As a cat owner, you’re probably aware of the borderline pathological obsession your pet has with cleanliness. That’s why seeing your pet relieve itself in the house is so surprising and often worrying. If the cat seems to be purposely aiming for the carpet, having to deal with the mess can quickly become incredibly frustrating too. But if you want to know how to stop cats from peeing on the carpet — you’ve come to the right place.
Why Do Cats Sometimes Pee Inside the House?
One of the best things about cats is that they’re so easy to potty train. After all, they’re naturally hygienic animals. Even in the wild, they’re really good about compartmentalizing different aspects of their life. They never relieve themselves near their sleeping area — they even avoid drinking where they eat.
When it comes to urination, most cats would prefer to dig a little hole, do their business, and hide the evidence. So why would they start urinating around your house? Answering that question is the first step toward figuring out how to stop cats from peeing on the carpet.
· Medical Causes
If your cat is urinating inside the house, you should start by ruling out any medical causes. To do so, you can head on over to your vet. However, if you want to come prepared, you might want to spend some time tracking your cat’s urinary mishaps.
Writing down the time and place of each accident, as well as the accompanying circumstances, might help you and your vet come up with a theory as to why they might be happening. With that in mind, let’s go over a few probable scenarios.
1. Bacterial Infections or Bladder Stones
Idiopathic cystitis is one of the most common causes of excess urination in felines. This term encompasses a range of urinary tract complications, including bacterial infections in the upper and lower tract. Alternatively, your cat could be dealing with a bladder inflammation or blockage in the form of bladder stones or crystals.
These conditions can cause a variety of irregularities when it comes to your cat’s urinary habits. A UTI can make a cat relieve itself frequently, but in small doses — just like it does to humans. In addition to that, these medical conditions can often cause other kinds of discomfort, which is why you should get your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
2. Metabolic Disease
Different metabolic diseases can also cause cats to have trouble with urination. While they can be both genetic and acquired, acquired metabolic disorders seem to be more common.
Basically, these medical conditions impair the body’s ability to break down certain substances due to a lack of certain enzymes. If that description sounds familiar, it’s because you may have recognized that diabetes belongs to this group of causes.
In the case of that disease, the body lacks the insulin it needs to process blood sugar levels. The condition can leave cats feeling incredibly dehydrated, making them drink more, and consequently, urinate wherever they can.
To be fair, even if a cat has diabetes, it would only urinate on the carpet if it was really in a bind. It would have probably started peeing in the litter box and moved on to the carpet once the litter was too dirty to go back to.
Needless to say, if there’s a chance that your cat has a metabolic disease, you’ll want to get it to a professional as soon as possible. The sooner you start administering treatment, the better your cat’s chances of having a normal life will be.
3. Age-Related Illnesses
As cats age, they might start losing control of their urination due to the various medical conditions that plague all elderly creatures. As you now know, diabetes can increase both thirst and urination. On the other hand, arthritis can make it difficult to get into the litter box, even if your cat has been using it for years. And of course, cognitive decline can also play a huge part in inappropriate urination and defecation.
Some of the solutions to these problems are fairly simple. For example, you might get a shallow litter tray that’s easier for your cat to hop into. If your cat is urinating in the litter tray more frequently due to feline incontinence, you might have to clean it more frequently as well.
Of course, incontinent cats often don’t even make it to the litter box in the first place. Usually, they just leak urine wherever they are. With that in mind, you might have to give up on learning how to stop cats from peeing on the carpet altogether. Sometimes, all you can do is have patience and support your feline friend in its old age.
· Behavioral Causes
If your vet gives your pet a clean bill of health, you’ll have to consider that your cat has been peeing on your carpet because of other reasons. So if you want to know how to stop cats from peeing on the carpet, start by pinpointing the possible reasons behind the behavior.
For example, the urine of predatory animals often contains unique scents other animals of the species can recognize. Because of that, urination is often done as a way of marking territory. This behavior is exhibited by both male and female cats, though unneutered males are more likely to do it.
Notably, the stance cats take to mark their territory is a bit different than the one they use when emptying their bladders. If they want to spray a vertical surface, they’ll back up against it with their tail upright and spray urine droplets backward. That’s something you might notice your cat doing around doors, curtains, or furniture. However, cats can also mark their territory in their usual position for peeing.
If you don’t have a young, unneutered male cat, this kind of urination can be the result of stress. As you know, cats are creatures of habit. So any disturbance of their routine can lead to anxiety.
Introducing new animals, people, or babies into your home could have prompted your cat to start marking its domain. Even simply rearranging the furniture might cause a cat to misbehave in this way. That’s also why shouting at the poor thing won’t work. After all, if stress caused this behavior in the first place, your anger certainly won’t help.
· Other Reasons
As you know, cats like having a predetermined place for relieving themselves. They’re rather like humans in that way. With that in mind, it’s important to consider any changes you’ve made to their litter box while you’re at it. After all, any kind of change could have triggered unpredictable urinary discharge.
The litter might be too dirty — or even too clean. If you’ve recently changed the litter you’ve been using in favor of a scented one, that might have prompted your cat’s newfound obsession with peeing on the floor. In that case, figuring how to stop cats from peeing on the carpet should be relatively easy. Just go back to the brand of litter you were using before.
