While it is annoying to have your cat to pee on the floor in your house, it is a relatively common occurrence. Many things can cause a cat to do this, and identifying the cause of this behavior is the only way to begin working on fixing it.
There are medical and behavioral causes of this behavior, and it’s important to begin working toward a diagnosis and treatment plan as soon as you identify the problem. Some causes can indicate serious issues that require rapid intervention and care to cure.
The 8 Reasons Cats Pee on the Floor
Spraying is a territory marking behavior often associated with intact male cats. However, any cat can spray, and this behavior is sometimes seen in neutered males and intact females in heat. This behavior is recognizable by the distinct urination on a vertical surface, like a wall or door, which may then drip down and pool on the floor. Most cats will also vibrate their tail while spraying.
2. Litter Box Issues
Cats can be very particular about their litter box, and the smallest changes can cause your cat to stop using the litter box. This can be as simple as changing the type of litter or the box itself for a new one. Sometimes, when cats have medical conditions that make using the litter box uncomfortable, they may begin urinating or defecating inappropriately. This is because the litter box becomes associated with pain or discomfort, and in their cat brain, going elsewhere might take away some discomfort.
Cats can be very sensitive to changes in the home and are easily stressed. Stressed cats may begin acting out by peeing outside the litter box. Stress can be caused by everything from the addition of a baby or a new pet to the home to feeling unsafe or exposed. Stress has often been building for days or weeks before a cat will begin peeing on the floor.
4. Litter Box Disagreements
If you have multiple cats, one or both of them may begin peeing on the floor due to a disagreement over the litter box. If one of your cats is showing territorial behaviors surrounding the litter box, it may lead the other cat to look for another place to urinate. Territorial behaviors like this are more common when one cat is new to the home, but sometimes they can develop suddenly as well.
5. Reduced Mobility
As cats age, they may begin developing arthritis and other conditions that can lead to reduced mobility. This can lead to inappropriate urination if your cat is having difficulty getting into and out of the litter box. If your cat is experiencing reduced mobility, you may also see them having difficulty jumping to or from high surfaces and furniture and spending less time being up and moving around throughout the day.
Some cats may develop confusion and cognitive changes as they age, which can lead to inappropriate urination. Some cats may forget where the litter box is or how to properly use it, while others may lose the ability to determine when they are urinating. This level of confusion is not a normal part of aging for most cats.
7. Lingering Urine Smell
If a cat in your home has a history of urinating outside of the litter box, this can lead to further inappropriate urination if the urine is not cleaned properly. Cat urine can leave behind a potent smell, and cats are able to smell it even after it has been cleaned with most cleaning products. This can cause your cat to either think this particular spot is an appropriate place to pee or cause them to feel the need to mark their territory over the old stain.
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8. Medical Causes
There are a large number of medical reasons a cat may start peeing on the floor. These include, but are not limited to, urinary tract infections, kidney disease, feline lower urinary tract disease, bladder stones, cystitis, diabetes, and cancer.
There are several medical and behavioral reasons your cat may be peeing on the floor, and some cats may be experiencing multiple types of issues that are all leading to the behavior. The best starting point is always with a vet visit to rule out medical causes of the behavior and to ensure your cat gets the appropriate treatment needed for the cause.
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