Cats are wonderful little creatures, but sometimes they refuse to use their cat box, especially for peeing. Many times litter box problems are usually only associated with peeing. This is where your cat will use the box for pooping, but when it comes to peeing, they have decided that a nice corner, or a plastic bag left out on the floor, or a potted plant are better than that nice clean box of sand you put out for them. If your cat has been neutered or spayed, and he or she is still peeing on the floor and around the house, then this is the page for you! First, it is important to understand why your cat is peeing. It is usually not anything you are doing, it is related to his instincts and also his experience as a kitten.
First and foremost, anytime your cat exhibits different behavior than normal, it is always wise to see a vet to find out if there is a physiological reason why. One of the biggest reasons why cats start to pee around the house is urinary tract infections (UTI). Symptoms of a UTI are bloody or pinkish urine, squatting around the house with very little coming out, frequent peeing, and peeing in places besides the cat box. Your cat can have a UTI but not exhibit these symptoms, so it is best to take him in to rule out any health problems. If your cat is squatting to pee frequently and nothing is coming out at all, you need to get your cat to the vet as soon as possible as this can be a blockage of the urethra and is a very serious condition that can result in death in a short time.
Many times, a cat will start to pee when the owners move into a new house or apartment. If the previous tenants had animals, your cat will know this. If he smells other cats, he will feel the urge to cover up that smell with his smell. He is always trying to be the king cat, and a smell of another cat in the house that is dominating will make him very anxious to get that smell out of there as soon as possible, along with making him feel insecure. Keep in mind that cats and other animals are like people, they get scared when they don’t know what is going on. Moving is scary, the house is different, it smells different, and he is not in his same secure place anymore. Your cat will be anxious and scared, and peeing is one of the symptoms to these emotions.
If the previous tenants had cats, they may have peed in the house before. This will make your cat want to cover up their pee smell with his. This can also happen if a stray cat comes around the house but is never inside the house, especially if the cat marks the territory outside. Your cat can smell this, and he will try to react by peeing, thus making the stray cat aware of his presence. Cats who are indoor/outdoor cats will also learn to mark, but that is different than peeing. This page is for cats who are peeing. Please go to our Instinctual Behavior page to understand the difference between peeing and marking, and to determine what your cat is doing.
Sometimes multiple cat households will have only one cat who pees around the house. This is usually because the king of the “pride” is not allowing the one at the bottom of the order to use the cat box. I have seen cats peacefully using the cat box until another cat comes and attacks and chases them out of the box. What can a cat do if there is not another box available? Because of this, multiple cat households usually require more than one cat box.
When kittens are born, it is Mommy’s job to teach them how to live and survive. After two weeks, their eyes are open and they are able to start walking, a bit wobbly of course, but they can get around quite a bit. At this time, they can see Mommy using the litter box. At about 3-4 weeks of age, they are starting to try to use the box themselves, and Mommy teaches them to cover up their business by helping them. Many cat owners don’t realize this, and put the litter box far away from the kittens. When the kittens have to go, they only have the soft bedding to use to learn how to go properly. So, they pee and poop on the bedding and cover it up using the blankets. This is one of the reasons why kittens will pee on beds; it is how they learned. Another reason kittens might not use the litter box is because they were adopted out at too young of an age. Kittens should be 8 weeks old before being adopted. They need that time to become confident and well adjusted. Cats who are adopted out at an earlier age will have more problems with the litter box than those who are adopted at 8 weeks or older.
Do not fret, you can solve this problem, it is only a matter of diligence and patience. Please go to our peeing solutions page to find out how!