Additionally, your pet might have outgrown the litter box you’ve got. Getting a new one could make the kitty go back to peeing in the litter.
Of course, if you didn’t clean up well enough after your pet’s accident, chances are, they’ll pee in the same spot again. Unlike tiles or even wooden floorboards, carpets tend to hold on to unpleasant odors. Since cats like urinating in the same spot over and over again, the smell of urine will keep them coming back until you build another association with the area.
The location of the litter box is another factor you ought to consider. Cats are pretty picky when it comes to their grooming habits. For example, many of them won’t use a litter box if it’s too close to their food.
However, if your cat has been using its litter box without an issue and you decide to move it to a more suitable place — it might continue to use the original location even without the litter there! So how can you prevent that from happening?
How to Stop Cats from Peeing on the Carpet
Once your cat has developed a habit of relieving itself in a certain area, it will be pretty difficult to make them go elsewhere. So if your pet has taken to peeing on the carpet, you should get to the bottom of the issue as soon as possible. With that in mind, here’s how to stop cats from peeing on the carpet depending on the underlying cause of the behavior.
· Medical Treatments That Might Work
If the frequency of your cat’s urinary mishaps worries you, start with a trip to the veterinary clinic. Your vet should be able to offer some solution or at least reassurance.
If your cat has been peeing around the house because of a medical issue, the vet will probably prescribe a treatment plan. You certainly shouldn’t devise one based on the information you find online. In this case, it’s best to hear suggestions on how to stop cats from peeing on the carpet directly from the source.
Before you go to the vet, write down what’s been happening so you don’t forget. Taking the time to think about it might help you see some kind of pattern. Do you usually discover puddles of urine near the litter? Maybe you frequently find stains on the carpet after your cat gets up from its afternoon nap.
All this to say, this information will certainly help your vet get to the bottom of your pet’s issue. If nothing else, you could use it to determine whether your cat has any behavioral issues you ought to address. Sometimes, medical interventions can help with behavioral issues too — like neutering a territorial male cat.
Typically, a vet might recommend a certain dietary plan or supplement to combat inappropriate urination. If your cat is incontinent, the vet might prescribe a muscle stimulant that would allow it greater control over its urinary muscles.
· Fixing Behavioral Issues
On the other hand, if the cause of your cat’s new peeing habits is behavioral, you might be able to solve it yourself. Make sure your home is a pleasant environment for your pet. If you’re expecting a baby or having a new roommate move in, prepare your cat. You can use a doll as a child substitute or have the new roommate visit a few times before moving in.
Similarly, if you’re planning on getting a new pet, make sure you follow all the guidelines for introducing the two. It’s best to take your time with the process than suffer the results of a botched introduction. If you can, speak to a feline behavioral expert before you try to bridge the gap between your old and new pets.
Remember, cats are highly sensitive creatures. They can sense any change of atmosphere. If you recently got out of a relationship or even switched jobs, your stress may have influenced your pet.
With that in mind, make sure to let your cat know that everything is alright. Spend quality time with it — get it a new toy or snack! If all else fails, you can try using a synthetic pheromone spray to relax the cat. And whatever you do, don’t exacerbate your pet’s anxiety by shouting at it when it pees somewhere it shouldn’t.
· Alternative Solutions
If you’ve recently moved the litter box or changed the kind of litter you use, try undoing the changes. You can also get more litter boxes if you’ve recently adopted more cats. Once your cat sees that everything is back to normal, it should stop peeing all over the place.
Unfortunately, the Internet is full of some pretty bad advice for handling this problem. Some people might even suggest that you put food or toys near the litter box to draw your cat back to it. But if anything, you should be taking the opposite approach.
Rather than putting food near the litter box, put it close to the carpet the cat peed on. Remember, cats hate relieving themselves where they eat. So building an association with food near the carpet should make your cat less likely to use it as a toilet.
Alternatively, if you want to know how to stop cats from peeing on the carpet, consider taking it out of the equation. While you’re at it, you can also get it professionally cleaned. That should remove the smell of urine, making the cat less likely to go back and pee in the same spot.
Cleaning the spot your cat peed on and spritzing it with an essential oil spray should have a similar effect. If you don’t have any lavender, peppermint, or citrusy essential oils lying around, a vinegar spray would do just as well. Alternatively, you can use baking soda or hydrogen peroxide.
What to Do When Your Cat Pees on the Carpet
Having learned how to stop cats from peeing on the carpet, you might be wondering what you should do when your cat pees where it shouldn’t. Well, here’s the short answer to that question.
When you discover a puddle of your cat’s urine, try not to get upset or yell at your pet. That will only heighten its stress response, increasing the likelihood of reoccurring mishaps.
Instead, thoroughly wash the area with an enzymatic cleaning solution that should remove any odors. To that end, you can also spray the area with rubbing alcohol. After letting the area dry, you can apply an essential oil spray if you want your cat to steer clear. Alternatively, you can put dry cat food nearby to prevent your pet from peeing in the same place again.