Cat Will Not Stop Peeing on the Carpet!!! HELP!!!!

Updated on February 06, 2011
L.C. asks from Duluth, MN
16 answers

My cat has been peeing on the carpeting near his litterbox for several weeks.
We have treated him for a UT infection but he is still not using the litterbox for pee only.
I know we will have to replace the carpeting now. We keep his litterbox clean but he will not stop this habit!
Why is he doing this and how can I stop it?

***He is a 16 year old cat****

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answers from Des Moines on

Hi! I'm a little late answering; but I thought I'd let you know that sometimes the ARL has a cat behaviorist that you can call. I did that a year or so ago, and she was super helpful.

FYI - I had a similar problem, and she recommended actually soaping up the litter box once a week, new litter, clean box daily. That said, it's hard to tell with an older cat. Good luck -- cat pee is the worst!



answers from Victoria on

My older cat did this and eventually we got him diagnosed with cancer. He started with getting UTI's and just never could get him over it, then found that he tumors in his abdomen, so i think his body just couldn't function like it should. Hope you get over this problem soon. I know it can be very hard to deal with.

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answers from Sacramento on

Poor guy is really old! What is that, like 110 years old in human years? I hope I don't pee on the carpet at that age.

I would take him to the vet and have him checked over, just to be sure he is really okay and the UTI is cleared up. My mom's cat is getting older and gets kidney infections as a result of the UTI, so maybe the infection has progressed in your cat. Usually cats who are really good about using the litterbox but then stop using it and "act out" are doing so because something is wrong.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Either he is not fully over his UTI or something else is stressing him out. Our cat did this when we bought our baby home during the first week. We just cuddled a lot with him--especially if one of us was feeding the baby. He never did it again. If something has changed recently in the house along with his UTI infection, he may be reacting to this. Try and play and cuddle with him more. Also, you could introduce a second litter box in a different place and see if he goes to that one--then get rid of the first one.

Good luck!



answers from Bismarck on

We had a 14/15 year old female that started doing that too, only she would get on the counter and pee on any papers up there and on the stove etc. The litter boxes were clean, etc. Finally took her to the vet and they figured she had dementia and we finally had to put her to sleep. Hardest thing in the world to do! She is buried under a big tree in the back yard with a headstone. Good luck with yours but it seems once they start doing it, they don't stop..especially if they are up there in age.



answers from Appleton on

I would first have him rechecked to make sure the UTI is gone. My cat had the same problem and then stopped using his litter box. The vet said they associate the litter box with pain and suggested we get a new one and put it in a different place - it worked! Good luck!



answers from Duluth on

your cat is reaching the end of his lifespan. this is normal behavior for an older cat. they just dont have control anymore.

talk to your vet. it might be time to discuss letting him go, or if there are other options to help him for the time being.


answers from Kansas City on

It's possible his uti didn't go away, our 4 yo male cat has done this since we had him. He pretty much always has a uti, and having so many he developed crystals. Or it can be a behavior issue, try using an all natural litter, not clay with added scents and stuff.



answers from Detroit on

I have not read any of the other responses but at 16 years old, many cats have some degree of kidney disease - typically kidney failure, just from old age. They can still appear relatively okay, especially if their appetite remains normal, but it can cause them to start drinking more and then urinate more, and sometimes that excess urine ends up outside the box (other reasons include thyroid disease and diabetes). Older cats with kidney disease or diabetes are more prone to UTIs. And maybe the original UTI never cleared up, or has recurred. And sometimes they just get senile in their old age and forget that they are supposed to be using the box.

I would also question if the areas where he peed before got cleaned up well enough to get rid of all the smell - if they can still smell the spots, they are more likely to keep using them. If urinating before with the UTI was painful, sometimes they associate the pain with being in the litter box and then start avoiding the box. And I've known many older cats who did not want to have to climb up and down stairs to get to the box if it was on a different floor - they had aches and pains from arthritis and their response is to just avoid doing the things that hurt.

