Cat Peeing Inside Because of New Baby?

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Cat peeing inside a lot more since baby came

Dec 2004

Does anyone out there have any ideas about how to stop a cat from peeing around the house? We have a cat who on occasion has peed on the carpet, but lately he's kicked it up a notch in terms of frequency (about every other day) and location (the bathtub, various area rugs, the baby's quilt). The other day he got a cotton rug that we've had for about a year without any issues before now.

He's a fixed male cat about 8 years old. He's always had healthy check-ups at the vet. He is an indoor cat, although we let him out in the yard on nice days a few times a year. Our second cat exhibits no such behavior.

Our daughter is 6 months old. The cat hasn't shown any aggression towards her or jumped in her crib. In fact, he's a little skittish around her and has just recently begun to stay in the same room when she's there.

We recently moved his food dishes and gave him a new litter box. Also, our new neighbors of 4 or 5 months have two big dogs.

We're at a bit of a loss. We of course plan to keep him regardless, but we don't want to have our household items continuously destroyed or our house smell like cat urine. And using ''Nature's Miracle'' to get rid of the smell is not always effective. Is he stressed? Is he angry? Does he want more attention? Any ideas or solutions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

A freind had a similar problem and, I kid you not, the solution was a form of kitty prozac. It worked for them. Ask your vet. I believe it was a mist that they sprayed in the cat's face vice a pill. Good luck.

Also I've heard of putting aluminum foil on items that you don't want the cat to pee one as they don't like to walk on it, but then you have a bunch a aluminum foil on your furniture, but at least it can work at night. hope it gets better

One of my cats has been peeing outside of the box on and off for 10 years now. Antidepressants (for him) have helped a lot. For the past three years, he's been taking half an amytriptelene tablet a day. Unless the litter box gets too dirty, he gets sick, or something changes around the house that upsets him, the pills work well. They mellow him out, but don't knock him out. It's a bit embarrassing to have a cat on drugs, but not as embarrassing as having a house that smells of cat urine. (The pills are bitter, so I put each one in a capsule and let him lick it off my finger with a dollop of cream cheese. It solves the problem of having to tackle him every night and thus making him more anxious.) If your vet does prescribe them for you, do watch to make sure the cat doesn't act sick once he's on them. After my husband and I combined our household cats, his started peeing outside the box too so we put her on the same drug. She developed severe constipation from it and got very sick because it took us awhile to figure out what the problem was. If the drug seems to give him a stomach ache, take him back to the vet. Pam

This is pretty common. We had the same problem. It's 'cause your kid is getting mobile and it's freaking out the cat. After several hundred bucks at the vet, making sure Kitty had no medical problems, here's what we had to do:

Kitty went in the bathroom, with the litter box and food bowl, and stayed there. For two weeks. Screaming, most of the time. This was about as much fun as it sounds. But it was that or having her euthanized, which I really didn't want to do (we could not live with the amount of peeing she was doing -- it was completely unsanitary, especially with a small child in the house, and the stench was giving us all headaches.) After two weeks, Kitty got to come out. She could only be in the living room -- bedrooms were off limits and stayed that way. Kitty was back in the habit of peeing in the litter box and we had no more problems.

Of course, about two months after finishing this process we discovered that our daughter was very, very allergic to Kitty (thus the horrible eczema). So now Kitty lives outdoors at my parents', and everyone is much happier. Sara

I have encountered many problems with cats and one thing is for sure they don't like change. More than likely the moving of the food and the new litter tray interupted your cats routine. When cats are stressed in this way they act up, hence the peeing. Does your cat shy away from the baby and seem not to know what it is ? Spending time with both together can introduce your feline to your newish arrival. There is also a great product on the market called Feliway, it is a spray with artifical pheromones to help stop/reduce cats marking their territory. If all else fails, kitty may have to have more outside visits and develop your backyard as his territory and do his peeing out there. Helen

Blech! Cat pee smell is just awful!!

My solution, and it really works, is: since you say he's an indoor cat mostly, try putting him out mostly. If he pees, he's out. A gentle punishment as well a nudge towards being outdoors more often (it's healthier for you and cheaper, too.) Put a box outside on the porch for him to start with. Leave a pissed on item inside or near the box so he understands. Eventually he'll get the message. Don't let him inside till you see that he has pee'd in the box. Eventually replace the litter with dirt and gradually move the box a foot or so every few days till it's in the yard. Then after a few weeks make it disappear.

Soon you will have a cat that pees outside only. This might require that you install a cat door. You can do this in a window without cutting holes anywhere and use a stick to keep the window 'locked'. (Write me and i'll explain how to do this. It's very easy!)

Don't worry about him being outside, the chances of something 'bad' happening to him outside are very slim. And since he has a fondness for being inside, he'll most likely hang out very close to the house. Is you other cat new? Or unfixed? He/she might also start soon if you don't resolve your problem now. Sometimes it just takes time.

Also, FYI, cat pee is very unhealthy to breath in excess and the stench eventually saturates your clothes, bedding, curtains, etc. But, as you get used to it, you don't smell it anymore. (But, everyone else will! Yuck! And no one will want to come over!) Hope this helps! tinygirl

Your cat could have a bladder infection or other problem. I would get him checked out. Other resources (on-line) are a cat rescue organizaiton - their website is ICRA-EastBay --- not sure about the dash - but they have lots of info & links & you could email someone who has tons of experience dealing with these issues. good luck

It's always good to rule out the possibility of a physical problem causing the peeing, but it sounds like you already did that.

