Siberian cat using Litter-Robot 4 with cat in foreground
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How To Stop a Cat From Peeing Everywhere in the House

Est. read time: 12 min.

If your cat has ever peed or sprayed in your house, you know how difficult it can be to get those harsh odors out of carpets or furniture. After a long day at work, the last thing you want to come home to is a smelly mess. So if you’re wondering how to stop a cat from peeing in the house, we have your answer in this guide!

The first step to dealing with marking behaviors is to identify if your cat is spraying or urinating. Knowing which behavior is occurring will help you solve the problem and keep your house clean and your cat healthier. 

Cat spraying vs peeing

First, identify if your cat is spraying or urinating. You’ll be able to tell by the posture your feline takes when marking.

Cat urinating

cat urinating

Purpose

Cats urinate to eliminate waste and maintain their health. Healthy cats usually use a litter box or an appropriate outdoor location for urination.

Position

When urinating, cats squat onto horizontal surfaces and leave a larger pool of urine.

Cat Spraying

cat spraying

Purpose

Spraying is a form of communication used by cats to mark their territory. Cats have scent glands in various parts of their bodies, including the cheeks, paws, and the base of the tail. When a cat sprays, it releases a small amount of urine mixed with these scent chemicals to mark its territory.

Position

When spraying, your cat will stand up, lift its tail, and project towards a surface. You may also notice their tail quivering. 

For those times you don’t catch your cat in the act, know that in general cats spray on vertical surfaces, like the wall, and urinate on horizontal surfaces, like the floor. 

Why is my cat peeing everywhere? Most common reasons & How to stop

Several reasons can lead your cat to pee next to the litter box or somewhere else in the house entirely. If your cat is peeing on the bed or the carpet, there's a good chance that its current litter box is not satisfactory. Either it needs to be cleaned more regularly, your cat doesn't like where the litter box is located, or they have health issues preventing them from using the litter box normally. 

If your cat is spraying rather than urinating, the answer might be something else entirely. 

The answer to “why do cats spray?” is usually pretty simple. In most cases, male and female cats (typically those not neutered or spayed) spray as a way of communicating and marking territory. Cats urinate outside of the litter box because they have a behavioral or medical issue—which is not so simple.

Keep in mind that if your cat urinates outside of the litter box, it’s not because they are trying to be a menace. This type of behavior can be due to stress, urinary diseases, litter box issues, and so much more. Here’s a deeper look into the reason this behavior is taking place.

Health issues

Cats that are experiencing health issues are more likely to urinate outside of the litter box, rather than spray. Health issues associated with not using the litter box include:

  • Bladder stones
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Cystitis
  • Metabolic disease

Solution

If you notice any blood in urine, straining to urinate, poor appetite, or difficulty in jumping and climbing in addition to your cat peeing everywhere in the house, you should get your cat evaluated by a veterinarian if they’re having accidents outside their litter box. 

Territorial marking

Cats mark their territory for mating purposes and to signal ownership which may result in cats peeing in the house. Marking can occur when other cats are in the vicinity. Cats will also mark their territory when they feel threatened or stressed by other animals. 

Solutions

  • Cleaning the litter box very frequently can also help reduce territorial issues as territorial cats may deliberately choose to urinate elsewhere if they detect another cat's recent waste. According to a study on the causes of urine marking in cats, close attention to environmental and litter box hygiene can reduce marking frequency in cats and may come close to resolving the marking problem in some cats.
  • Getting your male cat neutered or female cat spayed is the best way to reduce territorial spraying.
  • Using an enzyme-based cleaner like this pet-safe cleaner spray can be another great way to help deter your cat from spraying or urinating in your home. Not only will this cat pee deterrent help stop your cat from marking in the same spot, but it will also eliminate the intense odors and stains.

Feral cat outside 

Say you don't have another cat indoors causing your cat to spray or urinate. If your feline sees a feral or stray cat outside, this may trigger them to mark for a territorial reason, to taunt the outdoor cat, or even for mating purposes. Unfortunately, this can result in your cat peeing everywhere in the house where this feral cat is visible from.

Solutions

  • Limit the outdoor visibility. Close curtains or blinds to reduce the territorial marking response triggered by the presence of other cats.
  • Provide a rich indoor environment. Enhance your cat's indoor environment with cat toys, scratching posts, climbing structures, and interactive play. A stimulated and enriched indoor environment can reduce the desire to mark territory or engage in territorial behaviors triggered by outdoor cats.

Change in routine or environment

Cats are very sensitive to changes in their environment, which can cause them to inappropriately urinate or spray on the bed or on the carpet. Something as simple as redecorating can trigger your feline. Other environmental changes that might affect your cat are moving to a new home, adopting another pet, or switching to a new type of litter. 

Solution

  • Give your cat some time. Cats can take a few weeks to adapt to a new environment or pet products like a new cat litter. 

Emotional stressors 

Stress can be a big trigger causing your cat to spray or pee around your home. When a cat feels anxious, scared, or threatened, marking is a natural response. Triggers can include other pets, not having a safe space to relax, or disruptions to their daily routine.

Solution

  • Give your cat a comforting space.hidden cat litter box furniture or a secluded and quiet space to do their business when they need some additional privacy. 

Feeding schedule

Cats like routine, so irregular meals can cause stress. When cats cannot count on where they will get their next meal, they may adopt irregular behavior themselves. 

Solutions

  • Stay consistent with feeding times and quantity. Make sure they like the food you're feeding them too.
  • Try an automatic cat food dispenser. They reduce stress for both you and your pet and can be very handy when traveling! 