It may take some sussing out to figure out what is going on. I would call your veterinarian and have them run another urinalysis (assuming they did before and that's how we know he had a UTI to begin with) as well as some bloodwork to check kidney and thyroid function and check for diabetes. They should also be able to give you some advice as far as what to do if everything checks out normal and it's more of a behavior issue than a medical one.



answers from Dallas on

Until you have replaced the carpet and the padding, the smell will remain and your cat will use it as a litter box. Maybe you could place a small area rug over the spot and see if he stops peeing on the carpet. But I'm not sure the smell won't be detectable even w/ an area rug over it.



answers from Topeka on

If it were me i'd get rid of the cat...NO need to go through all this trouble with an animal especially when there are kids living in the home..But just my input...Time to recheck the UTI



answers from Minneapolis on

How old is your cat? Older cats can develop this problem and it is very hard or impossible to break. After you aggresively clean this area, can you completely cover it up, like put furniture or a box over it, and move the catbox to a new area? I'm not sure I would pay for new carpeting because he might do it again, anyway.



answers from State College on

Has he been rechecked to make sure the infection is completely gone? Make sure you are cleaning the area with a pet enzyme cleaner, like nature's miracle, and really soak the area down. He can probably still smell where he has gone and just keeps going in the same place. You can try covering the carpet with plastic in the meantime too, to protect the carpet and encourage him to go elsewhere. Since it started with the UTI is sounds like I would start there and have him rechecked. There is a product called cat attract that can be added to the litter and can help encourage cats to use the litterbox again. Many cats with bladder infections, as I'm sure you know, get an avoidance to the litter box, since they associate it with the painful urination and then once another place smells like them they keep going there. Adding another box may help.

Good luck and hope he is using his box again soon. I know how frustrating it can be, we have a 8 year old female kitty with urinary issues, which are currently under control thankfully.



answers from Jacksonville on

I have a cat that has been having peeing issues for years now and I still don't know what the problem is!! Here are some things I've learned either on my own or from some research as my vet either wants to put my cat on behavior meds or prescription cat food which is way too expensive!! But cats associate pain with the litterbox after having a UTI so it can be a hard habit to break.

-Wash the litter box. The smell can over time get imbeded into the plastic which will cause it to smell all the time no matter how frequently you clean it. You might even want to consider buying a new one if it's been a long time since it's been replaced. Cats also like soft things to pee on so maybe going to a clumping litter if you don't already would help.

-Drench the carpet with a 25/75 vinegar water mix and let it set for a few minutes then use a carpet shampooer to suck it up and rinse it with plain water. The vinegar will help cut the smell out of the carpet and hopefully the cat won't go back to that area to remark it. Or find the smell bad and stop using that spot.

-Move the box to another location and see if he uses it there and then slowly move it back to the spot you want it. Or give him a choice and add a second box some place else.

-Switch foods to something for urinary healthy. Pro Plan (found at pet stores) makes a dry food and so does Purina easily found at walmart. Friskies makes a low ash/magnesium canned food (marked special diet on the label) . Magnesium is one of the issues that can cause UTIs and crystals in cats. I've also learned that dry food is really bad for cats as they don't get enough water in their diet which can cause these problems too. I've just recently switched to the Friskies special diet food and my cat that has been having problems is a totally different cat now!! She is social, more loving and hasn't peed on anything in almost 2 weeks (knocking on wood!). They don't seem to car for the Pro Plan cat food so I'm going to try the Purina Urinary one next. If they don't like it them I'm going to stick with Iams hairball.

Oh, and he could still have the UTI too. There is this crystal stuff you can buy at the pet store that is supposed to turn blue when they pee on it if it detects anything in their urine.

Good luck!!
S.-Mommy to 2 cats and 2 kids :)



answers from Green Bay on

our cat actually had an allergy and is on shots now, he was peeing in odd places. the vet said it's because he thought it wouldn't hurt if he peed elsewhere. It wasn't a bladder infection.


answers from Jacksonville on

First of all, is he happy with what you are using in the litterbox? Was he fine with it for 2 years and then got the UTI and stopped using it, and has continued to not use it? Or did you change what you are using at some point?

Second, once they have peed on the carpet, the scent will stay. Even if YOU can't detect it, HE can. If he used it as much as you said (basically INSTEAD of the litter box) then that carpet (and the padding underneath) is going to have to go. There is no way to completely eliminate the odor that he can smell. Even with enzyme cleaners. They will work with a single or maybe twice used area. But for repeated usage... the carpet needs to be removed. One the carpet/padding is up and out... use an enzyme cleaner on the floor underneath (concrete or wood, or whatever is down there... will have probably absorbed some of the scent as well... and it will need to be treated as well. Once good and dry.. perhaps use something on it to block it.. a sealant of some sort). Then, consider putting a different type of flooring down afterwards, instead of carpet. Or perhaps of moving the litterbox and closing this area off from kitty for a while. Just in case there is any "habit" involved.

Lastly, are you certain he is peeing there, and not spraying? There is a distinct difference. Spraying would need to be cleaned the same way, but would require something different to change kitty's behavior.

Next question: Kitty Potty training....HELP!