Litter Box Woes – Seven Things You Should Check If Your Cat Goes Outside The Box

If your cat only urinates outside the box and at specific locations, you should also read the article about spraying behaviour.

While cleaning out your litter pan, you notice a wet spot nearby. Grumbling to yourself, you fetch a paper towel and wipe up the mess. Your cat is sitting nearby, innocently grooming itself. Now, you need to stop and ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • Is the litter pan clean enough?

    How many times a day do you scoop it out? How many times do you scrub it out? When you clean it, do you dump the old litter and put in fresh, or do you just dump fresh on top of old? What do you use to clean it with, and do you let it air dry before dumping more litter into it?

  • Is the litter pan big enough for your cat to use?

    Most of the standard size pans are good for kittens and young adults, but when the cat gets bigger, they need a larger box to accommodate their growing size.

  • If you have one cat, you should have two boxes

    If you have ever observed cats that live outside, they never use the same spot. They will always move off a safe distance from where they urinated to continue with their business. This is instinctive in most cats, and they appreciate having a separate box for each use.

  • What type of litter are you using?

    Is it heavily perfumed or too dusty? Is it deep enough, or is it perhaps too shallow?

  • Where is the litter pan located?

    Is it near the cat’s food source? If so, you need to move it away. Cats will not eat in the same area their best litter box is. Is it in a private area, away from where they usually eat?

  • Was there just one large pool of urine on the floor?

    If so Chances are that your cat just got tired of the box and went elsewhere. If there were several small puddles, or if you notice blood in the urine, get your cat to the vet quickly.

  • Is your cat removing its waste from the litter pan?

    If so, it is probably marking out its territory. Chances are you have introduced a new cat into the house, or perhaps your cat smells an intruder from outside. You can help this situation by removing solids the minute you notice them appearing all over the floor. Remember that bringing cats home can be a tricky business and should be done properly. Please refer to this article: “I’d like you to Meet…” – Introducing Cats to learn about how to reduce stress when introducing a new cat into the household.

Whatever you do, don’t get angry at your cat for inappropriate elimination out of the litter pan. Don’t yell or hit, or rub their nose in it. Try setting out different litter pans with different litter inside and see which one the cat prefers. Again, if you see your cat straining to pee, or you see small puddles everywhere outside of the box, visit the vet pronto!

A good tip to get a litter pan cleaned up easy: I have a large 33-gallon plastic trashcan that I fill up with warm water, liquid soap and a little bit of bleach. I dump out the old litter into a covered bucket with a plastic garbage bag inside. I take the empty litter pans and drop them into the cleaning solution and let them soak. Using rubber gloves and a toilet brush, I scrub them out, air dry them and then apply a thin coating of PAM cooking spray to the inside of the pans. I let that air dry also, then dump new litter in and I am good to go.
Hope this helps you figure out your litter pan woes.

About the Author

Rakib is the founder of Self Pet Care, a Resourceful blog dedicated to providing honest Pet care advice and information for pets lovers

Do visit him at :