Cats are the cleanest pets – they groom themselves all day long and, usually, only use the litter box. It is very unpleasant to wake up one day and notice that your beloved fluff urinated outside the litter box or, even worse, on you! But what can you do if your cat suddenly pees in bed instead of using its litter tray? Why do cats soil in other places and, how can you get rid of this unpleasant behavior? Find out what causes this messy little problem and how you can help your cat in this situation.
Urinating outside the litter box, including peeing on their owners, is one of the most common behavioral problems that cat parents face. Many cats that urinate in places other than their toilet often have a problem with it and refuse to use the litter tray. Some, however, have a communication issue (psychological) and, in fact, mark their territory, while others can suffer from various medical conditions, which prevent them from using their usual toilet.
We will analyze them one by one in the following lines.
Why did my cat pee on me while I was sleeping?
If we were to set a percentage by sex, males exhibit this odd behavior more often than females.
In males (especially the neutered ones), inappropriate urination occurs most often out of the desire to mark their territory, therefore, to dominate. They may as well pee (or spray) on the couch, in the corners, or anywhere other than in their litter box.
If you have a female cat at home and it suddenly starts peeing in other places, you should know that cats do this if they are anxious or stressed; however, it can also happen to males. Therefore, it would be best to think about what has changed in your household lately –maybe you are spending more time away, you have brought a new pet into the house, a new family member has come, such as an infant, etc., any minor change (for us) can trigger this behavior in a cat, because it feels that something has modified in its territory.
They can also pee in bed, not only on you; in fact, your cat may have wanted to pee in there, and your foot may have been simply in its way.
Another cause, which may be surprising at first glance, is that for your cat, the bed is the “optimal spare litter”, being not only absorbent and soft but it also provides a safe shelter for its “business”. It has your scent (as the owner), which gives it a sense of security and safety. As well, the fact that the bed is raised and does not have to sit on the floor, as it happens with a normal litter box, makes your sensitive fur ball feel even safer.
Peeing on you or on the bed can also occur due to some medical problems, which will be discussed below.
Why does my cat pee when I leave?
Usually, dogs are the ones who are so happy that they pee on them when they see us. But, as in cats, in dogs, this behavior often has psychological causes, which will be explained in detail in the following lines.
Why does my cat urinate when I play with it?
Like urinating when you leave home, this is an anxious behavior, seen most commonly in dogs, being caused by nervous overstimulation.
Why does my cat pee when I pick it up?
If you pick your cat up and it starts peening, even if there are a few drops, it is possible that when you take your cat in your arms, you squeeze its bladder in a way that it can become empty. There are even certain techniques that veterinarians teach owners to use to manually empty their pet’s bladder. So, next time, be careful not to grab your cat by the belly but by the armpits, when you want to lift it up and take it in your arms.
Why my cat peed on my clothes or in my shoes?
Usually, a cat pees on clothes when it wants to mark its territory. Maybe you petted or interacted with another cat or you simply came home with a strange odor that seems too strong to your cat (although you may not feel it); in any circumstance, there are times when your cat can feel the need to cover it, leaving its scent all over your clothes or shoes.
Another reason is that your cat just wants to reinforce the bond between you two or to revenge. To eliminate the odor of cat urine from your shoes, you can use the following solutions that are found in anyone’s home and can be quite effective: vodka or alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine (mixed with water).But be careful, iodine stains! Use it only on dark footwear!
Do not use chlorine, as the pungent smell of this substance may make your cat want to pee in your shoes again.
You can get rid of the pee smell from your clothes by washing them.
There are also various solutions specially designed to eliminate the scent of cat urine, which are usually sold in pet shops or veterinary practices. The most popular products are those that remove urine stains, neutralize odors and have natural ingredients.
Why cats urinate outside of the litter box?
It is unpleasant to wake up one day and notice that your cat peed outside the litter tray, although, until today, everything was perfect. The reasons why cats can urinate outside the litter box (on the carpet, on the couch, in bed, on clothes, in shoes, on us, etc.) are multiple, from the simple fact that its toilet is not cleaned, to certain medical conditions, which we will discuss below. Other reasons are psychological, such as stress, anxiety, and depression.
In short, the psychological causes can occur as a result of an internal illness, which can make your cat stop eating or move freely (such as arthritis). Another reason is the arrival of a new family member (a newborn, boyfriend/girlfriend moving in, etc.) or maybe you just changed the address, therefore, its territory, and your cat needs some time to adjust to its new surroundings.
If you have changed the litter recently, maybe your cat just doesn’t like the substrate you’re using. Instead, try shredded newspaper, wood shavings, chicken feed, sand, horse bedding pellets, potting soil, etc. However, keep in mind that if your cat suffers from respiratory illnesses, some of the substrates mentioned above may cause harm (such as an asthma attack because they are too dusty).
If you haven’t changed its litter (texture or brand) recently, and your cat suddenly started peeing in places other than its toilet, it’s in pain, it meows, struggles to pee, urinates often, doesn’t eat anymore, it’s apathetic, etc., go with it to a veterinary consultation in order to establish a correct diagnosis.
Why my cat started peeing in the sink or in the flower pots?
What can be more unpleasant than wanting to put the dirty dishes in the sink and get a scent of cat pee from the drain?
This usually happens when the cat is in pain from certain medical conditions (urinary tract infections, kidney stones, arthritis) and begins to associate the litter box with the pain. To avoid that connection, your cat will start using the bathroom or kitchen sink or even the flower pots.
