Why Does My Cat Pee in the Sink? (Can I stop it?)
If your cat is acting up and peeing in your sink, you may be desperately looking for reasons why and solutions to stop it.
Why does my cat pee in the sink? Your cat is likely peeing in the sink for one of the following reasons: unclean litter tray, urinary tract infection, behavioral problems, old age, litter box avoidance or just generally loves your sink.
Now that you understand why your cat could be doing this, I will go on to explain more detail about each of these issues, how you can stop your cat peeing in the sink and much more. Keep reading…
What triggers your cat to pee in the sink?
The triggers, that pushes your cat to pee in the sink can be for a number of different reasons such as:
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
- Behavioral Problems
- Unclean litter box
- Loves the sink
Urinary tract infection (UTI)
A urinary tract infection is when your cat picks up an infection in its urinary tract, also known as UTI. The symptoms of this are uncontrollable bladder control, burning sensation when urinating, etc. This may be one of the reasons why your cat is urinating in your sink.
Sometimes these issues could be down to behavioral problems. However, this can be for a number of reasons.
For example, she could be feeling stressed, anxious (Click here to learn how to get her downstairs if she is stressed), caused by numerous reasons, such as another neighboring cat bothering her. Or, maybe you have recently moved house and she is feeling uncomfortable about it, are you with me?
Unclean litter box.
Cats absolutely hate dirty litter boxes. You may think that you’re saving time by only doing it every other day. But, what this perceived saving is short-sighted because you will spend more time cleaning up an unacceptable mess outside of the litter tray when your cat refuses to use it.
As cats get older they tend to get slower and their chances of getting dementia increase. If they do get dementia they may have unexpected behavioral problems. This is not because they have been naughty (Click here to learn how to keep your cat out of your cabinets), it’s because they are simply having problems doing simple day-to-day activities.
Just loving your sink.
Sometimes your cat is not really being bad in any particular way it may just genuinely love your sink.
Your sink and the bath are very similar to a litter tray in your cat’s opinion. And, sometimes your cat may even prefer it over the litter tray you have provided. Unfortunately for you, this ends up with her using your sink instead of her litter box.
If you have neglected your cat’s water supply by not leaving enough water out. Or if the water you have left out is getting dirty, then you may experience your cat going into the sink and trying to drink from the tap. following on from this, you may even notice her start to urinate in the sink as well.
Litter box avoidance (What now?)
Little box avoidance is when your cat has suffered A traumatic or unpleasant experience in the little box and is, therefore, unwilling to use it anymore (avoiding it).
To be honest it doesn’t have to be a major traumatic experience in our eyes. But, it has to be enough in your cat’s eyes to make her not want to use it anymore.
Here are some examples of what can cause this…
- Not enough litter boxes
- Poor location
- One-off (or continuous) pain when using the litter box
- Type of litter box
Not enough litter boxes
Sometimes you will notice that your cat is using your sink just because there is not enough little boxes in your house.
This is more apparent if you have more than one cat. But, even if you have one can you still need to provide more than one litter box, ideally.
To give you an indication of the expectation. You should be providing at least one more litter box then you have cats. So, for example, if you have one cat, then you should be providing a minimum of two litter boxes, are you with me?
The location of the litter box
If you put your litter box in a weird location, for example, if you have a 3 story house and put it on the top floor, your cat may not want to venture up there or even remember that it is there, are you with me?
She may end up searching for an alternative and your sink may be the obvious choice in her eyes.
Type of litter
You may be wondering if the type of litter could be a reason why your cat is not using the litter tray. In some cases, this could literally be the problem. For example, you may have switched to a scented litter. This may make sense to you because it will smell nicer, right?
However, your cat may not like scented litter. And, she may be rejecting it by refusing to use it, which results with her in your sink.
Pain when using the litter box.
Earlier I talked about UTI, what this infection is and how it can cause issues for you and your cat. The reality is, there can be any random health issues that happen to cause pain while they are using your litter box can make them associate this unpleasant experience with your litter box.
This can, in turn, cause a psychological problem. Meaning, they may not want to use your litter box again. If this is the case, you may see your cat urinating in your sink.
The type of litter box
Believe it or not, even the type of litter tray/box you are using can result in your cat refusing to use it. For example, there is a type of little box that has a closed top.
