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Unneutered Male Cat Peeing In House? (Now What?)

If you have a male cat that is peeing in the house you may be getting frustrated and wondering what you can do about it…

Why do unneutered male cats pee in the house?

With unneutered males, there is a much higher chance of spraying as territorial behavior. By marking a spot with their scent, the male is claiming it, though this is not always the reason when a cat is spraying a particular area.

Cats are very sensitive to change, so the first thing to do is to ask yourself what has changed in the house. New furniture can sometimes cause this, as it does not yet smell like your cat keep in mind that they don’t always spray, but also mark such items by rubbing against them).

With new furniture, it’s just the enormous contrast in scent from the rest of the items in the house. Adding a new animal to the household can also trigger territorial behaviors, and other stresses such as if you are leaving the house often or late, can worry your cat and result in ‘marking’ behaviors.

Finally, health issues such as urinary tract infections can also cause this behavior, so if it is new and nothing has changed of late then it might be time for a vet checkup to rule this out.

How can I prevent my unneutered male cat from peeing in the house?

An orange cat with a pink leash staring.

An orange cat with a pink leash is staring.

Citrus spray is one of the easiest ways to keep an unneutered male cat from peeing in the house. While humans love the smell, cats do NOT, and so spraying citrus oils in specific areas tends to keep your kitty away from them.

Neutering can also be considered. Many cat owners say, not only does it reduce territorial behaviors such as spraying, but it can reduce the chances of your cat developing certain forms of cancer and potentially expand its lifespan as a result.

Do neutered male cats still pee in the house?

Yes, but it is much less likely. Neutering tends to have a calming effect in regards to territoriality. That doesn’t mean that your cat will walk around like a zombie, but rather that they will be less hormonally driven to use urination to mark things and much less likely to go out looking for fights.

Should I punish my cat for peeing in the house?

No, punishing your cat for peeing in the house won’t work. In most cases, your cat won’t know what all of the fuss is about, as from their perspective marking an area is a perfectly natural behavior. What you should do is clean the area immediately with an enzymatic cleaner.

The enzymatic cleaner will break down the uric acid content of the urine so that your cat is less likely to smell it there and potentially ‘freshen up the smell by marking it again. A little citrus spray can also help to avoid repeats once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the area.

How to discipline a cat for peeing outside the litter box

A cat hiding in between tree branches.

A cat hiding in between tree branches.

When your cat pees outside of the litterbox, the best response is NOT punishment. They won’t understand why you are upset and it’s just going to erode the trust that you have painstakingly built with your kitty.

Instead, try adding a second litter box if your work schedule is making it hard to adequately change it before ‘incidents’ can occur. Next, a bit of citrus spray in areas that your cat seems to like to target can help to keep them out of those areas in a non-toxic way.

Finally, consider a vet checkup if this behavior is new. Cats can have urinary issues, such as infection, or the buildup of struvite stones from the struvite crystals which naturally occur in their urine.

Once you’ve ruled out a health issue then you’ll be able to formulate a more effective strategy, but always check their health first – urination outside of the box when it is clean usually means that something is very wrong.

Should you rub a cat’s nose in its pee?

No, you shouldn’t rub your cat’s nose in pee when they spray an area. By the time that your cat has already done this, they’ve forgotten about it, and so your cat will think that you are simply being cruel or bullying them and will likely lose their trust in you.

Clean the area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner and spray a little citrus oil in the area to discourage any repeats of this behavior. After that, consider a vet visit to rule out a health issue as the cause of the urination and once you rule that out, then you’ll need to determine why your cat is stressed.

9 times out of 10, spraying behavior is your cat’s way of telling you that something is very wrong from their perspective and it’s typically health or stress-related.

What can I spray so my cat won’t pee?

You’ve got a few options at your disposal when it comes to scents that you can put around the house to keep your kitty from spraying. White vinegar is one option, but you should reserve that for last, as it’s not the most pleasant scent to have in the house. Below are some more fragrant options that you might prefer:

  • Lavender
  • Citrus oils
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint

The easiest way to use these is to put a few drops of essential oil into a spray bottle filled with water, although in the case of citrus oils you should be able to find some that are ready-made to spray. Any of these scents work and will smell much better than the vinegar option that we mentioned first.

That said, if you don’t have any of these handy, white vinegar mixed 50/50 with water in a spray bottle can also deter a kitty from an area – it just doesn’t smell as good as your other options.

Will cat urine smell ever go away?

Yes, the cat urine smell will go away, but you’ve got to clean it the right way. Detergents and options such as vinegar can temporarily reduce or remove the smell, but it will come back when the uric acid crystals in your cat’s urine reform. To avoid this, clean the urine with a commercial enzymatic cleaner.

The enzymatic cleaner will dissolve the uric acid crystals with a few cleanings so that they break down and cannot reform. This will get rid of the scent and keep it from coming back, but it might take 2 to 3 cleanings.

This is because cat urine has a high uric acid content that must be dealt with before the smell will go away.

Why would my cat pee on the floor right in front of me

When your cat does this, the first thing to do is to get them into the vet to make sure that it is not a health issue. Conditions such as urinary tract infection or struvite stones, which make urination painful and often uncontrollable, can cause your cat to exhibit public urination behaviors such as this.

Once you’ve ruled out a health issue, the next thing to consider is stress. Cats are creatures of habit, so even something as innocent as changing the furniture at home can upset them – after all, everything in the house smells like them except this new bit of furniture.

The recent introduction of a new animal can also cause stress to your cat and if your schedule has changed recently so that you are leaving or coming home at random times then your cat might also be responding to this.

Try to assess what has changed recently and this should help you to determine what your next steps should be.

Lindsey Browlingdon