Cats normally go to the bathroom inside their litter box. But when they’re urinating all over your house – and anywhere but the litter box – it starts to become a problem. You want to make sure that your cat is healthy and your home is clean and doesn’t smell bad. You’re wondering: Why is my cat peeing everywhere? And should I be concerned about medical conditions?
Here’s the scoop on house soiling, why your kitty has decided not to use the litter box, and what to do about it.
Your Cat Has Medical Problems
Unfortunately, your cat might be experiencing some medical issues that are causing her to pee everywhere.
Idiopathic stress-induced cystitis is the most common medical cause, and it means that your cat is experiencing inflammation in her bladder. This inflammation leads her to believe that she has to go right away because it is painful.
The most common cause of feline idiopathic cystitis is bladder stones, followed by urinary tract infections (UTI), bladder tumors, kidney disease, and urinary crystals.
By taking your feline friend to the veterinarian once you notice she’s acting differently or peeing outside of the box, you can get treatment and hopefully, she will get back to her old self quickly.
Your Cat Has Behavioral Issues
Along with cat health problems, another one of the common causes of cats peeing outside of their litter box is behavioral issues. There may be different stressors around your house that cause your cat to become anxious and frustrated.
Some stressors that may be affecting cat’s behavior include a new cat in the house, noisy kids, new people in your home, mirrors, new smells, distractions outside of the window, and a shift in your schedule, such as when you start working new hours.
There are a number of ways cat owners can reduce stressors in the home. First, gradually shift your schedule if you can instead of making an abrupt change. Teach your kids to be quiet around your cat and gentle when they engage with her, and put her litter box away from the window so she has a private area, like the den instead of the living room, to go to the bathroom.
Avoid citrus smells, keep the windows open when you’re cleaning, and try to ensure she isn’t near any mirrors. If new people are coming into your home, keep everything else the same, including her feeding times and when you give her affection and play with her.
Your Cat Is Territorial
Inappropriate elimination also occurs because your cat may be acting territorial in response to a new pet, houseguests, and children. To cope with these stressors, they start peeing outside of the box because their own smell makes them feel secure.
Normally, a cat uses their scent glands on its tail base, face, and paws to mark places around your house as its territory. You may notice that your cat loves to rub herself all over your furniture and then sniff it. The pheromones she gives off reassure her that these things are hers and she is safe.
When you’re looking into the answer to “Why is my cat peeing everywhere?” you’ll discover that you can increase the pheromone levels in your home and combat inappropriate urination by spraying or diffusing Feliway in your house.
Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that will hopefully reduce the chances of your cat going around the house. Another way you can combat territorial behavior is by giving your cat a cat tree or another type of vertical surface so she can take a higher position and feel more empowered. If you have a multi-cat household, you can put different cat trees, litter boxes, toys, and feeding areas around the house so they get some time to themselves.
Your Cat Is Older
Older cats aren’t as nimble as they used to be. Medical reasons like arthritis prevent them from being able to reach their litter box anymore to poop. Additionally, if the litter box has high sides, then your older cat may not be able to climb in.
To solve the issue of inappropriate elimination in your older cat, you could give her a litter box that is uncovered or has lower sides, as well as make sure she doesn’t have to climb any stairs or go far to reach her litter box.
Your Cat Has Litter Box Problems
If your cat had issues with her litter box in the past, she may be experiencing litter box aversion and might not want to use it now. She could have an aversion to her litter box or new litter if she peed around it but not in it.
To get your cat to pee in the box and eliminate cat urine around your home, you could give her an uncovered box, which is what she prefers. Since cats’ sense of smell is 60 to 100 times stronger than ours, she may not like what she smells when she is using a covered litter box.
Make sure that the litter tray is in a quiet area so she won’t have to use it in front of people. The type of litter is important, too. Your cat’s litter box should contain unscented litter and it should be at least 2 inches deep so that your cat can dig and bury. The clumping kind works well, too.
Pet owners should also keep the litter tray very clean, which means scooping it once or a few times per day.
Your Cat Likes to Pee on Other Surfaces
If you smell cat pee in your carpet or furniture or see it on your wood floors or tiles, this could mean that your cat simply prefers to pee on different surfaces. If your cat’s litter tray is not suitable, then she may start to go somewhere that is – think somewhere quiet and clean.
What you’ll need to do is block off access to the area where she is peeing. Then, you should do a deep cleaning right away to eliminate odors and use Nature’s Miracle or another type of enzymatic cleaner. Toss what you can in the washing machine.
If you use bleach or a cleaner with a strong smell, your cat could start peeing on it, so always go the natural, pet-friendly route with your cleaning supplies.
Reducing Peeing Issues in Your Home
By getting to the root cause of your cat’s inappropriate urination, you can ensure that she is in good health and your home is going to stay clean and beautiful.
Take your furry family member to the vet to rule out any medical conditions. If it’s behavioral, all it may take is a few tweaks to get your cat using her litter box and everything going back to normal once again.