Urinating on Clothes, Spanking & Spraying, Behavioral or Medical

Alana Stevenson, Cat Behaviorist, answers questions from Life with Cats readers.

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Q: I have a cat that I adopted almost two years ago, he spent some time in the pound and almost a year in the shelter. I think he developed some behavioral issues, like eating my hair to keep me awake at night, or knocking things off of my dresser. However, my biggest problem is every time he gets mad at me, he pees on my clothes! If I don’t have clothes to pee on, he’ll pee on my bed skirt. What can I do? – Sarah

A: The first thing I would do is take him to a veterinarian and have him checked for a urinary tract infection. Request a urinalysis and urine culture be done. It is important to rule out medical issues when there is a urination or spraying problem. Your cat is not urinating on your clothes to make you angry. In fact, cats do not know how to handle stress well, so purposely getting you upset is not your cat’s intention.

A simple solution to preserve your clothes, while you determine the source of the problem, is to keep them in the closet, dresser, or laundry bin. For help with litter boxes and possible behavioral causes, please read How to Resolve a Litter Box Problem.

 

Q: I have a female cat who sprays me when she gets mad at me. I spanked her bottom when she got on the kitchen counter. She then came over to the sofa where I had went and sat she backed up to me and sprayed me. It’s like she was saying piss on you lady for spanking me. How can I break her of this? By the way, she is a Siamese that was a rescue. All my animals are rescues with emotional problems. I love all my furbabies but what a battle I have on my hands. – Nancy

A: First, never hit your kitty. Cats will not understand it or learn from it, and you will simply frighten them or make them more stressed. For removing a kitty from the counter, you can simply pick her up gently — do not look at her as you do so — and place her down gently, but matter of factly. You might have to repeat this a half dozen to a dozen times, but when you are calm and unemotional, she will respond by no longer jumping on the counter, or at the very least, much less often.

You can also designate an area you want her to be in, in the kitchen, instead of on the counters. If you have little vertical territory in your home for your cats, and cats are kept on the floor, there is often more stress between cats, and more restlessness in general. By your being reactive and spanking her, she is responding by spraying, most likely out of stress. She is not spraying on you to make you more reactive. Stress can also weaken a cat’s immune system and I have seen stressed cats develop urinary infections, and cats with urinary infections, spray. Cats can spray when there is tension between cats or tension in a household. This means, you will have to change the relationship you have with your cat or ease tensions in the home.

 

Q: My cat Nikki, has been showing signs of maybe being ill, I have had her at the vet three times, with only a mild ear irritation, she is less active, drinks more water and is eating more than usual, and she eats a lot of grass, and is licking her fur a lot more than usual, her personality has changed a little too, not quite as smoochy and a bit more skittish than usual, any ideas would be most helpful, I do intend to take her back to the vet and maybe do blood tests to rule out anything just wondering if this is a health issue which it appears to be to me, or something else that could be bothering her, thanks. – Carole

A: This sounds like a health issue (medical/nutritional), unless there have been dramatic changes in the home or to her routine, or stress between people and/or animals in the household. A bad batch of food or ingredient changes in the pet food you normally buy could cause some of these behaviors. It is important to take her to your veterinarian to rule out any medical concerns. Your veterinarian will most likely perform blood work and a urinalysis to begin with. Ear infections can be very painful. Cats do not do well under stress. If the ears contain black/brown goo or gunk, it can often be fungal/ yeast (or mites). This should be checked and/or treated. It is perfectly fine and healthy for her to eat grass. If she is craving it, you should definitely allow her to indulge. Many cats love wild grasses and lawn grass. Just make sure the grass she is eating has not been treated and is not laden with toxic lawn chemicals.

Copyright © Alana Stevenson 2013

 

Alana Stevenson can be contacted through her website AlanaStevenson.com. She provides consultations by phone and Skype.

 

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14 thoughts on “Urinating on Clothes, Spanking & Spraying, Behavioral or Medical

  1. hi,
    I am getting a french bulldog puppy next week. what is the best way to introduce her to my 2 year old, female cat? and how do i know when they are safe to be around each other(with me in and out of the house.)?
    i love my cat dearly, and would not want her to feel that her territory is being compromised. she was a feral cat before, and it took me a good deal of time to bond with her. i just don’t want her to revert back to the cat she was when we were not the best of friends.