What to do: visit your nearest veterinarian to ensure the proper treatment for its illness or (if it’s not medical related) cover your sink after you used it and move the flower pots away from your cat’s sight.
Do cats pee outside the litter box when scared or angry?
Cats that are upset with us can do some bad things, such as peeing in our shoes. For example, when my cat is upset with me, she treats me with her back and doesn’t even look at me when I call her, but she never peed in my shoes or on my clothes. As in humans or dogs, every individual is unique and will react in its own way! And that’s why some cats can intentionally tear or break things, destroy curtains, pee in shoes, on clothes or anywhere outside the litter tray because they know this will lead to a reaction from us! In other words, they adopt this inappropriate behavior because they want attention and, they do not do things when they are angry or just out of spite.
Besides, a sudden scare could accidentally unload your cat’s bladder, but this happens extremely rarely because the cats are always alert and ready for action!
Why does my cat pee on my stuff when I’m gone?
If this only happens when you are away (even for a few hours), and the rest of the time, your cat urinates in the litter box, it may be separation anxiety, although many people like to think their cat misses them when it pees on their things.
If you have a change in your schedule or suddenly stop spending so much time with your cat, it could urinate on your side of the bed or on personal things as a way to cope, making it feel closer to you in your absence.
Other signs that show your cat may be suffering from separation anxiety are:
- the stress that occurs when you prepare to leave – the cat starts to meow, chases you around the house, or hides;
- follows you from room to room when you are at home with it;
- cries after you leave home;
- excessive grooming – areas with missing hair may appear;
- destructive behavior –your cat may start scratching the doors;
My cat is neutered. Why did it pee on me?
Although this happens most often when cats are not castrated, in this context, the cause may be just a marking of their territory, a psychological or medical condition.
To determine the exact cause of this behavior, consult your veterinarian!
Urination in stray vs. domestic cats
The reasons why our domestic cats pee outside the litter box are mentioned above, but the stray ones are not far from them either. Wild cats do not have a specific place to urinate (maybe a certain region) because they are always looking for food (prey), and their territory covers much more space than a cat living in a house or apartment. They may pee outside their area if they are in another’s cat region and want to mark it with their scent, or have some medical problems that cause them to urinate often.
Why do cats pee on other people or their belongings?
Does the family friend’s shirt smell like other pets or, does it have a scent that is not exactly to your cat’s liking? This behavior of peeing on strangers or their belongings is one of marking the territory. Cats do this to signal their property, to show that they are sexually available or when they feel threatened or stressed.
Most common diseases that may make cats urinate outside the litter box
In kittens, urinating outside the litter box is normal if they are still in the process of learning how to use the toilet. Otherwise, in young adults and older cats, urination outside the litter tray may appear in the following medical conditions:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs) – If your cat often goes to its litter box or urinates outside of it, but the amount of urine is very small, it may have a urinary tract infection.UTIs can lead to partial or complete blockage of the urethra, but if are found and treated in time, they poses no danger.
- Painful bladder syndrome or interstitial cystitis – a neurological disease that affects the cat’s bladder. Pets suffering from this condition will try to urinate frequently but without success. Interstitial cystitis can cause the cat to pee outside the litter box, but only because of the urgent need to urinate or the associated pain. Keep in mind that it is a life-threatening disease for your cat and that’s why it is extremely important to be properly diagnosed and treated.
- Urinary blockages – if your cat has developed kidney stones (kidney blockage) or other blockages (ureteral, bladder, or urethral), it will try to eliminate often, but there won’t be any urine. These cases are also very painful, so your cat may meow while trying to use its litter box. Urinary blockage is a medical emergency that can also endanger your cat’s life.
- Diabetes – this medical condition can cause your cat to drink more water than usual (among other clinical signs); so, it will urinate more often. If diabetes isn’t diagnosed in time it can even cause the death of your cat.
• Arthritis or other diseases that affect cats’ mobility can also cause them to pee outside the litter box due to pain, which can occur when your cat is entering or leaving the toilet. These happen most often in senior cats, being diseases of old age. Arthritis is a common disease, and it is not life-threatening, but it decreases the quality of life of your cat.
In all cases, the diagnosis will be established only by the veterinarian, who will also institute the appropriate treatment.
Cats are not mischievous animals that do certain things, such as urinating on our things, out of spite. They can pee outside the litter box for various reasons, which fall into three categories: physical (certain medical conditions), psychological (anxiety, stress, or depression), or communication problems (marking the territory or the need for attention from the owner).
The most common medical conditions that can lead to this behavior are urinary tract infections, urinary blockages (renal, ureteral, or urethral), interstitial cystitis, diabetes, arthritis, or diseases that affect a cat’s mobility.
Do not punish your cat if it pees outside its litter box because it can cause even more stress to your fluffy friend! Recognize and limit it to help your cat get over this problem sooner and return to normal behavior.
If your pet meows when it pees, urinates too often, tries to urinate, but without success, can no longer move properly, has difficulty entering or leaving the litter box, pay a visit to the veterinarian for a detailed consultation as soon as possible.
You can also try changing the substrate or even the litter box to eliminate one or more causes for which your cat may urinate outside its toilet.
I hope this article answered all your questions about why cats urinate in other places than their litter trays!
Please Share your Thoughts in the Comments Below!
Happy Cat Keeping!