Reasons Cats Pee on Things

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

If your cat is peeing on your belongings, there could be a few reasons why. Here are some reasons cats pee on things, and how you can stop it.

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Behavioral Reasons

There are many reasons that a cat may start urinating on things in their home, with the most common being stress or anxiety. Cats may also start urinating on things if they are feeling territorial or if they are sick. If your cat starts urinating on things, it is important to take them to the vet to rule out any medical causes.

Anxiety or stress

There are several behavioral reasons why cats may pee on things, including anxiety or stress. If your cat is peeing on things that are new in your home, like a piece of furniture or a newly added decoration, she may be doing it out of anxiety or stress. Cats also sometimes pee on things to mark their territory. If you have recently moved to a new home or had someone new move into your home, your cat may be marking her territory by peeing on things.

Territorial marking

One of the most common reasons cats urinate outside the litter box is to mark their territory. This behavior is usually seen in male cats, but female cats may mark their territory as well. Cats have a strong instinct to mark their turf with urine, and often do so after moving to a new home or when another pet enters the house.

Resentment or punishment

A cat that is peeing on things in your home may be doing so out of resentment or punishment. If there have been any changes in the home, such as a new baby or pet, this may be the reason. Cats are very territorial creatures, and they may urine mark their territory to assert dominance. If you think this might be the reason for your cat’s behavior, try to make your cat feel more included in the family by giving her attention and affection. You should also provide her with her own litter box and food and water bowls.

Medical Reasons

While a cat urinating on your belongings may be frustrating, there are some medical reasons that may lead to this behavior. If your cat is urinating on things outside of their litter box, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any medical conditions. Some medical conditions that can cause a cat to urinate on things include: UTI, diabetes, and kidney disease.

Urinary tract infection

One of the most common medical reasons cats start peeing in places they shouldn’t is due to a urinary tract infection (UTI). A UTI is an infection that can occur in any part of the urinary system, including the bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureters.

UTIs are most common in cats that are middle-aged or older, male cats, and cats that are obese or have diabetes. Symptoms of a UTI include spraying small amounts of urine around the house (particularly on vertical surfaces), urinating outside of the litter box, straining to urinate, urinating more frequently than normal, or blood in the urine. If your cat is displaying any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet right away so they can be treated.

Kidney disease

One of the most common medical reasons cats start peeing outside the box is kidney disease. As the disease progresses, it causes dehydration, which in turn makes your cat urinate more frequently. To make matters worse, dehydration can also cause your cat to feel thirsty, so she drinks more water and then has to urinate even more frequently. As a result, she may not make it to the litter box in time and will start peeing on other surfaces in your home.


One of the most common medical reasons cats may urinate outside the litter box is diabetes. Cats with diabetes often drink a lot more water than normal, which leads to more trips to the litter box and sometimes an inability to make it in time. If you notice your cat urinating more frequently or in unusual places, contact your veterinarian immediately as this could be a sign of diabetes.

Environmental Reasons

Cats are tidy creatures. But sometimes a cat will urinate outside the litter box. There are several reasons for this. Perhaps the most common reason is that the cat’s litter box is not clean. A dirty litter box is one of the most common environmental reasons for a cat to urinate outside the box.

Litter box is too dirty

If you have more than one cat, you should have multiple litter boxes. The general rule is one litter box per cat, plus one. So, if you have three cats, you should have four litter boxes.

Cats are fastidious creatures and they will not use a dirty litter box. If the box is not scooped daily, or if it is not clean enough to their liking, they will find another place to do their business.

There are a variety of reasons why a cat may consider their litter box too dirty. If it is not scooped daily, the cat may smell urine or feces in the box and decide it is too dirty to use. The litter may be too shallow for the cat to feel comfortable digging in it. There may not be enough litter boxes for the number of cats in the house. Or, the type of liter used may not be to the cat’s liking.

Box is too small

If your cat feels cramped in their litter box, they may start looking for other places to go. Make sure you have a litter box that is large enough for your cat to move around in comfortably.

Box is in a stressful location

One of the reasons your cat may be urinating outside of their litter box is because the box is in a stressful location. It might be in an area that gets a lot of foot traffic, or near a noisy appliance like a washing machine. It could also be that the box is too small for your cat to comfortably use. If your cat feels trapped or claustrophobic in their box, they may start avoiding it altogether.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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