  2. Hi Holly, This should help you.

    https://www.lifewithcats.tv/2012/02/02/3-introducing-dogs-to-cats/

    You will know they are good with each other based on your puppy’s behavior – s/he ignores or defers to the kitty or respects the kitty’s limits. Also, to get started on the right track with training your puppy, Training Your Dog the Humane Way on Amazon has a lot of tips, including house-training, play-biting, chewing and a section on dogs and kitties. The link is attached to the article.

  3. URINATION PROBLEM!! Hi!! I hope you can help me with this situation. We live in an apartment and we have 3 adult indoor male cats all neutered and a week ago we adopted a 10 weeks old male kitten, they all get along just fine! There are four litter trays that get cleaned twice a day and he has his own close to the bedroom area where we keep him at night for his own safety with water and food and some toys, he’s fine with that and sleeps all night long. He uses all the litter trays without a problem but 3 days ago HE URINATED ON MY BED and we cleaned everything thoroughly and sprayed urine odor eliminator all over the mattress, sheets and duvet. He has tried to do it again a couple of times but caught in the act. We need your advice because we know that he’s going to do it again, he runs gets on top of the bed and starts digging! We really appreciate your advice we love him very much!

  4. I bought my boy-friend a cat. He trained it and became very close to it. This cat loves my boyfriend more than anything else in the world. When my boyfriend trained this cat he use to have the cat take naps with him. While I’m getting ready for work in the mornings I lay my clothes out on the bed. And He urinates on them most of the time. I’ve noticed that even when me and my boyfriend are in bed He stays in the room and meows the whole time we’re in bed together. Latter that day He’ll urinate on the bed. Is this because He’s jealous of me? I mean the reason He urinates on the bed? How about my clothes in the mornings? Does he believe this is his spot on the bed? So if I lay anything on there He urinates on them because He’s upset? I truly don’t believe He has a tract infection. Because He handles His urination well any other time. What, if anything, can I do about this? Because I’m getting very frustrated with Him. Please help me!!!!

    1. Your boyfriend’s cat most likely has a litter box problem/aversion. He may also have a underlying medical condition you would need to get him checked by a vet. A kitty would not continually urinate outside the litter box out of spite or jealously. I do provide one-on-one consultations through my website if the issue has continued.

  5. Good afternoon,
    I have several rescue animals, one of which is a Bengal cat mix who LOVES to talk. Sometimes, however, he seems to be crying and will roam around the house making these forlorn cries. I think at times he is trying to get the other cat to play with him, but I’m also wondering if it’s more. He is also extremely picky about his litter box and will often poop directly outside the box if he thinks it hasn’t been cleaned enough. Lately, he has started peeing on my clothes that I lay out on the dryer to air dry. I stopped laying my clothes there and he decided to start peeing on my bed. I extensively washed and cleaned all the covers, sheets, bedding, and mattress, kept him out of the room for a day while the mattress dried, and last night went back in to put sheets back on the bed. I set them on the bed and walked out into the kitchen for a moment. When I returned to spread them out, they were wet – with his pee!
    I have taken him to the vet, they have done tests several times – he’s always “fine”. I have multiple litter boxes, I have tried different litter, putting the boxes in different places, etc… I am frustrated because I want him, and the other cat and dog, to be able to roam around the house wherever they want. But it’s becoming difficult because I’m afraid of what he’s going to pee on next. I’m also afraid he’s going to continue to pee in the same places because I know how hard cat urine is to clean. I might not smell it anymore, but he probably can and will try to pee there again.
    Do you have any suggestions? Thanks

  6. Our cat Puffy has been driving the entire family crazy with his spraying everywhere.
    We bought de-scenting sprays and special cleaners, which he ignored and re-marked all over the house…some advice? (I refuse neuter my cat.)
    Thank you.

  7. I adopted a cat middle aged cat from.the streets and if a pile of clothes or a rug is left out on the bathroom floor she will pee on it. I have bought two litter boxes and made sure they are clean, or at least try to. I have taken her to the vet and she has been cleared. I have a 5 year old little girl and 4 month old kitten. Could this be upsetting her? I have tried keeping the door shut but it doesn’t work. I have opted to buy wet cat food for her which helped a bit but as I have run out of the food and money till pay day she has continued to urinate on clothes JUST in the bathroom. I don’t know what else to do. I’m 7 weeks pregnant so the smell is causing me anxiety and I’m at my wits end here. I need help!!!

  8. Hi I have a Boy cat Ice had him since he was 8 weeks. And he has been good except for the fact that ever since my daughter’s cousin moved in, he cas been peeing on his blankets. Every time he leaves for a couple of days he goes and Pee on his blankets. Why would this be?

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