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Cat peeing in the house

A cat that urinates inside should be examined by a veterinarian. Here we list common reasons why the cat pees outside the litter box.
Cat on a persons lap

Find the reason why the cat pees inside. Is there something in the cat's life situation that triggers the peeing?

Common reasons why the cat pees outside the box

  • Disease of the urinary tract
  • Stress
  • The environment around the litter box

Urinary tract diseases are a common problem

Common reasons why the cat suffers from urinary tract problems are stones in the bladder or urethra, plug in the urethra in male cats consisting of cells and crystals, spasm in the urinary tract, urinary tract infection or tumour.

Common urinary tract diseases in cats

Stress can be a cause

A cat that is exposed to stress for a long time often feels very unwell. It is not uncommon for it to start peeing in the wrong place or, for example, to lick the fur off its belly in an attempt to deal with its situation. Long-term or chronic stress in a cat can be difficult to detect because the development is often gradual. By paying attention to subtle signals, you can determine if your cat is stressed. Possible reasons for your cat feeling stressed could be, for example, that something has changed in the home environment, such as a new cat friend, you have a new partner, new working hours or maybe a renovation is in progress.

Stress can make your cat sick

Review the home environment if illness can be ruled out

If illness can be ruled out, there are many measures you can take at home. For example, you can make sure to clean the box more often. Have more cat boxes in the home and maybe change the contents of the box to something the cat likes better. You can also try moving the box to a quieter place where the cat feels safe. Try really soft sand that is odourless. The scent is for the pet owner and not for the cat.

Create a pleasant home environment for your cat

A common cause is the location and contents of the litter box

A common reason why the cat pees inside is that it is not happy with the environment around the litter box. Place the litter box strategically so that the cat is never far from a box and in a place where the cat can always get to. Place the litter box in a place where the cat can be alone, feel safe and that there are escape routes, especially if there are more cats in the household. The litter box should be spacious, preferably without a roof. It is important that the edges are not too high edges, especially for older cats.

Do not place the litter box near food areas

Avoid placing the litter box near feeding areas, water bowls or sleeping areas. The litter box must be easily accessible for the cat, but still be in a quiet place where the cat has control over what happens around the box. Always leave the litter box in the same place. The cat quickly gets used to where the litter box is and runs there when pressed.

One litter box per cat

One litter box per cat and one extra box is a good guideline to follow. The different litter boxes should not be next to each other but preferably spread out. Most cats prefer a soft, fine-grained and unscented sand.

Cat peeing on the bed and furniture

If the cat pees on the bed, on clothes or a sofa/armchair, it may be a sign that it is not happy with its litter box. Since the cat clearly shows that it prefers a soft surface, you can try to replace the sand in the box with a more fine-grained variety and increase the amount of sand. The litter box may also be too small or have a roof. Maybe your cat needs a bigger litter box or one without a roof?

When should I contact the vet?

Cats are clean animals that know how to use their litter box. If you suspect that the cat's behaviour is due to a medical condition, for example urinary tract problems or that the cat is in pain, you should always contact a veterinarian. The veterinarian performs a clinical examination, checks the urinary tract with the help of urine samples and imaging to rule out, for example, urinary stones.

Get advice from a cat behaviourist

If illness can be ruled out, the best next step is to speak to a cat behaviourist. They can give you some tips and advice on the next steps for you cat.

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