Cat lover or not, there’s nothing much worse in the universe of pet ownership than cat pee that’s not in a litter box. Then come the questions for your cat. How could you? Really, the couch? How am I supposed to get this smell out? Are you going to pee here again? Furthermore, why?
It’s the “why” in the line of questioning that’s really important here. It’s a sad fact that cats are removed from homes because people just can’t deal when a cat pees on things. We get that it’s gross! But remember this: Though they have a reputation for being spiteful, cats aren’t peeing on your couch because they think it’s ugly. They’re actually trying to communicate with you. In order to hear what they are saying, you have to put your pee detective hat on and get to the root of the problem. Once you do, you and your cat will live happily ever after in odor-free harmony!
Your Cat is Marking Their Territory
Peep this scenario. Your cat is looking out the window and spots another cat. Suddenly his eyes become wide and his pupils become pinpricks. His tail starts thumping on the floor. Then he turns around and pees against the wall. In this situation, your cat is saying, “Hey! That cat had the nerve to enter my ecosystem!”
What you can do about it: This is a tough one, your cat is assertive (perhaps aggressive) and denying your cat access to windows isn’t an option. The solution is probably to get your cat to chill out a bit. Here are a few options the folks in our industry have tried with success:
- A plug-in solution that releases a pheromone that relaxes your cat
- A chill out tonic or treat made with natural herbs
- Cannabis or hemp-based treats or capsules
If those don’t work, hit up your vet for something stronger. Some medications that relax humans, like Prozac, are available in animal dosages. A compounding pharmacy will put the medication in flavored liquid form, which is key, as cats aren’t known to swallow pills.
There’s Infighting with Another Cat in the Home
This kind of falls under the “marking territory” category of cat pee. If you have more than one cat, the more dominant one may be preventing the other cats from using the same litter box. Basically, the dominant cat is saying, “This is my toilet. Go find your own!” The less dominant kitty has to find another place to pee, which is usually on something you love or in one of your plants.
What you can do about it: As much as you don’t want to be the cat owner with multiple litter boxes, the best way to tackle this is to buy another litter box. You’re doing your less dominant cat a huge favor though, because they will be able to use their own box without stress.
Your Cat Hates Their Litter
If you’re still reading this article, you’ve probably ascertained that cats are sensitive creatures with particular needs and tastes. So now you know that it’s entirely possible that your cat hates the litter in their box. The reason some cats like to pee in plants is because dirt is soft and feels nice under their paws. Also, this is the most natural place for them to pee in your home. Litter varies widely in texture and scents and it could be that the litter is too rough or perfumed for your cat to deal with.
What you can do about it: First, try another brand of litter. If that doesn’t do the trick, try a litter attractant. You sprinkle this magic stuff in the box and hope that your cat can’t stay away. Some litters even have the attractant mixed in.
Your Cat Is Actually Sick
Sometimes a very patient owner will try everything they can think of and their cat still won’t pee in the box. If the issue worsens to the point that the cat is never using the box, it’s likely a medical issue and it’s time to see the vet. Book an appointment ASAP if your cat is peeing and/or pooping on your bed, pillow or other personal items. In this situation, your cat is telling you, “Hey. I feel really bad. Can you help me out here?”
What you can do about it: Besides seeing a vet, there are litters on the market that can detect cat health problems in advance. This is a really good option for older cats or a cat you suspect might not be feeling 100%.
While dealing with cat pee is incredibly disgusting and frustrating, try to have patience with your cat while you go through the process of diagnosing the problem. It’s hard not to take it personally when your cat pees on your most expensive shoes or on your favorite piece of furniture, but seriously, they’re not trying to spite you! Something is wrong with them physically or something is off about their environment and they feel threatened, encroached upon, powerless, neglected or scared. Once you identify and resolve the underlying problem, your cat will start to feel better. He or she will resume occupying the litter box, and more importantly, that special place in your heart.