Peeing outside the box?


TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Nov 7, 2002
Garfield Heights, Ohio
One of our cats has litterbox issues. I adopted her last January and noticed the issues around May. I took her in, thinking she had a UTI or something related. After tests, we found she has renal kidney failure and she's on fluid treatment twice a week. When I adopted her from the shelter, they said she was dropped off by her previous owners for not using the litter box, but I took her in with no problems for a few months - and when the vet diagnosed her, they said she had the problem for a while judging on her numbers.

She still refuses to use the litter box for peeing, though! We have two boxes set up with two different kinds of litter (crystals and Feline Pine clumping). Now when she first came to us, we had the crystals and she had no problem with them. Occasionally she gets in the box and pees, and she always goes in there to poo, but there are other times (most of the time) when she'll not use the box.

She started peeing in the front hallway (thankfully she never goes on the carpet!) and so our second litter box is now up there. When she does pee, it'll be right by that box in the other corner of the hallway, or in one of two places in the bathroom where our second box is: in the tub (which is an easy clean) or right outside the tub.

I've cleaned the boxes and that's not the issue - I'll put out a nice fresh box and she'll still pee right by it rather than in it. I've tried Feliway and altering the amount of litter in the box, and still nothing helps. I've also tried praising with treats and lots of happy talking when she uses the box, and when I see her not using the box I give her the "warning voice" and she'll scamper off...but most times comes back when I leave the area to do it.

Any suggestions? I'm at my wits end with the little furball.


TCS Member
Jun 15, 2008
Make sure you use a really good enzyme cleaner like Anti-Icky Poo to clean up the areas she's targeted. I don't know what kind of box you are using, but try a large uncovered box.

I don't recommend putting boxes in bathtubs or bathrooms where a cat has the potential of feeling cornered. When a cat goes to the bathroom, they are vulnerable, especially a cat that has health issues. Good locations for boxes are places where a cat has multiple ways to escape, can see the whole room and out the door.

At first when changing boxes and their locations, leave the originals ones alone and add new boxes. After the new boxes are being used, remove, one- by one the original boxes.

Hope this helps.
Marilyn Krieger, CCBC