibly, you have recently begun a new position that requires you to spend extended periods of time away from home.

Despite the recent change, ensure that you spend some additional quality time with your cat to help them feel safe and secure. Once your cat regains a sense of safety and security, this behaviour should resolve itself with a little additional affection and focus.

Unclean litter box

A primary reason why your cat pees outside of the box can be an unclean litter box. Felines possess an acute sense of scent. A frequently observed cause for a feline's refusal to utilize its litter receptacle is insufficient cleanliness. Replace the litter once per week and devote a few minutes per day to cleaning the particles and any solid refuse from your cat's box if you use clumping litter.

Using non-clumping litter, change the entire litter at least twice per week; however, if your cat is especially particular, you may need to change the litter every other day in order to maintain its happiness.

Position of litter boxes

Location is critical. Boxes should ideally be positioned in serene, private spaces, away from disruptive elements such as noisy roommates (canines), loud appliances, air ducting, children, doorbells, doorways, and room deodorizers or air fresheners. Additionally, avoid confined areas, as cats require space to stand and manoeuvre. 


Different cats prefer lidded boxes, multiple routes out of the box area, or a 360-degree view; therefore, be inventive and offer options. Instead of clustering boxes in a single location, they ought to be dispersed across multiple locations.


A cat may occasionally have a favoured elimination site from which it cannot be deterred. The solution is to position a box in that precise location and, once it has been utilized consistently, gradually relocate it to a different area by a few centimetres per day.

Alternatively, food containers and rewards could be placed in areas that have been previously soiled. In addition to leaving items in that area, playing with your cat there could be beneficial.


There are situations in which cats prefer more light, or the location of your cat's litter box may require you to pass your cat’s preferred area. Relocating your cat's litter box is a simple modification that may deter your feline companion from defecating in an alternative location.

purrclean litter box
purrclean litter box

Harmony of litter boxes in a multi-cat household

If you have multiple cats in your household, and especially if one of them is a tyrant that prevents others from accessing the litter box, be sure to designate a space and litter box that are inaccessible to the other cats for your timid cat.


Additionally, you must ensure that you have sufficient receptacles, or at least one plus the number of animals you have. Separate the litter receptacles between rooms in order to maintain tranquilly and seclusion.


It is even more important to maintain clean cat receptacles when you have multiple cats in your household; scoop at least once per day, if not more frequently.


Dislikes the style of their litter box


While answering the question, Why is my cat not peeing in the litter box?, one of the burning causes can be that the cat doesn't even like the style of the litter itself. 

Although lidded litter receptacles are favored by cat owners, a considerable number of felines oppose their use. Your cat might feel confined within these covered receptacles, find a covered litter container too dim, or be overpowered by the odors. Consider offering your cat a standard open litter to determine whether that would be a more effective solution.

Dimensions are an additional factor to consider in litter receptacles. It is imperative to furnish a kitten with a compact litter receptacle that is conveniently accessible to them. Ensure that the height of the sides does not permit your cat to leap over.

Conversely, in the case of a substantially larger feline, ensure that the litter receptacle offers ample space to accommodate its clawing and shuffling.

Dislikes the litter itself

Although you may believe that the type of litter you use is inconsequential, your feline companion may find it to be extremely significant. Certain felines are averse to using litter receptacles lined with maize or coconut litter.

Cats will not excrete or defecate near their food, and your cat may refuse to use their litter box if cat litter made from these substances smells more like food than like a place to alleviate oneself.

Certain brands of cat litter are too rough for some felines' feet, too powdery, too fragrant, or too clumpy. It is advisable to experiment with various brands and varieties of cat litter until you discover one that your cat enjoys using.

Methods to Prevent Your Cat From Urinating in an Unintended Area

No matter what method you employ, refrain from yelling at or punishing your cat. If you want to prevent your cat from peeing outside the litter box, it is always preferable to combine compassionate patience with positive reinforcement.


Alteration of the Space's Mean

In addition to making the litter box a more appealing environment, one potential strategy is to alter the significance attributed to the specific location where the cat is deciding to defecate or excrete. In other words, if your cat has begun to defecate in an alternative location, devote some time to engaging in playful activities with it there while also providing it with rewards.

Your cat will no longer perceive that area as a place to defecate and will instead associate it with enjoyment and relaxation.


Completely Clean the Area

It will be crucial for both your mental health and the deterrence of your cat to thoroughly clear the area where it has defecated in order to eliminate any odour. Urine odour could potentially encourage your cat to defecate in the same location again.

Obviously, there is nothing pleasant about having a residence, bed, sofa, or rug that emanates the odour of cat urine for oneself. Utilize a cleanser designed specifically to eliminate the odour of pet urine. There are circumstances in which renting a steam cleaner may be necessary to eliminate the odour of cat urine.




bottom of page