Cat Is Peeing Outside Litterbox- YUCK!

Updated on January 26, 2011
L.C. asks from Duluth, MN
14 answers

My cat has started a habit of peeing right outside his litterbox! I got it all cleaned up, scrubbed and shampooed the carpeting AND HE DID IT AGAIN (2 times). We clean his litterbox often and he is an older cat but this is a new problem. The room reeks of cat pee- what is the best way to get rid of the smell?
Why is this happening?
How can I stop it?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

Sounds like a bladder infection. Vinegar will get the pee smell out. Take him to the vet and they can clear up that infection. :-)

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

He might need to be checked for a urinary tract infection (our cats and dogs did this when they had a UTI), call the vet and see if they agree.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

i would take him to the vet! we had this problem with one of our cats over the summer and they ran some test for uti and bladder problems. especially if he's older, wouldn't hurt to get him checked out!!
As far as getting out the smell, with carpet thats tricky. bc it gets absorbed into the carpet and the pad! i would rent a carpet cleaner, bc if the cat can still smell the old urine he'll continue to pee there.
Good luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

he may not like the litter, or it may need to be changed more often. use vinegar & water to neutralize the smell. be sure that he isnt sick, ive had 3 cats with a blocked uretha (from crystals in the urine), and they would get so full, they'd leak. if that is an issue, you need urgent care, because it can quickly become life threatening if untreated. i would take him in for a urinalysis to be sure. they can check for other issues too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

This is very common in older cats, I use to work with animals in a veterinary clinic. I would take him for some lab work. Aging and illness (such as diabetes, kidney failure, or something more simple like a urinary tract infection) could be a cause.

If it isn't that, it could be the he doesn't like the litter you are using, the location of the litter box, if it's covered, he may not like the lid, he may have a hard time getting into the box if he's becoming arthritic... try changing those things first.

You have to neutralize the pee smell, b/c they will keep marking their spot. I found a few cleaners that work, but they are often pretty expensive and you can get them at places like pet Smart. Or, you can try natural remedies:

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

He might be upset about the location. My cat peed by our closet when his box was in the laundry room. We moved it to a more private location (where he was peeing by the closet) and he hasn't done it since. Try moving his box to a very private area and see how he does.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

bleaugh! I would hate to have an indoor cats, I think they should be outside able to do their business in a normal fashion, put him outside! he has a fur coat.
once they start peeing on everything, they just keep on doing it.



answers from Chicago on

Oh no there is NO worse smell on the planet than cat pee! One of our 2 cats started doing this about 8 months ago...we had her checked, they gave her some antibiotics for a possible UTI, and everything was fine. All of a sudden a few months later she was peeing on EVERYTHING - in the kids' rooms, bathroom rugs, even the leather couch! It was a living hell not knowing where she was going to pee next. Once she even climbed into a laundry basket full of clothes and just peed right in there! Omg. I had to throw out countless rugs, toys, etc and we had to keep all of the bedroom doors closed too for a long time - the vet was working through what might be wrong with her. They x-rayed her and found bladder stones, but wanted to try to treat them with a special we had to wait 6 weeks with her peeing everywhere to find out if the diet was going to work. It didn't.

We had the stones surgically removed and also bought a 3rd litter box - you're apparently supposed to have 1 more litter box than number of kitties you have - and we put the new box in a different location. Between the new litter box and the surgery, she hasn't peed once outside the litter boxes. THANK GOD.

The other thing that helps is to be sure your cat is drinking a lot of can help flush out crystals that cause stones (and these are more common in male cats anyway). I bought one of those cat water drinking fountains and my cats love it - they drink WAY more water than ever before (they are both 8). Also my vet told me to keep their water far away from their food - they will drink more water if it's not near the food. It's a weird cat thing I guess.

I'd call the vet right away on this. As far as the carpet, you can try Nature's Miracle or Eliminodor, but it's probably in the padding and the smell probably won't fully go away until you pull up the carpet and remove/replace the padding (also the floor under the padding probably needs to be treated, as it often will penetrate that far down). Sorry! :( I hope your kitty is ok.


answers from Denver on

New floors.

Seriously, aside from painting the floors, I have NEVER been able to truly get rid of the smell of cat pee. I have a cat now who pees on all carpet and rugs - but it's NOT new. He's territorial & possibly didn't learn to use the litter box as a kitten (plus, we at least his 5th home). He's old now & honestly, I am just waiting him out. We'll have the floors done when he goes to kitty heaven. (I tried to train him, but being the working parent and having 3 little kids - one still nusring - my ability to focus on where the cat's limited:)

Anyway...since this is new, have your vet check him for signs of kidney failure. I had one old guy that started peeing in new places & it turned out his kidneys were going. Good luck!


answers from Chicago on

My cat did this recently. He has peed on my daughters bed or on the others clothes. We think it is behavioral.
You can take him to the vet.
Or here are other things I have heard for behavioral issues:
Have you recently: changed the litter or food? Moved the litterbox or or any of his other items?
Have your brought a new animal into the house? A new family member into the house?
Is the litterbox frequently cleaned? Sometimes cats want the litter cleaned right after they go. Also, try making sure the litter is no more than an inch or 2 deep.
Make sure the cats food is not too close to the litterbox.

I hope some of these helps. I also heard of something called Comfort Zone that you can use to make them stop doing this - if it is a behavior issue. Ours was a behavior issue. We brought a new puppy into the house and the cat didn't like it. But, if you suspect something more, have the vet check the cat out. I know they also do this when they have an infection.



answers from Chicago on

Ugh, cat pee!

Definitely take him to the vet and see if he has a health issue. But if he comes up with no issues then I suggest switching to Cat Attract litter. It worked when my cat suddenly started "thinking outside the box." It's specially formulated to attract cats.

I found Odo Ban works the best for completely eliminating cat odor. Those Nature's Miracle formulas never fully worked for me.


answers from Tampa on

may be urinary infection...

Any new cats or pets?
Any new changes or did you move (either your household or the litter box)?

Maybe after a vet checks for a UTI, get a larger litter box and maybe add another one.



answers from Iowa City on

I'll second taking your kitty to the vet and Nature's Miracle - it really works.



answers from State College on

Nature's Miracle works great to get the smell out. It's what we used to use in the vet's office I worked in too and I use it on everything at home. It is also an enzyme cleaner, and there are others out there that will probably work that are made for cleaning up cat urine. Like several others recommended it is probably worth a vet check just to be on the safe side to check urine and possibly blood work too. I would see what your vet recommends. Since you also mentioned he is older, if it is a high sided or covered litterbox he may have a little trouble getting into it if he sitting outside of it when he goes. Some will also think they are in the box and not realize they are going outside.

Once you have the smell gone, have had him checked out, changed boxes if you think that may help, I would add a trash bag or a mat with groves in front of the box to catch any accidents for easy clean up. I use a car mat or a outdoor door mat (plastic with lots of little groves) in front of our boxes to catch litter, but also works great for urine and is easy to clean. I'm guessing you have not changed litter recently or added any new pets or people to household either, since those will sometimes start the problems.

Hope he checks out well and starts using his box correctly 100% of the time again soon.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions