Parents of fur babies, especially cats, don’t generally ask a lot from their feline friends. For the most part, cat moms and dads are happy with the amount of attention their cats want to provide and do everything they can to make their cat’s life a happy one. Of course, this is the way it is supposed to go as cats, for as independent as they may be, they offer you a lifetime of love and affection.

However, the one thing that pet parents insist upon is that their pets do their business where their humans expect them to. Cats are usually pros at going to the litter box with little or no prompting from their owners, or even their cat mommys. Although sometimes, something happens that makes your cat pee just outside the litter box. There are many different reasons for this but, if it is a random occurrence, it is bound to make you wonder: why is my cat peeing just outside the litter box?


Any change in peeing or other bathroom habits is one of the first signs of illness for a cat. Unfortunately, by the time you realize this is the reason, their illness could be much further along than any cat mom or dad would be comfortable with. Why? Cats are ruled by their instincts and their instincts tell them that showing weakness to anyone, even the hand that feeds you will get you killed. Therefore, cats tend to hide any illness or weakness, even from their humans, until they can no longer hide it.

That is why it is so important to keep an eye on your cat’s behavior at all times and make sure they are eating and their business is normal.

Additionally, it is for this reason that you should rule out illness immediately so that you are not wasting time keeping your cat from the medical attention they need. Here are a few of the illnesses that would make cats eventually pee just outside the litter box:

  • UTI: If your cat has a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria backs up in the urinary tract and causes an infection.

  • Bladder Stones: If your cat has bladder stones, you might be able to see little crystals in their urine. When this occurs, it can be very painful. If the stones are small enough, they might be able to dissipate with a special diet. However, if not, they may require surgery.

  • Idiopathic Cystitis: This is an unknown inflammation of the in the blatter. This is a particularly scary illness that will cause cats to pee just outside the litter box because there may be blood in their urine. However, the blood may only be detected microscopically, so there still could be a problem, even if you don’t see anything. Thankfully, this can usually be cured with a diet change and environmental enrichment.

Litter Box Preferences

There are many different reasons why your cat might suddenly start peeing right outside the litter box. Cats are very picky and they are driven by their instincts. Therefore, it is important for everything about the litter box to be to their satisfaction. Here are a few of the most common reasons cats will pee just outside the litter box:

  • The litter box is too small.

  • Your fur baby doesn’t like the location of the litter box.

  • Your cat’s litter box is dirty.

  • The cat can’t access the area where the litter box is kept.

  • Your feline friend has a negative association with the litter box.

  • The litter box is covered and it makes your cat feel boxed in.

  • Old pee has made the litter box stink.

  • Your cat doesn’t like the type of litter you used.

  • The food bowl your cat likes is too close to the litter box.

Even though some of these reasons might seem odd or overly picky, it does make sense. After all, you wouldn’t want to be forced to go in a dirty, stinky, or otherwise unpleasant bathroom to do your business. People, even doting cat parents sometimes forget that their furry friend has preferences too. They can smell, they know what is dirty, and they have their own set of memories and associations. Even though cat parents might not have any awareness of these aversions, (such as why your cat is scared of the litter box) that doesn’t make your cat’s fear invalid.

Often, pet owners of all kinds need to compromise with their furry companions. Even if you don’t quite understand it, if you figure out your cat’s issue with the litter box, find the appropriate fix and respect your cat’s wishes.

It is very possible if your cat is peeing just outside the litter box, that they are trying to do what they know they are supposed to, but they can’t go inside because of the issue they are having.

You Need to Get More than One Litter Box

If you have more than one cat in the home, you should have at least the same number of litter boxes as you do cats, plus one. This way, none of your cats should have an issue with needing to use an already occupied litter box.

However, even if you only have one cat, you should have more than one litter box. This helps give your cat options and if for whatever reason, there is an issue with one litter box, they have another litter box to use instead. Plus, having more than one litter box makes the litter box stink a little easier to manage, especially if there is only one cat using them.

Your Cat Needs to Be Fixed

Cats are territorial creatures. If your cat is not fixed, their need for territorial claim is even worse. Many people believe that only male cats mark their territory but that is not true. Female cats also mark, especially if they are not fixed. Thus, if your cat is peeing just outside the litter box, they may be trying to tell other pets in the house that this is their litter box and to stay out.

Your Cat is Stressed Out

Cats, like humans, can get stressed out. It is not uncommon for changes within the household, lack of attention, or the loss of a fellow pet or human family member to stress your cat out. Cats like everything to have their place. They like order, so if too many things change, or they feel they are not getting the attention they crave, they can get stressed out.

However, even if stress causes them to pee just outside the litter box, they aren’t acting out. More than likely, they are stressed out and overwhelmed. They don’t know what to do, so they try to mark their territory. That way, they can feel like they have some order in their lives.

To close, if you want to find out why your cat is peeing just outside the litter box, you need to rule out all these different issues. Hopefully, it is an easy fix but unfortunately, unless you just start ruling things out, it could be difficult to figure out why your cat is peeing just outside the litter box.