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Sphynx pooping or peeing outside the litter box


Staff member
Jan 13, 2009
It can be very frustrating when a cat/kitten starts not using the litter box. The first thing to do is see your vet to rule out a UTI (urinary tract infection) if your cat see is peeing outside of the litter box. A urinary infection can become very serious very fast if it is not treated quickly.

It's suggested you should have 1 more litter box than the number of cats you have, sometimes even more. It is also very important to strategically place the litter boxes throughout the house and not have them all lined up in one room or same area sometimes. If the cat is pooping/peeing in one particular area you need to be sure to clean with an enzymatic cleaner or they will continue to keep going there. Here is a great example of one:


Be sure the litter boxes are in satisfactory places, NOT near the food and water dishes. Be sure the litter boxes are not placed in cold rooms, hard to get to spots (obstacle course), or near noisy washing machines or loud heaters or boilers that become warm or hot and make the smell more prominent, it can deter the cat from using the box.

If the litter box with hood is not being used, take the hood off, perhaps vice versa as well. Some cats like privacy, some don't. Try 1 or 2 more different types of boxes. Believe it or not, some cats like to poop in one box and pee in the other. A newer sphynx to your home may not feel comfortable crossing the path of the existing cat resident and some resident cats can intimidate the new cat/kitten by displaying an almost guarding like behavior in the litter box area. This could result in the new cat holding his or her urine for a long period time thus causing him or her to urinate outside of the box in an area where he or she feels safer…this is also why quarantining is important. Let the newbie gain confidence before they need to share the same litter boxes.

With kittens it is best to use the same litter your breeder was using until you transition them to another litter gradually.

Many people find using kitten or cat attract litter can be a game changer until they are using the litter box regularly. Here are some examples:


Possible signs (but not always) that your cat does not like the type of litter I am using:

  • Your Sphynx places two of his paws on the edge of the box and the other two in the litter while going to the bathroom.
  • Your Sphynx does not dig a hole first or she does not like to cover her pee or poop
  • Your Sphynx shakes his paws after stepping out of the litter box
  • Your Sphynx scratches the floor or carpet just outside of his litter box
  • Your Sphynx pees or poops just outside of his litter box

Just because your Sphynx exhibits one or two of these acts, does not mean he dislikes his kitty litter, if she is going in the box, leave well enough alone! Some cats just have quirky litter box habits. It is when they are not going inside the box you really have an issue.

If you want to change litter brands for your own personal reasons or you feel your Sphynx does not care for your current brand, first start by adding a little of the new litter into the litter box containing your current brand, then approximately over a course of about a week, gradually add a little more of the new to the old litter while eventually eliminating the old litter completely. If your Sphynx begins avoiding the litter box at any time during this transitioning process, add more of the old brand back in and change the percentage of old and new brands more gradually. Again, this process can take time so have patience.

*If your cat is peeing on floormats, towel/clothes left on the floor etc. It could be as simple as to remove them from ever being on the floor again. Be sure to clean the area under the mat/articles with the enzymatic cleaner after removing.

* Another issue some folks have with peeing and pooping outside the box with their sphynx is with a declawed cat (which is NEVER recommend). The cat can have a very "sensitive" feeling in their paws which a hard gritty type litter can be painful walking in or uncomfortable to say the least. Changing to a "softer" "sandier" litter will help with keeping them going in their litter box.

* Also as mentioned earlier sometimes peeing out of the box is a sign of a possible UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) which usually be small dribbles of pee or even just droplets - a prompt vet visit is needed in this case. Here is a photo if using clumping litter which will give you a sign of a possible UTI or other medical issue with the urinary tract. You also might you notice your cat squatting frequently it can be a telltale sign to get to a vet to rule out at UTI. Don’t wait.


* Scooping and cleaning too often or too little can cause pooping and peeing outside of the box behavior as well. Check out this video by jackson Galaxy ~ "The Politics of Litter."

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Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Dec 19, 2010
When all else fails and you can't figure out who in your multi cat home is going outside the box invest in a Petcube or other video device that can catch the culprit in the act.


Mar 14, 2019
When all else fails and you can't figure out who in your multi cat home is going outside the box invest in a Petcube or other video device that can catch the culprit in the act.
I will add that there are some free apps for apple devices etc that you can use for this purpose (I have used Presence before) that turn an old ipod touch or something into a remote video camera which you can then connect to your smartphone to view live footage or recorded footage.


Jan 3, 2022
Thanks for this thread. My girl was fine - pee and poop in box. She then jumped onto our squirrel enclosed fire while it was on and burned her front paws. They blistered and bled, crusted up and it was hard for her to walk normal. i lifted her when she needed and put her down when she needed as she had difficulty jumping (we have two large trees and window boxes for both cats). she is fully healed for about 2 months and she still pees in the box but poops outside it. i have got another litter box, taken the lid off the first box, tried different litter, moved the 2nd box around - but she still poops on the floor. She always did it near the first litter box but today she pooped in front of my kitchen sink! I am not sure what to do. Any advice?