Why your cat is peeing everywhere and what to do about it

Whether you have a new cat who eschews the litter box in favor of the floor, or your feline friend of several years has suddenly begun peeing all over the house, inappropriate urination is a frustrating problem for pet parents. But did you know that at least 10% of all cats will experience elimination issues at some point in their lives? In fact, the number one reason cats are brought to animal shelters is that they’re unable to use their litter box. Have you ever asked, “Why is my cat peeing everywhere?” Let’s go over some potential reasons why your cat may be having elimination issues — and what you can do to stop them. 

A chubby black and white cat sprawls out beside a blue litter box. A pile of litter sits on the floor.

What would cause a cat to pee everywhere? 

Cats are typically fastidious creatures who hate being dirty, so a trip to the vet is in order if your fur baby is suddenly peeing outside her litter box. While your cat may be turning her nose up at her litter box for numerous reasons, underlying health conditions are the most concerning. Your kitty could be suffering from one of the following:

  • A urinary tract infection
  • Bladder stones
  • Thyroid problems
  • Kidney infection or disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Urinary obstruction (more common in male cats)

But health problems aren’t the only reasons a cat may urinate outside the litter box. The problem could be as simple as a dirty litter box. You should scoop your cat’s litter box daily and empty it completely once a week to prevent your cat from seeking other places to urinate and defecate. It’s also possible that your fur baby dislikes where you’ve placed her litter box. Don’t store litter boxes near your cat’s feeding area, or she may pee on your favorite chair instead of her box.

If your cat’s elimination issues began after you switched to a new brand of litter, you’ll probably want to go back to your old brand. Cats have extremely sensitive noses, so your fur baby may hate the smell of her new litter. It’s also possible she hates the new litter’s texture. Either way, the best litter for your finicky feline is the litter she’s willing to use.  

A gray and white kitten steps out of a gray litter box.

Stress is also a common cause of elimination issues. If your fur baby is still adjusting to her new home, she may be urinating outside her litter box because she’s feeling anxious. Cats are sensitive, and any sudden changes in routine can cause anxiety. Temporary changes, such as having houseguests or remodeling the home, may cause her to pee to mark her territory and express her anxiety.

Some cats may even experience bladder control issues as a stress response, making it impossible for your fur baby to reach the litter box in time. If this is the case with your kitty, you may want to consider getting an additional litter box for your home and storing it where she frequently eliminates. Speak to your vet about finding ways to help your cat’s anxiety issues; they may recommend seeing a cat behaviorist or prescribe medication to help. 

Do cats pee out of spite?

As frustrating as your cat’s inappropriate urination can be, try to remember that your fur baby isn’t a tiny, furry human. While we’re capable of experiencing complex emotions like spite, your kitty isn’t trying to irritate you when she pees outside her litter box. You should take your cat to the vet for a checkup if she begins to urinate or defecate outside the litter box. Your feline friend may be irritated by changes in her surroundings, but cats don’t pee out of spite

How do I get my cat to stop peeing everywhere? 

Fortunately, getting your cat to stop peeing everywhere isn’t impossible. Keep your cat’s litter box clean, store it in an area your cat can easily access, and take your fur baby to the vet at the first sign of inappropriate urination. If your vet gives her a clean bill of health, there are a few things you can try to make her stop peeing all over the house. 

  • Make sure you spend plenty of time bonding with your cat. Happy cats are less stressed and therefore less likely to experience elimination issues. 
  • Cats refuse to urinate and defecate near their food and water dishes, so try placing treats in areas where your cat likes to pee. If her favorite makeshift bathroom has treats waiting for her, she’ll be less inclined to pee there. 
  • The lingering smell of her urine could be attracting your cat to pee in the same spot repeatedly. Clean up any accidents with an enzymatic cleaner designed to eliminate pet odors. 
A tabby cat uses a black and white litter box.

Final thoughts

Eliminating your cat’s unwanted behavior may sound like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply making a few changes to your litter box cleaning schedule, reducing household stress, and consulting your vet can go a long way in getting your cat to stop peeing everywhere. Clean up accidents as quickly as you can and try to stay patient. Your feline friend doesn’t mean to be naughty. She’s most likely anxious about something and needs your love and support. 

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