Why does my cat pee all over the house and what can I do?
We all know that cats are generally spotless animals, spending much time grooming themselves. It is, therefore, always surprising to see a cat that begins to urinate all over the house, on the floor, the bed, or the sofa. So what to do with a cat peeing everywhere? How do you identify the cause of this behavior, and how do you prevent it from happening again? We tell you everything in this article!
Why does my cat pee everywhere except in its litter box?
Very different issues can explain the behavior of a cat peeing out of its litter box. Some are related to the health of the animal or the litter box. Others are concerned with the education of the animal, its mental health, and living conditions. Before finding the solution, it is still necessary to have analyzed the source of the problem.
In this process, however, it is important to distinguish between two very distinct situations linked to the cat's uncleanliness and ask yourself this question: "Has my cat always defecated outside the litter box, or is it what's unusual about him? »
If your cat has never been potty trained and you have had a health check with your veterinarian without finding anything abnormal, there is a good chance that it is a problem of education or stress. However, if these "accidents" occur suddenly, with no apparent explanation, you can conduct a thorough investigation to find the cause of these changes.
The leading causes of cat uncleanliness
If you can't find any logical explanation for your cat's sudden uncleanliness, here is a list of the leading causes that can help you better understand the situation.
Unsuitable or poorly maintained litter
Our little furballs can be very delicate when it comes to their litter! A box that is too closed or a poorly chosen location, and your cat is very likely to go and relieve itself elsewhere. The choice of litter is also decisive: too dusty granules or an unpleasant smell can scare your cat away.
Remember that your little companion is very clear: he will refuse to relieve himself in dirty litter. Finally, the cat is a routine animal, which can have trouble getting used to a new tray or a change of brand of litter.
Specific health problems, such as urinary tract infections or kidney stones, can cause cat incontinence. He can then not hold himself back and pees where he is lying, for example, on your sofa or bed!
Musculoskeletal diseases related to old age, such as osteoarthritis, can make movement difficult for the cat. As a result, he is less inclined to move to relieve himself in his litter box and may have difficulty lifting his paws to enter it. In this case, the cat often pees on the ground near the tray.
stress and anxiety
The cat is susceptible and very attached to its habits and generally does not accept change. A move, the arrival of a new animal, and the birth of a baby in the family can cause significant stress for him. A cat that pees everywhere could just be stressed!
Urine marking (territorial)
The cat is a territorial animal, and its instinct sometimes pushes it to delimit its territory utilizing a urine marking, making it possible to dissuade its congeners from entering it. Certain situations reinforce this phenomenon, for example, another cat of the same sex in the house. The animal that does not accept the presence of this potential competitor pees all over the place to let him know that he is at home.
If you have just adopted a cat that has lived on the streets or in an unsanitary home, likely, it has not developed this habit of doing in its litter box, like many other cats. This is all the more true if it is a kitten separated from his young mother before she had time to show him the example.
A cat that urinates everywhere in your home is, therefore, not necessarily "unclean." It may simply need to improve in practice. By accompanying him daily, he should learn to use his litter very quickly. You can, to encourage him, put him in his crate after his meals and have him scratch his litter with his paw. Practice positive education by rewarding him (hugs, treats) when he adopts the right behaviors.
What are the solutions against the uncleanliness of the cat?
Faced with a cat that urinates everywhere, the first thing to do is to try to understand the cause of this behavior. Indeed, the answer to be given will be different depending on the origin of the problem.
Uncleanliness or urine marking?
In the presence of a cat that urinates everywhere, it is essential to determine if it is a problem of uncleanliness or territorial marking. The latter is generally quite recognizable since the traces of urine are not on the floor or the beds but in height, a few centimeters from the ground.
The cat begins by sniffing the support, then raises its paw to emit a small stream of urine before sniffing the area again. On the other hand, an incontinent cat will generally emit a greater quantity of urine and scratch the wet area with the paw. If in doubt, do not hesitate to seek the advice of a veterinarian.
Make sure the cat has no health problems.
In the case of a clean cat that becomes dirty without any particular change in its life, one can suspect a health problem.
An incontinent cat will often leave traces of urine where it lies down. For example, if he has a urinary infection or stones, he goes to his litter box more frequently but may also urinate elsewhere in the house. Take a good look at your cat. Does he show signs of pain when he pees? Are there traces of blood in his urine?
At the slightest sign of discomfort or pain, or if you notice other symptoms, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible to make a diagnosis.
Adapt litter for an old cat
An aging cat may suffer from musculoskeletal disorders. Is your companion having trouble getting around? He may be suffering from pain caused by osteoarthritis, which prevents him from accessing his litter box. It is then necessary to seek the advice of a veterinarian, who will prescribe a treatment to improve the quality of life of your cat.
But you can also make things easier for him by making his litter box more accessible. Place the box in a place that is very easy to access and does not require the cat to climb or descend stairs. Choose a model with the lowest possible edges, or install a gently sloping access ramp.
Offer the cat a litter to his liking.
If his litter box does not suit him, a cat can decide to sulk! Location, material, cleanliness. Everything must correspond to the preferences of your delicate feline.
Please ensure the litter box is spacious enough for him to feel comfortable. If not, offer him a new bin. Keep the litter box clean: excrement must be removed daily, and the box must be emptied and cleaned once or twice a week.
Opt for good quality, soft, odorless, and dust-free litter. Plant-based litter is usually an excellent choice, but you may need to offer your cat several different products before finding the best one.
The location of the litter box is also very important. It does not have to be out of sight, but it is vital to place it in a quiet place. Avoid restless areas and position them as far as the dining area.
Finally, consider offering two litter boxes to your cat in two different places. If you have several cats, equip yourself with one box per animal and one more: three boxes for two cats and four for three cats. It is recommended to multiply the litter boxes for cats that live exclusively on the inside and therefore have no opportunity to defecate outside.
Reduce your cat's stress level
Your cat, who was clean until then, has started to pee everywhere, even though he is in good health? It can be a manifestation of stress. Think of all the recent changes in his environment: the arrival of a baby or other animal, death or departure from the house of one of the family members, moving house, change in the rhythm of life, noisy work in the street.
Any change in its habits can lead to significant anxiety in the cat, resulting in sudden uncleanliness. Do not scold your cat; try to provide him with as reassuring an environment as possible. To soothe it, you can try natural remedies like Bach flowers.
Feliway, a product based on synthetic pheromones, is also very effective in reducing your pet's stress level and therefore avoiding annoying behavior while improving its well-being! It is used either as a diffuser or as a spray on contaminated areas.
Teach your cat to use its litter box
If your cat is peeing all over the place, it may be because he hasn't learned how to use a litter box. Female cats usually teach this behavior to their kittens in their first months. But an animal separated too early from its mother will need more time to acquire these automatisms.
You will have to teach him yourself. To do this, be patient and gentle: the kitten (or adult cat) must feel confident. Above all, do not scold him; instead, resort to positive education. Carry him immediately in his litter whenever you see him urinating somewhere after each meal. You can make him scratch with his paw on the inside of the tank to encourage him to reproduce this movement.
Reward him with a treat or cuddles when he relieves himself in his tray. Your little protege should quickly understand what you expect of him!
Sterilize your cat
Unsterilized cats, both male, and female, sometimes use urine marking to mark their territory. If so, neutering your cat has a good chance of curbing these unpleasant behaviors.