How to Stop Your Kitten (or Cat) from Peeing on the Floor
6 November, 2012
As cat owners, we are lucky enough to have an inside litter box for our cats where they can do their business! However, sometimes kittens or even an older cat starts to miss the litter box and/or will start peeing elsewhere. More likely than not, there is a behavioral issue involved, especially if it is a younger cat. With an older cat, it could be a failure of your cat’s kidneys and you should take your kitty to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Marking a territory
If your cat has suddenly started to pee in a certain place or spot, it is usually a sign that he or she is marking a territory. If you catch your cat with his back up to a vertical surface, standing with his tail quivering, and direct a spray of urine on the wall or other vertical surface, this is a sign he is marking his territory. He will usually leave the area without sniffing. This behavior is not limited to male cats, as females will also sometimes spray, but for different reasons.
As annoying as this behavior is, do not punish a cat for peeing in the wrong place, by yelling, rubbing his nose in it or throwing him into the litter box. You’ll create far more problems than you’ll ever cure, even if you catch him in the act. You’ll teach him nothing but fear and distrust.
Make the Inappropriate Area Unattractive
The first step in stopping your cat from peeing is to remove every bit of evidence of your cat’s urine from the new area he or she has been using. There are a number of cleaning products for this purpose, but you can start with plain dish soap and water on a hard-surface floor, and a regular carpet cleaning solution on carpets, provided the urine is fresh. If you don’t clean up the urine immediately, your cat will try to cover the spot with his own scent by peeing again.
Plain soda or seltzer water can also be effective in neutralizing fresh urine odor, but for badly soiled carpeting, you’ll need an enzyme-based product. There are a number of new products on the market for removing the scent of urine most of which are chemical free. You can also try aluminum foil over the area where the cat has peed. Cats don’t like the noise and feel of aluminum foil, and as long as they have a new, clean litter box, the switch should be successful.
Move or Change the Litter box
You can also try to switch to a new litter box and/or move its’ location. Cats are very private about their elimination and don’t like to be observed. Make sure that the box is no next to a noisy appliance as that will distract and disturb him. There are a number of new litter box products on the market that feature privacy in one way or another. Just be sure the box is placed in an area where other cats can’t sneak up and intimidate the cat who is using it.
If the box sits on a hard, cold surface, try putting a carpet remnant or washable rug under it, as cats like to scratch around the box. It should be in an easily-accessible location. Young kittens and senior cats may not be able to climb stairs easily.
Once you’ve set your plan into action, watch your cat and praise him every time he uses his box. This retraining can take time, but with dedication and patience, you and your cat can once again be back to the normal routine.