My cat pees on rugs throughout my house. How to stop it?

My male cat has started peeing on the rugs in different places in the house how can I stop this? He is an indoor cat about 3 years old there are two other cats and I keep the litter box clean at all time.

  • Vetinfo

    By: Kara McCarty El Segundo, CA

    Replied on 04/19/2011

    It's unusual for a cat to start urinating in the house suddenly unless something has changed. The first step in figuring out how to stop this behavior is to make sure he is healthy by taking him to his veterinarian for a good general physical check-up including a urinalysis, with a urine culture, and a complete blood count and profile. If those tests are abnormal he may need more testing and that is certainly contributing to his behavior. If all is normal then if he is not neutered he should be. Un-neutered males are much more likely to mark their territory than neutered males. If he's neutered and healthy are there plenty of clean (stool cleaned out daily, complete change of litter weekly) litter boxes available to him? There should be one more box than the number of cats in a home with multiple cats so that the other cats can't guard the litter boxes, not allowing him to use them. You mention that he is urinating on rugs. It may be he's decided he likes the feel of cloth under his feet rather than litter. Check his feet and nails to make sure there isn't something causing him discomfort. You may also try different litters. Most cats prefer unscented clay litter. Many cats find the scented litters objectionable. If these are all things you've already tried then it's time to confine him to an uncarpeted room with no rugs or a extra large dog crate with his own litter box and retrain him to use it. Don't let him out until he's consistently used his litter box for 2 weeks and only when you can watch him closely. If he starts to misbehave use an air horn to scare him when he starts to urinate and right back to his confinement area. Over time as he behaves himself he will be allowed out for longer until he's back using his litter box consistently. Kara, DVM

More Questions on Behavior

  • My Dog whines all the time. What could be the problem?

    My Chihuahua, Finona, is about 10 months old. She has a hip problem and has to hop because the surgery that would fix it would cause her leg to become immobile. Recently she has been whining a lot and I'm sure it's not for attention. She could be outside or in another room or I could even be paying attention to her and still she whines. We also believe she could be pregnant. What should we do?

  • How do you prevent cats from scratching furniture?

  • How do I make my cats get along

    I have taken in a 3rd cat. I currently have one male and one female. My female doesn't like the new cat. I have had him for a while now. Is it possible that the female will come around? How long does it take to have some kind of harmony? Should I use a squirt bottle for aggression between the two of them or should I let them work it out?

  • Cat eating less-not normal

    My fat, food loving cat has lost all interest in eating! He seems totally fine otherwise, but for all of his 10years he has been a big eater and now he will take a few licks of his wet food if I put him right on top of it and then turns his nose up and walks away. He is interested in his treats still and he just had a bit of milk. He also is not pooping much at all (another severe change) but not much is going in that needs to come out. What should I do? Should I be worried?

  • My cat started meowing in a loud, guttural, painful sounding meow

    Loud, guttural, painful sounding meow? Over the last year my 7 year old cat has started meowing in a loud, guttural, painful sounding meow. It is usually combined with widened eyes, flattened ears, and running around at full speed from room to room. Usually he meows like this just before he has to use the litter box, but increasingly he meows like this at random times. He has myocardiopathy and receiving medication. I have also had to move twice in the last 3 months. Are there specific reasons why cats meow this way? Stress?

  • My cat is sneezing, can I give her Benadryl?

    Can I give my cat (about 9 years old and about 10 lbs) a small amount of benedryl for her sneezing? Today I counted 20 sneezes when she woke from her overnight sleep. So, i am wondering if giving here a small amount of benedryl will help her?

  • My cat screams for no apparent reason

    Cat is 18 yrs old, starts screaming as if in terrible pain, but is not. She is usually sitting up and stops screaming whenever anyone walks into the room.

  • I suspect my cat is under stress for something, what should I do?

    We moved our two Egyptian Mau to Thailand recently. The move was smooth with no problems. Two days ago the female, usually extremely sociable, started to meow and walking back and forth. The local vet says there is no physical problem. Trying to think of a probable cause, someone trying to snatch her (she is very beautiful and rare), a wild animal, the monsoon weather. Now she refuse to go inside the house. Should I let her sit under a bush, like she has for 2 days? Maybe try SOS-spray? Lena

  • I have a female cat and all she does is bite and scratch us

    aggressive cat i have a 3 month old female cat and all she does is bite and scratch us, we cant even pick her up because as soon as you get close enough she attacks us. what can i do?

  • Can we keep feral kittens in the house with our house cat?

