Thriving Cat

Products for Cat Peeing Outside the Box and Other Behavior Problems Due to Anxiety


There are easy solutions for this problem behavior. First of all there are several lines of pharamone mimicking products that use scent to make your cat feel safe and content. When they feel content, cats usually won’t pee inappropriately. There can also be common medical reasons for this behavior such as a UTI. Test your cat’s urine simply and affordably with this litter additive that indicates changes in pH. If it turns color to indicate pH is too low or too high, schedule a vet appointment. Please read my quick review of the Cat UTI Home Test here. For less than $10 you can have peace of mind knowing if your cat needs to go to the vet. Cat UTI Home Test.


My top recommendation to keep cats feeling content is a tie between two products. I use them both simultaneously for my problem cat and he is now a dream. He is sweet, happy, content and doesn’t pee anywhere outside the box!

SENTRY brand Calming Collar for Cats

Available in a 3 pack at

Sentry brand Calming Collar for Cats

Sentry Calming Collar for Cats

Sentry and other brands make disposable collars for cats that have a scent that mimics the pharamones of a mother cat. The scent makes the cat feel safe and happy. They will stop or greatly reduce inappropriate peeing outside the box and will be less jumpy and skittish. This collar can also help calm a cat for travel, going to the vet, introducing a new pet or any other stressful situation. Unlike the more common pharamone diffuser products which we discuss later, the collars have many benefits. You only need a single collar on your cat. It goes everywhere with him so no need for multiple products throughout the house. This also means the collar is significantly cheaper than using the diffusers as a collar costs less than one diffuser and you would likely need  at least three diffusers in your home assuming it is small.

A word of caution however, make sure the collar is fitted properly. There is a danger of the collar getting stuck in the cat’s mouth if it is too loose. If the cat tries to get it off, he may get his lower jaw under it then get it stuck in his mouth. This happened to my cat when I first got the collars! If he struggles to get it off it could cut his mouth and make it bleed. Make sure the collar is fitting but not too tight. I am not sure what the manufacturer recommends but I make sure I am able to fit several of fingers between the collar and my cat’s neck. With a kitten I suppose this would be different.

Additional pros of the collar include the fact that you only have to keep track of one collar, not multiple diffusers so it is easier to swap it out on time and best of all, it seems to be more effective!


Spirit Essences brand Safe Space for Cats drops.

Safe Space for Cats drops

Spirit Essences brand Safe Space for Cats drops

Available at

This is Jackson Galaxy’s line of pet products.  The drops are applied to the cat’s fur. You put the drops in your hand, then rub it on the cat’s fur on his head, neck, chest or shoulders. The drops have very little smell (much more mild than the collar or diffuser so they might work better for someone sensitive to scent). They don’t seem like they would do anything. It looks like just a few drops of water so it is hard to believe this will fix such an entrenched problem behavior. It works like magic! My cat has not peed outside the box since I started using these drops in conjunction with the pharamone collar. This has been about 6 months of success!

There are yet more products out there that may work for your cat including over the counter liquid that gets mixed in food that doesn’t taste as bad as the prescription medicine. These products worked somewhat for my cat, but the pharamone collar and Safe Space for Cats drops are the ones that are the most easy and effective for us. The label design has recently changed but the product and name “Safe Space for Cats” is the same. You can check it out on Amazon here:



Comfort Zone Feliway Diffuser

Comfort Zone Diffuser for cats

Comfort Zone Diffuser for cats

Available at



SENTRY brand Calming Diffuser for Cats

Available at

The most common products in this category are plug-in diffusers. They look like a plug-in air freshener and work the same way. A bottle of liquid is heated and wafts through the room. This was the first such product I tried and it definitely has its pros and cons. Here they are,

Pros of plug in pharmone type diffusers:

  • Diffusers can have a calming effect on all the cats in your house at the same time, the more cats you have, the more cost effective this may be if you have multiple cats with anxiety.
  • Diffusers do help the situation and at first I thought they were great as my cat stopped peeing everywhere.
  • Some of them even smell good to humans like the lavender scented ones.

Cons of plug-in pharamone type diffusers:

        • They are only recommended to work in one room, so if you have a large house you could need a lot of diffusers.
        • If you need many diffusers throughout the house, this could get expensive.
        • The diffusers only last about a month so you need to stay on top of which ones are running low and change them quickly. As soon as they run out the cat may start peeing on things again. Some people say this happens even when they are low on liquid before it runs out.
        • Diffusers may on rare occasions (I have seen it happen myself) overheat and smoke! This could be a fire danger!
        • Finally, though they work great at the beginning, in my experience they aren’t enough and after a few months they just don’t seem to work as well. The peeing may start again if there aren’t enough diffusers throughout the house. Note: I never had a diffuser in every room. If I did, they probably would have been sufficient but this was just way too expensive.

