Is My Cat Peeing on the Floor Because He’s Mad at Me?

The short answer is…no.

This is NOT why your cat wet on the floor!

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.

How to Encourage Your Cat to Drink Enough Water (and Prevent Litter Box Problems!)

Overall, a cat is around 80 percent water. That’s an even higher percentage than we humans are at around 65 percent (or even the popularly assumed 2/3rds, the average for most lifeforms). Needless to say, a creature who contains that much water is in trouble if they don’t take in enough fluids.

Severe dehydration isn’t common in cats and is usually the result of illness or extreme heat. Many cats, however, suffer from mild dehydration–or rather, insufficient hydration–that doesn’t always show obvious symptoms. Nonetheless, a cat who isn’t taking in enough liquid can suffer from urinary tract problems, which results in litter box problems.

Why House Cats are Prone to Mild Dehydration

Cats have a low thirst drive. They may not feel thirsty until they’ve lost up to eight percent of their body’s water stores. For comparison, humans feel thirsty after we’ve lost around two percent of our water stores.

House cats, naturally, evolved from the big cats of the African plains and other hot, dry places. In those climates, standing or running water is hard to come by, so cats evolved to live without a strong need to drink from lakes, streams, and other water sources.

But they still need fluids. Where do they get it? From their food: raw meat. Biologically, house cats they don’t differ much from the big cats. They’ve inherited this low thirst drive that no longer serves them now that they aren’t living on raw meat. (A little like how we humans inherited the ability to store lots of fat!) An old, but relevant study from 1959 discovered that cats become dehydrated if their food contains less than 61 percent water (1).

Helping Your Cat Get Enough Water

If you feed only wet food, your cat may not need to drink much at all, although she should still have constant access to fresh water. If you feed only dry food (which isn’t a good idea), your cat will need to drink and may need as much as 6 to 8 ounces of pure water a day to stay healthy.

  • Provide canned wet food — You may have noticed that pricey canned cat food on the store shelves is as much as 80 percent water. Don’t worry! That’s a good thing. The cat food manufacturers aren’t trying to cheat you by selling you meat-flavored tap water. Instead, they’ve incorporated a necessary amount of water into the food to support your cats health. This type of food is the ideal way for your cat to take in fluids, so if at all possible, make sure she gets enough wet food.
  • Provide clean water — Fresh water should be available at all times. If your tap water is heavily chlorinated, get a filter like a Brita filter and give your kitty some better-smelling water. Spring water and other non-mineral-rich bottled water is another option, but avoid giving mineral water. (Excess minerals can also cause urinary tract problems.) Wash the bowl daily to prevent a nasty bacterial slime from forming at the bottom. And keep the food and water bowls away from litter box area.
  • Try different bowl types — Some cats like certain types of bowls (glass, ceramic, or stainless steel; shallow or deep; different shapes, etc.). According to experts from the Paws, Whiskers and Claws clinic in Marietta, Georgia, shallow, glass bowls are particularly popular with cats.
  • Offer running water — Your cat may also enjoy a fountain-type bowl that provides running water. If your cat likes to drink from the bathroom tap, leave the door open and the tap dripping just slightly so she has access to her favorite water source.
  • Set out multiple bowls — Appeal to your cat’s natural love of exploring and foraging by placing multiple small bowls of water around the house.
  • Make cat soup — That’s soup for cats, not from cats. 🙂 Although wet food is already, well, wet, you can make a soup-like mixture by placing a few spoonfuls of wet food in a bowl and adding enough water to make it runny. Water in food is a more natural way for cats to get their fluids, so you aren’t ruining her meal this way. You can also add a little water to dry food, if your kitty’s a dry-food addict.
  • Offer flavored water — Try adding a few drops of fish or seafood juice (from tuna, salmon, clams, etc.) to your cat’s water. The food-like flavor may encourage her to drink. On the other hand, she may avoid flavored water altogether, so keep another bowl of plain water out to give her a choice.

Keep in mind that the health problems caused by mild dehydration can result in litter box problems. If you’ve been feeding your cat dry food only and she’s been showing inappropriate urination behavior, take her to the vet. The vet can test for a pH imbalance and L-methionine (an amino acid) deficiency, both of which may cause urination problems. Otherwise, though, make it a point to ensure your kitty gets enough fluids either in food or pure water so she won’t be prone to health and urination problems in the future.

1. Prentiss PG. Wolf AV. Eddy HE. “Hypopenia in cat and dog: ability of the cat to meet its water requirements solely from a diet of fish or meat;” American Journal of Physiology; March 1959.

Top 4 Myths About Why Cats Urinate in the House

Like with any other aspect of pet care, there are a lot of myths surrounding the problem of cats urinating in the house, whether on floors, furniture, clothing, beds or elsewhere. Part of the problem comes from false assumptions that cats think and behave like dogs or people. Since cats don’t come with an owner’s manual (or telepathic abilities), it’s an easy mistake to make.

Another part comes from the sheer frustration of people dealing with creatively piddling kitties. When it feels like you’ve tried everything to solve the problem, it’s tempting to grasp at semi-logical straws to explain why your cat’s peeing in the house. But those desperate explanations don’t solve the problem.