    Okay, this will sound a bit silly, but we found two 6-8 wk old kittens in our horse barn, I have found out tonight that the farm next door has cats with distemper running around. We found them at 8p.m. and would like to bring them inside to keep them safe from the coyotes and the cold,but we have two cats here inside that haven't received their shots yet,We haven't had them long enough,Is it safe to bring them near the other cats if they all receive shots in the morning?It's so late at night.

  • My cat won't walk on his back legs

    my friend found him this morning dragging his back to legs. he moves his tail in only slight ways. He's outdoor cat but he has no wounds from a fight. he won't jump at al Whats wrong with him? Thank you so much if you can help

  • Why is my neutered male cat spraying?

    In the past 2 years my 10 year old neutered male cat has begun randomly spraying in various areas around the house. About a year ago my boyfriend and his infant son moved in with me and the spraying became a daily occurrence targeted at their stuff. I have taken him to my vet who tried him on Amiltryptiline, which didn't work - he got grouchy and peed anyway. Feliway doesn't work, either with him (he goes and remarks within 1-2 hours). I don't want to put him down or give him up. What can i do?

  • How can I get my cat to quit eating cloth?

    I have a one-year old neutered male cat who has recently begun eating cloth. He's eaten multiple holes in fleece blankets, the fringe off an afgan, & the hem off a t-shirt. He doesn't knead the blanket & bite it; he literally chews the cloth. He's an indoor-only cat & we also have 2 indoor/outdoor cats and a dog who plays with him. We feed him premium cat food & provide plenty of toys.

  • Is my cats behavior change temporary?

    2 days ago my kittens (~6mo) had spay surgeries. Kitten C was vocal/upset @ vet. C had gas anesthesia, was normal at home and is recovering OK. M was fine at the vet. She received IM anesthesia. She took longer to perk up after. Ever since at home, M does not like C. This is extremely unusual behavior as they were best friends before. M would groom C and they loved to play together. Now if C comes near her, M hisses/growls and sometimes strikes. Will M go back liking C again? How can I help?

  • Why has my cat's behavior changed?

    Last night (about 18 hours ago) my husband used Hartz Guard Ultra guard pro for dogs over 30lbs on our cat; not a full tube, about half. Now the cat is running all over the house; doesn't settle down unless it's laying on someone and meows a lot. He's just not acting like himself. We are about to try giving him a bath and try to wash off any medicine that is left.

  • My cat has various behavioral issue, Is my cat sick?

    My cat, over the last few days has been bathing frequently. Now, she is a very clean cat, and she bathes regularly, but this is almost like she can't stop! She with scratch( not frequently) but only around her face. I've also noticed her head twitch a couple of times. She's a moody cat, but sweet.Over the last few days she will come up to me purring, and then when I go to give her attention she'll try and bite me. As a warning almost. Am I just imagining things?I just want to make sure she's ok.

  • Why is my cat screaming late at night?

    For the last several months, our cat has been jumping up on our bed around 4 or 5 AM and screaming like crazy. We've tried all sorts of things - petting her, offering her food, giving her her own bed, etc., but nothing works. She'll usually go on for about 15-30 minutes and then eventually stop. She's 13 years old and has always been very well-behaved. She seems otherwise in good health. Is there anything we can do to get her to stop? Could this be indicative of a bigger problem?

  • Constant licking and biting with my 10 year old cat

    10 year old cat who is constantly licking herself from belly to her back legs. She's and indoor cat with no flees. She's done this on and off her entire life but it's recently gotten worse, doing more damage to herself. She's gotten to the point of open cuts and is making them worse everyday. She rips the fur out and I'm worried about infections. We lost our boxer (her best friend) and got a new puppy. She antagonizes the pup and he chases her. She doesn't seem stressed by him.

  • I have a neutered male kitten who has peed on my bed 4 times

    I have a 5 month old neutered male kitten who has peed on my bed 4 times I was allowing him to sleep with me at night however he is now banded from the room. The last time he peed on my bed he also peed on a floor pillow. I have taken him to the vet, no uti problems. He has 3 litter boxes, two in separate rooms upstairs and one on the main level. I use attract litter. He uses the litter box but also the bed. I have soaked the mattress with natures miracle. I've done the feline plugs, getting a new one tomorrow. Should I try bus par? Please help while he's young

  • My cat is biting her fur out

    my cat is biting her fur out, on the sides of her body, and I'm not sure why. I've noticed that she always shivers after she pulls out the fur. I've tried itch creams, and shots from our local vet, but she isn't making any progress. Her master is on a vacation for a long time, so could this be a psychological problem? (no itching involved)

  • How do I know if my cat is in labor?

