Cats sometimes pee on people because they are marking their territory, experiencing health issues, or don’t feel comfortable using their litter box.
Cats don’t pee on people to be malicious, it is either an accident or the result of some kind of issue (e.g. health problems, fear, problems with the litter box).
Below we’ve listed the 8 most common reasons your cat might pee on you.
1. Marking Their Territory
The most likely reason a cat would intentionally pee on you is that they are marking their territory.
This can happen if you smell like other cats, or your cat feels anxious about neighbourhood cats or strays that are getting a bit too close to home.
These anxieties and insecurities can result in your cat marking you with urine as a way to communicate to other cats that you are theirs.
2. Bladder Infection (UTI)
Infections of the bladder are quite common in cats.
One of the main indicators of an infection is changes in their bathroom habits and urinating in unusual places.
Cats suffering from a UTI usually have another medical problem that is affecting the urinary tract such as kidney disease, bladder stones, or diabetes.
If your cat has urinated on you it could be because they are struggling with a bladder infection. It’s best to contact your vet as soon as you notice changes in your cat’s toilet habits.
Treatment will depend on the cause of the infection but may include anti-inflammatory pain relief and antibiotics.
3. Other Illness Impacting Bladder Control
Some cats suffer from illnesses that impact their bladder control.
This incontinence may mean your cat leaks small amounts of urine when resting or while moving around the house and this may be why you have small amounts of urine on you after cuddling with your cat.
There are a number of illnesses that can cause incontinence.
Potential causes of incontinence include:
- Overactive bladder syndrome
- Chronic inflammatory disease
- Lesions on the spinal cord/ in the brain
- Disruption of the nerves around the bladder
- A mass putting pressure on the bladder
- Birth defect/ underdevelopment of the bladder
Your vet will be able to determine the cause of incontinence and establish a treatment plan. Most cats with incontinence problems respond well to medication.
The treatment depends on what is causing the incontinence.
If your cat is afraid they may lose control of their bladder in response to this.
This can happen if your cat is in a highly stressful situation, for example, if you are picking your cat up to put them into a carrier or into the car when they aren’t used to it.
Urination will only occur when your cat is extremely scared so consider what was going on when your cat peed on you.
You can help your cat move through these fears and stresses by working with them so they get used to the things that would usually trigger this fear response.
Simple training and patience can help reduce the anxiety, stress, and fear your cat experiences.
5. Unclean Litter Box
Cats have been known to avoid the litter box until it has been cleaned.
In this situation, your cat may have been avoiding going to the toilet in the litter box which can result in them having accidents elsewhere including on you.
6. A Problem With Litter or Litter Box Location
If the litter box is clean, your cat may have a problem with the litter being used.
There are lots of different types of cat litter available and they vary in scent and texture.
If you have recently switched the litter being used this might be the cause of the problem.
Many cats don’t like scented litter because the smell is too strong.
The location of the litter box may also be a contributing factor as the box needs to be somewhere quiet where your cat feels safe.
Using the litter box is a vulnerable time for cats so they tend not to use it if the box is in a busy or exposed area.
7. Not Enough Litter Boxes
If you have multiple cats, the issue might be that there are not enough litter boxes for the number of cats in the home.
There needs to be at least one box per cat plus an extra box.
Some cats can be very territorial and this can mean other cats in the house are anxious or afraid to use the litter box.
If you’ve noticed a change in your cat’s toilet habits and this has coincided with the arrival of another cat, then getting another litter box is well worth considering.
8. Kidney Crystals
Kidney stones can be painful and can cause frequent and painful urination.
Small kidney crystals don’t tend to present symptoms but as they grow into larger kidney stones your cat may experience symptoms including changes in urine production, lethargy, weight loss, abdominal discomfort, kidney pain, and fever.
If your cat has kidney stones, they may urinate on you by accident. It’s important to take your cat to the vet to get them checked.
Medication, fluid therapy, and surgery may be needed to treat kidney stones.
Do Cats Pee On You For Attention?
No, if your cat pees on you they are probably thinking about the attention of other cats rather than getting attention from you.
Peeing on you may be your cat’s way of marking their territory.
Cats will meow, stare, and push up against their owners if they want attention.
If your cat is peeing outside of their litter box, for example on clothes piles, they are not specifically trying to get attention but they do require attention from you in some way.
For example, the litter box might be unclean or your cat could be suffering from an illness that is causing urination issues.
Will Cats Pee On You When They’re Angry?
No, cats don’t pee on people because they are angry.
If your cat is upset, they may hiss at you, swipe at you, and display their anger in their body language.
It is more likely that your cat has peed on you because they are experiencing health issues or they are marking you as their territory to warn other cats away.
How To Stop Cats Peeing On You
As you can see, there are a number of potential reasons your cat has peed on you.
The following tips will help you stop the behaviour and will encourage your cat to urinate in their litter box.
1. Move the Litter Box To A More Suitable Location
The first thing to do is ensure the litter box is positioned in a quiet, convenient location.
When positioning the litter box keep in mind this is a time when your cat is vulnerable so they are more likely to use the box when it is somewhere quiet where they feel comfortable.
2. Keep the Litter Box Clean
The litter also needs to be cleaned and changed regularly to ensure your cat continues to use the litter box.
Cats generally won’t use the litter box if it is dirty so regularly remove the soiled litter and replace it with fresh litter.
3. Reward Your Cat for Using the Litter Box
Positive reinforcement is one of the best tools for correcting behavioural issues.
When your cat uses the litter box or goes outside to urinate, reward them and positively reinforce the behaviour.
4. Use Cat Spraying No More
Cat Spraying No More is a critically acclaimed comprehensive training program that will help you understand the reasons for your cat’s behaviour and how exactly to train it out of them.
5. Consult A Vet
The way you stop your cat from peeing on you really depends on what is causing the behaviour.
Ask a Vet
In some cases, your cat may be suffering from a medical condition so taking them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment is the first step to solving the problem.
Keep Bedding and Clothing Clean
Sometimes your cat will continue to pee in certain places because they can smell that is where they have urinated in the past.
If your cat pees on you, remove the clothes and linen the urine is on and put them into the wash immediately with fabric cleaner and a tablespoon of baking soda.
You can also add one cup of apple cider vinegar to help remove the smell.