Help! My Cat is Peeing On Everything – What Should I Do?

Posted: April 2, 2020 by Anita

Is your cat peeing everywhere?  And you’re not sure why?

It’s hard not to take that kind of cat behavior personally. But before you toss your cat out on his butt in frustration, let’s discuss why your cat is peeing everywhere and what to do about it.

Cats are usually pretty good at using a litterbox.  Cats are very transparent.  If your cat is urinating outside the litter box, there is a reason.  Best believe that something is going on or is lacking that is causing your cat to not urinate in the litter box.

In this article, I will discuss:

  • the possible reasons why your cat is peeing in the house (and not the litter box)
  • how to stop a cat from peeing on everything (and use the litter box instead)

Why is my cat peeing everywhere?

Cats urinating inappropriately is the number one reason why cats are taken to shelters by cat owners.  In most instances, inappropriate urinating is a behavior that can be fixed.  But it’s going to take a lot of patience on the part of the cat owner.

First, assess whether your cat is either spraying or urinating inappropriately.

What is the difference between the two?  Spraying happens when a cat stands in front of a vertical surface and squirt a small amount of urine on that surface.  With urination, the cat squats and pee a more substantial amount.

If your cat hasn’t been neutered or spayed, the solution to inappropriate spraying could be having that procedure done.

Here are some reasons why your cat might be peeing everywhere but in their litter box:

Medical

Your cat peeing outside of the litter box could mean a medical issue such as urinary tract infection, kidney disease, or diabetes. Other health problems that are painful to your cat, such as arthritis, can make climbing in and out of a high-sided litter box difficult.

Unclean litter box

Whenever our cats pee outside of their litter box (and it has happened a few times), the first thing I do is run over to the litter box to see if my lazy ass has skipped scooping out the litter in their box.

An unclean litter box is one of the biggest reasons why a cat will pee outside of their litter box.

Cats are very meticulous animals (have you noticed how often your cat cleans himself ).  They don’t like walking on their waste.  Cats don’t like the smell of old urine (just like humans) when they go to the litter box.

Read my article on litter box cleaning hacks by clicking here.

The litter box could be a problem

If your cat has arthritis it could be difficult for her to climb in and out of the litter.  Switching to a cat litter box with low sides such as the Kitty Go Here Senior Cat Litter Box or Nature’s Miracle High-sided Litter box (the sides are high but it has a low entry) could be helpful.

Read my article on choosing a litter box by clicking here.

The cat litter could be a problem

Cats are very finicky and picky – the smell (if the litter is scented), the feel, or whatever could be throwing your cat off.   It might take you testing out a few cat litters before you hit upon the right one for your cat (and you, too).

Once you find one that works, stick to that brand (hopefully, the manufacturer doesn’t change up the formula – I’ve had that happen).  If you have to switch out cat litters, do so gradually by mixing the two litters and gradually over time adding more of the new litter.

Multiple Cat Household

In a multiple cat household, there’s always that one cat (alpha female or male) who’s in charge.  Whether it’s the litter box or the feeding bowl, the alpha cat control when the other cats eat or pee (or poop).

If you have an alpha cat that intimidates its fellow mate(s), then it can cause the intimidated one to avoid the litter box and take a squat somewhere else in the house.

Stress and Anxiety

I know I can be not quite myself when stressed or anxious.  How about you, right?  Imagine how you feel when stressed and anxious.

Well, cats can get stress and have anxiety also.  Their fear and anxiety can lead to inappropriate urination.

My cat is peeing on everything.  What should I do?

You might be tempted to take her to the nearest shelter.  That’s understandable.  From the cat owner’s point of view, dealing with a cat peeing everywhere can be a bit much.  Try not to be hard on yourself for resenting your cat.

But trust me, your cat is unhappy about the situation too.  Try to empathize.  Something is going on with your cat, and she needs help trying to figure out how to fix this issue.  The best thing to do is to become your cat’s best advocate and help her solve her inappropriate urination problem. Be patient.

Rule out a medical condition by taking your cat to the Vet

Consult your cat’s veterinarian to see if this is a medical issue.  Your cat’s Vet will be able to give your cat a complete history and perform a physical exam.  A urinalysis and other diagnostic tests will be done to determine if the inappropriate urination is medical or behavioral.

Take a look at the cat litter box

When my friends with cats complain about their cat urinating outside of the litter box, the first thing I ask is, “when was the last time you cleaned/scooped out the litter box?”  Then, I might get the response of “But…but…”

No.  No buts.  Because a dirty nasty smelly cat litter box is probably why your cat is shitting all over your house. (Excuse my language).