    She has had a red discharge in the last 3 hours (blood?). She is staying very close to us, and has been sleeping on the couch on her side next to me for the last 45 minutes (she never does this). She seems exhausted. She isn't panting or showing any anxious behavior.

  • Why does my cat have her togue exposed at all times?

    My kitten is 9 weeks old and she has her tongue out all the time. Her eyes look pure black. She is a pure white cat with only a little bit of gray on the top of her head. Is this normal for my kitten to do this or is there something wrong with her?

  • My cat is urinating outside of the litter box

    Cat behavior, urinating outside of litter box 1/2 siamese rescue cat suddenly started peeing outside of litter box in a litter mat (deep with grate on it). he just started pooping on it. i put him in the litter box over and over and listen to him urinate of defecate. i know he is made about something, he is very fussy clean boy. my 2 female cats insist on using his box. he is fine with it and then he isnt. he also got mad when i changed the position of the box. i gave him more room and privacy. boundary, feliway, etc, arent working. help

  • My cat has turned aggressive towards my other kitten

    Aggression and Vomiting My cat is 5 years old and she was the only pet I had until May this year in which I adopted 4 more kitties. My cat has turned aggressive, hissing and slapping the other cats and even started vomiting her food sometimes twice a day. I treat her nicely and try to do things to make her realize she is still #1 at the household.What can I do? I love my kitty so much and I don't want to see her in such pain.

  • Why would my cat keep peeing on my towels in my bathroom

    Why would my cat keep peeing on my towels in my bathroom when her litter box is not that far away?My cat keeps peeing on my towels and her litter box is clean and close by. She pees in the same spot on the towels every time. Why does she keep peeing on the towels?

  • Can we improve a negative cat to cat relationship

    Can we improve a cat challenge situation? My 6-yr-old cat Smiley, the dominant cat of the household, recently lost 1 of her top fangs and the dentist recommended we have the other pulled (it was already loose). Now Smiley is being strongly challenged by one of the other cats - a few spats & lots of growling from Smiley. Can we calm things down again? We have 4 cats, all spayed/neutered, and 2 of them are ignoring the situation.

  • Cats plucking other cats for dominance issue

    I have two cats a Bengal that is 6 months old and another cat that is 15yrs old. The younger cat has been testing dominance as expected but has recently started plucking the other cat. what could be the reasons for this?

  • Why does my cat's face twitch?

    For about the last month her facial features have been twitching abnormally every now and again. It looks like she has "kitty terets" or something. We just moved and she was very upset the first few weeks but she's been great lately so I don't think it's stress. Besides a small purple bump on her lower jaw(getting checked) she seems completely normal otherwise. I'm afraid that it could be because my dad accidentally got her shots done again 4 months after I had already taken her! Thanks!

  • My cat can't meow, What can I do?

    My cat came home from being outside for a few hours and now she can't meow. She is physically trying to meow but nothing comes out .She is normally a VERY vocal kitty. What should I do? How can I check if it is serious BEFORE going to a vet?

  • What can cause loss of control of back legs in a litter of kittens

    We recently got a new kitten. At around the age of 6 months old he started losing control of his back legs. He stumbles and has trouble walking and doing the things he had no problem doing previously. We contacted the previous owner and she too said that her other kittens from this litter have started having these problems as well. Is there any diagnosis for this particular problem in kittens around 6 months?

  • How can I stop my cat from clawing and bitting me

    what can i use to stop my cat biting and clawing me

  • Eight weeks old kitten, how often should she go to bathroom

    I just got a 8 wk kitten. she used the litter box once in 2 days. I feed her every couple of hours. she very playful. how often should she go. My kitten doesn't defecate after every meal. She did go once in 2 days. I have a 3 yr old male cat but they are separated.

  • Why is my cat shaking?

    She is shaking with her eyes closed.

  • Why does my cat keep licking one of his nipples?

    Hi, my cat has been licking one of his teats. He has made it bleed and go sore. What could be causing this? I gave him frontline so I don't think it's fleas.

  • Why does my cat want to sleep on my head?

    I rollover to get him off my head and he seems to want to get closer. I don' t mind,but sometimes when I want to sleep there he is! lol!

  • My cat is not eating or sleeping well. What can I do?

    My cat hasn't been eating or drinking water and the only place he will lay down is in the litter box, should I be concerned? He threw up a night ago and I just want to make sure it's nothing serious. He will be 2 years old in December. I'll take him to bed with me and when I wake up he is back to sleeping in his litter box. Please help I don't know what to do. Thank you.

