Kitty may be the most wonderful of cats, maybe sometimes you want to abandon him (or worse ...) when you wake up and step in a puddle of pee that he will have left on the tiles in middle of the night . And it's even worse when you discover that he has chosen to relieve himself on your bed or on your sofa ... The question then arises: how to make him find the path of the litter ? To scold him or put his nose in his pee would be useless (and it is even frankly not recommended). Two rules must be respected : finding the cause of the problem and try to solve it, and acting quickly so that the wrong behaviour does not become a habit.
Health or behavioural problems ? If your cat is used to being clean and suddenly starts to urinate out of the litter box, you should first rule out the possibility that it is a health problem. Different disorders, such as cystitis or hormonal disorders, can cause incontinence problems in cats. This is also the case of kidney problems or diabetes, common in older cats. In case of doubt, you will have to take Kitty to the veterinarian.
The onset of urinary disorders may also be related to a stressful state of your cat. This may be a recent move or the arrival of a baby in the house, for example. If so, take the time to take care of kitty and make sure he can dispose of a quiet location. You can also appeal to a feline behaviouralist. Finally, urinating on the furniture or the walls of the house can be a phenomenon of "marking" the territory. This can happen with uncastrated cats or when several cats live together in a space that is too small.
A litter problem ? None of the above cases seems to apply to kitty ? So the problem may just be the litter. The tray should be large enough for your cat to scratch and turn around. Preferably, also avoid closed litter boxes. They may be more practical (litter grains can not be found anywhere in the room), but cats may feel uncomfortable and trapped, with no possibility of escaping in case of danger. The ideal way is to position the litter tray in a place where your cat will have visibility, but quiet and not too close to where he is eating.
Cats are also animals that appreciate cleanliness. Make sure to keep your litter clean by removing the droppings daily and change bedding at least once a week. Also make sure that bad odours do not settle by cleaning the bin regularly with water and a non-perfumed product. You can also use a little diluted bleach (its ammonia-like odour may even cause your cat to urinate in its litter), but avoid the white vinegar whose scent strongly displeases cats.
Cleaning and preventing your cat from starting again
Cat urine has a strong and very tenacious smell. If Kitty has peed on a piece of furniture or on the carpet, it will be necessary to quickly clean. Enzymatic detergents, capable of destroying the bacteria responsible for bad odours, are the most effective. You can also clean with a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda (or vinegar and soda water). Lemon can also help to reduce bad odours. Avoid, on the other hand, essential oils, which can be dangerous for cats.
Once the surface is cleaned, it will be necessary to try to prevent kitty to return to the scene of his crime to do the same thing again! Aluminum or double-sided tape installed on the piece of furniture or the carpet are effective, but not aesthetically pleasing. You can instead deposit citrus peels, as cats hate the odour. Alternatively: make a repellent by mixing two tablespoons of fresh ground pepper in a glass of hot water. Once the liquid has cooled down, you will have to spray it. And it works also for cats in the vicinity who come to urinate on the walls or plants of the garden !