What causes cats to pee outside the litter box and how do we clean up cat urine?

We asked some of our customers to write to us with their experiences with cats and dogs – what causes cats and dogs to have accidents, could there be some underlying medical issues and how do you clean up after your pets have urinated on carpets or furnishings.

If you’d like to share a story with us about your pet, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here with your article or short story, provide your US shipping address and we’ll send along a gift for any story we use on our website.

Thank you Lisa S from Sturgeon Bay WI for sharing your story with us about Max.

cleaning up urine smells when cats miss the litter boxMy cat Max adopted me. He just showed up as a kitten and never left. I couldn’t find his owner so I adopted him. I had never had a cat so he mystified me at first. Cats are VERY different than dogs so I had a lot to learn. At one point Max peed on my bed. The next day he peed in my purse. I thought he was angry because I had left him alone too long. Fortunately I posted the problem on my Facebook page and the answers started pouring in. I found out from my friends who had felines that Max may have a serious urinary blockage which could kill him. Of course it was Sunday so I rushed him to the emergency vet 60 miles away. He did indeed have a blockage which was causing him great pain. 

Your feline friend could have a medical condition that makes urinating painful. They start to associate their box with the pain so they start peeing other places…Like your purse….or bed…or couch.

Max had Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). FLUTD is not one disease but a collection of medical symptoms like a blocked urethra, stones, crystals or debris accumulation in the bladder or urethra, bladder inflammation, injury to the urinary tract, stress, spinal cord problems and congenital abnormality.  You can see more information about FLUTD here.

Feline interstitial cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder that causes many of the same symptoms seen in FLUTD. The frustrating thing about Feline interstitial cystitis is that the cause is elusive meaning a definitive cause for the disease cannot be pinned down. It is a chronic disease that is extremely difficult to treat effectively. No one knows the exact cause for Feline interstitial cystitis but stress seems to be a factor. For more information

Diabetes is another medical cause that could make your little kitty urinate outside her litter box. There are two types of diabetes in cats, insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent. Three quarters of cats with diabetes have the insulin dependent type thus require insulin shots. For more information on Feline Diabetes

Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Constipation, Diarrhea are other things that may make your cat turn everything in the house into his/her new favorite place to go to the bathroom…. anywhere besides the litter box. This can be quite frustrating for both kitty and you. Before you decide that your feline friend is being a brat and has a behavioral problem you need to rule out any underlying medical causes.

Now you have the reason all figured out but there is still something left to do. CLEAN UP THE MESS. “what?”, you say. “I did.” You may Remove All Types of Pet Odors with URI-CIDETHINK you cleaned up the mess, maybe with carpet cleaner etc… You may not be able to smell it but kitty can and as long as kitty can smell it kitty will think it is still acceptable to use your couch or carpet as a toilet. Even after she’s well again s/he will still head for her spot to urinate unless you remove absolutely all of the smell from the area.
I came across Uricide at Amazon.com and noticed that it was environmentally friendly and all natural and that it had some positive reviews. I liked the fact that it was an enzyme based cleaner which I’ve heard are effective in cleaning up urine and feces stains and smells. I’d already cleaned up some affected spots with a detergent cleaner I had under the sink for general carpet stains and smells but even though the spots appeared clean and there was no obvious strong smell, Max was still heading back for the occasional pee!

When the bottle of Uricide arrived there were clear and easy instructions to follow and the bottle comes with a convenient spray cap. I decided to follow the instructions to the letter and also found some helpful resources on cleaning up cat pee at the Uricide website. So I rewashed the area and dried it off with paper towel then sprayed with the Uricide. I left the patch untouched for a few hours then washed it clean with some warm soapy water. And that was it! I highly recommend this product for cleaning urine smells on carpets and furnishings, hey, it even works in purses!