  • Scared cat problem. Why and how to fix?

    Over the last month or so my cat will suddenly become agitated, her tail twitches much more than normal, her muscles on her rear legs & about 4 inches up the back will twitch/contract, she will sometimes bite or lick her flanks, she has a VERY nervous look on her face, and she will run around like the devil himself is chasing her. She is the only pet in the home, about 5 years old & other than fleas she has been healthy. She divides her time between inside. Usually spending the night outdoors.

  • Cat licking and biting base of tail until it's bleeding

    3 weeks after moving from Vegas to Sacramento, my 8 yr old cat started licking her abdomen and more severely, the base of her tail, to the point that the areas were raw, red, & bleeding. A collar fixes the problem but the 2 cortisone shots she got from the vet (2 weeks apart) didn't seem to matter (collar off, she goes at it again!). Does this rule out stress, rule out allergies, rule out anything? She's like her old self w/ the collar on, but can't be nearly as active. What's wrong with her? :(

  • How to stop a cat from overeating?

    I have a 12yr old cat. We just got a new cat and now the 12yr old one is eating so much at one time that she throws up. How can we stop this?

  • Litter box problemmy cat misses it. Why?

    My 11 yo cat has recently been eliminating (feces) out of the box. No changes have occurred to precipitate this action. Spent $200 @ vet & they said all is normal--sans urinary test they did not do. Can you help?

  • Cat problem with anus. Strange behavior. What is it?

    I have noticed in the past few months my cat has been licking her butt quite a bit like it bothers her. At first I thought maybe she just had dry skin in the area until I saw how red her anus is. She lays on her side and then leans up to lick the area. Then, she flops back down. It is almost like watching a fish flop around. She also kicks out her back feet while she does this strange behavior. She is 8 years old and is fat. She had also been spayed when she was about a yr old.

  • Cat hair loss from my cat pulling hair. How to fix?

    Earlier this year, my cat had an accident with an animal trap where he lost a huge chunk of muscle in his rear right leg. We couldn't afford to get x-rays, but we got a cast for him, pain killers, and took care of most infections. Lately, 6 months after the accident, he's been pulling out his own fur, and areas around the leg and hind area is losing fur quickly. He isn't bald, but hair comes out easily in these areas. Are these two happenings related and how do I stop it?

  • Cat behavior: Stressed cat from newly installed ceiling fans

    Hi we installed ceiling fans in two of our rooms. Now our 6 years old cat fears to enter these rooms even if we do not switch on. I would appreciate any advise...thanks in advance

  • Causes of an angry cat?

    Hello, recently my cat has been very angry, and I am not sure why. She hisses at everyone, other than me, and attacks my other cat quite often. She was once very close with my other cat, but now if she even sees him she will growl and fuss. We believe she is carrying babies, because her belly is growing, but she has had kittens before with other animals in the house and not been like this. Is it because he is a male cat? Is something wrong or is this common?

  • Odd behavior that consistent training will not stop

    My cat Jet, who was found on July 9, 2009, was found behind our house being chased by a tom cat. We immediately took him to the town vet and told us he was probably around 3 to 4 weeks. After training, where he took to his litter box, he still attacks our daughter so bad that her arms looks like she is a "cutter" and has torn up our furniture. He also attacks both my husband and I but not as bad as our daughter. It has gotten to the point where he is not allowed at our vet anymore. We need help!

  • One of my four cats spraying and won't stop after medication?

    We have a 6 year old spayed female who developed a spraying problem. The problem started roughly 8 months ago when our relatives stayed over for the holidays. During their stay all of our cats (a total of 4) went crazy but after they left 3 went back to normal but one kept on marking. We tried everything from feliway to putting her on buspirone. The medication only made the issue worse. Is there other any way to stop her from marking?

  • My kitten urinating in his food bowl?

    My kitten tried to urinate in his food bowl. I caught him in time and put him in his litter box. What does this mean?

  • Cat behavior: 2 female cats not getting along

    I have 2 female spayed cats - 1 is 4 years old, the other 14-15. They have been getting along until 6 weeks ago. Now we have to lock the older one upstairs so she won't be afraid to eat and will use the litter box. Occasionally, she still pees on the bed instead of crossing the room to the box, even when the door is shut. She is always crouching in fear and looking around for the other. Why is this suddenly happening? Nothing seems to have changed with either cat except for this behavior.

  • Cat behavior problem since moving

    Since moving about 2 months ago, my cat won't eat and all she does is hide. She has lost tons of weight and looks horrible. By now she should have come around. My other cat is just fine. I can't force feed her. Even if I close the closet door and put food in there, she still won't eat. I'm surprised she's still alive actually. What can I do?