If you’re having trouble figuring out why your cat’s going everywhere but where she should, you may have fallen victim to one of these common myths:

Myth #1. My Cat is Angry at Me

Sure, cats get angry, but that doesn’t mean Continue reading

Top 5 Possible Reasons Your Cat is Peeing in Your House

One of the things that makes cat urine problems so difficult to solve is that fact that there are so many potential causes. The good news is that cats don’t pee on the floor for the sheer joy of it or because they want to tick off the humans. They naturally prefer to use just one spot for their business, so when a cat starts going all over the place, something is wrong. Your job is to find out what. That takes some patience and some experimentation, but you can do it.

Below are some of the most common reasons cats stop using the litter box and start urinating on the carpet, furniture, and elsewhere.

Of course, not all these reasons apply to every cat. It is possible, though, that two or three apply. So you may suspect your cat has a medical issue, take her to the vet and find out you were right. But then even after that issue has been treated, kitty still continues to wet on the floor. Clearly there’s another underlying cause.

The secondary problem could be a poor diet that caused the original health issue or stress from undergoing medical treatment. Or it could be something completely unrelated, like the fact that your cat doesn’t like his litter box being next to the big scary washing machine or he’s stressed out by the new dog next door.

If your cat’s taken to urinating in the house, here are some possible reasons:

1. Health problems

Health problems that cause inappropriate urinatation range from Continue reading

Tips on Using Baking Soda for Cat Urine Odor Removal

Baking soda is a valuable weapon in the battle against cat urine odors. In fact, the properties of this substance are widely touted, if not perhaps a little exaggerated.

Browse around online and you’d get the idea that sodium bicarbonate, a compound of sodium, hydrogen and carbon, can not only whip up meals and clean the kitchen by itself, but is also the cure-all for numerous serious diseases.

While baking soda isn’t likely to manage your household for you or raise the dead, it does have certain chemical properties that make it useful in cleaning.

Baking soda in bowl

Litter Box Deodorizer

Many deodorizers that you can add to the litter box or spray in the general area only mask smells. What’s worse, they do it my produce a heavy, artificial scent that can discourage cats from coming anywhere near. It’s no good to have litter box that smells like roses and sea breezes if those scents make your cat avoid the box and urinate on the carpet instead.

Here’s where baking soda comes it. This substance neutralizes smells instead of just covering them up. Baking soda is weakly alkaline (the opposite of acidic). The molecules that create the scent of cat urine are acidic. When baking soda’s alkaline molecules come in contact with cat urine’s acidic molecules, they neutralize each other.

This chemical reaction Continue reading

The Dangers Of Cat Urine: Why You Must Eliminate Cat Urine Odor From Your Home

Cat pee isn’t just disgusting, it can harm your health, too. The dangers of cat urine aren’t always obvious, though. No doubt you realize that cat urine, like all human and animal waste, carries bacteria that could cause illness.

So you dutifully wear gloves when cleaning up kitty’s “accidents” and while washing the mops, sponges and other items you used to clean it with. ( By the way, cleaning your mops and other items with bleach kills bacteria, but apply bleach only after thoroughly rinsing out all traces of urine with plain water to avoid risk of producing noxious fumes). No problem there. Or is there…?

Man in gas mask to avoid cat urine odor.

It’s easy to assume that once the urine stain and germs are gone, that lingering odor is nothing but a harmless nuisance. Remember, though, that odors are composed of microscopic particles of the thing that caused the odor. So by inhaling cat urine smell, you’re actually inhaling cat urine. Just the thought is enough to make you sick, right? Wait, it gets worse

Ammonia’s Effect on Respiratory Health

Cat pee contains a particularly high concentration of ammonia. Although this is a natural compound containing nothing more than nitrogen and hydrogen, it’s not exactly good to breathe. The good news is that most cat caretakers won’t need to worry about this. A corner of the living room carpet that smells faintly of kitty piddle isn’t going to harm healthy lungs.

The risk occurs when Continue reading

Why Do Cats Pee On Furniture? Find Out So You Can Solve the Problem!

Understanding the root causes of why cats pee on furniture is essential if you’re ever going to get your cat to stop piddling on your sofa, armchairs, ottomans, beds, computer desk, coffee tables and just about everything else. First of all, cats may exhibit a change in urination behavior due to a health problem, so you’ll need to take your cat in for a check up as soon as possible. For example, peeing on the bed is often a sign of a urinary tract infection in cats. Prompt care is vital because some urinary tract conditions can turn fatal quickly.

Stress and Behavior Problems

If your cat is spraying, rather than just urinating, on the furniture, it’s a sure sign of stress over a perceived threat. That said, even ordinary urinating can be a way of marking territory and warding off a threat or securing the area. What humans see as harmless, a cat may regard as threatening, so you’ll want to consider all the factors that can cause stress in cats.

Loneliness and separation anxiety also come into play here. Furniture–especially absorbent, frequently used furniture like sofas, beds and armchairs–carry the scent of the people who use them. The cat may urinate on these items in order to Continue reading