Why Does My Cat Urinate Outside the Box and What Can I Do About It?


My male cat is about 2 years old; we also have a female that is 2. They are both fixed and have lived with us for one year now. The male cat is definitely dominant in the house — and I believe it is him urinating in the house. The house soiling is only ever done when we are not around.

It started when we went on a long weekend trip and had friends come over to feed and play with them. I believe it is him because when we came home, he urinated on my purses. This vacation was in May, and now he (I think) is urinating on clean clothes that are laying to dry on top the washing machine. He is also urinating on piles of clean clothes.

I have not found anywhere in the house that he specifically likes except our clothes; he finds his way into our closets, laundry room, etc. I have seen him use the litter box, so I don’t know what his problem is. Since the clothes are not in one location I can’t use one of the behavioral remedies that that are for a certain location.

Please help. I love him dearly, but my husband has had enough of the urination in the house. Thank you.


I have three cats. The 3-year-old Siamese (Emily) and 7-year-old Calico shorthair that weighs over 15 pounds spend a lot of time in the garage (their choice). Emily has started urinating on an old recliner. I have sprayed it with Kitty No, used a stain/odor remover, and covered it with a sheet. There are two litter boxes out there, but it keeps happening. My garage stinks.

Emily is my daughter Jessica’s cat. Unfortunately Jessica got involved with drugs and has been in prison since Christmas Eve 2008. I would have attributed this to Emily missing Jessica, but it has only been going on for the past few months.

Thank you,

Corning, CA

Ive had my cat, Tigger, almost 14 years. Recently he is going to the bathroom now in places that he shouldn’t.

He can have a clean litter box and still gets in it, stays a few seconds, and then jumps out and then it goes all over the floor through the house.

I don’t know what to do. I haven’t changed foods or litter or anything. Do you have any idea what the problem might be?

Gallatin, TN

Hi, Dr.! I adopted a 1-year-old female Himalayan, Bree, from a friend who recommended I get advice from you for help with her. She came from a home with a single woman in it to a home with a couple and their four children, all teens. So our house is noisier, comparatively.

She’ll come to me after I’ve been gone all day, and she greets me in the morning. She doesn’t touch noses with me or allow me to hold her for longer than a minute or two. She purrs sometimes, but not much.

The problem, however, is that she won’t use the litter box. We’ve tried getting her a new one, changing brands of litter, and getting her two boxes in case she wants one for urinating in seperately. My husband is fed up. Please help!

Austin, TX

These questions are just a sampling of the feline-house-soiling deluge I receive continuously by way of Catster. This is by far the most commonly reported behavioral issue in cats. Sadly, it also is a common cause of euthanasia and abandonment.

If your cat is engaging in house soiling, start with a trip to the vet. There are medical conditions that can cause a cat to avoid its litterbox.

If the cat gets a clean bill of health, go to my website. I have two pages dedicated to this problem, with lots of pointers and advice.


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