Cat Peeing on the Rug? Try These Tips

When I come across a treasure trove of great information about litter box avoidance, I get VERY excited!

One of my favorite blogging vets is Dr. Arnold Plotnick of Manhattan Cat Specialists. I enjoy his blog, Cat Man Do, and love his dedication to cats. He recently posted a reader question about litter box issues. It was the same story we all hear – multi cat household, one cat decides she prefers to pee on the rug and bam! We’ve got litter box issues.

Dr. Plotnick invited one of his esteemed colleagues, behaviorist Alice Moon-Fanelli, from Brooklyn Vet Hospital, to tackle this one and she did an excellent job. I urge you to go read the entire article but here are just nuggets of great info:

*Cats prefer litter boxes 1 1/2 times the length of their torso (there are a lot of dinky litter boxes on the market so consider this when choosing one!)

*Alice recommends Zero Odor to remove the smell from carpets. These guys have been getting a lot of snaps lately and I just received a sample to try so I will let you know what I think!

*Alice suggests 4 inches of litter in the litter box

*To deter the cat from peeing on the rug, Alice recommends that you try a citrus spray (cats don’t like the smell!) or Boundary Spray on the rug.

*If you don’t want to spray deterrent directly on the rug, spray it on a towel and place on the rug (this is a new one I’d never heard!)

Check out the rest of the article for even more fantastic ideas and insight including where to move the box, what NOT to do, and more!

Let me know if any of these suggestions help your litter box scene!


  1. My 6 year old male Ragdoll cat (neutered) has begun to spray and urinate all over the house – anywhere EXCEPT the litter boxes. I now have 5 litter boxes – 3 with litter and two empty – in various places, but he has stopped using them altogether in the past two weeks. He has also been pooping on the bed for the past year (since we had houseguests). I’m at a loss. My vet is checking for medical causes, but we are fairly convinced that it is behavioural. She has suggested kitty prozac. I don’t want to have to surrender him to a pound. There has been no changes in the home since we moved a year ago. No visitors, and just his 6 year old sister feline, and 14 year old female dog.

    ANy new ideas? Any words of wisdom about medications?

    many thanks,

    • Jenelle, my cat randomly did the same thing, and I thought it was behavioral too. Ended up she had a small bladder stone that would occassionally hurt her, at which point shes would pee everywhere except the box. Medicated foods have relieved it. She continues on that food to prevent recurrence. Might want to check that out?

  2. Thanks for the good tips. Rugs can be one of the hardest places to remove cat pee smell from. Second only to carpets then wooden flooors. Anything absorbent presents a problem if the urine isn’t caught fast!

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