Why Your Cat Peeing In The Corner Is Worth Your Attention

By Davis Wilkins •  Updated: 05/06/22 •  11 min read
Upright seated cat

You may ask yourself, why is my cat peeing in the corner? Luckily for you, I’m here to answer that question.

I love my cat, but a few weeks ago she has started peeing in the corner, and I didn’t know why. This went on for about six weeks. I desperately tried to find ways to resolve it so that I could get some rest at night but I couldn’t find a solution that works.

I searched the internet for answers but all I found were generic answers. You know, those, “Buy a new litter box” kinda annoying answers!

I had done all I could to try and stop her, which meant that I now had a corner of my apartment that smelled like cat pee, and I didn’t have a clue on what to do anymore.

I finally cracked it and I’m here to share my findings with you.

There are multiple reasons why they do it. If you notice this happening, it’s important to figure out why (the underlying issue) so you can nip it in the bud.

Why has my cat started peeing in the corner?

If your cat has started peeing in the corner of your house, it could be for any number of reasons. It’s hard to tell whether or not it’s psychological without knowing the root cause.

If you’re having a problem with your cat peeing in the corner, it might be helpful to first understand why cats do this in general, and what sorts of things might make them want to do it more.

These are the key reasons I discovered why your cat is peeing in corners:

1.    The litter box:

Begin with the source! Your cat’s litter box.

Examine the litter tray keenly. Right now as we speak!

How does it really look? Is it appealing? How often have you been cleaning it? Is there a hanging urine smell?

Do you have a twice-daily scooping schedule and routine cleaning of the kitty pan?

If you haven’t then you are simply pushing your cat outside the litter box to find cleaner, less stinky places like the corner of your bedroom.

If there is increased humidity due to a change in weather patterns, and you probably don’t have air conditioning, adjust the box cleaning schedule.

Same case if you have located the kitty tray in the bathroom, where steamy showers are the norm, then it will take longer for the litter to dry. This is due to the increased humidity in the room.

Pro tip: Avoid closed litter boxes when in a high humidity setting.

2.    An abrupt change in cat litter or box:

A sudden change in your cat’s litter can cause her to avoid using the box.

This is due to the change in texture and scent or lack thereof, of the cat litter. This becomes different from what she was used to and is confusing.

A cat’s senses are enhanced and sensitive, and a change in litter brand may seem mild to you but repelling to your feline friend.

The sensitivity of your cat’s paws is vital and changing the litter from a soft, sandy texture to the feel of litter pellets can be repelling.

This may push your kitten to look for a softer substrate that resembles the previous litter. Your cat ends up peeing on the wall next to the litter box where there’s a lush carpet or rug.

If you change the litter tray abruptly, your cat may avoid it for a while as she examines it from afar, and resort to peeing in corners.

3.    Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases (FLUTD):

If your cat is peeing in corners, there could be an underlying medical condition such as FLUTD.

FLUTD refers to feline lower urinary tract infections and includes conditions like cystitis and bladder stones.

It affects both male and female cats at any age, although male cats are more predisposed due to their long and narrow urethra.

I have a friend who told me that they only discovered that their cat had a urinary tract infection because he was urinating in sinks or bathtubs.

The blood-stained cat urine was then well visible against the white background of the tubs and sinks.

I call that sheer luck.

You on the other hand need to be vigilant as lady luck might not be on your side.

Some signs of FLUTD include:

If your cat is suffering from FLUTD, she may visit the litter tray frequently. However, as the medical issue progresses, the urgency to pee immediately increases. To relieve the discomfort, she will urinate in corners.

At times, she may even associate the pain she feels when urinating with the box itself and avoids using it completely.

4.    Spray urine marking:

Why has my cat suddenly started peeing in the house? You ask! The answer could be spraying.

Spray marking is a key form of communication in the world of felines. It goes far beyond territorial marking and is used for various purposes.

Your cat may be triggered to spray by:

Just before your cat spray marks, she will stand stiff-legged with the hindquarters facing the corner of the house wall.

She then sprays a thin stream of urine with her eyes partially or completely closed.

Using her front paws, she may tread in place during the act of spraying.

5.    Geriatric related problems:

Do cats pee out of spite?

No, cats don’t pee out of spite. It could be an age-related problem.

This is similar to Alzheimer’s disease and goes beyond the normal brain deterioration due to old age.

The cause of age-related cognitive dysfunction is unknown although it may be genetically linked.

It however needs to be accurately diagnosed to avoid confusing it with other medical conditions.

It is a progressive disease but can be slowed via medication.

Some signs of age-related cognitive dysfunction include:

How do you stop a cat from peeing in the corner of a room?

