I got an email from an individual who goes by Arin/Rini that essentially was asking for advise along the lines of, “I have a cat who pees in random places around the house. I tried everything I could do to make it stop but he’s still doing it. What else can I do?”
I started off writing a short, quick email back, realized I had way more to say on this matter than I first thought, so I decided to turn the email I received into a post instead.
If this is something you’d be interested in reading – continue on! And if you have any tips, thoughts, or stories to share that are relevant, please do take a moment to share your opinions in the comments down below!
Needless to say, you could really help another pet parent out, especially when it comes to a topic like this.
Arin’s Question: How to Get a Cat to Stop Peeing Everywhere in the House
Here’s the message Arin sent me (by the way, I have to mention, Arin, I love the names you chose for your cats, they are such beautiful names!!):
My name is Arin, live in Jakarta with 2 cats which are brother, Shiro and Aiko they are male and both Persian Himalayan.
Reading your article “Is It Ok to Leave a Cat in a Cage All Day or at Night? (+Alternative Solutions)” and other article you wrote, I can feel that what you write is based on what you have experience before.
I believe that you could help me and share the idea to fix Aiko’s behavior that really like to pee anywhere in the house.
I’ve tried many ways to make Aiko pee in the litter, like cleaning the remining and eliminate the smell, providing more than 2 litter and put it in the place where he often pee, consult with veterinarian and castrated him. But it didn’t work that well.
Due to I have to go the office again after the pandemic condition considered better here which mean I have to leave the home all day, therefore I do hope that I could have some advise from you how to fix this condition, because I don’t wan to get mad to Aiko when I went home and found he pee in front of my room when I get home and exhausted after work.
Ways to Help Your Cat Pee In the Litter Box (Instead of Everywhere Else)
My answer to Arin is to try a bunch of different things, but before that, I wan to congratulate Arin on doing these things in particular:
- Getting Aiko fixed/neutered (this is the most important thing to do as many male cats, including one of mine, will pee random places in the house if they are not neutered).
- Keeping the litter box clean.
- Eliminate litter box smells/odours.
- Putting the litter box where his cat (Aiko) often pees.
- Consult the veterinarian to make sure Aiko is a-okay (as urinary tract infections/UTIs would lead cats to pee outside the litter box, so this has to be eliminated).
I have a number of other suggestions for Arin to try, and these are the following:
1. If you haven’t yet, get your second cat neutered.
I’m guessing you already have had both cats neutered, but if you haven’t yet, I would get the second male cat (Shiro) neutered as well, because aggression from the other cat could be what’s causing Aiko to pee outside his litter box.
2. Monitor your cats to make sure they aren’t fighting.
When you are home, try to watch how the two cats interact, especially if one needs to use the litter box. Do they fight around the litter box? If so, it could be that Shiro is scaring Aiko away from the litter box, so Aiko may be peeing elsewhere out of fear.
If this is the case, try to separate the two cats for the times you’re not home, like by leaving one cat in one room, and another cat in another room, each with their own litter box, water, scratch post, etc.
3. Make sure you’re not using a scented litter.
Yes, scented litters make the litter smell better – to humans. To some cats, they can be pretty repulsive smelling, so try to use an unscented litter to see if maybe that’s what’s making Aiko avoid the litter box.
4. Try a different kind of litter than the one you’ve been using.
The litter I use and recommend is the World’s Best Cat Litter Multi-Cat Formula (the one that is not scented). I have a review of it here.
None of my cats have had an issue with it, but you never know! If your cat has a problem with the litter, switching it to a different kind might fix the litter problem.
5. Try a different kind of litter box.
If you have an enclosed litter box, one with a cover, try one without anything on top or try taking off the cover and just using the bottom as a litter pan.
Some cats really hate the feeling of being in an enclosed space when they pee, so litter pans are the best option. These look like kitchen baking trays a lot of times, though you can get ones that fit in the corner too (like this one), if you don’t have the space.
