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Why Does my Cat Keep Peeing on the Rug (And How to Stop It)

Cats are beloved pets that can complete the family. However, like any other pet, they can sometimes have accidents in the home. Worse than that, they may continually pee on the same rug again and again. Whether it’s out of spite or some other issue, it’s first important to understand why the cat is behaving this way. That will help you address the problem and change the cat’s behavior to use a litter box instead of your favorite rug.

Learn More About Why Cats Pee on Rugs

  1. Why Cats Pee On Rugs
  2. Medical Reasons
  3. Marking their Territory
  4. Litter Box Issues
  5. Stress and Anxiety
  6. Behavioral Issues
  7. Tips to Help Stop your Cat from Peeing on your Rug
  8. Consult a Professional
Queen Size Runner Rug

Why Cats Pee On Rugs

In general, there are many reasons why cats may pee on rugs. It may be as simple as improper training, or it could be something more drastic like a medical issue. Cats are also fickle creatures, so their emotions may be causing them to pee in these areas. To help you determine exactly why your cat may be peeing on the rug, here are some in depth explanations.

Medical Reasons

Unfortuationaly, your cat may be peeing on the rug because of an underlying medical issue. Urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and kidney problems are three of the most common illnesses that cause cats to pee on rugs. If your cat is acting differently or is reaching an advanced age, be sure to consult with a veterinarian to check on your cat’s health and treat any of these issues.

Round rug for queen size bed
Queen Size Runner Rug
Deborah L.

Marking their Territory

Cats can be highly territorial and mark different areas of the home with their scent (aka urine). Marking can be triggered by other animals being inside the home or general changes to the environment. If you just purchased your rug from a thrift store or from another person, it may have the scent of another animal buried deep within the rug’s fibers. Fortunately, pheromone diffusers can calm the cat and discourage the cat from marking that spot again.

Litter Box Issues

If your cat is litter box trained, you may be wondering why they’re suddenly using your rug as their new bathroom. One issue might be the litter box itself. If the litter is dirty or has an unpleasant scent, your cat won’t want to use that space. The box may also be in an inconvenient or inaccessible area of the home. If there is something in the nearby room that scares the cat, that will also discourage it from using the litter box. With all that in mind, look at your litter box and surrounding area to ensure that it’s a safe, comfortable, and sanitary place for your cat to take care of business.

Round rug for queen size bed

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Queen Size Runner Rug

Stress and Anxiety

There are many reasons why a cat may be facing a new type of stress or anxiety. Perhaps it’s a new routine, another pet in the home, a new child, or something new about their environment. When your cat is stressed, look for ways to alleviate that stress and fear. Try providing your cat a safe, dark corner to curl up in. Cats also love tall vertical spaces and towers where they can survey the area and see that everything is fine. An outlet like playtime can also distract your cat and boost their spirit.

Behavioral Issues

Other behavioral issues may be causing your cat to keep peeing on your rug. They may simply be bored with inadequate scratching posts, toys, or stimulation. Another issue may be a conflict with one of the other pets or jealousy of a parent giving affection to a child. When facing behavioral issues like these, look at your environment to see what stimulation you can give your cat through toys, towers, and posts. Then, use positive reinforcement to train the cat to use the litter box or find a healthy outlet for frustration.

Round rug for queen size bed
Queen Size Runner Rug

Tips to Help Stop your Cat from Peeing on your Rug

When your cat does pee on the rug, it’s essential to treat it immediately. Enzyme-based cleaners are best for recurring issues, since they eliminate the odor and discourage the cat from re-marking that territory. While you’re training your cat and changing their behavior, you may also use home-solutions like aluminum foil or double-sided tape on the rug’s surface. The cat won’t like either of those materials and will avoid that area.

Consulting with a Professional

If your cat’s behavior doesn’t change with any of the methods detailed above, then you should seek out a professional to help you and your cat establish a new pattern. Veterinarians are experts in cat physiology as well as behavior, so they can provide practical tips to help you. Certified animal behaviorists can also give you a comprehensive evaluation of your cat and your environment to give more personalized guidance.

Round rug for queen size bed
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Cats peeing on the rug is a highly inconvenient, disgusting habit. As soon as you notice this behavior emerging, it’s important to address the issue promptly. Look at your cat’s recent behavior along with environmental changes to determine if the cat is lacking something in the home or if there is a medical issue. If you’re unable to treat the problem at home, there’s no shame in seeking out professional help to diagnose the problem and help you create a game-plan. Cats are treasured pets, so it’s worth taking the time to make them comfortable and create a peaceful, hygienic home that you can both enjoy.


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