Check the litter box and be honest with yourself.  Could you be better at keeping it scooped and clean?  I’m not trying to be judgemental.  I’ve been there.  I’m the laziest person on earth. I’ve been that person with the nasty cat litter box.

And I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been guilty of giving up a cat (twice actually – when I was younger and clueless about being a cat parent) due to inappropriate urination.

Even now, every once in a while, I slip up, and my cats reward me with a little puddle of urine on the outside of the litter box.

It is important to scoop out the dirty litter and replace it with fresh litter every day.  If you have multiple cats, you need to scoop at least twice a day.

If you’re consistent at keeping the litter box scooped out and refreshed every day, then you can go two months between deep cleaning.

Choose the right cat litter box

Make sure the litter box is large enough for your cat to make a 360-degree turn with a little room to spare.  Check out the litter box that I use for my cats by clicking here.  The Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat litter box is awesome.

If you have more than one cat, consider buying two cat litter boxes (if you have space).  Having two litter boxes in a multiple cat household (and one of your cats is into intimidation) will give the meeker cat options for using another litter box.

Choose the right litter

The cat litter you choose to use for the litter box is important.  It might take you testing out a few brands before you settle on the right one for your cat. I recommend starting with Arm and Hammer Platinum Slide Easy Clean up Clumping Cat Litter. What I love about this cat litter is its hard clumping action – the clumps don’t break apart.

Choose a good location for the litter box

Make sure that the litter box is placed somewhere that can be accessed easily by your cat.  Cats like privacy when using the litter box, so try to put it somewhere like a utility closet, home office, or bathroom.

If you hate the sight of your cat’s litter box, there are litter box enclosures like the Sweet Barks Nightstand Litter Box Enclosure.  You can tuck this away in a bathroom, your bedroom, living room, etc and no one would be the wiser (until your cat emerge out of it…haha).

Make sure your cat feels safe, secure and loved

It’s a tough world out there, and your cat knows it. Make sure your cat feels safe and secure.  Provide plenty of perches and cute little hiding places for her to chill.  Click here to check out my cat’s favorite hideout.

If that doesn’t work then try an over-the-counter anxiety medicine for cats such as Feliway Cat Relaxant.

Show your cat some love. Engage with your cat daily by giving her your undivided attention for at least 30 minutes a day.  My cats can’t get enough of the Rainbow Cat Charmer because it’s a chance to use their hunter’s instinct.

How to clean up cat pee

It’s crucial to clean up stains and remove odors whenever your cat pees on the floor, bed, clothes, couch, or whatever surface.  Cats have a strong sense of smell, and if you don’t get rid of all traces of urine, they will continue to pee in that same spot.

Here are the steps to take to clean up cat pee thoroughly:

  1. Blot up as much cat urine as possible using either paper towels or newspapers.  Be sure to dispose of soiled paper towels or newspapers by taking it outside to the garbage (out of the house).
  2. Next, spray the spot with an enzyme-based cleaner such as Mister Max Anti-Icky Poo (the absolute best – an excellent pre-treatment too, for urine-soaked clothes or bedding).  An enzyme-based cleaner will breakdown the urea present in cat urine, eliminating the smell. Make sure you spray enough cleaner to soak the area.
  3. Let the cleaner soak into the area for 15 minutes.
  4. Blot the area, soak up the excess and let dry.
  5. Once the area dries, check it with a UV urine detector light such as this one, for the presence of cat urine.
  6. Re-apply cleaner if necessary.

For more information on the best cleaning products for cat owners, click here.

Try not to be too upset at your cat when she urinates outside of the litter box.  If you yell at her or she senses that you’re angry, it could increase anxiety and make it worse.  Make sure to clean up any urine accidents right away.

Conclusion

If your cat is peeing outside the box, there is a reason.  Best believe that something is going on or is lacking that is causing your cat to not urinate in the litter box.

In this article, I discussed:

  • the possible reasons why your cat is peeing in the house (and not the litter box)
  • how to keep your cat from peeing on everything (and fall in love with her litter box)
  • how to clean up the mess

Consult your cat’s veterinarian to see if this is a medical issue.  Your cat’s Vet will be able to take a complete history and perform a physical exam.

Check the litter box and be honest with yourself.  Could you be better at keeping it scooped and clean?

Make sure your cat feels safe and secure.  Provide plenty of perches and cute little hiding places for her to chill. Try not to be too upset at your cat when she urinates outside of the litter box.  If you yell at her or she senses that you’re angry, it could increase anxiety and make it worse.  Make sure to clean up any urine accidents right away.

 

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