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Cat Peeing On Scratch Pad – What Now?

If you have noticed that your cat is peeing on its scratch pad you may be annoyed and wondering why this is happening…

Why is my cat peeing on its scratch pad?

There are a few different reasons why your cat might pee on their scratching pad. If it is new, your cat may be exhibiting territorial behavior by ‘marking it’. Cats are very focused on scents, which is one of the reasons that they rub against you – as numerous scent glands on the face and body add the cat’s scent.

Another reason would be a dirty litterbox or your cat could have a health issue, such as blockage caused by struvite stones (which build up in the form of crystals naturally in your cat’s urine) or even a urinary tract infection.

Take your cat in for a veterinary checkup first to rule out health issues and in the meantime, you can clean the scratch pat with thorough spraying of diluted white vinegar, followed by a liberal application of enzymatic cleaners.

The vinegar will help to dilute the smell, but the enzyme will break down the uric acid in your cat’s urine to make it much easier to effectively clean.

How can I prevent my cat from peeing on its scratch pad?

Grey cat lying next to a scratch pad.

Grey cat lying next to a scratch pad.

The best approach is going to be to clean it thoroughly with enzymatic cleaners and to make sure that the urination is not coming from a health issue or lack of a clean litter box. Once you have done this, you can encourage the transfer of your cat’s scent by petting them close to the scratchpad.

By placing them next to it and giving them a good petting, your cat will inadvertently rub against the scratchpad as it moves back and forth to receive your attention. As each accidental brush against the pad does this, the likelihood of your cat marking it again will be reduced – after all, it will smell like them already!

How can I clean off the cat pee on its scratch pad?

Enzymatic cleaner is going to be the best approach. White vinegar, diluted with a 50/50 mix with water, can help to reduce the scent, but if you don’t follow up with enzymatic cleaner then the smell will quickly return.

Cat urine is designed to transfer scent, and it’s very good for this, but the enzymes in the cleaner will break down the uric components of your cat’s urine so that you can –with patience – get the scratch pad clean again.

Will the cat pee smell ever go away?

Yes. With patient application of enzymatic cleaner, the smell will eventually go away. Other cleaners, such as detergent, don’t break your cat’s urine down, so what you end up with is some bubbles and a temporary detergent smell, while the cat pee smell will come back once it reconstitutes.

With enzymes, that won’t happen, but depending on the level of urine saturation, it could take some time to clean.

Why won’t my cat use a scratch pad?

Tabby cat next to a scratch pad looking at the camera.

Tabby cat next to a scratch pad looking at the camera.

If it doesn’t look like a tree or an appealing bit of wood, then you will need to use temptation and fun to ‘trick’ your cat into accidentally using the post. The best way to go about this is a simple bit of string of a laser pointer. With the strong, just run it up the side of the scratchpad, so that your cat goes after it.

With the laser pointer, simply keep putting the ‘red dot’ onto the scratch pad so that your cat will end up scratching the pad in its attempt to catch the laser.

Try one of both of these methods and once your cat accidentally sinks their claws into the scratchpad a few times, they’ll figure out what it is and start using it whenever they feel like sharpening-up their claws or getting a nice ‘claw-anchored’ stretch in.

Are scratch pads good for cats?

Scratching pads are good for many reasons. They give your cat somewhere that is ‘approved’ for scratching, for one, and they also help your cat to release a little stress and stretch out their legs and their paws in a pleasant way.

Cats normally scratch as a way to transfer their scents, by means of scent glands in their paws, at the same time that they are sharpening-up their claws and getting a little quality stretching-time with their limbs.

As the presence of a scratch pad gives them somewhere to focus instead of your expensive furniture, the scratch pad is a ‘must have toy for your cat with a lot of practical value indeed.

Should you put catnip on the scratching post?

Some fresh catnips and a nice scratching post are a match made in kitty heaven. The catnip will entice your cat to spend more time at the scratching post and they’ll get to stretch, play, and sharpen their claws in the bargain.

If your cat won’t use the scratching post, then catnip may also be used to tempt them into giving it a try.

How do I train my cat to use the scratching board?

When you first bring home the scratching pad, then you’ll want to seat yourself close to it (preferably on the floor where you’ll be closer to your cat), and then you should call them over to let them inspect their new toy. Many cats will instinctively use the scratching board, and you should give them a treat when they do.

If this doesn’t happen then you can ‘sweeten the pot’ a little by sprinkling some catnip on the scratching post and after that, wiggle some string in front of the board or use a laser pointer, with the intent of ‘tricking’ your cat into swiping the target with their claws.

Scratching boards are designed to provide a pleasant resistance to the claws that your cat will find quite pleasant and once they experience a ‘swipe and miss’ which results in them using the board, you can give them a treat and repeat the process to drive the lesson home.

After that, your cat will likely find the board on their own when they feel like a little scratching, stretching, and sharpening.

How long do scratching posts last?

Depending on the quality and the make of the post, they can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, but you’ll need to keep an eye on the scratching post and use your best judgment. Cats are quite the individuals, and while one cat may only use their post on occasion, others will use them many times a day.

When it starts looking a bit tattered, then you’ll want to replace it quickly, so that they don’t find a new ‘scratching post’ that you might not approve of. A good strategy is to invest in a new one that you can stow away somewhere to swap out with the old one as needed.

Why is my cat peeing on my clothes after I changed the rope on its scratcher?

The rope has its own scent and likely, a little of this has rubbed off you’re your clothing and your cat is simply ‘making it smell like them’ again. This is unpleasant, but you need to remember that cats view their urine quite differently than we do.

To them, it’s all about scent transference and ‘marking’ things as their own. Dispose of clothing where your cat can’t reach it or as an alternative, get the cat to play with you and the rope so that your cat’s scent will rub off on it and be concentrated on your clothing.

That way, both the new rope and your clothing will already smell like your cat and they won’t feel the need to ‘correct’ their scent later.

Lindsey Browlingdon