Please leave any comments or questions below!



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  1. Rae Anne Pond

    I have 5 cats that hang out in three different rooms, two primarily separated by doors. We recently added a new puppy who is learning not to chase the cats. Not an easy feat but getting easier. One of the cats is badly pulling his hair out, we think it is stress. Will the diffusers work for him and should I buy three or two? Also, should I buy the collars for those cats suffering the most in addition to the diffusers?

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hi Rae Anne! Nice to see you here! The more diffusers the better in general, (they recommend one for every room, but I don’t know anyone who can afford that!) but you could start with 2 and see how they do. I think a lot will depend on your individual cats and also the layout of your house. If you just had one cat with an issue it would be easier to get a collar, or even two cats with issues and two collars. If you need to help all 5 of them, then the diffusers should be the way to go!

      Hopefully you won’t need the collars as well. Maybe just start with the diffusers and if necessary add the collars for the cats who are especially stressed.

      I see the Sentry brand diffusers are on sale through Amazon now. $11.

      Thanks for stopping by~!

    2. Jessica (Post author)

      Rae Anne,
      I did some looking on Amazon and I see the Sentry diffusers are very cheap on sale now, however the Feliway brand diffuser refills are cheaper than the Sentry brand refills. I don’t know which brand you want to go with, but it looks like the Sentry brand will be cheaper up front (especially with the current sale) while the Feliway brand will be cheaper to refill. The original plug in part should last a long time. The manufacture says it should be replaced at 6 months but I have read that many people use theirs for years with no problems.

  2. Heidi

    I have a cat who always makes poo outside the box, she is 14 years old and until about 2-3 years ago she didn’t do that. But she lived mostly outside while now she is mostly sleeping inside the house. I don’t think that she suffers from anxiety, but I believe that she is protesting against all the newcomers into the pet family. What are your thoughts here?

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Heidi,

      Here is a great link to an article that gives a bunch of suggestions as to why a cat may poo outside the box. Some I had not heard of before.

      Anxiety and constipation are the issues my cats have had. The cat may have a medical condition that causes pain and therefore associate going in the box with discomfort. My cat had constipation and always whined when he went to the box. I finally started mixing MiraLAX (human constipation medication) in powdered form into his food. You can use 1/8 of a teaspoon in their food twice a day. My veterinarian recommended this and it is a common treatment for cats. If 1/8 of a teaspoon does not work they can have 1/4 of a teaspoon.

      The article points out that cats can also have inflammatory bowel disease which causes cramping and pain and they might not be able to make it to the box in time. They should be checked out by a vet.

      Other causes can include a feeling of insecurity about being trapped in the box if there are other pets that cause them stress. They may feel safer going out in the open where they have escape routes. This sounds like it could apply to your cat if she is stressed about other pets. I know my youngest cat waits to ambush the others in the box sometimes. It never got really bad though, more just playing.

      An older cat could have arthritis and not be comfortable squatting in the box for the time it takes to poo also. The article recommends trying a box with an open top or possibly a different kind of litter if it is uncomfortable on their feet.

      Finally, it says some cats just don’t like to pee and poo in the same place! If she went outside before, maybe she was used to going in different spots. Do you have a lot of cat boxes available?

      So, I guess there are a lot of possible reasons! One of my cats did that also (the same one who had anxiety) and since we have treated him for the anxiety he doesn’t do it anymore.

      I hope you can figure it out! Thanks for your comment.

  3. Heidi

    Hi Jessica!
    Thanks for your long and very helpful answer. Yes, I see, there are many reasons for that behavior. One is excluded, that there is not enough time to get to the box, as the poo (of one cat) and the pi (of another) ar right besides the box. I have 3 cat boxes for 5 cats, one goes always out, but I think, you are right, they don’t want to do their things where somebody else might have done it.

    The tip with constipation is a good one, as the poo is super dry when I find it beside the box. I will try that one. – Increasing the difficult task to give different food to 6 different animals…

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Yes, it is a challenge with different medicines for different cats! Luckily, most of ours are pills (that I can put down Tigger’s throat as they are tiny) and drops etc. that are topical. All the natural supplements go into the wet food we mix up for all of them at once. This constipation medicine is the only individual medicine in food that we give now.

      It is pretty easy to try though as it shouldn’t hurt the other cats even if they happen to eat it too. I catch the other cat’s eating his food sometimes but no big problems so far…just some soft poos! It is pretty cheap and easy to try.
      Good luck!

  4. Heidi

    I will try to sort that out, Jessica!
    I have already one cat needing special food for his bladder stones, the other special food for liquid poo, another gets integrators for arthritis and now daily antibiotics for another one with blood in the pi…. Sometimes a little overwhelming ….
    But as we love them we do everything which we can do!

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      That sounds like a real challenge and very time consuming Heidi! I feel for you!


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