How to Stop a Cat From Peeing

Medically Reviewed by Vanesa Farmer, DVM on March 06, 2023
4 min read

Cats can sometimes have trouble peeing in their litter box or pee a lot. This can be frustrating for cat owners when the cat lives in your house.

There are helpful ways in which you can stop inappropriate behaviors associated with peeing.

It's important to understand why your cat is peeing inappropriately in order to solve the problem. Cats pee on their human's bed or outside their litter box for certain reasons.

Medical Problems. Your cat’s peeing issue may be because of a health problem. Talk with your vet if you're concerned about your cat's health. They may want to look at your cat and take a urine sample. Once your vet has completed tests on the sample, they will have an idea of the best treatment. Your cat may get urinary problems due to any of the following conditions:

  • Urinary tract infection. Kittens rarely develop urinary tract infections, but older cats are more likely to develop an infection. If this is the case, the urinary system may be infected by bacteria which causes inflammation. Your vet may suggest antibiotics for the treatment. Once the antibiotic treatment is finished, your vet will recommend follow-up testing to make sure the infection is gone.
  • Metabolic disease. Excessive peeing may be caused by kidney disease. It may also be a result of diabetes or thyroid problems. Your vet may run some blood tests to rule out these conditions.
  • Bladder stones: If your cat has developed bladder stones, they may cause blockage or irritation. Your vet may order X-rays to check the size of the stones. Special diets may be able to help dissolve some stones.
  • Feline lower urinary tract disease; there is no infection/bacteria involved but still get all the symptoms and involves several possible diagnoses including sterile cystitis(aka feline idiopathic cystitis) where there might even be blood in the urine and Pandora syndrome, where the cat is constantly in a state of stress and won't relax, peeing as a way to cope.

Behavioral issues. Your cat may pee inappropriately due to certain changes in its behavior. You need to know why your cat has changed their behavior so you can know the reason why they are peeing inappropriately.

Dirty litter box. Cats are generally sensitive animals. They are very specific about their toilets, and when the litter box is too dirty for your cat to pee, they will prefer to do it somewhere else.

Your cat may also dislike the location in which you've placed the litter box. The litter box may also be covered, turned over, or preventing your cat from using it in some way. Sometimes, it is the selective nature of cats that causes them to dislike a new litter box. As a result, they won’t use it at all.

Stress. Your cat may urinate inappropriately because of stress. They may be marking their territory or they may be unhappy with another animal in your house.

Cats are sensitive to changes in their space. Always be mindful of the space you create for your cats and if it's stressful for them.

  • Check with your vet for any medical conditions. If your cat has a health problem, your vet will recommend the best treatment. 
  • Spend more time with your cat. Playing with your cat more can relieve their stress and anxiety.
  • If your cat likes to cuddle, make sure you spend some time cuddling with them. This will help your cat feel comfortable.
  • Make sure your home is a happy place for your cat. Give your cat more room to explore. Provide toys for your cat. 
  • Always consult your vet for the best methods of reducing stress and anxiety in your cat.
  • Clean any places where your cat has peed inappropriately with an enzymatic cleaner. Your cat will stop marking in those places.
  • Place treats close to where your cats pee inappropriately. If your cat is peeing on the bed, place treats there. Cats hate peeing near places where they eat. If you change the places where your cat pees to where they eat, they will stop peeing there. 
  • If your cat is peeing outside the litter box, make sure you clean the box regularly. Also, provide more litter boxes for your cat or try different litter and/or litter boxes.

Cats may pee due to a health or behavioral problem. In order to solve the problem, you need to understand why they are peeing in other areas. Talk with your vet so that your cat gets the right treatment.