Why is my cat peeing on stuff that is left on the floor, and how do I stop it? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why is my cat peeing on stuff that is left on the floor, and how do I stop it?

Hello. I have a couple questions about my cat. I'll describe my situation first before I jump into any questions.

I'm currently away at college, living in a dorm that doesn't allow pets. Back home, I have two house cats (both females) that we've had for about 10 years.

We've been fostering cats for about three years now. This previous summer, we had a litter of kittens that were two weeks old, and we kept most them until they were almost 19 weeks. old. I fell in love with Oliver, a sweet buff male kitten, and decided to adopt him. My parents agreed to keep him at our house until next year when i get an apartment that allows pets (my mom actually jumped at the opportunity, and now jokes about how she's not going to give him back to me. At least, I think she's joking ).

So Oliver lives in the same space as the two house cats. They don't like him, and if he gets too close they'll bat at him, but they don't actively attack him.

Here comes the part where I explain the problems and ask questions.
For a while now my mom has been saying that Oliver is peeing on soft, cloth like items that are left on the floor, like blankets, pillows, and clothes. He hasn't been peeing on the rugs and if things are picked up, he doesn't have any accidents. Its also only if they are left on the floor. He won't pee on pillows that are left on a couch, or coats that are sitting on a chair.

However, I'm not quite certain its him. We've never caught him in the act. We haven't had this problem before in previous litters, so that seems to suggest that he's the culprit. However, I caught my house cat peeing on a pillow. It was on a couch, which doesn't follow the culprit's M.O. of peeing on things left on the floor. I think that my house cat would have more reason to pee on things: she doesn't like Oliver and may feel that she needs to mark her territory.
I know that males are more likely to mark their territory, but Oliver is neutered and very laid back. He's not threatened at all by the house cats.

If you have any idea why things are getting peed on, who's doing it, and how to stop it, I would be very grateful. I'm getting an apartment with some friends and I don't want their stuff to get peed on, and I'm sure they agree with me.

~Naur
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Peeing outside the litterbox can sometimes be a sign of a medical problem like a UTI so you may want to have the vet check him out just to be safe.

Also, territorial issues could be possible, even with neutered/spayed pets, but less in a "marking" sense and more in a "guarding the litterbox" sense. How many litterboxes do you have? If Oliver and your other cats don't get along, it could be they're chasing him away from the litterbox, or he's nervous to go in it because of them, and ends up peeing elsewhere.

If you only have one box, you may want to try getting a second and keep it somewhere Oliver considers "his space" or someplace he spends a lot of time. I have two boxes for my two cats, even though they get along just fine, since if one is using the litterbox, the other doesn't like going in there at the same time. This way they always have a backup they can run to if one is occupied.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would normally agree with saitenyo's suggestion to rule out medical issues first. However, if you're saying that you never have any accidents whatsoever when things are picked up, then it doesn't sound like a medical problem. Rather, it seems there's something about things left on the floor that are attracting him. I know that certain detergents can attract cats, particularly if they contain amonia, the smell of which can remind a cat of urine (even though you or I won't notice any such smell, since we are scent challenged!). And it sounds like the things he's peeing on are the types of things that would find their way into the wash. I can't say whether or not detergent is the problem in your case, but it's worth switching your (or your Moms) brand of detergent to see if that helps. If there's no improvement, then it's back to the drawing board.

I would also note that, if Oliver is the culprit, the problem is not likely related to territory, because kittens are not territorial. A cat's territorial instincts don't fully develop until the cat reaches social maturity, which typically happens between 1 and 3 years of age (most commonly at or around the age of 2).
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks a bunch for the quick replies. We only have two litter boxes, which probably isn't enough. I'll get another one and see if that helps at all.

About the detergent: that's very interesting about the ammonia and I didn't know that, but I don't think that's it. We've never washed the pillows and the the I don't think the coats that were peed on have ever washed (until after they were peed on, that is )

Do you think its possible that my female house cat is peeing to mark her territory? We've been fostering for years, and while this isn't the first accident, its the first that has to have come from a completely litter trained cat. Could it be that my house cat feels more threatened by Oliver, who is already bigger than her, than she has by smaller kittens?
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If the culprit is one of your female cats, it's more likely due to stress from Oliver being around, as opposed to territorial marking...although it does seem strange that she only does this when things are left lying around (whether the issue is stress or territorial). Either way, if you're shortly due to get your new apartment and take Oliver with you, that should put an end to the problem.

In the meantime, you could try two things. The simplest and most obvious is to not leave things lying on the floor! The second is to try a product called Feliway, which is designed to alleviate stress and solve stress-related urine issues. Some cats have no reaction to it, while it can be helpful with many others. It definitely helped to reduce stress in my Muffin (although her stress wasn't resulting in inappropriate urination).
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advise, Susan. These accidents have definitely led to a cleaner house . We've tried Feliway with her before, but she doesn't seem to be very affected by it. But, we've never tried it for a urinating problem, so maybe it will help in this situation. I will check to see if we have any.

I just thought I'd post an update.

I caught Tigressa peeing on a chair a couple days ago. She had been the one that I caught peeing on a pillow on a couch about three weeks ago, so we were fairly sure it has been her peeing everywhere. We took her and her sister into the vet (they were due for a check up and shots anyway) and the vet took some urine samples. He said that there were a normal amount of bacteria in her urine, but there were also a higher amount of white blood cells. He said its possible that she has a minor infection, and even though he could barely tell, it might still be enough to cause her problems.

He also mentioned that it could be behavioral as well, so nothing is certain.

He also gave her a shot that will cure the infection if she has one.

We're hoping that will help. For now we're keeping Tigressa in my room, where she feels safest. She has her own litter box and none of the other cats can get to her. So far, we haven't had any accidents. Its only been two days, so nothings for sure. We're going to let her have free reign of the house during the day tomorrow, and keep her in my room at night. Hopefully, if this is a behavioral problem, that will give her a bit of security.
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I hope she stays accident free!
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