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Why Does My Cat Pee In My Toaster?

If your cat has peed in the toaster, you may be wondering why it happened and what you can do about it…

Why Does My Cat Pee In My Toaster?

Cats don’t like change and it’s typically going to be a matter of how things smell in the house that primarily determines where your cat will spray (excepting the addition of a new cat to the house, as this starts territorial spraying that can go ANYWHERE).

When your cat rubs against you and the furniture, you are seeing scent marking at work on a less ‘dramatic’ level. Scent glands on your cat’s face mark these areas as they rub until most of the house smells like your cat – you just don’t notice it with human olfactory senses.

Now, introducing that new toaster freaks your cat out a little. It smells weird, like-new electronics and burnt bread, so when you aren’t there your cat might decide to make it smell a little better from their perspective. Unfortunately, this is not only gross, but potentially dangerous, but now you know the reasoning behind it.

What is a toaster?

Toasted piece of bread popping of a toaster.

Toasted piece of bread popping from a toaster.

A toaster is a time-saving breakfast appliance, wherein one might place anywhere from 2 to 6 pieces of bread, and within minutes the internal heating array will toast it.

While cats will usually leave these shiny, often stainless-steel appliances alone, there are no guarantees and the smell of the new item might be offensive to your cat – prompting them to ‘correct’ the scent as they see fit.

How can I prevent my cat from peeing in the toaster?

While toaster-spraying is rare, it’s handy to have a few strategies at your disposal to change ‘rare’ to as close to ‘nonexistent’ as possible.  To that effect, let’s take a look at some of the most effective methods for keeping your kitty away from your toaster.

Lock the room door

If your cat can’t get to the toaster in the first place, then you’ve won the battle for now… but not necessarily the war. Keeping cats out of places is notoriously difficult, as these furry little ninjas have a habit of noticing when they are excluded and trying to sneak into that place anyway.

Provided that your cat doesn’t sneak or rush in before you close the door, then this method can work, but it means that you’ll have to watch the entrance door to the kitchen like a hawk every time.

Place aluminum foil near the toaster

An easy deterrent is to crumple up a little foil and place it underneath and around the toaster (never on top where it could get inside and conduct electricity!). Cats are particular about textures and they seem to hate the malleable and thin sheets of common aluminum foil.

It’s not the most attractive solution but it can be quite effective in keeping your cat away.

Spray the area near it with citrus spray

A spray freshener getting squeezed.

A spray freshener getting squeezed.

Citrus oil is just concentrated fruit oils, so it’s non-toxic, and cats seem to hate the smell of these acidic fruits. As such, you can spray a little citrus oil close to the toaster and while it will smell good to you, most cats will go out of their way to avoid it. It’s a sweet-smelling win and worth a shot.

Place the toaster high up

While locking the door requires a lot of monitoring, placing the toaster up high and out of reach when it is not in use is a good strategy that can keep your kitty away.

Just be sure that you pick an out-of-reach nook that doesn’t have a lot of room, otherwise, your little acrobat might just get up there anyway!

How do I know if my cat has peed or sprayed on my toaster?

You’ll know. Cat urine has a high uric acid content and as cats use it to mark items with their scent, the smell tends to be fairly overwhelming. Not only will it produce a bit of residue on the formerly-clean side of your toaster, but the scent will be apparent very quickly and you’ll know right away what’s happened.

Why do cats spray?

Cats spray for different reasons. Health reasons are common causes of this behavior, such as urinary tract infections, struvite stones, stress, or feline diabetes. Aside from health problems, cats will spray as territorial behavior, simply to put their scent on items as if to say ‘this is mine’ or ‘this is my area’.

While spaying or neutering will lessen the chance of spraying, it is still no guarantee, so if your cat is spraying then you’ll want to determine the reason why. Start with a vet visit to rule out health issues and once that’s done, try to determine what has recently changed that is pushing this behavior from your cat.

Is it dangerous for a cat to pee in a toaster?

Yes. While the odds are that your cat will likely just spray the side of the toaster, any liquid that gets inside while it is plugged is in danger of becoming electrified.

While some toaster appliances will have safeguards to help to avoid this, it is best to assume that yours does not and implement a strategy to keep your kitty away.

Can I use my toaster again after it’s been peed on?

If your cat only sprayed the side, then yes, though if the urine has gotten inside the inner compartment where you put your bread then you are going to need to replace the toaster – it could conceivably be cleaned, but it would have to be disassembled and it would be more cost-effective to simply replace it.

If, however, your kitty just sprayed the side, then it’s going to be a matter of 1 or 2 cleanings, and you need to use an enzymatic cleaner. While mild dishwasher soap or a bit of detergent and water might seem to clean it, as soon as it gets warm it will start smelling like cat urine again.

This is because such cleaners are not equipped to dissolve the uric acid content of your cat’s urine. With enzymatic cleaners, the uric acid gets broken down, so it will not reform when it’s dry.

As long as the urine is on the exterior portion of the toaster, then the enzymatic cleaner should make it ‘good as new’.

Lindsey Browlingdon