When your cat starts urinating in places other than their litter box, it can be quite frustrating. Here is why they might be peeing on your bed, rugs, or couch and what you can do about it.
Medical reasons for inappropriate urination
If something is medically wrong with your cat, it can cause them to pee in places they shouldn’t.
Urinary tract infections can be a main cause of concern if your cat is peeing on a rug or bed. Just like in humans, urinary tract infections can lead to bladder infections which can be extremely uncomfortable, and a cat may feel like they need to urinate constantly.
Bladder stones and crystals can also lead to inappropriate urination. Bladder stones and crystals can form in a cat’s bladder if their urine is too acidic or if they are not eating food with the correct amount of nutrients.
When you see your cat perform any kind of abnormal behavior, the first step is always making an appointment with your veterinarian. They can get a detailed history and collect urine samples for diagnostic testing. These tests will tell the veterinarian if your cat has a medical condition causing them to urinate in places outside of their litter box. If they do, then your cat will be prescribed an antibiotic if they test positive for a bladder infection. If crystals are seen in the urine, your vet will recommend a specific diet formulated to help dissolve these crystals such as Hill’s Prescription Diet C/D.
Behavioral reasons for inappropriate urination
So, what happens if all the tests come back negative for infection and stones? Your cat may be peeing all over your house because of spite or because they are stressed. It’s fact, changes in a cat’s environment that is not welcomed in your cat’s eyes may lead to them spray on walls or urinate on the bed. If the cat is in a new environment, they may also feel the need to mark. The trick is to find out what has changed in your cat’s life.
When a behavior is the reason behind a cat inappropriately urinating, it can become a bit lengthier to fix than antibiotic help.
When you catch your cat peeing in their litter box, reward them for their good behavior with their favorite treat. This behavior modification is called positive reinforcement; you are rewarding your cat for their good behavior. Think of it as housebreaking a new puppy, soon your cat will relate the treat with going to the bathroom in the litterbox.
In a multi-cat household, the number of cats should equal the number of litter boxes. If you have a solo kitty, increasing their number of litter boxes can also help.
Another way to help your cat’s stress levels is to use a feline pheromone diffuser, such as a product called Feliway. This helpful diffuser just plugs into an outlet and releases “feel good” pheromones into the air. This will help your cat feel more relaxed. It also comes in a hand-held spray to be used on blankets.
A cat that decides suddenly to urinate outside of the litter box can be frustrating for a cat owner. Talk with your veterinarian if you observe the behavior and move onto the next step.
Is your cat spraying even after they’ve been fixed? Find out ways to prevent that from happening by reading this article.