What to do if your cat is urinating in the house

Your cat is urinating or spraying in the house and you don’t know why. Firstly, understand that this is a common issue among cat owners. Secondly, accept that there are many reasons why a cat will do this. It is important to isolate the reason before you can take action.

Reasons why your cat is urinating in the house

  1. Health: your cat may be suffering from a bladder infection, crystals in the urine, pain, age-related ailments or a urinary tract infection.
  2. Territory marking: male cats will do this if they are unsterilised, or if an unsterilised male is allowed into their home. Male cats are attracted to homes that have unsterilised female cats. Sterilise your cat as soon as he/she is old enough.
  3. Litter tray: if yours is a multi-cat household, it is possible you have too few litter boxes to accommodate your cats. Cats are ultra-clean and they hate dirty litter trays. Or, your cat may not like the litter you are using. It may also be that your litter tray is placed in a spot the cat doesn’t like: too much human traffic, noise, other pets etc.
  4. Stress/anxiety: if you have a multi-cat household, it’s possible your cat is being bullied by another and they’re too afraid to use the litter box for fear of being pounced  on. If you’ve recently moved house, or introduced a new baby or pet to the home, your cat may register his/her objection by urinating in an unusual spot.

How to stop your cat urinating in the house

  1. Never, ever punish your cat. It will only make him more anxious and exacerbate the problem.
  2. Have your cat checked by your vet to eliminate potential medical issues.
  3. If your cat has crystals in its urine, it may be necessary to change  it’s diet. Your vet will advise you.
  4. Sterilise your cat – male or female – the moment he/she is old enough. The longer you wait, the easier it becomes for your cat to form bad habits and bad habits are hard to break.
  5. If your cat has urinated on your bed or a rug, wash thoroughly with washing power. It breaks down the enzymes in urine that give  off that awful cat urine smell.  Never use ammonia, vinegar or other products that have a strong smell. If the washing powder doesn’t work you may have to discard the duvet or mat. A cat will keep urinating on a spot if the smell is still there.
  6. Ensure you have enough litter trays for every cat. Keep your litter trays clean at all times.
  7. Help your cat overcome his anxiety. Put his litter tray in a quiet place; don’t allow stray/neighbour’s cats access to your home; provide adequate hiding places for your cat; try giving him catnip; discuss calming medications with your vet or EberVet Vetshop.
  8. It may be necessary to call in professional help. Animal behaviourists can work wonders with troubled pets but make sure they are properly qualified. Ask your vet for a recommendation.

Cats are clever creatures. Unusual urination behaviour is his way of trying to tell you something; to communicate his unhappiness. The sooner you address the issue, the easier it will be to solve.