Cats are normally very clean animals, and actually prefer to eliminate wastes from their system in as clean a manner as possible. This means that if they are provided with a clean litter box, most cats will not choose pee around the home. If your cat does choose to pee around the house, you may feel frustrated, irritated or even angry with them. However, you need to consider what may be driving your cat to soil your carpets or furniture, because simply penalizing your cat for peeing in the house may do nothing to solve the problem and may actually strain your relationship with your cat.
Keeping Your Cat From Peeing in the House
While any animal waste can be an unpleasant odor, feline urine is particularly unpleasant as it is extremely pungent. Uric acid, phosphates, calcium oxalates and aerates all combine to create an odor that is largely intolerable for many individuals, including cat owners. When a cat chooses to urinate in an area of the home outside of their litter box, their urine can form crystals that create hard-to-remove stains and odors. Owners who try to remove these stains and odors through the use of regular household cleaners can experience further frustration when these cleaners not only fail to remove the stains and odors but actually seem to encourage their cats to continue soiling the area. This is largely because of the fact that cat urine is ammonia based, as are many regular household cleaners. The smell of these cleaners, then, are almost inviting the cat to urinate in that area.
Special cleaning products that can remove cat urine stains and odors are designed to break down the crystals, thereby releasing the stain and odor particles for removal. That said, most cat owners would agree that it would be far easier to prevent cat urine stains and odors from occurring in the first place than it is to effectively clean them. Following are a few valuable tips to stop cats from peeing in the house:
- Make sure your cat’s litterbox is clean and accessible. Cats in general do not like a dirty place to go to the bathroom, and while a few cats may continue to use a soiled litter box, others may completely refuse to do so. Cleaning your cat’s litter box every day not only helps to keep your house smelling better, it also helps keep your cat more interested in using their litter box. Weekly thorough washing of the litter box can also help to eliminate the persistent odors caused by cat waste. Furthermore, it is highly recommended that one always maintain twice the number of litter boxes for the number of cats they have, this way their feline friends have more options for a clean litter box.
- Discover what, if anything, may be stressing or upsetting your cat. If your cat has regular access to a clean litter box and yet still chooses to pee around the home, you need to find out what is upsetting him. It may be that the last time your cat was using the litter box, something occurred that startled him, and he now associates his litter box with that upsetting experience. It may be that you changed the type of litter in his litter box and he doesn’t like the odor or sensation of the new litter. It may be that his schedule or home environment has shifted significantly, causing him stress. Whatever the reason, discovering why your cat has chosen to stop using his litter box can aid you in solving this problem.
- Have your cat’s general health checked by a veterinarian. Sometimes a cat’s inability or refusal to use their litter box is due to a health issue. For example, a cat with a urinary tract infection may associate the discomfort or pain of urination to his litter box, and so may choose to eliminate elsewhere in the house. A cat with a kidney, liver or thyroid issue may be thirstier and have more urgent urination needs. Older cats who are suffering from arthritis, muscular diseases and other physical discomforts may not be able to get to the litter box quickly enough. Whatever the reason, your veterinarian can help you come up with a workable solution.
It is important to remember that whatever your cat’s reason for peeing around the house, there is a solution. You may need to be patient to help coax your cat back into the right bathroom habits, but they will undoubtedly appreciate your efforts.