It's been a long day and you need some rest. You head for your bed, and then you see it (and smell it too) – cat urine. Unfortunately many cat owners discover urine on their bed, clothes, shoes, and other personal items from time to time. Below we outline some of the common causes for this behavior along with steps you can take to make sure your cat pees in the box, not on your stuff.
Cats often use pee to mark territory, and they do this more often when there is more than one cat in the home. Young male cats claim territory by marking or spraying it with urine, and females can use urine marking to attract a mate. They usually do this by turning their rear towards a surface and shooting urine at whatever they are marking. Has your cat been spayed or neutered? If not, they are far more likely to mark territory in this way. This is another great reason to make sure all of your pets are fixed.
A cat who isn't feeling well will often urinate outside of their box. They usually do this because of urinary tract infections, which can be very painful for your pet. Your cat might cry when urinating or pee right in front of you to get your attention and let you know there's a problem. So listen to your cat and, if you suspect your cat is ill, take them to the vet right away. Urinary tract infections are very painful and can even lead to fatal complications if not treated.
Clean the Box
You share something in common with your cat: you both dislike dirty bathrooms. Always keep your pet's litter box clean and be sure to fill it with plenty of litter. Cats don't appreciate peeing in a box without enough litter as their urine can splash back on them. If the box is dirty, your cat might seek out another spot to pee, like your bed or clothes pile. Be sure to scoop the box once a day (at least) and clean the entire box with a mild detergent once a week. Have multiple cats? It's recommended to have a box for each cat plus one extra.
If your cat doesn't fit any of the descriptions above, they could be suffering from anxiety (yep, cats get anxious just like people). Have there been big changes to your household? Have you moved? Maybe you brought in a new family member or pet? Has your schedule changed and now you work long hours? There are many ways you can bring stress to your cat and cause them to act out to get your attention. To mitigate anxiety, be sure to give your cat plenty of attention and love, and spend quality time playing or brushing them.
As mentioned above, go to a vet if you suspect any health problems. And be sure to block access to places where your cat likes to pee that aren't the box. Also thoroughly clean wherever the cat marks – the cat will return to the spot and pee again if they smell urine. Be sure to put litter boxes away from busy areas and in quiet spots if possible. If nothing seems to work or you have trouble, talk to your vet to figure out the best way to work through this problem with your feline friend.
By Jay Matthews
About the Author
Jay Matthews has been writing professionally for over a decade. He's been an animal lover for even longer. When he's not creating articles or copywriting, he's slowly chipping away at a science fiction novel. He lives with his family and their cat Koko in Los Angeles.