Litter type

It's common for cats to have a litter preference. They may avoid using the litter box if they don't like the scent or texture of the litter you're using. If you notice your cat straying from the litter box, consider using a different type of litter.

Solution

  • Avoid pellet-based litters. Cats tend to avoid this type of litter due to their texture. 
  • Adopt all-natural clay clumping cat litter for soft, unscented, and odor-absorbing litter your cat is sure to appreciate. 

Old urine smells or dirty litter box

Because cats can be territorial, old urine smells can trigger a negative response. Recycled pet trees or moving into a home whose previous owners had a cat can lead to territorial marking. It's also important to keep your cat’s litter box clean, as cats aren't a fan of using dirty boxes. 

Solution

  • Clean the litter box very regularly. Aim to clean the litter box at least once every 2 days or twice a day if this frequency still poses issues. 
  • Switch to a self-cleaning litter box. Take the hassle out of cleaning your litter box constantly with Litter-Robot. Our automatic litter box will separate soiled litter into a drawer below as soon as your cat is finished using the box. And with the app, you’ll be notified when the waste drawer needs to be emptied.

Litter box location

If the litter box is placed in an area where your cat feels uneasy doing their business, like high-traffic or loud areas of the home, it may cause them to find other places to go. Pay attention to if your cat is peeing in the same spot outside of the litter box and try moving their box to that location. 

Solution

  • Move the litter box to a quiet area. Even laundry rooms should be avoided as the washing machine, dryer, and other home appliances can be noisy and disturb your cat's litter habits. 
  • Hide the litter box in dedicated cat furniture. Give your cat additional privacy, away from foot traffic with hidden litter box furniture. 

Too few litter boxes

The rule of thumb for traditional scooping litter boxes is you should always have one more litter box than you have cats. So, one cat = two litter boxes, two cats = three litter boxes. If the litter box is occupied or soiled by another cat, it may deter your feline from using it.

Solution

  • Place more than one litter box. Aim for a single litter box for every two cats or every cat if you notice important territorial issues.
  • Consider getting an automatic litter box. Litter-Robot can better accommodate multiple cats due to its self-cleaning technology and waste management capabilities. 

Siberian cat using self-cleaning litter box

 

How do I stop my cat from peeing in the house? 

When it comes to your cat urinating or spraying in your home, there are actions that you can take to help combat the problem. Now that you know why the marking could be occurring, let's answer this question: how do I stop my cat from peeing in the house?

1. Find the source

Start by identifying the reason behind your cat urinating around your home. See if an easy fix would solve the problem, like giving the house a deep clean, getting a new litter box, or moving the box to a new location. 

2. Get your cat spayed or neutered

Spaying or neutering your cat will immensely decrease the likelihood of them spraying in your home. According to International Cat Care, 90% of males and 95% of females show a significant decrease in spraying after being fixed. 

3. Plug-in pheromones

Plug-in products and sprays such as Feliway help promote good behavior due to their cat pheromone technology. The pheromones mimic what mother cats produce to calm their kittens. These products are clinically proven to reduce stress and help eliminate stress-related behaviors like marking. 

4. Visit the vet 

Look for other symptoms alongside your cat’s inappropriate urination like blood in urine, excessive drinking, lethargy, or even aggression. If these symptoms or other unusual signs present themselves, visit your vet. 

For situations where other symptoms aren't present but all else has failed to stop your cat from marking, your vet may be able to assist you with professional recommendations or an exam to rule out any medical issues. 

5. Provide stimulation

Keeping your cat active and stimulated will help tame bad behavior. Cats that don’t get mental and physical stimulation are more likely to develop behavioral problems. Give your feline a space of their own to express energy like the cat pyramid. Another great option for stimulation is this rechargeable laser pointer, which is sure to keep your cat entertained.

6. Add a litter box on each level of the home

If you live in a home with multiple floors, you may want to have a litter box on every level of your home. If the litter box is upstairs and you spend your time downstairs, your cat may be more likely to find a space closer to you to do their business. 

7. Create more privacy 

Cats can be private animals, so their litter box should be somewhere quiet and secure. Low-traffic areas are a good place for litter boxes. Observe your cat to see if they have a favorite spot for privacy. 

Say goodbye to marking in the house

Finally, never punish your cat for spraying in your home or peeing outside of the litter box. This can cause your feline to become more stressed and make the situation worse. Frequent urinating outside of the litter box is often due to health issues, stressors, or litter box problems. Cats don’t understand punishment, so the correct route to fix behavioral problems is to train your cat and show them love and affection. Over time you can help redirect unwanted behaviors!

Still wondering how to stop your cat from peeing in the house? Keep kitty’s litter box fresh with Litter-Robot, the highest-rated WiFi-enabled, automatic, self-cleaning box. Litter-Robot will provide a clean bed of litter every time your cat goes. And with the app, you’ll be able to monitor your cat’s litter box habits right from your phone. 

Cat spraying FAQ

Do both females and male cats spray?

Yes, both females and male cats spray. Spraying is common for mating purposes as well as for territorial marking.

Is spraying normal for cats?

Spraying is normal and appropriate behavior for cats that aren’t neutered or spayed. Scent is one of the ways cats communicate with each other.

Should I punish my cat for spraying?

Because spraying is normal behavior for cats, you should not punish them for it. Spaying or neutering your cat can greatly reduce this behavior.

 

white munchkin cat in front of grey Litter-Robot - how do I stop my cat from peeing in the house?