My cat urinates on my couches

by Keea
(Honolulu, HI)

My cat urinates on my couches even though she knows where the litter box is. My cat is 2 years old and we have had her since she was a kitten.

We have never had this problem before. I only noticed that she was doing it when I started smelling something really foul in my living room.

Then, when I sat on my couch I smelled the couch and it stinks!

One morning I caught her urinating on the couch. I had to throw away the couch! She knows where her litter box is so I don't understand why she urinates on the couch.

Also, I make sure the bathroom door is open so she can go to her litter box if she needs to. Then I banned her to the bathroom.

Now I have to make sure there are no clothes or towels on the floor because she will urinate on those or if no clothes are on the floor then she will just urinate on the floor in the bathroom.

Even though she has her litter box in the bathroom with her she will still do all that and not go in the litter box!

We make sure her litter box is clean. I have come close to giving her away to the humane society, but I don't feel right about doing that. I don't know what to do?

My Thoughts:

I'm sorry to hear that your cat is having problems, Keea. It's not about knowing where the litter box is...

It's about some problem, either physical or emotional, that is causing her failure to use it.

I've covered this elsewhere pretty well, I believe, but urinary tract infections (UTI) can cause pain.
When a cat experiences pain during urination, the cat begins to associate urinating in the litter box with pain.

Has she been checked by a veterinarian since this began, with the specific goal of determining what's causing this problem?

If she's been given the OK by the vet, is there anything in her life, anything in your life, or anything in the house that changed right around the time the problem started?

I've said it many times... cats hate change. Change causes stress, and stress causes inappropriate urination. So think hard on that and see what you can come up with.

To reduce her anxiety, your vet can prescribe anti-anxiety medication (a last resort). In the meantime, you can try Feliway, which some cat owners have used to solve urination problems.

Another product that may help is Rescue Remedy, and you can try using Cat Attract to see if that draws her to the box.

Follow the basic rules, as always...
  • Have two boxes for one cat, then add one box for each additional cat in the house.
  • Praise her whenever she uses the box for any reason.
  • Never punish her for not using the box, and...
  • Clean up all messes without fanfare using an enzyme based cleaner to completely remove the smell.

I hope that helps and please let us know how she makes out.

P.S. If you decide that you don't want to keep her, please try to re-home her (your vet may be able to help with that). If that doesn't work out, then please try to find a true no-kill shelter or rescue in your area. Many people wrongly assume that because it says "humane" in a name, that they're no-kill.

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