So you got up this morning and found a smelly wet spot on the carpet? Or you came home yesterday to discover a puddle on the linoleum? Regardless of when or where your cat’s been doing his “business,” a cat urinating in the house can drive you crazy fast. Although the problem can be frustratingly difficult to solve, there is always a solution. Even the best litter-box-trained cat can fall victim to certain issues that interfere with normal urination behavior. Getting to the root cause of the behavior change can help you decide what to do to stop the puddle machine.
Get to the Vet
Before you spend time combing through potential causes of inappropriate urination behavior, make an appointment with your vet. This is especially urgent if your cat’s suddenly started avoiding the litter box, is straining to urinate or has blood in her urine. Some conditions, like a blocked urethra and urinary tract infections, can be fatal, so a prompt vet check-up is important. Keep in mind, too, that diet can lead to certain urinary health problems, so you may need to change what your cat eats to keep him healthy in the future.
Check For Causes of Stress
Sometimes a perfectly healthy cat may starting peeing outside the litter box due to stress. Cats aren’t always as laid-back as they appear and changes in a cat’s environment or routine can stress her enough to cause behavioral problems. Moving to a new house, a new person or pet moving in or someone moving out are more obvious causes of stress, but they’re far from the only ones. Because cats can’t always make sense of human behavior, they can become stressed by things that seem normal to us.
Examples include increased activity in the house like a holiday season or spring cleaning, loud noises like nearby road work or home renovations, and a stray cat in the neighborhood that your cat can see or smell from your home. Some cats even become stressed by new furniture in the house. If you suspect stress is the cause of your cat’s change in urination behavior, but eliminating the cause of the stress isn’t possible, a cat pheromone diffuser can help keep kitty calm until she adjusts.
Rework the Litter Box
Sometimes a cat decides there’s something so unpleasant about her litter box that she’d rather just use the carpet, sofa or laundry basket instead. The size and type of box are one potential problem. Try a large-size, uncovered box that gives kitty plenty of room to turn around and get situated in.
Another factor to consider is litter type. Avoid scented or deodorized litters, which put many cats off. Although some cats do prefer soft, pellet-type litters, they seem to be in the minority. If you’ve been using pellet litter, switch to a gravel type. Put only an inch or less of litter in the box. Some cats seem to dislike the “sinking” feeling of walking in deep litter. Keep the box clear of high traffic areas and noisy home appliance.