If your cat has ever peed or sprayed in your house, you know how difficult it can be to get those harsh odors out of carpets or furniture. After a long day at work, the last thing you want to come home to is a smelly mess. So if you’re asking yourself, how do I stop my cat from peeing in the house? we have your answer in this guide!
The first step to dealing with marking behaviors is to identify if your cat is spraying or urinating. Knowing which behavior is occurring will help you solve the problem and keep your house clean and your cat healthier.
Cat spraying vs peeing
First, identify if your cat is spraying or urinating. You’ll be able to tell by the posture your feline takes when marking. Cats urinate by squatting onto horizontal surfaces and leaving a larger pool of urine. If your cat is spraying, they will stand up, lift their tail, and project towards a surface; you’ll also notice their tail quivering.
For those times you don’t catch your cat in the act, know that in general cats spray on vertical surfaces, like the wall, and urinate on horizontal surfaces, like the floor.
Why do cats spray or pee outside of the litter box?
The answer to why do cats spray? is usually pretty simple. In most cases, male and female cats (typically those not neutered or spayed) spray as a way of communicating and marking territory. Cats urinate outside of the litter box because they have a behavioral or medical issue—which is not so simple.
Keep in mind that if your cat urinates outside of the litter box, it’s not because they are trying to be a menace. This type of behavior can be due to stress, urinary tract infections, litter box issues, and so much more. Here’s a deeper look into the reason this behavior is taking place.
Cats that are experiencing health issues are more likely to urinate outside of the litter box, rather than spraying. Health issues associated with not using the litter box include bladder stones, urinary tract infections, chronic kidney disease, arthritis, diabetes, cystitis, and metabolic disease. It's a good idea to get your cat evaluated by a veterinarian if they’re having accidents outside their litter box.
Cats mark their territory for mating purposes and to signal ownership. Marking can occur when other cats are in the vicinity. Cats will also mark their territory when they feel threatened or stressed by other animals.
Getting your male cat neutered or female cat spayed is the best way to reduce territorial spraying. Another great way to help deter your cat from spraying or urinating in your home is to use an enzyme-based cleaner like this pet-safe cleaner spray. Not only will this cat pee deterrent help stop your cat from marking in the same spot, but it will also eliminate the intense odor and stains.
Feral cat outside
Say you don't have another cat indoors causing your cat to spray or urinate. If your feline sees a feral or stray cat outside, this may trigger them to mark for a territorial reason, to taunt the outdoor cat, or even for mating purposes.
Change in routine or environment
Cats are very sensitive to changes in their environment, which can cause them to inappropriately urinate or spray. Something as simple as redecorating can trigger your feline. Other environmental changes that might affect your cat are moving to a new home, adopting another pet, or switching to a new type of litter.
Stress can be a big trigger causing your cat to spray or pee around your home. When a cat feels anxious, scared, or threatened, marking is a natural response. Triggers can include other pets, not having a safe space to relax, or disruptions to their daily routine. Give your cat a comforting space like a cat orb when they need some additional privacy.
Cats like routine, so irregular meals can cause stress. A great way to combat inconsistent feeding times is to try a timed automatic pet feeder and food dispenser so you can keep to a feeding schedule. You’ll also want to be sure they like the food you're feeding them!
It's common for cats to have a litter preference. They may avoid using the litter box if they don't like the scent or texture of the litter you're using. If you notice your cat straying from the litter box, consider using a different type of litter like CATLINK mars bentonite sand, for soft, unscented, and odor-absorbing litter your cat is sure to appreciate.
Old urine smells or dirty litter box
Because cats can be territorial, old urine smells from other animals can trigger a negative response. Recycled pet trees or moving into a home whose previous owners had a cat can lead to territorial marking. It's also important to keep your cat’s litter box clean, as cats aren't a fan of using dirty boxes.
Take the hassle out of cleaning your litter box constantly with the CATLINK self cleaning scooper. This self-cleaning, automatic litter box will separate soiled litter into a drawer below as soon as your cat is finished using the box. And with the app, you’ll be notified when the waste drawer needs to be emptied.
Litter box location
If the litter box is placed in an area where your cat feels uneasy doing their business, like high-traffic or loud areas of the home, it may cause them to find other places to go. Pay attention to if your cat is peeing in the same spot outside of the litter box and try moving their box to that location.
Too few litter boxes
The rule of thumb for traditional scooping litter boxes is you should always have one more litter box than you have cats. So, one cat = two litter boxes, two cats = three litter boxes. If the litter box is occupied or soiled by another cat, it may deter your feline from using it. Consider getting an automatic litter box like the CATLINK self cleaning scooper, which can better accommodate multiple cats due to its self-cleaning technology and waste management capabilities.
How do I stop my cat from peeing in the house?
When it comes to your cat urinating or spraying in your home, there are actions that you can take to help combat the problem. Now that you know why the marking could be occurring, let's answer this question: how do I stop my cat from peeing in the house?
Find the source
Start by identifying the reason behind your cat urinating around your home. See if an easy fix would solve the problem, like giving the house a deep clean, getting a new litter box, or moving the box to a new location.
Get your cat spayed or neutered
Spaying or neutering your cat will immensely decrease the likelihood of them spraying in your home. According to International Cat Care, 90% of males and 95% of females show a significant decrease in spraying after being fixed.
Plug-in products and sprays such as Feliway help promote good behavior due to their cat pheromone technology. The pheromones mimic what mother cats produce to calm their kittens. These products are clinically proven to reduce stress and help eliminate stress-related behaviors like marking.
Visit the vet
Look for other symptoms alongside your cat’s inappropriate urination like blood in urine, excessive drinking, lethargy, or even aggression. If these symptoms or other unusual signs present themselves, visit your vet.
For situations where other symptoms aren't present but all else has failed to stop your cat from marking, your vet may be able to assist you with professional recommendations or an exam to rule out any medical issues.
Activity and stimulation
Keeping your cat active and stimulated will help tame bad behavior. Cats that don’t get mental and physical stimulation are more likely to develop behavioral problems. Give your feline a space of their own to express energy like the cat pyramid. Another great option for stimulation is this rechargeable laser pointer, which is sure to keep your cat entertained.
Litter box on each level of the home
If you live in a home with multiple floors, you may want to have a litter box on every level of your home. If the litter box is upstairs and you spend your time downstairs, your cat may be more likely to find a space closer to you to do their business.
Cats can be private animals, so their litter box should be somewhere quiet and secure. Low-traffic areas are a good place for litter boxes. Observe your cat to see if they have a favorite spot for privacy.
Say goodbye to marking in the house
Finally, never punish your cat for spraying in your home or peeing outside of the litter box. This can cause your feline to become more stressed and make the situation worse. Frequent urinating outside of the litter box is often due to health issues, stressors, or litter box problems. Cats don’t understand punishment, so the correct route to fix behavioral problems is to train your cat and show them love and affection. Over time you can help redirect unwanted behaviors!
Still wondering, how do I stop my cat from peeing in the house? Keep your cat’s litter box fresh and get notifications with the WiFi-enabled, self-cleaning Scooper! The Litter-Robot 3 Connect will leave a clean bed of litter every time your cat goes. And with the app, you’ll be able to monitor your cat’s litter box habits right from your phone.
Yes, both females and male cats spray. Spraying is common for mating purposes as well as for territorial marking.
Spraying is normal and appropriate behavior for cats that aren’t neutered or spayed. Scent is one of the ways cats communicate with each other.
Because spraying is normal behavior for cats, you should not punish them for it. Spaying or neutering your cat can greatly reduce this behavior.