Cat Peeing Outside Litter Box Reasons– How To Retrain A Cat To Use The Litter Box

Ultimate Guide To Discovering Why A Cat Is Peeing Outside The Litter Box And Retraining Your Cat To Use The Litter Box


The reasons a cat might be cat peeing or urinating outside litter box and the solution to the peeing problem are answered in this guide.  The Ultimate Guide To Discovering Why A Cat Is Peeing Outside The Litter Box And Retraining Your Cat To Use The Litter Box will help you discover the reason a cat is peeing outside the litter box and stop your cat from peeing in your house. It’s imperative that you take immediate action to resolve the situation before this becomes an ingrained habit and much harder to stop.



My story about peeing in the house rather than the litter box by Dukey

My Story By Dukey.  

I always used the little box faithfully with never an accident. I never sprayed, despite being a male.  I would even use the litter box when my mom put me in it and told me to go.   And then one day my almost died and was in the hospital for two weeks after her bowel perforated. I freaked because she suddenly left and I didn’t know where she went. I thought she was never coming back. I missed her so much that I thought I would mix her smell and my smell by peeing on everything. Everywhere I smelled her scent, I peed:  the bed, the couch, her clothes, her desk, her work chair, the carpet, plastic storage bins, and laundry baskets.  Everywhere I smelled her, I urinated on it as a cat tribute and I was mad.

About the same time a new mean cat moved in across the street.  He would hiss or growl at me through my patio sliding glass door.  So I decided to show him I wasn’t scared!  To show him it was my territory, I peed by all of the doors to the house.  

Since I am a Bengal, I even opened the door to the hall coat closet and urinated in there. Just in case the other cat made it into the house and needed to know who owned the closet.

If you want to know how mom got rid of all the urine smell and cleaned up the house click here.

If you need to help your cat use the litter box again and stop peeing in other areas of the house keep reading!


General Steps To Take When A Cat Is Peeing Or Urinating Outside The Litter Box


Step 1:  A trip to The Vet Is In Order


1. Pain Avoidance Is Number One Cause Of Cat Peeing Outside Litter Box.

If your cat suddenly stops using the litter box and starts using another area of your house, you should take your cat to the vet. Often if a cat is in pain when they urinate or defecate, they will associate that pain with the litter box.  They stop using the litter box because every time they do it hurts.  They are actually attempting to proactively solve their problem and take care of themselves.


2. Medical Conditions That Cause A Cat To Pee In The House Instead Of Litter Box.  

There are some medical conditions that make urinating painful for cats. Commonly known problems to affect litter box use are:

  • Feline Interstitial Cystitis-A complex disease, it causes urinary bladder inflammation causing urgency to urinate. Your cat may be urinating outside the litter box because of this condition.
  • Urinary tract infection-If you notice small amount of urine elimination and frequent use of litter box, it is an indicator of UTI.
  • Bladder stones-Any blockage in bladder or stone is also known to cause elimination problems. Your cat may experience pain while eliminating. If she mews or cries while urinating, get her examined by the vet.


3. For Owners With Multiple Cats

A common problem faced by owners of multiple cats is that they are not able to figure out which one of their cats is not using litter box. The vet can help you to determine if a harmless dye called fluorescein is right for your cats. It makes urine glow under ultraviolet light. Use the dye in wet food to find out which of your cat is not using litter box by giving each cat the dye one at a time.


Step 2: Check For Issues That Cause Litter Box Aversion



  • Too little cleaning: Scooping the litter box twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening at a minimum.   At my house we have a “go potty once, flush twice” rule. That means when we go to the bathroom we scoop the box after we flush the toilet.  It’s easy to get in the cat box cleaning habit that way and you have to wash your hands anyway.  The litter box is always clean in our house as a result.


  • Too much cleaning: While scooping the cat box regularly is good, completely scrubbing the litter box with bleach and other cleaners too regularly is bad.  Cats need to be able to smell their own scent in the litter box. So scoop, change the sand once a week but limit the scrubbing with cleaners to no more than one a month.  Your cat’s nose has 80 million receptors and you have 5 million.  The cleaners we use smell is a lot stronger and more over powering to cats than to you.


Size And Shape Of Litter Box:  Just like women, cats are entitled to change their minds.

  • If you have a hooded box, try taking off the hood.
  • If you have a box with high sides, try one with lower sides
  • Perhaps your cat is suddenly feeling cramped, try a giant litter box (my cats LOVE) theirs. I have it listed below in the products section for your convenience.
  • Avoid the use of litter box liners. These annoy the snot out of cats and can cause them to stop using the box.


Location Of Litter Box: Cats need privacy during potty time they also need to feel safe.

Is the litter box located in a space that that has privacy and escape routes if you have more than one cat?

Try placing a cat box where the cat has been peeing for a while.  I put litter boxes near all of the doors, since the aggressive neighbor cat stress was part of the issue. Having a cat box right by my front door was not the ultimate in home decor but neither is a house that smells like cat pee.  I used a clever cat litter box for these areas because they looked like a storage bin and contained the cat sand completely.  Once Dukey was using the boxes instead of the floor I moved them a few inches a day to where I really wanted them.  And I used the litter I recommend in point 4 below in all the litter boxes.


