How to Stop Your Cat from Peeing in the House
Help redirect your cat if he begins going out of the litter box.
It’s an unmistakable smell—and one you only want coming from the litterbox: cat urine. A cat’s urine has a high ammonia level, which is what makes the odor so strong. Here’s how you can help redirect your cat if he begins using something other than the litterbox for his indoor bathroom.
Keep it clean
Some cats will refuse to use the litterbox if it’s not up to their cleanliness standards. Change the litter once a day and wash the box each week. You can also try providing extra boxes—a good rule to follow is having one more litterbox than you have cats. Then make sure the boxes are in an out-of-the-way spot (even cats like a little privacy).
If your cat still refuses to use the litterbox, don't attempt to punish him, as increasing his stress may make the problem worse. Clean the affected area with a product that uses enzymes to break down the smell and stain. DON’T use an ammonia-based cleaner—it will smell similar to the cat’s urine and will encourage him to return to the places it is applied.
Check for underlying physical conditions
Was your cat recently declawed? This can be a factor: The texture of the litter could be irritating these newly tender paws. You may need to switch to a softer litter. Ones made from recycled newspaper are a good choice.
An older cat may not be physically able to climb into the litterbox. Try switching to a pan that is shallower than the one you’re currently using. You may need to change it more frequently, but that is a small trade-off for good litterbox behavior.
If your cat strains to urinate or urinates more frequently than normal, he may have a urinary tract infection. A kidney, thyroid or liver condition will produce similar symptoms. Refusal to use the litterbox could be his way of telling you he doesn’t feel well.
Limit household changes
Our life changes can be confusing and distressing for our pets—at least initially. And they may express this by changing their litterbox habits. Follow the tips provided above and allow them time to adjust while encouraging their good habits.