Our cats are our world—even when they make a mess in our homes. We know that cats will be naughty at times, but what about when cats choose to pee in places outside of their litter box? Despite what some might think when this frustrating behavior occurs, cats are not actually spiteful beings trying to wreck your day with their naughty cat antics. Your feline friend is an incredibly calculated being, so don’t take it to heart when this occurs. If you’ve ever wondered why it is that cats pee on things they shouldn’t, just keep reading.
Cats pee on things for a few reasons, actually…
Cats pee on things as a cry for help
When your cat chooses to urinate outside of the litter box, they aren’t usually doing this because they want to. Your cat will associate pain with their litter box, and when relieving themselves causes them pain, they’ll choose to pee in other places in your home. Keep in mind, your cat peeing is completely different from your cat spraying. Spraying is a territorial behavior that cats will display to cope with stress, show dominance, and mark their territory. A cat spraying on a vertical surface is known as spraying, and as I mentioned above, cat spraying is a common complaint among cat owners.
It’s important to understand the difference between the two so that if your cat is peeing outside of the litter box, you can take them in to be seen by their veterinarian. If your cat is peeing on things, consider their fluid intake. Do you notice that they’re drinking more/less water than normal? Increased water intake and increased urination are both telltale signs of hyperthyroidism in cats.
Just as in humans, UTIs and kidney disease are quite painful. The difference is, your cat cannot speak to you in meow and tell you it’s burning when they pee. Listen carefully for cues from your poor kitty. A cat that avoids the litter box might cry out from pain and in frustration. If caught early enough, this greatly reduces your cat’s risk of conditions advancing to something much worse.
Kitty might be jealous
We all know that cats are not fans of change. If your cat has suddenly started peeing in your home, first think to yourself if anything new has happened in their life. A new family member, a change to their daily diet, or perhaps a new work schedule that keeps you away from home more often. Your cat doesn’t like change, and when they incur change, they prefer it to be on their terms. Cats are not spiteful, but they can easily become jealous of other pets and people in their homes. And since your cat can’t pen you a letter to express their feelings of confusion or loneliness, they just might pee in places that they normally wouldn’t.
Please, clean that darn thing
This one might be a given, or something that a cat owner must learn the hard way. Your cat is the epitome of cleanliness, and this goes for their litter box, too. While your cat’s entire litter doesn’t require a daily switch, it does require a daily once-over. And this is especially true if you have more than one cat using the box. Your cat could show their disdain for a filthy cat box by urinating elsewhere. This silent protest will not make for a fun cleanup and can serve as a clear indication that you’re not meeting your cat’s high standards of cleanliness.
Consider your cat’s age
Urinary issues are common in older felines. For older cats, incontinence can become an issue as a cat’s health declines in their twilight years. House soiling, which is also referred to as feline inappropriate elimination, is the most common complaint when it comes to behavioral issues in cats. For older cats, house soiling can occur when the cat is not able to make it to the litter box in order to relieve themselves. Litter box location is extremely important to cats regardless of age. So, keep that in mind as well.
If you want to make life easier for your senior cat, consider adjusting things for them so that life can be a little easier. Have multiple floors in your home? Try providing them with a litter box on each floor. And in addition to that, be sure that their litter box is easy for them to enter and exit. Your cat looks to you as their caregiver, so show them just how much they mean to you by making small adjustments that can make a big difference in their everyday life.