There is a product called Feliway, that is suposed to be great for calming cats that are spraying in the house for territorial reasons. The plugin called 'Comfort Zone' is suposed to be more effective than the spray version. Google Feliway and you will find a lot of info on it. I haven't used the product but I do volenteer work with a lot of people that fix and give medical treatment to the urban feral cat population, which often means they have many cats in one house convelsing or being socialized and fostered while awaiting adoption - thats where I heard about it. You can buy it at Pet Club, or other pet stores.

The other suggestion I have may seem a little strange, but I had a vet recommend a pet psychic for that problem. I had a cat that would pee on my clothes if I left them on the floor at night. I have to admit, I ended up buying a clothes hamper to throw my clothes in, thus modifying my behavior instead of the cat's, but I have used Jeri Ryan of the Assisi International Animal Institute on several occasions for behavioral problems with my cats and have had spookily good results. So if the feliway doesn't work and your open to it call Jeri, her number is 510- 569-6123 Crazy Cat Lady

One more reply to this issue, if you can stand it: we were having similar problems and someone recommended changing the cat's food to something that would adjust his pH levels. We tried ''Max Cat'' and, miraculously, have had no more problems. We were inches away from getting rid of him, so this is a huge relief. Good luck -- I hope you have the same success. Lauren


Now that baby is crawling, our cats are urinating on the rugs

Sept 2003 

Since my 10 mo. old son started crawling, one or both of our cats seems to have taken offense and is urinating on our rugs. Any ideas on how we can stop this? Also, what can be done to get the scent out of our rugs? Thanks for your help. Elaine

Cat urination problem: We found success using ''Comfort Zone.'' You can ask your vet about it, I purchased it at our vet's office. It is a product they make for both cats and dogs and you plug it into an outlet. A hormone called feliway is released into the air and helps to calm your cat and stop the urination problem. We were at our breaking point with one of our cats and I am happy to say that our cat did stop urinating and is actually more affectionate as well. The product lasts around 6 weeks and then you can purchase refills if needed. It covers a 600 sq ft area so you purchase multiple if the cat has urinated in various rooms. It is not cheap, around $40 per outlet and per refill. It was well worth it for us, we have not purchased any refills yet, and the cat has not had a problem for the past month without any Comfort Zone. Angela

Cats peeing on carpet since babies came

Sept 2002

Does anyone know how we can get our cats to stop peeing on our carpets' Our cats are 5 and 12 years old. They were visibly displeased when we brought home our twin babies 9 months ago. They clearly dislike the noise the babies make, and the fact that we don't pay as much attention to them any more. Since the babies have joined our household, the cats have taken to urinating on carpets in our living room and in our family room. Luckily the carpets are machine washeable. We have cleaned them many times with special anti-cat-urine cleanser, but the cats keep on peeing. In fact, one of them urinated on a pile of newspapers in a basket during a dinner party in front of all the guests. (We got rid of the basket.)

For some reason the cats only seem to urinate in these places. I am trying to give them more attention (hard with twin babies) and my husband says he cleans the cat boxes out daily. Our cats are mainly indoor cats, though I let them out in the yard, especially when I know the house will be extra noisy. I really don't want to get rid of the cats, but it's disgusting to have the house constantly smelling of cat urine. Any ideas' AL

I can totally empathize with your cats urinating after bringing your babies home. We had the exact problem with our male cat (but not the femaile one). He started freaking out about 2 weeks before our daughter was born when we were moving furniture around. Once our baby was home, he began to urinate in 5 or 6 favorite spots which included on the curtains, in the plants, in hard to reach places like behind the couch and TV, etc. Our cat's behavior went on for 6 months. At first we were patient, later we disciplined with a firm ''no!'' and water squirting, and finally we gave up and took him to the SPCA where we had originally adopted him. He proved to be the kind of cat that didn't adjust well to change or competition from babies. I heard from the agency that he was placed in a good home after a few months. I think he must be much happier. We are much happier too now that we don't have a cat with baby/urinating issues. Good luck. AM

I have a 7 month old and 2 cats, and one of the cats has also taken to peeing in various places around the house, particularly the rugs. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be that much we can do about it. A couple of things might help minimize it, though. First of all, clean the litter box EVERY DAY, even if there's only one little clump in it. I've found that if we let the box go for more than a day, we are ''retaliated'' against, if you know what I mean. Second, if you have cat pee in something made of fabric, the smell will ALWAYS remain, no matter what you use to clean it or how well you think you've cleaned it. And then, once there's pee in something, the cats will keep coming back and peeing on it again and again. If you have throw rugs on top of flooring, which we do, get rid of the rugs completely. Invest in some cheap, disposable rugs you buy at Ikea if you really want to have a rug there. Third, give your cats as much attention as you possibly can. I totally understand how this is hard, and I only have one baby! but every time my husband or I walks by one of the cats, we make a point to stop what we're doing, even for a second, and give them some love. This makes them feel less left out and (hopefully) less jealous, which is the reason they're acting up in the first place. If you get very desperate, take them to your vet and see what they can do for you. Although some may be horrified at the idea, there are medications you can give your cats to help them relax, which will help them stop peeing everywhere. Hope this helps! Jill

First the cats should have a trip to the vets to check their urine and overall health. There are medications that can help the cats deal with the anxiety of having new babies in the household. Cats also can benefit from a facial pheromone spray called feliway that helps calm them. Other things that can be helpful are to place additional litter boxes in the sites they are using and then slowly move those boxes back toward the area the cats have always used. Other times, it helps to make the sites they have choosen adversive- ie put aluminum foil that makes noise as they pee on it, etc. It is always important to first rule out medical causes of their urination, and then figure out with these individual kitties what would be the best approach to modifying their behavior. a local vet