9 Reasons Your Cat Goes Potty Outside the Litter Box

9 Reasons Your Cat Goes Potty Outside the Litter Box

Cats are truly graceful creatures with a natural inclination for cleanliness. They delight in cozying up amidst soft blankets, showcasing their love for all things pristine. In addition to their penchant for snuggling, cats are meticulous self-groomers, taking great pride in maintaining their fur in impeccable condition.

However, when a feline friend deviates from using the litter box, it becomes imperative to delve into the reasons behind this behavior before seeking a resolution to this vexing issue.

This discussion will explore various common factors contributing to a cat's reluctance to use the litter box. Additionally, it will provide insights and suggestions tailored to address each unique aspect, ensuring a harmonious coexistence between you and your fastidious feline companion.

Common Reasons

1. Cats are unwell

2. Size Matters

3. Type of Litter Box

4. Types of cat litter that cats don’t like

5. Changing cat litter types too often

6. Location Preferences

7. Quantity Quandary

8.The litter box is too dirty

9. Stress-Induced Aversion


  1. Cats are Unwell

Cats may have difficulty or pain urinating due to illness. At this time, the cat will try different positions to urinate. If you find that your cat has abnormal symptoms such as frequent urination, blood in the urine, painful urination, or a significant decrease or increase in the amount of urine in the litter box, you should take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Check for any health problems. There is a detailed introduction in the article "Cat Urinary Tract Problems and Infections" on webmd.com


  1. Size Matters

   Cats have specific size requirements for litter boxes, seeking a balance between comfort and functionality. Opting for a box that's just right in size ensures the cat can move, dig, and stretch comfortably. The recommended size of the cat litter box is 1.5 times the length of the cat's body (the length from head to the base of the tail), three times the width of the cat's body, and a height higher than where the cat is sitting. Owners should consider their cat's size and activity level when choosing a litter box or provide options of various sizes.Curious about creating the perfect haven for your feline friend? Dive into 'The Ultimate Guide to Cat Litter Boxes' to unravel the secrets of selecting the ideal litter box size

  1. Type of Litter Box

   Cats, being discerning creatures, often have distinct preferences for the type of litter box they use. Whether it's covered or uncovered, with or without a door, their choices are influenced by factors like personality, habits, and past experiences. Owners need to observe their cat's reactions and select an appropriate litter box type or offer a variety for the feline to choose from. If you have a large cat or multiple cats, the peTraum Extra Large Litter Box deserves your attention. The closed structure size reaches 27.3"L×18"H×17.5"W, meeting the needs of a spacious environment. The unique modular design meets a variety of usage needs.


  1. Types of Cat Litter that Cats Don’t Like

   Cats have different preferences for cat litter. Some cats like fine sand-like cat litter, some like granular cat litter, and some cats like dust-free cat litter. If your cat doesn't like the litter you're using, it may show dissatisfaction or not use the litter box altogether. To find out which litter your cat prefers, you can try different types of litter to see how he reacts. You can also mix two or more types of cat litter in the litter box to allow your cat to gradually adjust to the new litter. You should pay attention to your cat's behavior and expression to see if it is comfortable and happy.

  1. Changing Cat Litter Types Too Often

   While you can try different types of cat litter to find out what your cat likes, you shouldn’t change litter types too often. Cats are creatures of habit, and they don’t like big changes. If you change your cat's litter box frequently, he may become confused and upset and reluctant to use the litter box. So, once you find a litter that your cat likes, try to keep it consistent and don't change it randomly. This can make your cat feel stable and trustworthy and can also avoid unnecessary trouble.

  1. Location Preferences

   The choice of litter box location significantly affects a cat's willingness to use it. Cats prefer quiet, clean, and easily accessible spots. Placing a litter box in a noisy or inconvenient location can make the cat feel uncomfortable, impacting their litter box habits. Owners should pay attention to their cat's habits and preferences when deciding on a suitable location or provide multiple options.

  1. Quantity Quandary

   Cats have specific expectations regarding the number of litter boxes available. Ensuring each cat has its designated box or providing enough options in multi-cat households is crucial. Following a simple rule – the number of litter boxes equals the number of cats plus one – can help prevent dissatisfaction and refusal issues.

  1. The Litter Box is Too Dirty

   Cats are very hygienic animals and they don’t like to urinate in dirty places. If your litter box is cluttered with feces and urine or has a bad smell, your cat may refuse to use it and find a cleaner spot. To keep your cat's litter box clean, you need to clean the litter box at least once a day, scoop out feces and urine, and throw them away. You also need to change the cat litter regularly, generally every two weeks or so. You'll also want to clean the litter box regularly with hot water and unscented soap or detergent to remove residual dirt and odors. This will keep your cat comfortable and reduce the growth of bacteria.

  1. Stress-Induced Aversion

   Stress plays a significant role in a cat's decision to use a litter box. Changes in the environment, such as moving, new family members, or alterations to routines, can induce anxiety in cats. This stress might manifest in litter box avoidance as a coping mechanism. Owners should strive to create a stable and harmonious environment, provide comfort and love, and seek professional help if necessary to alleviate stress-related litter box issues.


Additional factors, including age, training, and ambient odors, may contribute to a cat's reluctance to use the litter box. The insights provided above encompass our discussion on the 9 Reasons Your Cat Goes Potty Outside the Litter Box. We trust that the shared information proves beneficial to you.

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