One of our cats has stopped using the litter box and, instead, is peeing on the dog’s bed! What is this about? Is the cat mad at the dog? Please help!
Perturbed with Inappropriate Peeing in Garden Oaks
While cats are typically considered factitious in their cleanliness, sometimes (for no apparent reason) a cat will decide to stop using the litter box. What follows can be a mess of epic proportions. While dog pee isn’t necessary pleasant, it is more diluted than cat urine. Cat urine contains uric acid, salt, electrolytes, detoxified substances and urea.
One of the reasons the bad odor of cat urine is so unappealing is because sometimes the animal’s pee is left unnoticed until the smell gets progressively worse. Bacteria break down the urea, which releases ammonia — one of the main odor-causing chemicals.
So, first of all, let’s puzzle through why your cat is peeing outside of the box.
Trip to Vet Might Be in Order
It’s a good idea to rule out a medical condition that might be causing your cat to pee outside of the box. Often, something simple like a urinary tract infection can cause the cat to associate the litter box with painful elimination, causing him to look elsewhere to relieve himself.
Is Your Cat Fixed?
Intact males (and sometimes females) will spray to mark their territory. Obviously, your cat should be neutered for a variety of reasons, but getting your cat fixed will help with the spraying immensely.
While many people think cats can be malicious and pee out of spite, that’s not always the case. It’s unlikely that your cat has it out for the dog. Chances are, the dog bed feels like a suitable place to pee, so that’s why he’s going there.
What is more likely the reason for the peeing outside of the box is a household stressor. Have you recently introduced a new pet (or person!) to the home? Are there new problems between this cat and another animal? Is there an outdoor cat who might be looking in the windows, causing stress to your cat? Any of these might be the cause.
What Can You Do?
After a vet has ruled out a medical cause, another thing that might help is to put several litter boxes around the house, giving your cat an opportunity to choose a box and location that suits his sensibilities. Once kitty remembers how much easier it is to pee in a proper litter box, hopefully he’ll resume using one. If not, your vet can work with you on some behavior modifications that should get your cat back on the litter box track in no time.
Do you have a question for Tabby? If so, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org