Why Does My Cat Keep Peeing On The Side Of The Litter Box?

As a cat owner, discovering that your feline friend has decided to relieve themselves on the side of the litter box can be incredibly frustrating. But fear not, you’re not alone in this predicament. This is a common problem amongst cat owners, and fortunately, there are several reasons why your cat may be doing this.

Cats are creatures of habit, and any deviation from their routine could indicate a more significant issue with their health. One possibility is that your cat might find the litter box less appealing than before, causing them to seek out alternative locations for their business.

Another potential reason for your cat’s peculiar behavior is a urinary tract infection. This condition can cause discomfort and pain when urinating, leading your cat to avoid the litter box altogether.

But don’t fret. There are solutions available to help resolve this situation. By making simple changes to the litter box setup, you can make it more attractive and reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring.

In this blog post, we’ll delve deep into the reasons why your kitty may be avoiding the litter box and provide practical tips on how to fix the situation. So grab a cup of tea, sit back, and let’s explore all the nitty-gritty details together.

What are the Common Causes of Cats Peeing on the Side of their Litter Box?

But don’t worry, this problem is not uncommon, and there are several reasons why your cat may be exhibiting this behavior.

One possible cause is the size of the litter box. Cats like to have plenty of space to move around and dig in their litter, so if the box is too small or shallow, they may feel cramped and uncomfortable while using it. Upgrading to a larger or deeper litter box can give your cat the extra room they need to do their business comfortably.

Another reason could be that the litter box is not clean enough. Cats are clean creatures who prefer a tidy environment. If you’re not cleaning your cat’s litter box regularly, they may avoid using it altogether and start peeing on the side as a way to express their displeasure. Clean the litter box daily and change the litter frequently to keep your cat happy and healthy.

Stress and anxiety can also be culprits in your cat’s litter box behavior. Changes in their environment, such as a new pet or moving to a new home, can cause stress and anxiety, leading to behavioral changes like avoiding the litter box or peeing on its sides. Providing your cat with a peaceful and comfortable environment with plenty of mental stimulation and playtime can help reduce stress levels and prevent litter box issues.

Lastly, medical issues such as urinary tract infections or bladder stones can cause pain while urinating, leading your cat to seek alternative locations like the side of their litter box. If you suspect your cat may be experiencing medical problems, it’s crucial to take them to the vet for a check-up as soon as possible.

How Can I Tell if my Cat is Experiencing Discomfort or Pain While Using the Litter Box?

One way to do this is by monitoring their behavior while using the litter box. If you notice your cat avoiding the litter box or peeing on the side of it, it could be a sign of discomfort or pain.

So, how can you tell if your cat is experiencing discomfort or pain while using the litter box? Look out for these signs:

Firstly, if your cat avoids the litter box altogether, it’s a clear sign that something is wrong. Cats are creatures of habit and tend to use the litter box consistently, so any change in behavior should be noted.

Secondly, excessive grooming in the genital area after using the litter box is another indication that your cat is in pain. If you notice your cat licking their genital area excessively after using the litter box, it’s a clear sign of discomfort.

Furthermore, if your cat meows or cries while using the litter box, it’s a sign of discomfort or pain. This behavior is unusual for cats, who are usually quiet during this process.

Another sign of discomfort or pain in cats is straining during urination. If your cat appears to be struggling while urinating, it could be due to a urinary tract infection or other medical issues that require immediate attention.

Lastly, if your cat keeps going to the litter box without actually urinating, it’s a sign that they are experiencing discomfort. This could be due to constipation or other medical issues.

If you notice any of these signs in your cat, don’t hesitate to take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for a check-up. Your veterinarian will be able to determine the cause of the discomfort and recommend appropriate treatment.

What Can I Do to Help My Cat Feel More Comfortable in their Litter Box?

One way to achieve this is to ensure that their litter box is a place of peace and tranquility. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to make this happen.

Firstly, consider the location of the litter box. Cats are notoriously private creatures, so position it in a quiet and secluded area away from high-traffic spots in your home. This will give them the privacy they crave, making them more comfortable to use their litter box.

The type of litter you use also plays a crucial role in your cat’s comfort. Experiment with different textures and scents until you find one that your cat approves of. Also, consider using unscented litter as some cats may be sensitive to strong smells.

