Oh no! There it is again–cat urine. It seems to be turning up everywhere lately: the couch, the pillows, the rugs.
It all started when you got the new dog; now, you feel like your cat is out of control. What can you do to get your cat to stop peeing in the house?
When there is a change in the house, it can cause stress to your cat. It is crucial to ensure that your cat and dog get along by establishing separate routines and spaces within the home.
Why is my cat peeing everywhere?
Let’s think out of the box about why your cat is peeing out of the box.
A new dog is a change in the house.
Cats can start peeing in the house for various reasons, including stress.
Multiple factors contribute to stress. For example, you could be paying the cat less attention, or the dog could be aggressive with the cat.
The cat could also be responding to the change in routine. If the dog frequents the area where the litter box is housed, the cat could become afraid of making the trek.
This is usually a short-term urinary problem that is overcome once the cat becomes used to the dog in the house.
The dog could be harassing her.
Some dogs are overeager with cats. They usually don’t mean any harm; they just don’t know how to interact with the cat.
Training the dog to leave the cat alone will help your cat feel more comfortable. Some dogs are never socialized around cats, so they see cats as a threat.
If this is the case, make sure to put your dog on a leash while in the room with the cat. Gradually train your dog to interact positively with your cat, rewarding gentle behaviors.
Eventually, the cat will come around and possibly even become close to the dog.
Cats can also start urinating everywhere because they are marking their territory. Marking territory looks different from urinating.
A cat will back up to a surface, shake its tail, and spray urine onto the surface. They are using their urine to claim areas of the house.
Cats are very territorial and want to show the new dog that this home is theirs. This usually only happens if your cat has reached sexual maturity and has not been neutered.
It is more common in males; however, females can also mark territory with urine. Be aware that even when a cat is fixed, it can still mark territory when it’s under stress.
Urinary health issues
Cats are silent sufferers; they rarely show signs of pain. So, urinating outside the box is one of the most common signs of an illness.
If you see your cat straining to urinate, licking the genital area, crying when urinating, and/or your cat has a reduced appetite, they may be showing signs of medical issues that need attention.
Of course, your cat could be urinating outside the box from a stressor unrelated to the new dog.
Cats are sensitive to changes in the environment. Try to think about the changes to the cat’s lifestyle lately. They can be upset by their litter box being moved or having a different schedule.
Cats can also be sensitive to food brands and types of litter, even if they’ve previously been ok with those brands. Observe your cat’s behavior to try to get to the root of the peeing.
What can I do to stop my cat from peeing in my house?
Break the habit using enzyme cleaners
You may believe that you’ve thoroughly cleaned a space where a cat has peed, but if you aren’t eliminating the enzymes, the cat will return to the spot to pee again.
Humans can’t smell these enzymes, but they attract cats back to the same spot.
You can buy enzyme cleaners that go on both hard and soft surfaces. Some types can even be put in the laundry. These cleaners will help eliminate the chemicals that attract a cat to specific spots to urinate.
Use food to deter inappropriate peeing.
Cats don’t like to urinate where they eat, so to discourage inappropriate urination, put treats in spots your cat frequents.
This seems counterintuitive because you don’t want to reward bad behavior, but it can actually help deter a cat from peeing in that spot again. They will get used to that place being a food place and will avoid urinating there.
Observe the relationship between dog and cat.
Before you automatically think that the dog is the issue, observe the behaviors between the cat and dog.
If your cat is scared, she will hiss, arch her back, and bristle her fur. She may even swat or growl at the dog.
Alternatively, the cat may choose to hide every time the dog comes around. These are signs of tension between the cat and dog.
Also, look to see if the dog is biting at the cat, picking it up, or hitting it with its paws. The dog could also bark or growl at the cat. These are signs that the dog is being aggressive with the cat.
If you observe aggressive behaviors between the cat and dog, you may need to work on keeping them apart to encourage a happier and less stressed cat or focus on training the dog.
However, if the cat and dog generally seem to be leaving each other alone, the dog is probably not the cause of the cat’s urinary distress.
Keep them apart
Some of your problems can be solved by separating your pets.
Pets can be protective of their food. So, if you have the dog and cat’s food in the same location, it may be causing tension. The dog may snack on the cat’s food or vice versa.
Make a place where they can both eat uninterrupted. If you don’t really have many places to put out the food, you may consider feeding them at separate times, building a routine where you train, or putting away the other pet while one eats.
Another way to keep them apart is to get a cat tree. There are also many cat shelves you can install along your walls. Both of these help your cat to move around or rest unbothered by the dog.
You can also designate a certain room where the cat stays, and the dog is blocked off from that room. Even if your dog is super affectionate towards your cat, your cat may just need time away.
Rescue Remedy and Feliway
If your cat is stressed by the change, there are some products available to help calm your pet.
Rescue Remedy is a blend of the essence of five flowers known for their calming properties. This product has been around since the 1930s, and many pet owners use it to calm their pets.
Another stress reliever for pets is a product called Feliway, which is a synthetic pheromone that makes cats feel in control. This product is not for use on the cat but on the environment around it to make it feel more secure.
Cat attract litter
Cats are particular about having a clean litter box. If it isn’t maintained, cats will urinate outside of the box.
Cats can also become sensitive to certain types of litter. The scents, textures, and dust can bother your cat.
If you want to encourage your cat to return to the litter box, first thoroughly clean the box, and then you can purchase special types of litter, such as Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract Litter.
This litter incorporates special herbs and essential oils that entice cats. This will help attract, as the name suggests, your cat back to the litter box.
When a new dog is introduced into the home, the cat may naturally get less attention. Make sure to play with your cat and groom it.
Build into your daily routine time with your cat. This will help relax your cat and show her that she is still an important part of your family.
Check for UTI and other problems.
If stress has been eliminated and your dog and cat are getting along, then the peeing may be medical.
There are several different urinary tract diseases that cause cats to pee outside of the litter box, such as:
- UTI (urinary tract infections)
- FLUTD (Feline Urinary Tract Disease)
- metabolic diseases
- bladder stones
If your cat continues to urinate around the house after trying everything, then you need to take your cat to the vet to eliminate the possibility of disease.
Cats can become stressed when a new dog is added to the family, which can cause them to urinate inappropriately.
There are several ways to ensure that your cat accepts the new addition and several different products and practices to help eliminate the cat’s desire to pee outside the box.
Although a cat peeing outside of the box can be distressing, soon enough, your pet will return to normal, and everyone in your house can enjoy time together.