Owners of cats at least five months old will notice changes in their pets’ behavior as they become sexually mature. So many might ask “Why is my cat peeing everywhere when in heat?” Because hormones drive it to mark its territory and attract cats of the opposite gender with its smell. Thankfully, there are some ways to counter this behavior. You can have your cat spayed or neutered and try a few other tricks to manage a cat in heat peeing on everything!
Reasons My Cat Pees Everywhere When in Heat
Generally speaking, female cats may go into heat every 2-3 weeks. The signs are hard to miss: All of a sudden, you notice your female cat peeing everywhere, meowing so much, and being more affectionate (rubbing against your leg often, etc.). The meowing and physical affection are easy to understand, but why all the peeing?
1. She is trying to get the attention of male cats
Cats spray when in heat because their in-heat pee contains higher levels of pheromones and hormones than their regular pee. That specific smell is a clear signal from a female cat that it is available to mate. Though smelly to us, male cats probably detect something much sweeter and difficult to ignore!
2. She is marking her territory
What good is it to let male cats know you are available if they don’t know where to find you? Female cats spray and urinate to mark territories as theirs for two reasons. First, this act has a double function of warning off other females and welcoming in males. Second, they do it to simply make themselves more comfortable by being surrounded by familiar smells – theirs. The urine smell is so pungent that even if your cat stays in the house, it can attract the attention of wandering tomcats outside! As a note, male cats also spray and pee to mark territory, but unlike females, who usually only do so when in heat, males tend to do it anytime, without any discernible pattern.
3. She Feels The Need to Compete
This behavior is more common in houses with multiple cats. When a female cat is in heat, especially if at the same time as others around her are, she will pee more aggressively to make her scent more potent than the others. Cats sometimes also pee over each other’s markings to cover up the competition’s scent.
4. She is Stressed
A cat peeing on everything can either be a cat in heat or a cat in stress – or a cat in stress because she is in heat! It could be because of her competition, as mentioned previously. But for younger cats, just like teenagers entering puberty, the changes taking place in their bodies stress them. Cats may need a few heat cycles to adjust. On the other hand, even when they are used to the feeling, there is some speculation that cats in heat are generally uncomfortable, causing them to be stressed, still. Finally, your female cat may be stressed – or at least more agitated and excited while in heat because she is near a male cat. To help your female cat relax during this time, keep her away from males.
5. She has an underlying medical condition
While peeing everywhere is a sign that your cat is in heat, it’s not the only possible reason – maybe your cat is sick. Some diseases cause felines to pee more often, and sometimes they even lose their ability to control their bladders. These illnesses include urinary tract infections, kidney disease, arthritis, and diabetes. If you notice your cat looking extremely uncomfortable while peeing, you should call your vet to ask whether a check-up is needed.
How to Stop a Female Cat From Spraying While in Heat
Just because our cats can’t help themselves doesn’t mean we must learn to live with the smell of cat pee. Here are a few things you can try to stop your cat from spraying while in heat and peeing all over your house:
1. Keep soft items off your floor.
Cats tend to like peeing on soft surfaces. Keep your floor free of soft items such as laundry, towels, and maybe even rugs if you can help it.
2. Keep your cat away from windows and doors.
Try to avoid letting your cat see other animals, especially male cats!
3. Keep them entertained.
Toys and playtime will not only distract them from any possible discomfort they may be feeling but also keep them from pursuing male cats.
4. Clean up cat pee fast!
The longer the smell stays in that spot in your house, the longer your cat thinks it is an appropriate place to keep peeing. Don’t let her! Try to sanitize rooms with enzyme cleaners to ensure no residual scents.
5. Try using cat pheromones.
You can purchase cat pheromone plug-ins that release the scent into the air. They work because this is why cats pee to mark their territory in the first place – to place their familiar, comforting scent on it. And as we know, a calm cat is a cat less likely to pee everywhere. These products have been tested in clinical trials by the Journal of Veterinarian Medical Science with promising results. After a month of using the pheromone diffuser, 37% of the test cats completely stopped urine marking, 40% continued doing so but much less frequently, and 23% showed no change.
6. Check their litter box.
Maybe our cat is peeing everywhere because it has problems with its litter box. Ensure their litter box is easily accessible, always clean, and in a calm spot in your house. Consider also having more of them or trying a different kind of litter.
7. Try using scents that deter cats from peeing.
Cats have a powerful sense of smell – that’s why they use their urine to mark their territory and call for mates in the first place. We can use that same sensitive nose to discourage their rampant peeing behavior. When cats smell certain odors, they refrain from peeing in that area. These smells include lavender, minty fragrances such as peppermint and eucalyptus, coffee, vinegar, and citrus. Anything with those smells will work, whether you put some coffee beans in the area, some citrus fruit peels, or even just a few drops of essential oils.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my female cat keep peeing everywhere?
Aside from the causes mentioned above, a cat that pees everywhere may have bladder stones, thyroid problems, and even cancer.
Is It Normal For A Cat In Heat To Not Use The Litter Box?
It is relatively normal to see a cat in heat peeing on everything. Once, my cat peed on my clothes right in front of me! Truthfully, it’s possible to deal with peeing. Some cat owners, unfortunately, also have to contend with their female cats pooping all over the house to advertise their availability.
Will my cat still pee everywhere after being neutered or spayed?
Speaking in terms of hormonal drive, your cat will spray much less after being fixed. But depending on when you had them fixed, sometimes, they will continue doing so out of habit or because their hormonal levels are still adjusting. However, there are other reasons a cat will pee everywhere, from marking their territory to displaying anxiety to maybe even expressing dissatisfaction with their litter box’s current state.
Why is my cat peeing everywhere when in heat? Because her mating urges are driving her, and she can’t help herself! Thankfully, it’s only a phase that comes and goes, and there are ways to control where she does urinate. Even though my cat in heat is driving me crazy, cat pee is something you can wash away. The love and friendship I share with my furry feline friend, however, is forever.
Read more: The time when the male cat is in heat.