Top Ten Reasons Cats Pee Where They Shouldn’t

Mimi is a bit of a pisser. When she gets anxious/overwhelmed/upset, she pees. We’ve had quite a few conversations about it, and she agrees with all the clients’ cats I’ve worked with over the years. It’s pretty simple, really.

(Comments in italics by Mimi, on behalf of all cats who pee outside the litter box)

    1. “I’m sick.” Before I work with a client’s cat, I always advise that the first step is to take the cat to the vet and rule out UTI or other physical problem.
    2. “This place is nasty.” Cats will rightly refuse to use a dirty litter box, so keeping the box clean is paramount. They’ll also comment on a cluttered environment by peeing on anything that’s been stacked, scattered, or piled up.
    3. “I’m scared.” Some cats are just anxious and sensitive to energies in the environment. These cats often become the symptom-bearers of any imbalance in the household. They do best when they live in a calm, quiet home with a minimum of coming and going.
    4. “I’m pissed-off.”  Just how pissed-off your cat is, and what they’re pissed-off about, can often be determined by where they piss: Just outside the litter box might mean they’re worried about being trapped inside the box by another cat (or dog) lurking nearby. Farther away from the litter box and up-high, like on countertops, tables, shelves, and chairs, could mean they’re hiding from another cat (or dog) and don’t want to chance making a run for the litter box. Peeing on (or in) your personal items (shoes, purses, bed and/or pillows) usually means they’re mad at you in particular. Why, you might wonder, could your cat be mad at you? Read on…
    5. “I’ve been trying to get your attention, but you won’t listen!” If this isn’t because they’re sick and need to go to the vet, there are plenty of other choices:
    6. “You’re so _______ (busy/preoccupied/unbalanced) that it’s making me crazy!” If we’re allowing ourselves to be buried under a mountain of work, worry, or chaos, our animal companions will do whatever they can to convince us to make a positive change in our own lives. They’re our mirrors: If we’re not happy and balanced, they won’t be either.
    7. “I should be your favorite, dammit!” Cats are notorious for wanting to be the only one in the whole universe that you care about. If you bring home a new animal, make sure to give your other animals plenty of attention.
    8. “I’m sick of all these a$$holes.” Too many cats living in one household inevitably leads to problems. How many is too many? I don’t know, because that calculation is different for every situation and depends on the cats’ personalities, the amount of space they have, and the energy of the household. But believe me, your cats will tell you when you get to that point, but by then, it’s too late.
    9. “I hate that bully, and it’s your fault he’s here.” Once you venture past that sweet spot of happily copacetic critters in a household, ugly patterns begin to emerge. One cat becomes a bully, one becomes a victim, and everyone in the middle develops coping mechanisms you might not like.
    10. “I’m sick of being assaulted by that_______ (kid, dog, or juvenile-acting adult).” All it takes is one idiot who wasn’t taught how to treat another living being with kindness and respect.  Please teach all who enter your domain how to behave. (Hint: it’s not at all cute to let your toddler carry a cat by its head.)

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