How Do I Stop My Cat From Peeing on the Carpet?

cat sticking out his tongue

How Do I Stop My Cat From Peeing on the Carpet?

One cat owner asks the question “How do I stop my cat from peeing on the carpet”? Animal trainer and kennel owner, Mike Robertson, College for Pets, gives expert advice on dealing with this issue.

Dear Mike,

Why does my cat always pee on the carpet right after I get back from vacation? Does she do it out of spite?

We often leave her for the weekend. I make sure she has a pile of food and access to all the toilet water she could possibly want. (I’m a good mom, I give her water. She just prefers the toilet).

I’m always careful to give her a nice clean litter box with her favorite litter and she uses the litter box the whole time I’m gone. However, within 24 hours of my return, I can expect a burst of passive-aggressive behavior in the form of a wet puddle, right where I’m sure to step in it.  Then she rubs up against me, purring for all she’s worth.

This happens – EVERY TIME!

HOW DO I STOP A CAT FROM PEEING ON THE CARPET?”

 

Signed, Frustrated Cat Mom

 

Cats Think Differently than Humans

First of all, cats and dogs aren’t capable of spite.  For them to act in such a manner, they need to understand a few complex thoughts and also be able to predict outcomes.

  • They have to know that we don’t like pee.
  • They have to know that if they pee, then at some later date, we will find it, and not like it.
  • If there were never an instance of being corrected for peeing on the floor, then it would have to be assumed that the cat had some ingrained knowledge that humans didn’t like cat pee on the floor.

See the problem?

More than likely, the peeing was a result of insecurity, and by laying down a scent mark when you left, they were letting any other potential cat’s know they were there.

Some cats will pee in their owner’s bed. That is a spot that that is loaded with scent. It’s the mixing of their scent and the owner’s scent that comforts them.

How to Stop a Cat from Urinating on the Carpet

Regardless of the reason your cat is urinating on the carpet, it’s problematic for the humans in the house. That said, here are steps you can take to deal with the issue.

1. Make Sure It’s Not a Medical Problem

First, make sure it’s not a medical problem. You should probably have your cat examined by the vet. Explain what is going on and make sure it’s not something like a urinary tract infection or crystals.

2. Make the litter box a “happy place.”

Provide your cat with a brand-new litter box and fill it with fresh litter. Once you discover a brand of litter that your cat prefers, stick with it. Make sure the box is in a private, quiet location. Cats like to eliminate in seclusion. Also, be sure to keep the litter box away from noisy appliances that may distract or disturb your cat. There are many litter boxes available on the market today that provides the privacy, and seclusion cats favor. We have found many cats prefer a simple, open top litter box like the affordable IRIS model.

If over-peeing is the issue, look for a litter box with higher sides. Some cats love enclosed or automatic cleaning boxes, but others look at them like they are evil. Try different boxes until you find the one that works best.  That also applies to litters. There are all kinds to choose from: soil, sand, clay, scoopable, wood pellets, mulch, etc. Unscented is generally preferred.

3. Eliminate scent marking left by other cats.

If wall spraying is the issue, check for other cats or cat-family wildlife outside the window or wall being marked.  A black light will let you see any spray marks on the wall that need to be cleaned with enzyme spray. We recommend Zyme-Away. It eliminates odor, even in the carpet.

The best way to remove pet urine from your carpet is hot water extraction. Call a carpet cleaning professional to help remove any smell or stains you might have.

However, if the urine has soaked through to the sub floor, replacing that section of carpet may be the only way to 100% eliminate all the smell.

Neutering at a young age, before the spraying starts is also very helpful.

What to Do If You Have Multiple Cats

If you have multiple cats, consider using multiple litter boxes or be prepared to change it frequently. Place a piece of a rug or small blanket under the litter box if it sits on a hard surface. Some cats prefer to scratch around their box. Scoop the litter box daily. Ideally, the entire box would be changed every week. Make sure to scrub the box well with an enzyme based cleaner.

 

cat behavior issues cat peeing on the carpet

 Cats Are Trainable

Yep, who knew? Cats are very trainable, their attention span and desire to please are a 16th to that of a dog, so sessions need to be short and motivating. Cats can learn obedience, to walk on a leash, use a human toilet, and all sorts of tricks. In fact, we offer Cat Training Classes.

Why don’t you give us a call and together, we can show your cat what is considered proper behavior in the ‘human world’

Wags,
Mike Robertson, College for Pets