Follow this feline psychologist’s checklist if your cat starts peeing outside the litter box

Cat peering into litter box
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Your cat peeing outside the litter box can be frustrating, and that’s totally understandable. It’s an unexpected mess you need to clean up, and it might seem totally out of character for your feline friend. 

However, as annoying as it might be, it may not be a case of your cat simply deciding to be awkward and turning their nose up at even the best cat litter. There could be an underlying issue causing them to pee outside the litter box, and while it may not be anything sinister, it could be a sign of something more serious. 

Fortunately, certified cat behavior psychologist Saba Sayyed, who goes by the name A Cat Psychologist, has produced an invaluable checklist for cat parents to go through should their cat pee outside the litter box, so if you want to know how to stop your cat peeing on the carpet, you’re in the right place. 

It’s important to rule out any medical conditions first – it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, Sayyed recommends a vet checkup, as your kitty might have a urinary tract infection or a kidney infection. Then, if you’ve not done so yet, it’s a good idea to get them neutered or spayed.

“Add scent soakers … all over the house where they can put their scent on,” is the next tip in Sayyed’s list. These are things your cat can put their scent on, like beds, blankets, and scratchers. She recommends putting at least one in each room. 

Her next advice is to keep an eye out for outdoor cats, and look for ways to deter them, and then to clean the cat pee using natural and unscented cleaners, like vinegar and baking soda. 

Another thing she advises is to “add an additional easy-to-access litter box with a different kind of litter and place it in a new open space at home”, in case your cat had a negative experience in the previous litter box. 

Your cat might be peeing outside the litter box because she’s stressed, so it’s also a good idea to bring down stress levels in the home. You could try using things like cat calming sprays, keeping the noise down, and bonding with your cat through things like slow eye blinks. 

If your cat’s pee is making an unpleasant smell, too, here’s how to get rid of cat pee smell around the home. But, first and foremost, remember to ensure that your cat isn’t dealing with any health problems that might cause them to pee away from their litter box. 

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.