Keeping the litter box clean is essential for your cat’s health and well-being. Scoop out any waste daily and replace the litter entirely every week or two. A dirty litter box can be a major turn-off for cats and may cause them to avoid using it altogether.

Another helpful strategy is providing your cat with multiple litter boxes throughout your home. This gives them options and reduces any anxiety they might feel about having to use only one box. Make sure each box is located in a quiet and private area and is cleaned regularly.

If these steps fail to help, it may be time to consult with your veterinarian. They can check for any underlying medical issues that may be causing your cat’s reluctance to use their litter box properly.

How Can I Reduce Stress and Anxiety in My Cat’s Environment?

To create a calm and peaceful environment for your feline friend, here are some tips to reduce their stress and anxiety levels:

Firstly, providing a suitable litter box is essential. Ensure that the litter box is the right size and depth for your cat, as a litter box that is too small or too deep may cause discomfort and lead to inappropriate elimination. Also, place the litter box in a quiet and private area, away from noisy appliances or high-traffic areas.

Secondly, keeping the litter box clean is crucial for your cat’s comfort. Regular scooping and cleaning will help your cat feel at ease using the litter box. Remember, cats are clean animals, and they prefer a clean litter box.

Thirdly, providing hiding spots and vertical space is essential for your cat’s well-being. Cats love to climb and perch on high surfaces; therefore, getting a cat tree or shelves for them to explore is an excellent idea. Hiding spots such as cardboard boxes or cat tunnels can also provide a sense of security for your furry friend.

Fourthly, engaging your cat in playtime and providing mental stimulation will help reduce their stress levels. Interactive toys such as puzzle feeders or wand toys can keep your cat entertained and engaged. Playing with your cat for at least 10-15 minutes daily can also strengthen the bond between you and your feline friend.

Lastly, using pheromone products can help relax and calm your cat. Pheromone sprays or diffusers release synthetic pheromones that mimic natural ones, reducing stress-related behaviors such as inappropriate elimination. These products are available in pet stores and online.

What Should I Do If Nothing Seems To Help My Cat Stop Peeing On The Side Of Their Litter Box?

Before you lose hope, there are still a few things you can do to help your cat break this undesirable habit.

First and foremost, take a look at the size of your litter box. Cats love having ample space to move around when doing their business, and if the litter box is too small, they may start peeing on the side. Make sure you have one litter box per cat, plus an extra one just in case. With enough room to spare, your cat will feel comfortable and at ease in their litter box.

Another important factor is the type of litter you use. Some cats are more particular about the type of litter they use than others. Experiment with different types until you find one that suits your cat’s preferences. Additionally, ensure that you clean the litter box regularly. Cats are fastidious animals and won’t use a dirty litter box.

It’s also crucial to consider where you’ve placed the litter box. Is it in a quiet area where your cat feels secure? Is it far away from their food and water bowls? If not, try relocating the litter box to a quieter area and observe if that helps. Sometimes, cats may feel uncomfortable using their litter box if it’s in a noisy or busy area.

If none of these solutions work, it’s time to seek professional advice from your veterinarian. Your cat may have an underlying medical issue or be experiencing anxiety or stress that needs addressing. Your veterinarian can perform diagnostic tests and recommend ways to reduce stress levels for your cat.


In conclusion, discovering that your cat is peeing on the side of their litter box can be a frustrating experience for any cat owner. However, it’s important to understand that this is a common issue with several potential causes. It could be due to the size or cleanliness of the litter box, stress and anxiety, or underlying medical issues.

As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to keep an eye on your cat’s behavior while using the litter box and watch out for signs of discomfort or pain. Don’t worry though – there are several things you can do to help your furry friend feel more comfortable in their litter box and reduce stress levels in their environment.

For starters, you can provide them with a quiet and secluded area for their litter box. Experimenting with different types of litter can also make a big difference. Keep the litter box clean, provide hiding spots and vertical space, engage them in playtime, and consider using pheromone products.

If these solutions don’t work, it’s time to seek professional advice from your veterinarian. They can perform diagnostic tests and recommend ways to reduce stress levels for your cat. Remember that cats are creatures of habit and any deviation from their routine could indicate a more significant issue with their health.

By addressing this problem early on and seeking professional help if needed, you’ll ensure that your feline friend remains happy and healthy for years to come.