Whilst they do look nice, your cat may not necessarily love it. If you have recently purchased or switched litter box, and your cat is acting up, then this could be the obvious reason why.
How can you prevent your cat from urinating in your sink?
As we have discussed in the previous section there are numerous different reasons why your cat could be urinating (Click here to see what it means when your cat pees on you) in your sink.
Therefore in this section, I will break down some solutions to cater to your particular issue.
Unclean litter tray
If this is the case you simply need to clean your litter tray on a regular basis. Depending on the cat that you have got it needs to be done a minimum once a day.
However, some cats need more frequently than that. You have to use your common sense with this one. If you are cleaning it once a day and it’s still looking messy by the afternoon, then clean it out again.
If you have cleaned the litter tray and made sure it’s tidy, and you’re still seeing her hovering in the sink, then you need to contact your vet.
It’s important to get your vet involved as early as possible because your cat could be harboring a health problem. And, if that’s the case, the best person to diagnose this is your vet.
Suspected behavior problems
If you believe that this abuse of your sink could be related to a behavioral problem you need to analyze what could be causing this.
Have you recently moved home? Introduced a new family member? anything else changed? These are the questions you need to ask yourself.
If this is the case, then you may need to give it some time. This is to allow your cat to adjust a bit, basically, grin and bear it.
If it is not down to a new environment, other triggers could be the litter, have you changed her litter and now notice she is acting up? If yes, you can simply just change the cat litter again to see how she responds.
The name of the game is trial and error. Testing, adjusting, and over and over again until you hit that sweet spot.
If your cat is thirsty, and can’t find adequate water, she may end up in your sink. And, you may even find her urinating in there as well.
To avoid this, you need to put out more, fresh & clean water. If you know you have a problem remembering to do this, then don’t let your cat suffer. It is better to invest in a pet water fountain (Click here to see why I rate this one). A pet water fountain is great because it encourages her to drink more, and avoid using your sink.
Location of the litter box.
The location of the litter box is a quick fix. You can literally just change its location. Instead of hiding it away on the third floor, why not move it closer to the sink to see if this will work for you.
The type of litter box.
If she isn’t happy with the litter box, replace the closed litter box for a conventional one and see how you get on with that one.
How to get rid of the cat urine smell in the sink?
So far we have looked into ways to prevent your cat urinating in the sink. But, what if you are staring at a big mess right now, that you need to clean up?
In this section, I’m going to give you some step-by-step instructions and how to clean up this horrible mess.
01. Mop up the mess first
The first thing that you need to understand. Do not feel tempted to turn the tap on and simply rinse it down the sink. Why? because this may just push the smell further down the plug. It won’t help you.
Instead, get some paper towels and mop up the urine. Then throw it away in the bin.
02. Baking soda
The next step is getting some baking soda. Sprinkle it around the sink. You may wonder why we are using baking soda? The reason for this is because it’s a natural deodorizer. It is ideal for situations like this. After this, scrape the sink with the baking soda using a scrubbing brush.
03. Vinegar Solution
Vinegar is another very good and natural deodorizer. It will help to get rid of the urine smell. You need one part vinegar, 8 parts water.
Mix it together and prepare it in a separate container. Put the vinegar mix into the sink and cover the sink with the vinegar mix. Let it sit for a few minutes so that works it’s magic in the sink.
Then scrub the area with the vinegar mix and then rinse it.
04. Enzymatic Spray
You need an enzymatic spray (Click here for the best one). This will help to break down any remaining traces of cat urine. Basically finish off the job nicely.
Sprayed the enzymatic spray into the sink, finish by cleaning it up and then rinse it out.
In this section, I will answer some questions related to cats and behavioral problems. If you have any extra questions, not answered here, feel free to drop me a comment below.
Q: Does urine turn to mold?
Yes, urine can attract moisture. In time this moisture and urine mix will start to create mold. Therefore, it is a good idea to clean up the urine as soon as possible.
Can cats get a UTI from a dirty little box?
No, the litter itself does not cause the UTI. UTIs are actually caused by bacteria that infect the bladder which then leads to this infection.
However, it is possible that the feces in a dirty litter tray can lead to infection if it enters her system.