What Does It Mean When My Cat Pee’s Outside The Litter Box?

Cats are supposed to naturally use their litter box, right? But what happens when they don’t or if they used to and all of a sudden they stop using their litter box? It can be extremely frustrating, but it could be your cat trying to communicate to you that they are unhappy or not feeling well. There are actually a lot of reason as to why your cat is peeing outside of the litter box. Here are a few things we’ve discovered and ways to help get your kitty back on track.

Medical Issues

If your cat used to use the box and is now no longer going there, then it could mean that they are suffering from a medical problem. Urinary tract infections, arthritis, bladder infections, and other illnesses can often be the cause. If you think this may be the cause, make sure to contact your vet as soon as you can. With proper treatment your cat can be feeling much better and using the litter box as usual in no time.


This is a hormonally driven response for cats that is a way of communication or stress. They can easily start urine marking when there are changes in the household, including new pets, stress or changes in the household, or even the presence of strays or a new neighborhood animal outside. This can also happen to both intact male and female cats. Spayed or neutered cats are a lot less likely to urine marking.

Anxiety & Safety or General Disapproval

If there is more than one animal in the house, your cat may be anxious or afraid for their safety at the litter box. Usually boxes are tucked away in corners of laundry rooms, closets or garages. This can make our cats a little uneasy about visiting them freely because they’re afraid of being attacked. Either that or they just don’t like the litter or the box that it is in. They may like a hood or might hate it, some like Fresh Step, others like Tidy Cat. Sometimes it can be a trial and error of location and type of boxes or litters to find the right fit.


No one wants to use a dirty potty. So, if you’re a little lax in cleaning the litter box, this could easily be why they aren’t using it the way they should be. They’ll often find what they deem to be a cleaner area to relieve themselves instead of in a dirty litter box.

We love our cats, but we don’t love having to clean up their messes. Especially when there is litter box right there for them to use. Have you experienced litter box aversion with your cat? Let us know how you dealt with it in the comments below!




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