The short answer is…no.The long answer is that you may have done something to upset the cat and, in effect, caused the inappropriate urination behavior.
From a human perspective, wetting on someone’s floor or furniture sounds like a reasonable form of passive-aggressive revenge for a creature that can’t talk and only weighs nine pounds.
The story usually goes something like this: your cat jumped on the counter for the third time two minutes after you shooed him down, you got frustrated and shouted or maybe chased him out of the room. Later that day, you find a wet spot on your carpet. Clear case of her getting back at you, right?
Except from a cat’s perspective, that doesn’t make much sense.
Two Reasons Cats Don’t Pee for Revenge
1) Cats don’t necessarily get angry for the same reasons people do. Scolding is a good example. If you yell at your cat for doing something wrong, he may have no idea why you’re being so loud and dramatic. He’s likely to become anxious and scared of your strange behavior. (Will you attack? Will you bite?) That stress causes unusual behavior like peeing outside the little box.
2) Cats don’t mind their own pee that much. Sure, they won’t eat food near the litter box and (usually) don’t pee near their favorite sleeping places, but they are willing to use it for territory marking. They don’t see why you “have to” clean it up. They’re not disgusted by it and probably wouldn’t expect you to be, either.
To a cat, urinating is just a bodily function for either waste elimination or marking. It’s unlikely it would ever occur to a cat that you would consider his urine to be a weapon.
A Case in Point
My Dad had a cat whom he swore did indeed take revenge. He claimed whenever he or my step-mom scolded the cat, the cat would go into their bedroom and either claw a hole into the waterbed or open a drawer and pull out all the socks and undies. Whoever scolded the cat was the one who ended up with a hole in their side of the bed or their unmentionables all over the floor.
Now maybe it was just illusory correlation on my dad’s part, but it’s the clearest case of feline vengeance I’ve ever heard. But if the cat really was taking revenge, notice she wasn’t doing it by wetting. She did it by messing up their space. The unpleasantness of a ruined favorite sleeping place is definitely something a cat can understand. The unpleasantness of cat-pee smell, not so much.
How to Stop Apparent “Revenge Peeing”
The best way to stop it depends, of course, on what you think your cat is angry about.
If your cat’s jumping on counters, scratching furniture, picking on other cats or doing something else she shouldn’t, a firm “No!” or “Stop!” is enough. Usually. If it isn’t, try the spritz-of-water technique. Shouting, waving your arms, stomping your feet and swatting at the cat is excessive and likely to scare the cat, which can lead to inappropriate urination.
While dogs understand the concept of “punishment,” cats aren’t so clear on it. For cats, rewards are the important things. If you’re having trouble with training, you’ll probably have better luck rewarding good behavior and making minimal fuss over the bad.
Think kitty’s ticked off because you were gone too long or you’ve been coming home late? Try to fit in a little more playtime. Two fifteen-minute play sessions a day suits most cats. If the wetting happens when you spend several days away, especially if the wet spots appear on your bed or clothes, the problem could be separation anxiety.
So go easy on your cat. She’s not trying to get revenge, she’s just a little freaked out.
Need more tips on stopping your cat’s inappropriate urination or getting rid of that nasty cat pee smell for good? Check out Cat Urine Problems Eliminated.