  • Cat anxious and poor appetite. Why?

    Our cat is 1 and a half years old. In the last 4 weeks he has slowly gone of his food, been vomiting and seems more anxious and skittish. He has been an outdoor indoor cat but recently I have kept him inside. He was recovering from broken back legs when we got him at 6 months old. He has had metacam on and off since. Xrays and bloods have come back clear. He responded for a bit to an appetite stimulant and is on Zantac and antepsin in case of an ulcer. He still isn't eating much but is drinking+.

  • Why is my cat limping?

    My son says she is overweight I don't think she is but she just sleeps and eats and when she gets up to go outside to the toilet she limps on her back leg. She doesn't have any injuries that we know of.

  • Uknown cause of cat aggression

    Started about a year ago. Closest description is the sound of cats fighting with growling and hissing. The closer you get to him, the louder he gets. First started on others when they came over, now does it to me too with no reason. Progressively getting worse. I've tried a fairmone plug in from the vet, not working. Nothing different in diet or home. Male and neutered 3yrs old. If you leave him alone after minutes or hours, he'll come over purring like nothing happened.

  • My cat walks with a stagger suddenly. Why?

    She has weakened over the past 2 months and lost weight, but with some intermittent good days. Tonight, she staggered and cannot walk, and cries. This is the first of anything like this. She breathes shallowly and rapid. I see she is in pain and it is hard to breathe. I am afraid of not making it through the night.

  • Why does my cat whine and crawl on its belly?

    She started crying and crawls around on all four but drags her belly on the floor. She just started doing this the last 3 days

  • Is a siberian kitten good with dogs?

    we are looking at buying a siberian kitten and want to make sure he/she will be able to adapt to a home with a golden retriever dog. any thoughts?

  • My cat's tongue sticking out, and why is she drooling?

    Shadow, 17, is probably OCD about cleaning herself. That hasn't been a problem until recently when she started drooling excessively, which means her fur is always wet from cleaning. Her tongue is also sticking out about 1/2" all the time. She's eating normally, drinking a lot, acting fairly normal for her age. A little more clingy, even with strangers and the dogs who are afraid of her.

  • Cat hissing

    My husband and I just moved into a house a month ago and now all of a sudden one of my male cats have become extremely afraid of my husband for no reason. He will hiss and hide from him. He acts perfectly fine around me though. What is going on with the cat and how can we get him to not hiss and hide?

  • Cat attacking and charging at me.

    I have an American Bobtail Male. He was raised in a farm. I got him when he was 3 months old. At 6 months old he had a baby tooth that never fell out, so the Dr. removed it and at the same time my cat was neutered. He would bite me a little before this happened. When he got well from the tooth extraction, he started really biting. There are 5 people in the house and he attacks me only. He attacks me mostly when I am asleep. He goes for my face first then once I get him off me, he keeps charging and doesn't stop.

  • How do I get my fixed male cat to stop spraying?

    I have a male cat that was fixed before he could ever start spraying. He has since started, will stop for maybe a month or so, and then start up again. To add insult to injury, we just got new carpet. He was good at first but has started up again. Is there anything I can do to help prevent him from spraying anymore? He does pick his particular spots. I'm really desperate to find some help.

  • How do I keep my cats off furniture?

    I've heard that cats will not sleep on aluminum foil, is this true? My cat is shedding hair all over my chairs and I've heard that they wont sit/sleep on aluminum foil.

  • Why is my cat drooling at the mouth and eyes?

    My cat was drooling at the mouth, eyes and a little by nose last night. She is not anymore. And was really thirsty. What might this be?

  • Why would two cats fight all the time

    The cats are 7 years old, neither spayed, both female. They have recently moved into new surroundings (3 months) - not using litter box and fighting all the time. Would spaying help at this age?

  • See all questions in Behavior

Please do not use our site to attempt to diagnose or treat your pet. Your veterinarian is the best source of health advice for an individual pet.

Please do use our site to become better informed about the medical problems your pet may have. We will do our best to ensure that information presented is accurate and up-to-date. The most current information will be at the top of each page. Remember that veterinarians often disagree about the best treatments for pets. There are often several perfectly acceptable ways to treat the same condition. Just ask a lot of questions!

For all emergency situations, please contact your local Emergency Pet Clinic or on-call Veterinarian. Answers are not provided in real time. We can not guarantee an answer to every question, nor can we provide timely responses to urgent questions in many instances.