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Why Is My Cat Peeing Everywhere All of a Sudden? Vet 10 Reviewed Reasons

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

cat pee stain in couch

Vet approved

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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If your cat went from consistently using the litter box to peeing all over the place overnight, you’ll want to take notice. Often, it’s something you can fix yourself, but other times, it’s a sign of a serious medical condition you need to address right away.

Not only is it super frustrating, but it can also be super serious. With that in mind, check out our guide which does a great job of breaking down what you can do and when you need to rush them to the vet.

The 10 Reasons Your Cat Might Be Peeing Everywhere

If your cat is having problems finding and using the litter box consistently, there are many potential reasons. The reasons range from harmless and easy to fix to potentially life-threatening, so you’ll want to check out all the reasons we’ve highlighted here:

1. Dirty Litter Box

When was the last time you cleaned out the litter box or changed the litter? Cats don’t enjoy using a dirty litter box, and if it’s dirty, they’ll find somewhere else to go. This is the first thing you’ll want to check if your cat is urinating in inappropriate locations.

Cleaning the litter box will help a ton, but you might have issues dealing with scent marking because they already went outside the litter box.

cat looking at litter box
Image Credit: Natalia Hrynovets, Shutterstock

2. New Litter

Did you recently change the type of litter you use in the litter box? If so, the problem could be that they don’t like the new stuff. Going back to the old litter type can help, and if you want to switch, consider slowly switching by mixing the litters.

Of course, you’ll need to show them the old type of litter is back to get them back to using the litter box again, and you still might have to deal with issues due to scent marking.

3. Messy House

If you have piles of clothes or other messes all throughout your home, your cat might think it’s perfectly acceptable to use the bathroom there. In short, the mess throughout your home reminds them of a litter box!

It might not be fun to think about, but if your cat is urinating all over your home, you’ll want to clean everything up so they can clearly tell where the bathroom is and isn’t.

cat beside a clutter of clothes
Image Credit: Inna_Kandybka, Shutterstock

4. New Litter box Location

If you recently moved the litter box to a new location, ensure you take the time to show your cat where it’s at. Of course, if they keep returning to the previous location to use the bathroom, you might need to put one back there, even if you don’t like that location for it.

5. Scary Location

If something spooked your cat the last time they were in or near the litter box, the problem could be that they’re too scared to go back. If you can, move the litter box to a new location and it should help your cat overcome their fear and go back to using their litter box like they should.

Adorable cat near litter tray indoors
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

6. Injured Cat

Is your litter box in a hard-to-reach location or is it a top-entry litter box? If so, your cat might not be able to easily access the litter box if they’re hurt. However, if you see your cat climbing all over your home in other places, this likely isn’t the reason.

If your cat is injured, take them to a vet to see what’s going on, and in the meantime, move the litter box into a location that’s a little easier for them to access.

7. Stressed or Anxious Cat

When a cat is feeling a little stressed or anxious, they sometimes forget about where they should use the bathroom. This is common for cats that suffer from separation anxiety or if they’re undergoing another type of stressful event.

Sometimes, you can get this under control on your own by removing the stress-inducing activities, and other times, you need a little help from the vet to help calm down your kitty!

close up of small cute tabby cat hiding under sofa at home
Image Credit: Budimir Jevtic, Shutterstock

8. Medical Problems

Unfortunately, sometimes the reason your cat loses some bladder control comes down to legitimate medical concerns. Potential medical problems include urinary tract infections, bladder stones, idiopathic cystitis, kidney disease, and more.

If you’ve already ruled out non-medical reasons, you need to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible so they can figure out what’s going on and give your cat the necessary medical treatment.

9. Leftover Scent Markers

Once your cat goes to the bathroom in a specific spot, it smells like a place for them to go to the bathroom. This can be incredibly frustrating, but it’s also incredibly common. You’ll either need to thoroughly clean the area and use scent destroyers, or you can add a litter box to that location (after cleaning up, of course!).

cat looking at its pee on the carpet
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

10. Territory Marking

This is more common with unneutered male cats, but it can happen with any cat. Cats like being around their own scents, which means they like urinating throughout your home. This is another challenging problem to solve, but by eliminating scent trails and putting an adequate number of litter boxes throughout your home, you should be able to get it under control.

Final Thoughts

If you ever have any questions about whether your cat needs to go to the vet because of them urinating everywhere, play it safe and take them to the vet. In the end, trust your gut. Even if another reason seems like it might be plausible, if your gut is telling you there’s something wrong, there’s a good chance something is.

You know what’s normal for your cat, and if they’re acting in a way that isn’t usual for them, there’s a good chance something is wrong!

Featured Image Credit: Creative Cat Studio, Shutterstock

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