I know I shouldn’t do it, but sometimes I can’t help myself! I love being clean - that’s why I’m always preening myself - but there have been a lot of changes around here recently which have made me feel very unsettled and anxious.
I don’t like change!
We felines don’t like change; my human has been changing the furniture around recently and all my favourite spots have been moved. Fortunately, they haven’t moved their bed!
I like to get up in the morning and know what is going to happen next. I’m quite active first thing in the morning (and in the early evening too!); my ancestors in the wild used to hunt early in the morning, so I suppose they’ve passed it on to us domestic cats. So when furniture is moved around, or my humans change their routines, I feel unsure - and one way I can make myself feel safe is to mark my territory!
It helps me feel more secure if I can smell my human, so I sometimes pee on their bed because I feel I am close to them; the duvet is also lovely and soft and absorbs my urine quite quickly so I don’t need to cover it up.
I don’t like it when my human goes on holiday either; the last time they went away, they forgot to close their bedroom door and I peed on the bed. My owners weren’t happy with me, but I don’t understand why! This time, before my human went away they plugged in a FELIWAY Optimum diffuser in the room I spend most of my time, which helps me feel much more serene every day.
If they remember, my human also sprays Feliway Classic Spray in places I have peed but shouldn’t have.
There’s a new cat in the house!
In addition to that, another kitten has just arrived; she’s younger than me and she’s getting a lot of attention - that’s because she is very cute, but I really don’t want my humans to forget about me!
So, I need to make sure I mark my territory, so that the new kitten knows my favourite spots. If she smells my scent, she'll know that this is an area I use - she needs to learn about where I like to be.
I like to have my own resources!
Fortunately, my humans know that us cats don’t like to share! They have made sure that we both have our own beds, food bowls, toys and litter trays. They’ve also remembered that we like to have privacy when we go to the toilet, so they’ve put her tray behind a different chair to mine. It’s nice and quiet behind there. One day, they moved my tray next to the washing machine; well, that was a mistake! I didn’t like that at all - I was very frightened when it started to wash and spin, so I scooted upstairs and peed on the bed where I felt more comfortable. My humans got the message and they moved my tray back behind the chair again!
Talking about litter trays - please make sure you give me the right substrate. I prefer a nice light sandy substrate, just like my ancestors used in the wild; they preferred nice soft soil or sand so that they could easily cover things over when they had finished to hide the smell, and it was soft on their claws. I’m the same! I’m sure the new kitten will learn to know which they prefer - as long as my human doesn’t get them mixed up and give me the wrong one!
I hope they remember to make sure they find the right litter box for the new kitten; when cats are tiny they can’t always get in and out if the tray is too deep, so that kitten may well pee outside of the tray, if they’re not careful!
And now that I’m a bit bigger, I need a tray that I can turn around in to find a clean spot - a small tray just wouldn’t work!
Humans should also be aware that cats are very clean animals. We spend a lot of time washing and preening ourselves, and that also means we like our litter trays clean too. I don’t mean that it has to be cleaned and the litter changed every time we use it, but if you can spot clean it every day, then change the litter every week, that will suit just nicely; otherwise, you may find that we pee outside the tray - and maybe on your bed again! Just make sure to avoid strong smelling cleaning materials as this could put us off!
I may need to see the vet
If we cats continue to pee outside our litter trays, there may be other reasons for it. We can sometimes suffer from bladder problems, or other inflammatory diseases. Look out for signs of us drinking a lot of water; this may be a sign that we have a problem with our kidneys or liver, or even have diabetes. This could mean we don’t make it to the tray in time, so we might have accidents before we get there.
So, if you’re not sure why we are peeing excessively and in the wrong places, please take us to the vet and get us checked out. Although we can’t talk, you should be able to read the signs that we are not very well or are stressed.
What you can do to help
If we have accidents and pee on your bed, or other places, here are some tips:
- Clean the areas with soapy water where we have peed to remove the odour. Although we like our own odour, I understand humans are not too keen on it.
- When it’s dry, spray the area with FELIWAY Classic spray. We won’t pee there again!
- Don’t allow us back in! If we pee on your bed, close the door so we can’t get back in - I know we’re very agile, but even cats can’t get through wooden doors!
- Make sure we have our own resources - particularly our own litter trays with a litter substrate that we like, and positioned in a quiet, accessible place away from food or sleeping areas.
- Don’t punish us! It’s our way of making you aware that we are feeling anxious or unwell - just make the changes I’ve suggested and we’ll get along fine!
- I’ve heard that FELIWAY has a product called FELIWAY Optimum It’s a new pheromone discovery that is very effective at making us cats feel very serene. I like the sound of that!