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.

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

  1. You are very wrong about revenge peeing. My cat (about 7 yrs old) knows exactly what he is doing when he does this. He will sit in an almost normal sitting position, then I start to notice that he is slightly raised above the floor (carpet) and his tail is ridged looking, not relaxed. He will scream at me and look at me while he is peeing. I’ve watched him from a far when he uses the litter box, so I know this is revenge. The litter box is never a problem and the two are kept clean. When he revenge pees, he has not gotten his way and is very, very vocal about this. Example: just last night, while I was completing a timed issue on the computer. He wanted out and he is not allowed out at night. He was by the back door and screaming to go out, I tried in a calm voice to get him to come sit next to me while I finished my task. When he came into the livingroom with me, he went to the space between a loveseat and the second litter box (in the corner) and I heard him peeing, it was a very strong discharge that was noisy. I immediately went to the spot as he ran away from it, he knew what he was doing. As it was late in the night, I wasn’t going to let him out for even 2 minutes. I was able to get him the the other cat to enter the garage on their own. Yes I enticed them with treats, but they ended up spending the night in the garage. I don’t like doing this to them, but I can’t continue with the revenge attitude either. If you can possibly give me any insight into solving this problem, I’ll be glad to listen. Thank you

    • If he’s backing up to objects and peeing with a rigid tail (tail straight up), he’s most likely spraying to mark territory. Sometimes even neutered males (and females, spayed or not) will do this. His screaming to go out also sounds like he’s not neutered and wants to go out and find a female. Even a cat who’s neutered and had never sprayed before might start spraying because of stress. The stress could be from a lot of different things, such as a new person in the house, a change in schedule, remodeling noises next door, or a new cat in the neighborhood that you don’t even know about, but that your cat can smell. If you think it’s stress, it’s worth looking into a feline pheromone product.

      A health issue, such as a urinary tract infection, is also a possibility, so I’d at least consult your vet with the symptoms.

      It’s wonderful that you’re staying calm with him–getting angry and shouting will only make him stressed out, which will make the situation worse. Don’t give up. It may take time to get to the root of the problem, but these issues are nearly always solvable.

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