Nobody likes the smell of cat pee in their house or on their furniture and fabrics. It’s a very strong odor that is just repulsive. However, there are reasons as to why a cat will pee outside the litter box. It can range from medical reasons, behavioral issues, to physical problems. Below are the top 12 steps on how to stop cat from peeing on the floor.
1) Determine the problem
It might be hard at first to determine what the actual problem is if your cat is peeing outside the litter box. As long as you are vigilant, you can identify the problem quickly. There are 3 potential issues that cause your cat to pee outside the box. It can be a medical issue, a behavioral issue, or a litter box problem.
If it’s a medical issue, your cat will most likely be suffering from bladder stones, a blockage in their system, a urinary tract infection, or an inflammation of the bladder. Usually this can be quickly picked up on if your cat cries during potty time, has traces of blood in the urine, has a tender abdomen when you touch it, has smaller pee piles, or can’t quite make it to the litter. This type of determination just requires you to be around when the cat uses the litter box.
If it’s a behavioral issue, it can be related to stress or fear. If you got another pet recently, it could be picking on them. If you moved into a new house or apartment, they might not feel safe in their new environment. You will need to pay attention if the cat is just peeing in certain places or actually marking. If they are spraying, this may be due to a stressful reaction to what has changed. If they are spraying, they could be trying to mark their territory. Is there a reason to why they would feel this way?
Finally they may not like their litter box or their litter. If this is the case, try an open litter box enclosure or a closed litter box container. It will just depend on what type you currently have. Try a new litter at the same time. You obviously want this problem to be remedied as soon as possible.
2) Address the problem quickly
Once you have determined what the problem is or have a pretty good idea, from here it’s just testing things out. If you don’t address the problem quickly, your cat will start to think it’s okay to pee where they currently are or wherever they want. Just never rub the cats nose or smack them if they do pee outside the box. You don’t want your cat to fear you or develop a negative connotation with peeing in the litter box. If that happens, you will have a more serious behavioral problem on your hands.
3) Clean the mess thoroughly
If your cat does pee outside the litter box it’s imperative you clean the spot thoroughly. If not, your cat will continue to pee there. You can either use our recommended home remedies down below to create a powerful cleaner or run to the store and pick up a chemical cleaner.
4) Add more litter boxes
Depending on how many litter boxes you have, your cat might just not be able to make it in time. Trying adding another litter box to the house. Show your cat where it is and try to place them in strategical places. An example would be a closet in a room where the cat is comfortable with their environment. Make sure it has some privacy and isn’t to difficult to access. Ideally you should have a litter box per floor. If you have an apartment, try putting a litter box on each end of it. This way the cat has the chance to choose which litter box they want to use.
5) Assess litter box locations
If your cat doesn’t use a litter box or seems to not make it in time, move the litter box closer. Make it more accessible so that they don’t have to travel to get to it. Take all of this into consideration when adding an additional litter box too. Remember, the goal is to get the cat peeing in the litter box. You obviously want them to succeed in this behavior. Make it easier for them.
6) Try a different litter box
As we mentioned above, you may need to try a different litter box. If you have a fully enclosed litter box, try getting one that isn’t enclosed or vice versa. Some cats like the security and privacy of being fully surrounded when they do their business while others don’t. You can also try a larger or smaller litter box as well. If your cat can’t fit inside the litter box, well, you can see how that can be problematic for them.
7) Clean the litter box often
Cats are naturally clean animals and prefer not to do their business where it is dirty. This is due to the fact that grooming takes longer and requires more work. If the litter box is constantly full and dirty, they may decide to not go in there at all. Try cleaning the litter box at least once every day. If you can do it more, do it twice a day. Once when you wake up and once before going to bed.
8) Try a different litter
If you’re using a clay based litter then try a wheat based litter or a newspaper litter. Keep trying different litters until you find the one your cat likes. Certain litters can get up into their private areas and can cause infections, blockage, or other issues. If your cat realizes that they experience this when they go to pee, they won’t use the litter box.
9) Make sure their environment is safe
If a cat feels threatened by another pet, cat, or person, they may not want to use their litter box. Some cats will become territorial over the litter box and chase other cats away. If this is the case, just add another litter box or two in the house and make sure they are far enough apart. If your cat is scared of people, don’t keep their litter box in the same room that the guest is staying in.
10) Consult with your veterinarian
If you don’t have the time or patience to test any of the above suggestions, you can always reach out to your local veterinarian and they can assist. They can either recommend any of the above or suggest a specific litter and litter box for your cats breed.
11) Purchase a motion sprayer
If you still have problems with your cat peeing in a specific spot, they may have the believe that this is where they need to go. If you have a litter box there and they still choose to not use it, you can always get a motion sprayer. Place the motion sprayer in the area of interest and whenever the cat comes close, it will spray a mist at them and chase them off.
12) Put up odor deterrents
You can also use odor deterrents to keep the cat away. Cat’s don’t like citrus smells and if you have a citrus smell or a citrus motion sprayer, this will keep your cat away from the area they keep peeing on.
Homemade Vinegar Cleaner For Urine Spots
If you’re sensitive to harsh chemicals, this is a great solution to clean and get rid of cat pee. All you will need is vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. You can pick all of this up at the grocery store for 5 dollars. We also would recommend getting a squirt bottle or something else to dispense the cleaner.
- In your bottle or bucket, mix three parts water to one part vinegar.
- Spray the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Soak up the vinegar with a towel or napkins.
- Allow the floor to dry 100%. Then add baking soda to the area.
- Take hydrogen peroxide and some dish soap and pour it over the baking soda.
- Use a scrub to brush the floor.
- Once done scrubbing thoroughly, soak up any excess cleaner with towels and allot it to dry.
Do’s and Don’ts When Your Cat Pees
It’s a good idea to get your cat accustomed to where the litter box is. Just calmly pick them up and place them in the litter box. If they use it right then, praise them. If they don’t, then don’t worry. The cat now knows where it’s litter box is.
Despite how infuriating it can be when your cat pees outside the litter box, don’t get mad at them. Never rub their nose in their urine or their feces. Don’t become aggressive and start yelling or becoming physical with them. You can develop a behavior change associated with the litter box and litter training can become much more difficult. Just remember, if the cat is afraid of you or the litter box, things will become much more difficult.
Just think, how would you feel if someone was yelling at you every time you tried to go the bathroom on the toilet? You might just decide to pee somewhere more safe and private.
Finally, you should always keep where they eat and drink separate from where they go to the bathroom.