What to Do to Stop Inappropriate Cat Urination

cat threatens to pee on everything Elsewhere on the site, I’ve gone over the main causes of inappropriate cat urination: health problems, stress and unappealing litter box arrangements.

If you have a good idea of what’s causing your cat to urinate in the house, this brief overview how you can manage each of those problem may just prove to you that solving your cat urination problems doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

Keep in mind this is still a very general overview, so I may not have addressed the specific problem your cat is having.

Addressing Health Problems

A cat with a medical problem serious enough to cause straining to urinate, frequent urination, blood in the urine, or suddenly urinating in the house needs proper diagnosis by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Symptoms of conditions that cause urinary difficulties can be similar to one another, so without diagnostic equipment, you risk misdiagnosing and thereby incorrectly treating the condition.

Naturally, treatment varies based on the severity of the condition. Bacterial infections require antibiotics, while blockages may require catheterization. The wrong diet can cause urinary problems, so you may have to change your cat’s food. For example, a cat eating only dry food is at high risk for urinary problems. Because cats have a low thirst drive, they need moisture in their food to stay properly hydrated.

Dealing with Stress

No, not yours, the cat’s. 🙂 But once your cat’s calmer and stops peeing everywhere, you’ll be a lot less stressed, too. If you’ve got a new cat, the new cat and the “established” cats should be properly (slowly) introduced. There’s a specific way to do this so they don’t end up fighting. If a child in the house has been grabbing kitty while she’s on the litter box, teach the child why that’s a bad idea.

Some sources of stress you can’t simply eliminate, like bringing the cat into a new home, the neighbor’s new yappy dog, or overall fearfulness in a cat who’s been mistreated. The cat can slowly adjust to changes, but in the meantime, she may stink up the house with urine. One option for preventing puddles while kitty adjusts is a feline pheromone diffuser. These are scent-free to humans, but they give of a chemical signal that tells the cat she’s in a safe area and can relax.

Reworking the Litter Box Set-up

Most cats are pretty tolerant of litter boxes that aren’t exactly to their liking. They’ll continue to use the box and only the box even if they don’t have their preferred litter type, the box isn’t as clean as they’d like or it’s in an inconvenient location. Often enough, though, something is so “wrong” with the box, the cat avoids it and finds some more appealing alternative like the carpet, hardwood floor or laundry basket.

Sometimes the solution is simple. Make sure the litter box is big enough for the cat to easily turn and move around in. Ideally, it should be around 1.5x the size of the cat, so half again as big as the cat. Uncovered boxes are also preferable to most cats. If you do have a covered box, scoop it daily to avoid a buildup of odors that could put your cat off going in there.

If you’ve been using pellet-type litter, try gravel-type instead. Or vice versa. Give the cat at least two weeks to get used to the new litter before trying another. Once you find one the cat will use, don’t change again. Avoid scented litter, which puts a lot of cats off. Keep the box away from foot traffic and noisy household appliances. There are other issues that can prevent your cat from using the litter box, but these are the main ones.

While you can group most causes of inappropriate cat urination into the categories of health problems, stress, and litter box issues, there are a lot of specific causes that are easy to overlook. For instance, did you know long-haireded cats and declawed cats have special litter box needs?

Lingering urine odor can also cause “repeat offenses,” too, so you’ll need to neutralize all cat pee smell. For a detailed guide to the causes of inappropriate urination and effective methods for eliminating that nasty cat pee odor, check out the Cat Urine Problems Eliminated book.