Cat pees inside – why does the cat pee outside the litter box?

No one wants cat pee on carpets and furniture, but the fact that the cat relieves itself outside its litter box is unfortunately a fairly common problem. Here we list the most common reasons.

Cat Litter box

It is absolutely of the utmost importance to find the reason why the cat is urinating where it is not allowed. Is there something in the cat’s life situation that triggers the peeing?

Cats are clean animals who know how to use their litter box. A cat that is not room clean should always be carefully examined by a veterinarian. At the vet visit, the cat must undergo an external examination, ultrasound and take a urine sample where the vet looks for bacteria, crystals or other abnormalities. Many behavioral problems are due to an underlying physical cause.

Urinary problems, for example, are a common reason why cats start urinating outside the litter box.

Common reasons why the cat pees outside the box

  • The cat may be separated from its mother too soon
  • Feeling insecure and scared
  • Is understimulated
  • Change of owner
  • Change of residence or other environmental changes
  • A new family member, usually a baby or a new pet
  • That the cat is not left alone by, for example, children or other disturbing elements
  • Death – relative or animal companion
  • Worried by foreign cat smells coming from outside

The environment around the litter box

If there is no physical reason why your cat is peeing outside the box, you can see the cat’s environment and everyday life. Maybe it is starting to mature, is insecure, stressed or worried? The most common reason, however, is that the cat is not happy with the environment around the litter box

Box location and contents

The litter box must be spacious, preferably without a roof (if it has a roof, the cat must be able to stand and sit straight without being bothered by the roof and walls). It is important that the edges are not too high edges, especially for older cats.

It is important that the litter box is not near feeding areas, water bowls or sleeping areas. The litter box must be easily accessible for the cat, but still be in a quiet place where the cat has control over what happens around the box. Always leave the litter box in the same place. The cat quickly gets used to where the litter box is and runs there when pressed.

One litter box per cat and one extra box is a good guideline to follow. The different litter boxes should not be next to each other but preferably spread out. Most cats prefer a soft and fine-grained sand, feel free to try having a little sand in one litter box and a lot in the other and see which the cat prefers.

Most common problems with the litter box

  • Box location
  • There are too few litter boxes in the home
  • The box is too small – the cat wants to be able to move freely without having to bend its back
  • The contents of the litter box
  • That the box is not emptied often enough
  • Too thorough cleaning of the box or vice versa

Pees in beds and on furniture

If the cat pees on the bed, on clothes or a sofa/armchair, it may be a sign that it is not happy with its litter box. Since the cat clearly shows that it prefers a soft surface, you can try to replace the sand in the box with a more fine-grained variety and increase the amount of sand. The litter box may also be too small or have a roof. Maybe your cat needs a bigger litter box or one without a roof?

Most problems can be solved by changes in the home or by finding answers at the vet. Feel free to contact a cat behaviourist to get help with what exactly you need to do for you and your cat. What is needed is patience.

How to solve the problem?

The enumerated reasons mentioned above are some of the most common reasons why the cat urinates indoors. There are of course more. How then to solve these problems? By finding the supposed reason, you usually have an opportunity to solve the problem by fixing what is wrong.

When it comes to family members or other animals in the family, it is a fact that cannot be removed. But taking care of the cat that pees inside, a little extra if it feels pushed aside by a new member, is of course a very good measure.