Last updated: December 10, 2016
Your cat is not a human being. (You probably noticed that!) He doesn’t do things out of spite or just to annoy you, so if your cat is peeing everywhere he’s probably got a very good reason – it’s just that he can’t tell you. We can’t hope to understand the wonderful and mysterious workings of the feline mind, but we can go through what we do know. The fact that your beloved pet is uncomfortable in some physical or emotional way is very distressing to both of you. Why does my cat pee everywhere? Let’s find out.
A Few No-Brainers
Cats are fastidious creatures. They don’t like bad smells – not even their own, so if his litter box is less than pristine he will probably find a place that is more so, for example, the carpet, the bath or your closet. This is very easily prevented, so before he stops using it – just clean it!
Or you may have changed his litter! He takes one sniff. “Ee-yow! I’m not doing my business in THERE! Go and get me my usual ACME Litter for the Discerning Kitty and be quick about it!”
Cats don’t like their latrine to be too close to their food. That’s not fussiness – it’s hygienic, and just goes to show you what superior animals cats are! I mean – would you pee two feet away from your breakfast? No? Neither would I!
What a Mission!
Don’t put the litter box anywhere that’s going to be a real problem for the cat to reach. Try not to put it up in the attic with Grandma’s best china or down in the basement with the spiders and the Man Cave. Cats like easily accessible, but private places to do their business, so make sure he can get to it easily and it’s not in the middle of a high traffic area.
Scaling the Heights
Boxes with high sides: your kitty can’t use the litter box if he can’t get into it, so make sure that the sides are not too high and the tray is not too small for him. YOU wouldn’t go to a toilet if you needed a stepladder to reach it, would you?
Quite a few causes of incontinence in cats are medical rather than behavioral.
There are quite a few signs that your cat may exhibit if he has bladder stones or a blockage. If he shows signs that he’s suffering any kind of pain, or if he’s constantly crying or meowing when he’s urinating, it could be that there are some nasty little pebbles in there, or some other unpleasant blockage that’s making his tummy tender. (My vet prescribed a special medicated food for my cat and he’s been right as rain ever since!) This is a very serious condition and must be treated immediately.
Urinary Tract Infection
An infection of the urinary tract which makes it painful or uncomfortable to pee. This is often caused by uric acid crystals in the tract, and can even lead to blood in the urine. The cat learns to link the litter box with pain and therefore doesn’t use it. This condition can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Feline interstitial cystitis.
Cystitis is a very nasty creature. It infects the bladder and inflames it so badly that sometimes the poor cat hasn’t got time to get to his litter box. As above, it’s dangerous to leave this condition hoping it will go away by itself it’s DANGEROUS!
Of course, you don’t need ME to tell you what to do next! Who ya gonna call? THE VET!
A number of things can make your cat do things he wouldn’t normally do.
An unpleasant experience while using the litter box may make him avoid using it for fear that the same thing may happen again. For example, if he used to be ill with something that made urinating painful, he may associate the litter box with that pain.
Stress can be a big factor too. Many things can upset cats; they are creatures of habit and like their lives to be regular and ordered. If you change your routine it can disrupt your cat’s. For example, if you go to work an hour later then he will be fed an hour later – not good news for a cat with an empty tummy! This insecurity can lead him to want to mark his territory with urine, and there goes the Persian rug!
Moving house can be stressful even for humans, so think how bad it is for your cat! There he is enjoying a quiet peaceful life with all his favorite hiding places, trees to scratch on, familiar smells and favorite people all in their proper places when – WHAM! Everything is different! What is this strange place? Different noises? Different smells? Your cat has to make this new place his own by territorial marking, hence a lot of pee in many different places, All that stress and strain may take a while to disappear, so bear with him, please! He’s only little!
Inter-cat strife. It sometimes happens that a more dominant cat hijacks the litter box for his own use and won’t let the others use it. What are the other cats to do? They have to use the “facilities” but if they can’t, they have to go SOMEWHERE! Separate litter boxes for each cat may be the answer here.
New Kids on the Block
Introducing new animals (dogs or cats) can make your kitty feel insecure and cause him to start territorial marking by peeing everywhere but the litter box. The answer to this problem is to introduce them to each other very, very gradually, till they have got used to each others’ sounds and smells. This can be done by feeding them on either side of a closed door then opening it slightly every day till they can see each other. Even when carefully managed this way, most cats won’t ever become bosom buddies. They will rub along together if they want to but they are solitary by nature and probably won’t ever be best friends.
Famous Last Words
So there you are. If your moggy is not quite the moggy he used to be and is peeing where he shouldn’t be peeing, these may be some of the reasons why. But as usual, if you are at all doubtful your first stop should be the friendly neighborhood superhero, your vet. Of course to your kitty, YOU are his superhero, so just keep on loving him!