Help! My Cat Pees on the Floor!

May 4, 2012

Today I have a reader question and answer by one of our Litter Box Mentors, the meow-velous Marilyn Krieger.

Reader Question: I adopted my 13 year old Persian last year. I think he was probably in the shelter because of litter box issues. He poops in the litter box but will not pee in it, he goes on the floor, usually in the same 2 places. If I see him start to go on the floor, I pick him up and put him by the litter box, and about half the time that will prompt him to use it. Otherwise, floor city. We tried adding a litter box (we tried a regular pan, a Boodha, and now we have 2 litter robots), and also we’ve changed the litter to see if that helps. I’ve even tried wee wee pads. It’s so frustrating. We even spent $125 to get him shaved down, because we thought the amount of fur might be the cause. My last resort is to try a diaper. Has anyone else tried this?

Meow-velous Marilyn: “My first sentence never changes—before approaching this as a behavior problem, please rule out any possible medical causes for the behavior by having your cat examined by a veterinarian.

From the description of your litter boxes, most likely, the problem is caused by the types of boxes you are using, their locations and possibly how you are cleaning up the targeted areas. I recommend using large uncovered litter boxes. Cats can feel trapped in covered boxes because there is only one way in and out. Another downside to covered boxes is that they retain odors. You may not be able to detect them, but cats can.

Also, the two boxes you mentioned are probably too small for your cat. I usually recommend large storage containers, but because of their height, they may be challenging for your cat to jump into. You can either cut a “U” shape into the side or purchase large 44 or 60 qt Plastic Under Bed Storage Box and use them as litter boxes. Look for litter boxes that are at least 1.5 times longer than the length of your cat.

It is also important you do a thorough clean up of the targeted areas, using an excellent enzyme cleaner. Cats will repeatedly target areas that aren’t adequately cleaned up. It may smell clean to you, but the urine is easily detected by the cat’s sensitive nose.”

Thanks, Marilyn!

Marilyn is a certified Cat Behavior Consultant and owner of The Cat Coach, LLC® solves cat behavior problems through on-site and phone consultations.

Marilyn’s award-winning book, Naughty No More! focuses on changing unwanted cat behaviors through clicker training, environmental management and other positive reinforcement based methods.

To learn more about Marilyn, visit our Litter Box Mentors page.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz July 27, 2012 at 11:35 am

Hello Marilyn,

I use baking soda in my cats litter box for odor control. Is there a possibility baking soda can be questionable to a cats health, since they use the potty and then clean themselves? Baking soda itself does not have an inviting taste to it, so I wonder, could my cat possibly be affected by it in any way? I’ve used baking soda before and it hasn’t bothered her.

But now, she has taken to peeing on the floor, but pooping in her box. She has never done this before, even if in the past I’ve changed to a new box or her litter, which has never bothered her and continues to use it just fine with no signs of being distressed. I do clean her potty daily. Normally she tends to peepee in the same area inside of her litter box. Why would she pee outside her box but poop inside of it?

Also would you recommend or have any suggestions on a litter that is truly absorbent? I’ve used different brands, but these commercial litters don’t clump or do what they say. I’ve even used the pine and pellet kind. Any suggestions?

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Teressa November 1, 2012 at 5:53 pm

My problem is, out cat peed on the carpet once and now the kitten pees there. Is there a way to get rid of the smell? I’ve bleached the carpet and washed thoroughly, yet he will still pee there once in awhile

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Hairless Cat November 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

Hi Caroline and Marilyn,

I’ve been through this a few times and though it can be frustrating, I mostly get concerned about the cat rather than the mess on the floor.

As Marilyn pointed out, it could be a medical issue – perhaps a urinary tract infection or kidney disease.

It could also be due to some kind of change in the household such as rearranged furniture, a new resident, or just about any kind of change. Cats can get anxious about changes.

Regardless of the cause, it would be a good idea to take kitty to the vet for a checkup and some testing.

Good luck,

=^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

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