Three reasons your cat is peeing outside the litter box, according to an expert

Cat sitting on couch next to wet spot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're like a lot of feline pet parents, you may currently be asking yourself 'why is my cat peeing outside the litter box?'

While it's not a pleasant thing to experience, it's a common problem and identifying the underlying cause can help you get your cat's toileting habits back on track.

Even if you've invested in the best cat litter box, the team at Tuft and Paw says your kitty may choose to go elsewhere for a variety of reasons.

To find out what the most common causes are that drive this behavior, you can check out Tuft and Paw's handy TikTok video below, or keep reading for a summary of the main points...


♬ Aesthetic - Gaspar

1. They're stressed out and don't have enough enrichment: "Indoor cats need outlets to express their natural instincts," explain the team at Tuft and Paw. Not having enough enrichment in the form of cat toys and scratching posts can cause them to expel this energy in unwanted ways, like going outside the litter box.

Check out our guide to how to entertain indoor cats for some simple ways to add more enrichment to your feline friend's day. 

2. Medical issues: "If your cat starts to go outside their litter box frequently, then it's a good idea to let your vet know because there's a few medical issues that could be at play. Whether it's a UTI or arthritis, there are a ton of potential causes that you'll want to rule out."

3. There's a problem with their litter box: The team at Tufts and Paws says it's important to ask yourself the following questions...

  • Is the litter box clean?
  • Are there enough litter boxes around the home?
  • Is the litter box the right size for my cat?
  • Is it in a comfortable space?
  • Could the cat litter be the problem?

"One simple change might be enough to get your cat's bathroom habits back on track."

If you're at all concerned about your cat's toileting habits (or any other aspect of their health and wellbeing) we recommend speaking with your vet who will be able to give your kitty a thorough check up. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.