My cat is normally very well behaved - he is used to going outside and always uses his litter box.

However he has recently had surgery on his foot and must stay indoors and wear a cone on his head for another 10 days. This is understandably stressing him out and making him very unhappy! This has resulted in him spraying and urinating around the house, especially in the mornings and evenings when there is a lot of activity in the house with people leaving/arriving home and opening the doors - which is the time he is normally allowed in or out of the back door. During the day time he has been much more relaxed and sleeps, and does not urinate.

I am keeping his litter box fresh and clean, with easy access to it and praising him when he uses it. I have also bought some Feliway hormone spray which I am using, and making sure to thoroughly clean where he has peed.

Is there anything else I can do to stop him urinating indoors, or alleviate his stress (which I think is causing his urination) until he can go outdoors again?


5 Answers 5


Cats generally prefer to go in a litterbox. There's a few things you can try:

1) Get a larger litter box. Maybe he doesn't think the size is big enough and is finding it difficult to use because of the cone. A larger one may make it easier for him.

2) Get several litter boxes and put them around the house. It'll make it easier for him to see it and he hopefully won't have as much trouble.

3) If there's a general time that he goes, pick him up at that time and set him in it. He might feel a bit better about the location.

I'd suggest you think about getting a black light and walking around to see if you can find parts that either you missed or weren't cleaned well. Cats get stressed about urine around the house, and it's likely that he went when you weren't watching him. Look in corners and under furniture, just in case.


The suggestions by littlekellilee are all very good ones and should reduce most problem urination. That said it sounds like he is "pissed off" and this is how he is relieving himself. Suggestions 1 & 2 are great for most problem urination ones but maybe not this situation (though they can only make the situation better- not worse).

3 Can help let him know "please don't do this, it upsets me" which he probably doesn't know. Of course, catching a cat just before is difficult and they don't like being disturbed doing that. I have done this myself though.

Cleaning is important too because once he's marked something it seems more reasonable to pee there again. Percarbonate is a good way of destroying urea & other smelly urine components- it may bleach surfaces and I recommend rinsing off well afterwards.

He is upset, stressed out, and possibly in pain. Maybe work with the vet on reducing pain. The other thing you can do is lots of extra play time (and whatever other things he really likes) this might distract him so he has less time to brood, and let it out by urinating- good luck.


Is your cat on any prescriptions? Should they be? Your cat may need medication either for general anxiety or for the surgery/recovery. This is something you should discuss with your vet.

Your cat may feel uncomfortable because of the litter/shape of the box. There are softer and harder litters out there and different types of boxes. I would recommend a box with as low sides as possible and a nature based litter (like ground up vegetation or something) that's soft and dust free.


Others have made some good suggestions about how to neutralize the odors in the area. (If any got on walls, you may want to paint over those walls eventually with an oil-based paint, or something to block the smell completely.) And by now - June 20 - the cat has probably gotten his Cone of Shame off. But, other people will benefit from this answer, possibly, so here goes:

To help destress your cat in the mornings, is someone available to sit with him in one room of the house (litterbox in one corner, a food and water dish in another corner, with a toy or - if he likes it - a brush), while the majority of people go about their routines of leaving? He will eventually get to go out again, so this won't have to be a permanent solution. In the evenings...hm. I don't know if most people arrive close to the same time, but doing the same thing (the first person to get home, sits with the cat in his special room for a while, to let most other ppl come home) is possibly a little more cumbersome, but giving him positive focussed attention may help reduce his need to urinate outside the box.


Clean the urinated zone with vinegar (I used to do that when my feline daughter was a baby kitten). Never, never use bleach, its smell attracts cats. Bleach is a great option for cleaning the litter box! ;)

Source: my own experience. Vinegar has a nasty odour, cats don't like it. And I've always used bleach to clean the litter box because cats are attracted to its odour. Anyways, there are some links:

And... a lot of cats are picky about the litter.

  • Bleach is a terrible option for cleaning something full of ammonia (a litter box). Do not do this.
    – Allison C
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 14:34

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