I love to share advice and tips gleaned from my own experiences.
Most cats will squat down while urinating in their litter tray, but this might not be the case for some cats. Some like to squat when they pee and then they might start to rise during the process or just stand up during the whole process. Cats that do this are referred to as "vertical peeing" cats.
Sometimes the issue could be due to behavioral problems or medical issues so it is always wise to get your cat checked by a veterinarian to confirm that nothing is wrong. If it is an environmental issue, then you might be able to train your cat to stop doing it.
If they pee while using the open type litter tray, their urine will spill over onto the floor because the sides are not high enough. This means you will have to wipe the floor every time your cat uses the litter tray.
If your veterinarian can find no medical cause for this type of behavior, then you just need to buy a different type of litter box to help deal with the problem.
However, there are a lot of different covered litter boxes out there, and you need to ensure that you buy the correct one.
Best Type of Litter Box for Vertical Peeing Cats
The best type of covered litter boxes are the ones that have a base that is about two to three inches high. This will mean that the cover starts close to the base and it will have very high sides that attach to the base of the litter box.
If you get a covered litter box that has the top cover starting halfway up the side of the base then while the sides are quite high on both parts, there could be an issue with the joining. If the joining isn’t waterproof then when your cat pees, the urine could leak out between the two parts.
Over time, the joining will also wear down and a tiny gap could develop between the top and the bottom part of the litter box. This means that again when your cat pees the urine will leak out between the joining.
Advantages of Covered Litter Boxes
- If your cat pees while standing up, the urine will slide down the inside of the litter box and not on the floor.
- When your cat pees when standing up the urine won't come out between the joining because the base is lower to the ground and the sides are higher.
- It’s easy to assemble and disassemble and depending on what size you get it might take anywhere between eight pounds to sixteen pounds of cat litter.
- If you get a medium or large litter box then you won’t have to replace it once your kitten is fully grown.
- Prices will vary between sellers so always shop around to compare brands and prices. Check out the selections available in your local pet stores before you purchase one online.
- Some litter boxes have a small opening so if you have a large cat they might not fit inside it. So you need to take note of the opening measurements before you buy one.
- Most of the covered litter boxes will have a plastic swinging door in front of them. This could actually be a deterrent that stops a cat from using the litter box, so remove it altogether if you can.
- Whenever you want to clean this type of litter box, you will have to remove the top cover which isn’t required with the open litter trays.
- These types of litter boxes will have clips on the side to secure the top and bottom parts. The clips on some brands can be a bit flimsy and can break or wear down so always check out the type of clip they use to make sure that they are sturdy.
Covered Litter Box for Cats
Buying a litter box is the easiest solution to this problem. But if you don't have the finances to purchase a litter box, then instead you might need to look at finding out why your cat is standing up.
Why Do Cats Urinate Outside Their Litter Tray or Box?
There can be many reasons why a cat chooses to pee outside their litter box and you won’t really know the actual reason until you gradually start eliminating issues that could be causing it. It might be due to a behavioral problem or it could be an unknown medical issue or it might simply be an issue with their environment.
- If you adopt a rescue cat and it has lived its life outside, then it might not have had any training in how to use a litter tray or a box.
- Sometimes cats might prefer to stand while they are peeing and no matter what you do, you cannot break them of this habit.
- Your cat might have a bladder issue or a urinary tract infection that might make it difficult for them to squat down.
- Your cat might have arthritis which means that older cats might find it harder to squat while peeing. In this case, peeing while standing might be easier for them.
- Some cats like privacy as well as quite when they are using their litter tray so if you have it in an area of the house with lots of activity then they can sometimes rush to pee and accidentally pee outside it.
- If you have multiple cats sharing one litter tray or box, then some cats might not like this so instead of using the litter tray or box, they pee outside it
- Some cats might not like the feel of the cat litter and they might want to avoid touching the litter while they are peeing and hence they stand up instead of squatting.
How To Deal With Environmental Issues
If this is the cause of the peeing then you will need to put your cat's litter tray in a location that doesn’t have a lot of footfall and in an area that is very quiet. Cats can get easily excited and can jump out of their litter tray in the middle of doing their business if they hear loud noises. This means their urine gets on the floor.
There is a variety of cat litters on the market today. Some cats might like cat litter that resembles sand while other cats might prefer the cat litter that resembles tiny wood pellets. Other cats might prefer using the crystal type of cat litter. So it's really a case of eliminating the ones they don't like and finding one that they do like.
Sharing of Litter Trays
If you live in a household with multiple cats then they might not like sharing a litter tray between them. So if you only have one litter tray then some cats might not use it, especially if it has already been soiled. In that case, you might need to have two or three litter trays or boxes around the house so that each cat has its own litter tray.
Dirty Litter Tray
A cat might not like using a litter tray that is still dirty. If you don’t clean your cat's litter tray frequently enough then some cats simply won’t use it or they might not squat in the cat litter because it is full of urine.
The easy solution to a cat peeing outside the litter tray is to get a litter box. But if you have the time and effort to look at ways to encourage them to pee inside their litter tray or box then you don't have to buy a new litter box.
If you do choose to buy a litter box, then make sure that the structure of it is sturdy and that the clips are not flimsy. Always take into account the size of your cat when buying a litter box because each brand will vary in size.
What To Do About Common Urinary Problems in Cats, (2013), PETMD, https://www.petmd.com/cat/centers/nutrition/evr_ct_handling-cat-urinary-problems
Cat Behavior Problems - House Soiling, vcahospitals.com, https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/cat-behavior-problems-house-soiling#:~:text=When%20cats%20urinate%20on%20vertical,a%20stream%20of%20urine%20backwards.
Litter Box Problems, aspca.org, https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/litter-box-problems
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2020 Sp Greaney
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on October 07, 2020:
@Helna, thank you. Glad you found it interesting to read.
@Nell Rose, some owners get away without them. I don't blame them for keeping them as an indoor cat. When they go outside and never come back, it's devasting. It's only in the last few years that we have got into using litter trays.
Also, it's become a bit more of the norm here now to have an indoor cat. Where I live it's too dangerous to have her outside so we made her an indoor one.
Nell Rose from England on October 07, 2020:
Hi, great ideas. We have always had cats and dogs, but never used a cat litter etc. I do know a lot of Americans use them as they don't let the cats out.
Helna on October 06, 2020:
You have studied a lot to make this article. Good information.
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