Why Does My Cat Pee in the Tub? Finding your cat’s urine in places other than the litter box can be upsetting and frustrating for any pet owner. The bathtub is a favorite alternate pee spot for some cats. If your cat has started peeing in the tub, there are a few possible reasons.

Medical Reasons:

One of the most common medical causes of inappropriate urination is a urinary tract infection (UTI). With a UTI, peeing becomes painful and frequent. A bathtub’s relaxed, smooth surface may feel soothing on your cat’s irritated urethra. UTIs require antibiotic treatment from your vet.

Bladder or kidney stones are painful urinary conditions that may cause peeing outside the litter box. Senior cats are prone to developing stones as their urine becomes more concentrated. Crystals or stones passing down the urethra cause a persistent urge to pee.

Kidney disease is another potential cause, especially in older cats. Impaired kidneys cause toxins to build up in the blood, making cats feel unwell. This can alter their peeing habits.

Diabetes is yet another medical issue that can lead to excessive peeing and using locations outside of the litter box. Initial symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and urination.

Any medical condition that causes an increased urge to pee, pain during urination, or excessive peeing can cause your cat to peep in the tub. It’s important to rule out medical problems by having your vet examine your cat and run urine tests if needed.

Litter Box Issues:

Cats prefer a pristine, inviting litter box. If something about their litter box setup is unpleasant, they may opt for peeing in the tub instead. Here are some litter box factors that may deter your cat from using it:

  • Dirty litter: Cats dislike a dirty, smelly litter box. Scoop daily and change the trash altogether every 1-2 weeks.
  • The wrong type of litter: Some cats dislike certain textures or scents. Try different unscented clumping litters to see if your cat has a preference.
  • Small, enclosed litter box: Cats need enough room to turn around and dig in the litter. Try a larger, open-top litter box.
  • Litter box location: If the litter box is near loud appliances, in a busy area, or inaccessible, cats may not want to use it. Could you put it in a quiet, low-traffic place?
  • Negative association: Your cat may associate the litter box with an unpleasant experience and avoid it. Starting fresh with a new litter box may help.
  • Ambush concerns: Cats may feel vulnerable using a box in the open. Try placing it in a corner or semi-enclosed area so they can see around them.
  • Competition with other pets: Some cats avoid sharing litter boxes with dogs or cats. I have one box per cat plus an extra.

Addressing litter box problems will make your cat more likely to resume peeing there normally.

Behavioral Reasons:

Sometimes, cats urinate outside the litter box due to behavioral or environmental stressors, not medical issues. Potential triggers include:

  • A new pet, baby, or person in the home
  • Construction noise
  • Changes in routine or schedules
  • Loud noises like thunderstorms or fireworks
  • Unfamiliar guests in the home
  • Conflicts between pets
  • Bullying or intimidation by another pet

To a cat, peeing in the tub may feel reassuring during stress. It mixes their scent into the environment and establishes ownership of that space. Ensure your cat has a quiet, private area they can retreat to when feeling anxious. Reducing stressors can encourage proper litter box use again.

Attraction to Bathtub Features:

There are a few unique features of bathtubs that naturally appeal to cats:

  • Cool, smooth surfaces: The porcelain finish feels friendly on paws and may soothe irritated skin. Place a soft bath mat in the tub to alter the texture.
  • Drain access: Unlike an enclosed litter box, the open drain allows the urine to disappear. Secure a drain cover to remove this temptation.
  • Privacy: The tub provides a discreet, semi-enclosed space. Increase privacy around your cat’s litter box area to give a similar pee spot.
  • Scents: Past smells of scented bath products, residue from cleaning chemicals, or traces of human scent from bathing may draw your cat to the tub. Use unscented products and rinse thoroughly after bathing.

While the tub may seem appealing initially, addressing the root cause of your cat’s behavior will lead to more consistent litter box use.

What to Do About a Bathtub-Peeing Cat?

Here are some tips for stopping your cat from urinating in the tub:

  • Take your cat to the vet to rule out medical issues.
  • Evaluate the litter box setup and make needed improvements.
  • Clean all soiled areas with an enzyme cleaner to remove odors that may attract your cat.
  • Try placing foil or plastic sheets in the tub when not in use to make it unappealing.
  • Limit your cat’s access to the bathroom by keeping the door closed.
  • Try placing the litter box in the bathroom to redirect your cat’s instincts.
  • Use a calming pheromone diffuser to ease stress.
  • Give your cat extra playtime and affection to provide reassurance.
  • Be patient! Re-training takes consistency over several weeks.

With some detective work and positive reinforcement, you can get your tub-peeing kitty back to using the litter box consistently. But if the problem persists, consult your veterinarian to address any underlying medical causes requiring treatment.

Conclusion: Why Does My Cat Pee in the Tub?

when a cat starts peeing in the bathtub, it’s crucial to understand the underlying reasons, which can be medical, related to litter box issues, behavioral, or due to the bathtub’s features. Medical causes like UTIs, kidney diseases, or diabetes necessitate veterinary attention.

Litter box problems can be solved by ensuring cleanliness, appropriate size, and location. Behavioral issues may stem from stress, requiring a calm environment.

The bathtub’s excellent, smooth surface and privacy can be mimicked in the litter area. Address these factors, consult a vet if needed, and with patience and adjustments, your cat should return to regular litter box use.