Large litter pans like the iPrimio cat litter pan are the safest bet, as your cat might be avoiding the litter box because it feels too small as well. Though a standard sized litter box should be big enough for most cats, so if you have a regular sized litter box, but it’s covered, try simply taking off the cover to start with.
6. Make sure to completely clean the spots where Aiko has peed before.
Smells linger where cats have peed before, and while I’m sure you don’t want this to begin with, it makes your life even harder because a lot of times, cats will pee where they already smell their pee.
This means you have to clean really thoroughly where your cat has peed.
Luckily, there are products that can make even the most stubborn pee smells disappear, even when the stuff you have at home doesn’t work.
These cleaners are called enzymatic cleaners, and this Simple Solution one is an example.
Don’t have access to one of these cleaners? Try cleaning strength white vinegar. It’s luckily worked for me in the past. It might not do the trick completely but it should do pretty darn well in taking out the pee smells in comparison to most things.
Just plain cleaning-strength white vinegar. And since it’s so easy to get a hold of and so affordable, it’s worth a shot right off the bat. The smell isn’t also very attractive to cats, so hopefully it keeps Aiko out of that spot from now on.
7. Get Aiko tested for UTIs.
Just to be certain, call your vet up and ask him if he specifically tested for UTIs (urinary tract infections).
Chances are he has already checked, but you should double check in case, as this is a really common reason for cats to pee outside their litter box.
Usually if you have a cat who pees in weird places, especially spots where they sleep, it’s not on purpose at all and means something is wrong.
Urinary tract infections are the worst offender in these cases, as they cause cats pain when they pee, and so the cats avoid using the bathroom until they can’t hold it anymore, then they pee wherever they happen to be.
And if Aiko loves you and spends time waiting outside your door for you to come home from work, this might be why there’s pee there.
Male cats are also more prone to getting UTIs than female cats, so it’s possible. Just get the vet to double check if he hasn’t specifically looked.
In this case, all you need to do is follow the vet’s instructions to get him better (usually, they put him on a specialized diet, probably one which includes more wet food so he drinks more water as well), and he should pee in the litter box because he’s not in pain from peeing anymore.
Hope these tips help, Arin, and good luck! Would love it if you came back to let me know if any of these worked/happened to be the fix to the problem.
[Edit 2022/04/11:] Just wanted to update you guys to let you know that Arin took Aiko to the vet, and sadly he did have a health problem!
Arin said, “Yesterday i made it, you know Elise i would like to thank you so much for giving me this advise, if not because of you may be it will too late to know that both of Aiko’s kidneys are swollen, and the function of both kidneys are also not functioning normally.”
Crossing fingers Aiko is going to be okay now. He’s in good hands with a very good vet and has medication to take, so crossing fingers!
All this to say – if your cat is peeing everywhere like Aiko, please, please, please get him or her double/triple checked at the vet’s – and if you don’t trust your vet like Arin didn’t, get a second opinion, like he did – it may just save your cat’s life!!
Your Turn: Advice for Cats Who Pee Everywhere?
Now it’s your turn! Please let me know any thoughts you have on cats who pee random places throughout the house!
What do you typically suspect it’s from? Do you have any advice for Arin with Aiko?
Have you ever had any experience with cats who peed outside the litter box? Do you have any stories you can share?
Love to hear about it in the comments down below!
Great advice and happy to hear Aiko’s ailment was found!
One more for the list, cats can act out if they need more attention and that can take on lots of different forms, sometimes it’s cute and sometimes can be destructive. One of our cats if she’s feeling like she didn’t get enough attention will grab her toy mouse and roam the hallways at 3 in the morning meowing at the top of her little lungs. Her brother, if he’s feeling attention deprived will knock over the water dishes. They’ve got us trained at this point not to skip playtime!
Each kitty is unique and has their own purrsonality, and peeing outside of the litter box can be one way that frustration gets manifested.
Elise, I think you covered more than I might have thought of. The Utis (or Urinary Tract Syndrome which causes stones to block the urethra) is extremely important to rule out for the health of the cat.
I would add the bad news that if one waits too long to have a male cat neutered, he can habituate into peeing around the house. It should be done well before full grown,