Cat is Urinating Everywhere–Except for in the Litter Box

Is your cat peeing outside of the litter box–or worse, all over the house? Few things smell as disgusting as cat urine, and worse, it’s nearly impossible to get the stain and odor out of your belongings. This article aims to troubleshoot your cat’s urination issues.


Cat Peeing Just Outside of the Litter Box

Cats do this for so many reasons, often to send you a (very smelly) message. Here are some reasons why a cat might pee right outside of her box:

  • The box is dirty – most cats require a clean litter box. To eliminate this problem, scoop more frequently or invest in an automatic litter box, which handles the cleaning for you. To see a comparison of the best automatic litter boxes, click here: Automatic Litter Box Reviews
  • Cat doesn’t like the placement of the box — try moving it elsewhere.
  • Cat hates sharing the box — get another litter box if you have multiple cats
  • Not enough or too much litter — cats prefer about 1 to 2 inches of litter.
  • Litter box entrance blocked — this includes objects as well as other people and animals. If a playful child or another pet ambushes your kitty at the box entrance, she’ll naturally get nervous enough to stop peeing in it.
  • Health problems — your cat will give off other signals if she has a health problem besides just peeing outside of the box. I’ll go into those below.


Cat Peeing in the Bed or on Towels, Bath Mats or Laundry

A cat will pee in strange places, such as in the laundry basket, for all of the reasons given above. She’ll especially do this if she’s afraid to use the litter box–for example, if she was hurt or disturbed while using the box before. She’s basically sought out a place where she knows she can safely urinate in peace.

If this happens, remove the object that was urinated on and wash it very thoroughly with an enzyme-based cleaner. Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners; cat urine also contains ammonia, so this does not help.

Try to get all soft objects off the floor. Cats will pee on anything they can, but they prefer soft things. I had a cat that peed on a small washcloth that fell out of the linen closet on a tile floor, for example.


Cat Urination Health Problems

Here are some unusual urination problems and what they might mean.

Cat peeing very little: If you see your cat strain to urinate, but very little comes out, she might have a urinary tract infection (UTI). This can easily be treated with antibiotics from your vet.

Cat peeing blood or cat peeing crystals: This is, of course, very disturbing for a cat owner to see. It often means the cat has a blockage or kidney stone. If the cat does have a blockage, he may have a tender abdomen or meow as if in pain when trying to urinate. See the vet immediately.

Cat licking themselves in the litter box: This can be a sign of Feline Interstitial Cystitis, which basically means “inflamed bladder.” If your cat has this, you’ll see her licking her genitals frequently, especially in the litter box before or after urination. This is a life-threatening condition; get your cat to the vet without delay!


How NOT to Stop a Cat from Peeing Everywhere

There are some things that just won’t work and are, in fact, abusive.

  • Never strike your cat for urinating inappropriately. It will just confuse her.
  • Do not isolate your cat or lock her in a room alone for long periods of is urinating everywhere
  • Do not rub your cat’s face in the urine. She won’t understand.
  • Do not forcibly put the cat in the litter box after an accident. She’ll just get out and go where she pleases.


If your cat won’t stop peeing all over, one easy solution is to purchase a fresh litter box. Cats love having extra boxes to choose from, especially if you have several cats.

Self-cleaning litter boxes are perfect for multi-cat households. If you’re thinking about getting one, please see the Automatic Litter Box Reviews comparison chart to help you decide on a model.