Trying to stop your cat from peeing in the corner? Here are some effective solutions:

1.    Solve The Litter Box Issues:

Cat in litter box

If your litter box is ever dirty, clean it regularly at least twice per month.

A clean litter box with a strong scent of disinfectants and scented litter will keep your feline at bay. Use mild soap to clean your litter box and rinse it with ample water.

Provide enough litter boxes and place them in different locations in different rooms. Ensure that they are clean all the time. This is key especially if you have more than two cats in the house.

When dealing with multiple cats and you don’t know which one is peeing on the wall next to the litter box, isolate them. One cat is probably being bullied for using the one litter box and opting to pee in the corners.

Also, remember to keep the litter box away from high traffic areas for privacy.

Some cats are just spoilt. No matter how diligently you clean their boxes, they won’t use them once they have been eliminated from them. If this is your cat, simply invest in two litter boxes. This will ensure that there will always be a clean one should you fail to scoop the waste before she makes a return trip. Keep the boxes separate so that she can identify the difference.

Some cats won’t defecate in the same box that they urinate. If this is your situation, get an extra box for Her Highness!

While this sounds inconvenient, especially cleaning two litter boxes, it will save you loads of stress cleaning the carpet and corner walls of urine.

2.    Introduce cat litter or box change gradually:

Some cats in a bid to avoid contact with the litter may perch on the very edge of the box and the cat pees in corner of the litter box. She may go ahead to scratch outside of the litter box in a bid to cover her waste.

If you must change the cat litter brand, start by adding a little of the new litter into the kitty pan containing the current litter type. Gradually increase this amount of new litter over five days as you decrease the old litter quantity.

If your cat begins to dislike her current litter brand, you can conduct split tests by placing an additional box with a different litter type. This will provide options and only settle for what the cat prefers. You can experiment with different litter types such as clay, crystals, or even alternative litter.

When changing the box, follow a similar guide. Place the new box adjacent to the current one and add litter to it. Over days or weeks, observe as your cat slowly gets used to the new box and withdraw the old one once she is comfortable using the new one.

3.    Seek medical attention:

The first step you should take if your cat stops using the litter tray is to take your cat to the veterinarian.

FLUTD is potentially fatal if left unchecked since the crystals form and obstruct the flow of urine through the urethra.

This urethral plug will cause the urine to build up in the bladder.

Treat this as a medical emergency since it can easily kill your cat within hours of blockage.

Do not assume that she is constipated and begin administering a laxative, wasting valuable time.

The veterinarian will first aim at relieving the bladder by withdrawing the pee via a needle into a syringe, by piercing the skin to access the bladder.

At times your cat may be put under mild anesthesia and a surgical procedure is performed.

However, the recent use of prescription diets has helped avoid the need for surgery.

Long-term FLUTD treatment involves dietary management using specific prescription food.

Adequate water intake is important and regular exercise.

How to prevent FLUTD:

The solution to fixing the spraying behavior is to identify the cause of your cat’s fear or anxiety and eliminate or modify it.

Neutering your cat works to a great extent in stopping your cat from spraying.

However, if they have been neutered but are still spraying, these could be the reasons:

In a multi-cat household where spraying has begun, separate the cats and begin individual behavior modification.

Reintroduce the cats gradually the same way you would introduce other new cats.

4.    Treat age-related cognitive dysfunction:

While the disease is progressive, your veterinarian will administer medication that will slow its progression.

Your veterinarian will prescribe a therapeutic diet that aims at preserving your cat’s cognitive functions, such as antioxidants, vitamin E, and selenium.

Don’t rearrange the house set to keep everything familiar.

Add multiple litter boxes in different locations in case your cat forgets where their one box is situated.

Close the doors leading to rooms where she is likely to hurt herself, especially at night. You may need to confine your cat at night if you realize that she is a danger to herself.

Set up playtime and exercise routines as they help slow the degeneration of cognitive functions.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, we know that taking care of cats can be a challenge.

Cats are indeed interesting creatures, and each one has its unique personality.

Taking the time to learn what makes your cat tick will only enhance your relationship with it.

By being more aware of what’s going on inside your feline’s head and taking into consideration what might make them act in a certain way, you can help to address any issues they might be having before they become a serious problem. This includes inappropriate urination.

It may take some patience and understanding, but learning how to speak “cat” will ultimately make life easier for both of you. And who knows? Maybe your cat will talk back!

Davis Wilkins

Davis Wilkins is a dedicated cat lover, with three cats under his care. He grew up in a cat-loving family, nurturing these feline friends. As a result, he purposed to share his cat knowledge with the universe. Wilkins has been writing professionally for over four years, specializing in feline care with a keen interest in litter box care and handling. He hopes to help other feline lovers achieve their pet care goals.

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