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Cat Peeing Outside the Litter Box

How to stop a cat from peeing outside the litter box.

No owner wants to deal with pee, but when you have a pet sometimes you have to get a little dirty. That being said, if you are dealing with a cat peeing outside a litter box, you probably should step back and troubleshoot why they're avoiding their toilet. This might be even more confusing if they’ve been toilet trained for years and the cat suddenly appears to be missing the toilet. Also, if you’ve noticed an older cat peeing outside litter box you might wonder if the actions are age-related.

Whatever your reasons for worrying are, there’s a solution in this article. We’ve researched the top methods you can take to stop a cat pooping and peeing outside the litterbox, and we’ve also researched explanations that explain this confusing behavior.

Common Explanations

Are you confused and thinking “Why is my cat suddenly peeing outside the litter box”? Don’t worry, we have some factors that might help solve your cat pee problem. Find out what’s causing your problem below!

Territory Stress

A common cause of this problem is territorial worries. Pets mark their home territory by spraying, a process where they squirt small amounts of urine onto “their” possessions. While this is meant to show dominance, it often just leaves your home smelling of cat pee.

Location of the Box

This common reason that leaves cats pooping and peeing outside the litter box is the location of the box. For example, if a litter box is hidden away in a laundry room or corner, some lazy cats might not bother to go and find it. If a box is placed near a loud road or washing machine, these noises might also put your cat off. A quiet setting gets the best results! Instead, try to place the box in the spot your cat is peeing. Once they get used to the box you can move it back out of the way again.

Clean the Box More

Cats are smart animals, if they notice that the box is a mess, they will avoid using it. This might explain why your pet is going to the toilet elsewhere. To solve this issue simply make sure you change the litter often. A good rule is to deep clean it every week or two, and at least scoop the box out once per day.

Also Read Our Reviews: Best Cat Litter Boxes

Cat peeing outside litter box cat and mouse.

How to Stop A Cat From Peeing Outside The Litter Box

In need of a way to stop this behavior? We don’t blame you, a cat suddenly peeing outside the litter box is messy and annoying. Try some of these tips if you want to put a stop to the issue.

  • Reduce The Stress: Sometimes cats pick up on stress within the household. This can affect their routines as their anxiety makes them pee in different places. Just like us, their brains get foggy, and they act out. Stress that affects cats includes loud noises, holiday fireworks, construction at home, or even moving house. These animals of habit thrive in calm surroundings, so bear this in mind if you’re asking, “Why is my cat peeing outside the litter box?”
  • Try a New Brand: A cat can change their toilet habits if they don’t like the specific brand of litter you’ve chosen. This is common if you’ve picked up a strong-smelling litter or a perfumed pack. While this type smells better to us, it might make your cat want to pee elsewhere. Stick to non-scented brands for a successful toilet situation.

Cat peeing outside litter box cat eyes.

Other Ways to Stop The Behavior

Looking for alternative methods to stop your cat from going to the toilet in random places? Try some of these out.

  • Change the size of the litter box. A bigger box that’s not enclosed might be more comfortable.
  • Leave the litter box in their favorite area.
  • Provide a second box to see if they react better to a different one.
  • When in doubt, visit the veterinarian to make sure they’re well.


This is an annoying situation, but luckily there are some simple fixes and many common causes. Hopefully, you’ve found a solution in this article. If you liked this piece, check out our other guides and reviews for extra pet tips and tricks!

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