Finding an unexpected urine stain on your carpet or couch can ruin your mood, especially if your cat is spayed and not likely to mark. Stopping the behavior requires a two-fold plan: completely eliminate the stain and determine what's causing it in the first place.
Clean the spot thoroughly to remove all smell. Before you worry about why your cat is suddenly letting loose where she knows she isn't supposed to, you need to make sure that she doesn't keep returning to the spot. Removing the visible stain isn't enough, you need to remove all the smell too. Enzyme-based cleaners, available at pet and retail stores, are specially formulated to remove both the stain and the smell associated with pet pee. Clean the spot thoroughly and repeatedly if necessary to remove all evidence of the offending stain.
Check her litter box. Some cats are quite finicky when it comes to the cleanliness of their litter box, and if she deems it too dirty she'll relieve herself elsewhere. The box's location can also play a factor in your cat's inappropriate elimination, as if it's in an area too busy or distracting she won't feel comfortable using it. Clean the box more often or move it to a quieter, calmer location and see if the sudden pee spots stop appearing.
Offer stress relief. Cats like routine and if your household has recently experienced some changes, such as a new job schedule or new member, your cat may be peeing or spraying to relieve her anxiety. Synthetic cat pheromones like Feliway help encourage a relaxed feeling and keep the cat calm, reducing the urge to spray. Place diffusers or use calming pheromone sprays around your cat's bed and food bowls to encourage her to relax.
Visit your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Normally fastidiously clean creatures, the very fact that your cat is peeing outside her litter box is suspicious. If nothing points to an external source -- no recent changes in her life or routine -- she may be suffering from a medical issue, such as a urinary tract infection or kidney problems. Take her for testing to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Your cat will return to any area she has peed or marked in the past if she can still smell it. Go around your entire house, anywhere your cat has access to, and do some sniffing to see if there are any other locations you didn't know about. Check in closets, hampers and laundry baskets. Thoroughly wash every soiled area and item until the smell is completely gone.
- Sometimes an emotional or psychological issue causes cats to mark, requiring a more intense treatment to make it stop. If all else fails and nothing you try helps to stop the behavior, your vet may need to prescribe a medication to calm her and minimize the urge to spray.
- Urine contains ammonia, so avoid using an ammonia-based product to clean the mess. That will simply add to the ammonia smell, practically encouraging your cat to continue to pee there.
Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.