The Litter You Use Is IMPORTANT! – If you have a cat urinating outside the litter box you need to use a litter attractant.

  • You can continue to use same litter you have been using but add a litter additive attractant. I add this attractant to the litter above, just to double down when Dukey is peeing in the house rather than in his litter box.

Do You Have Enough Litter Boxes?

One for each cat plus one additional is best but one per cat is adequate.  Less than one per cat is asking for defecation or urination issues.


Do You Have Multiple Levels Of Your Home?

To avoid unwanted peeing outside of the litter box, have one cat box on each level.


Use A Little Aversion Of Your Own:

After you clean the area where your cat has been peeing, Click here for instructions on how to remove cat odor here, lay down aluminum foil or double stick tape. Cats don’t want to step on it and they will avoid the area AS LONG AS YOU REMOVE THE ODOR COMPLETELY. CLICK HERE TO READ OUR Ultimate Guide To Getting Rid Of Cat Urine Smell Permanently!


Step 3:  Soothe Stressful Conditions


A new Cat Sister Or Brother

Make sure you have enough cat boxes and try to go back to separation of the cats in different areas of the house until things settle down.


Moving, Change Of Living Situation

Put the cat in one room of the house until he gets used to it. Try not to lock them into a very small space. A bedroom is better than a small bathroom.


An Aggressive Neighboring Cat

Is a cat being aggressive toward your cat outside of a window or door? Try the following:

  • Cover the glass with heavy duty aluminum foil for a while to prevent the cats from seeing each other.
  • Plant window boxes with cactus. The aggressive cat will stop approaching the window.
  • You can buy fence toppers with rubber spikes that will stop cats from entering your back yard.


Try An Anti-Depressant 

I tried an anti-depressant on Dukey when I was in the hospital and he was so distressed by my absence. I cannot say that it helped him.  I tried it for three months with no effect. However, every cat is different so it might work for your cat to sooth the stress. It’s worth discussing with your veterinarian.


Try A Pheromone Collar Or Diffuser:

While the anti-depressant didn’t seem to work on Dukey at all, the pheromone caller did the trick! Within minutes it relaxed him.  pheromones collars mimic the pheromones a mother cat releases when she nurses. It is VERY soothing to an upset cat.

You can buy diffusers, that resemble Glade Plug-ins, but you need them in every room of the house where the cat is urinating in and do not put them near the litter box. You have to buy the Feliway brand diffusers but there are generic refills that are cheaper on Amazon and work just as well as the Feliway brand.

Sentry makes a great 3 pack of pheromone collars, which is what I use on Dukey. That way he always has the pheromone with him wherever he goes in the house. I replace the collar once a month. I cannot stress how much this collar has helped him with the litter box problem. And the collar has been so much cheaper to buy than the diffusers.


Step 4: Retrain Your Cat To Use The Litter Box.  Listed Below Are The EXACT Steps I Used To Retrain Dukey To Use The Litter Box And Stop Peeing On Everything In The House.



  • Put a pheromone collar on your cat or install Feliway diffusers in every room but where the litter box(s) are. I recommend the collar rather than the diffusers for cost and effectivness on my cat but it would be up to you to determine what you think would work best for you.


  • Take your cat to the vet to determine if there is an underlying medical condition. Besides the stress, Dukey did end up having a Urinary Tract Infection when he first started peeing outside the litter box.  I saw pink crystals in his urine and that was a big clue.)


  • Buy this litter box and this litter. Your cat will NOT BE ABLE TO RESIST this combo.  It is kryptonite to cats.  They LOVE this combination. Don’t be surprised if your cat hops in the box and rolls in it after you put in the sand.



  • Several times a day gently and soothingly put the cat in the litter box and tell them to go and then sit down and wait. No one needs the pressure of you standing over them while they try to go. Your pet craves for your love and affection. Be patient when training her to use litter box.


  • If your cat goes potty, immediately give him a couple of cat treats and praise him effusively, just like you did when he was a kitten.


  • If he hops out of the litter box without going potty, pet him once and say good kitty and move on.


  • This cat box is in my bathroom so I offered Dukey an opportunity to go every time I did. The idea is to treat if you go, no stress if you don’t.


  • If you see the cat in the box going without you, as soon as they are done offer a treat. Reward the positive behavior.


  • Keep the cat treats in the vicinity if the litter box so that the reward is immediate and attached to the behavior.


  • Place these cat boxes in the places or rooms where the cat is going. The high sides and the fact it looks like a storage bin will make it not so obvious that it’s a cat box to visitors.  I had to have one right by my front door for a while because of the aggressive cat. When Dukey wanted to spray in response the box was right there.  Because of the sides, there was no sand mess and people just thought I had a storage box in my front entry. Fill with the cat attract sand, this stopped the territorial marking by the doors. And once the inappropriate urination is under control, slowly move them to a location you desire or remove them. So you just need this if your cat has a preferred peeing area until you re-train them to the giant litter box listed above which your cat will LOVE!


So for about $175. You can buy the supplies you need to clean up the urine smell and start fresh with cat sand and cat boxes that your cat will not be able to resist and you can solve your cat pee problem.


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