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Do Cats Pee Out of Spite? Cat Behavior Explained

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	Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Vet, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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No, cats do not pee outside of the litter box out of spite.

While you may think that your cat has it out for you when they start to pee outside of the litter box, it’s usually for a reason, and that reason isn’t that you made them mad.

Cats do not just behave badly. If your cat was using the litter box just fine and are suddenly peeing on you, your furniture, your bed, and even right beside the litter box, it’s a sign there’s something wrong with your feline friend or their environment.

In this article, we’ll answer that question and give you a few reasons for your cat to be peeing outside of their litter box.

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Why Is My Cat Peeing Outside of the Litter Box?

There are various reasons that a cat may choose to pee outside of the litter box. However, none of these reasons include them being spiteful.

If you’re wondering what has possessed your feline pal to do this, here are a few possible reasons:

cat with pee stain on carpet
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Stress (Environmental/People)

Believe it or not, cats get stressed by their environment and people, just like you do. This could be as simple as introducing another cat into the household, meaning your cat has to share his toys, treats, food, scratching posts, and litter boxes, or as complicated as bringing home a new baby or moving to a new house.

Medical Issues

It is possible that your cat has a medical issue, such as a urinary tract infection that’s causing them to pee outside of the litter box. Anytime you’re suddenly dealing with litter box issues, with no clear reason as to why, you need to consult your vet.

Urinary tract infections are just one of the issues that could be the problem.

Peeing outside of the litter box may also be caused by:
  • Diabetes
  • Bladder stones
  • Arthritis
  • Idiopathic Cystitis

These conditions are especially possible if your senior cat is suddenly not using the litter box. If you suspect any of these health issues in your cat, make an appointment with your vet right away for the cat to be seen and treated.

Sick cat in animal hospital
Image Credit: Kachalkina Veronika, Shutterstock

Litter Box Aversion

It is possible that your cat has an aversion to his litter box. There are quite a few reasons this could happen.

Unclean Litter Box

If your cat’s litter box is unclean, they may start searching for a new place to pee. Cat’s are clean animals, and they aren’t going to use a litter box that contains their own or other cat’s filth.

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Litter Box is Hard to Reach

If you have your litter box somewhere that your cat can’t get to, they’re likely to go somewhere else. You should put your litter box in a quiet part of the house. Always keep it where your kittens or older cats don’t have a problem climbing in and out for the best results.

Make sure that the litter box isn’t blocked by something else as well, or your cat might be tempted to make their own bathroom somewhere else in the house.

Type of Litter

Just like humans, cats have certain things they prefer—some cats like a clumping litter; others don’t.

If you switch up their litter unexpectedly, they may not like it or use it. You might have to try a few different types of litter to figure out which one your cat prefers, but once you do, stick to it.

person changing cat litter
Image Credit: Africa-Studio, Shutterstock

Multiple Cats in the House

When it comes to having multiple cats in the house, you need multiple cat litter boxes as well. Make sure you put the different litter boxes in different rooms of the house. Some cats are bullies and won’t let other cats use their litter boxes.

Some cats are timid and don’t want to be watched by others, so make sure to put their litter box in a separate room, and for the best results, make sure it has a cover for privacy. A guideline rule is one litter box per cat and one extra.

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Final Thoughts

As we previously stated, there are many different reasons that a cat will start peeing outside of their litter box. Being angry with you or being spiteful isn’t one of those reasons!

If your cat is using the bathroom outside of the litter box, you need to make an appointment with your vet if the above tips don’t fix the problem for you.

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Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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