Owners of cats that are at least five months old will notice changes in their pets’ behavior as they reach sexual maturity. Many may wonder, “Why does my cat urinate everywhere when in heat?”
During this period, cats are driven by hormones to mark their territory and attract cats of the opposite gender with their scent. Fortunately, there are several ways to address this behavior. One option is to have your cat spayed or neutered, and you can also try a few other techniques to manage a cat in heat that is urinating on everything!
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Reasons Why My Cat Urinates Everywhere When in Heat
In general, female cats may go into heat every 2-3 weeks. The signs are hard to miss: suddenly, you notice your female cat urinating everywhere, meowing excessively, and displaying heightened affection (such as rubbing against your leg frequently).
While the excessive meowing and physical affection are easy to understand, the reason behind all the urination may not be as clear.
1. She is trying to attract male cats
Cats urinate when in heat because their urine contains higher levels of pheromones and hormones compared to their regular urine. This specific smell serves as a clear signal from a female cat that she is available to mate.
Although the smell may be unpleasant to us, male cats likely perceive it as something much sweeter and irresistible!
2. She is marking her territory
What good is it to let male cats know you are available if they don’t know where to find you?
Female cats spray and urinate to mark their territories for two reasons. Firstly, this behavior functions as a warning to other females and an invitation to males. Secondly, they do it to create a more comfortable environment surrounded by familiar scents – their own.
The strong odor of urine can even attract the attention of wandering male cats outside, even if your cat stays indoors!
It’s worth noting that male cats also spray and urinate to mark their territory, but unlike females who typically do so only when in heat, males tend to do it anytime without a discernible pattern.
3. She feels the need to compete
This behavior is more common in households with multiple cats. When a female cat is in heat, especially if other females around her are as well, she will urinate more aggressively to make her scent more potent than the others.
Cats may also urinate over each other’s markings to cover up the competition’s scent.
4. She is stressed
A cat urinating on everything can be a result of being in heat or experiencing stress – or being stressed because she is in heat!
Stress can arise from competition with other cats, as mentioned earlier. However, for younger cats going through puberty-like changes, their bodies’ transformations can cause stress. It may take a few heat cycles for them to adjust.
Even when they are accustomed to the feeling, it is speculated that cats in heat generally feel uncomfortable, which can lead to stress.
Furthermore, your female cat may be stressed or more agitated and excited while in heat due to the presence of a male cat. To help your female cat relax during this time, it’s advisable to keep her away from males.
5. She has an underlying medical condition
While urinating everywhere is a sign that your cat is in heat, it’s not the only possible reason – perhaps your cat is unwell.
Some diseases can cause cats to urinate more frequently, and in some cases, they may even lose control of their bladders. These illnesses include urinary tract infections, kidney disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
If you notice your cat looking extremely uncomfortable while urinating, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian to determine if a check-up is necessary.
How to Prevent a Female Cat from Spraying While in Heat
Just because our cats can’t control themselves doesn’t mean we have to tolerate the smell of cat urine. Here are a few things you can try to prevent your cat from spraying and urinating all over your house while in heat:
1. Keep soft items off your floor
Cats tend to prefer urinating on soft surfaces. Keep your floors free of soft items such as laundry, towels, and rugs if possible.
2. Keep your cat away from windows and doors
Try to prevent your cat from seeing other animals, especially male cats!
3. Keep them entertained
Toys and playtime will not only distract your cat from any discomfort she may be experiencing but also prevent her from pursuing male cats.
4. Clean up cat urine promptly
The longer the urine odor lingers in a spot in your house, the longer your cat will view it as an appropriate place to urinate. It’s important not to let her continue this behavior.
Sanitize rooms with enzyme cleaners to ensure no residual scents remain.
5. Try using cat pheromones
You can purchase cat pheromone plug-ins that release the scent into the air. They work because cats urinate to mark their territory in the first place – to place their familiar, comforting scent on it.
And as we know, a calm cat is less likely to urinate everywhere.
These products have been tested in clinical trials by the Journal of Veterinarian Medical Science, with promising results. After a month of using the pheromone diffuser, 37% of the test cats completely stopped urine marking, 40% continued doing so but much less frequently, and 23% showed no change.
6. Check their litter box
Perhaps your cat is urinating everywhere due to issues with her litter box. Ensure the litter box is easily accessible, always clean, and located in a calm spot in your house. You can also try having multiple litter boxes or experimenting with different types of litter.
7. Try using scents that deter cats from urinating
Cats have a highly sensitive sense of smell, which is why they use urine to mark their territory and attract mates. We can utilize this sensitive nose to discourage their excessive urination behavior.
Certain odors can deter cats from urinating in a specific area. These smells include lavender, minty fragrances like peppermint and eucalyptus, coffee, vinegar, and citrus.
Anything with these smells, such as coffee beans, citrus fruit peels, or a few drops of essential oils, can help discourage cats from urinating there.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does my female cat keep urinating everywhere?
Aside from the causes mentioned above, excessive urination may indicate bladder stones, thyroid problems, or even cancer in a cat.
Q: Is it normal for a cat in heat to not use the litter box?
It is relatively normal to see a cat in heat urinating everywhere. I once witnessed my cat urinating on my clothes right in front of me!
Unfortunately, some cat owners also have to deal with their female cats defecating all over the house to advertise their availability.
Q: Will my cat continue urinating everywhere after being spayed or neutered?
In terms of hormonal drive, your cat will significantly reduce urine spraying after being spayed or neutered. However, depending on when the procedure is done, cats may continue the behavior out of habit or as their hormonal levels adjust.
Additionally, there are other reasons why cats urinate everywhere, such as marking territory, displaying anxiety, or expressing dissatisfaction with their litter box.
Why does my cat urinate everywhere when in heat? It’s because her mating instincts drive her, and she can’t control it!
Fortunately, it’s a phase that comes and goes, and there are ways to control where she urinates.
Even though my cat in heat drives me crazy, cat urine is something you can clean away. The love and companionship I share with my furry feline friend, however, lasts forever.
Read more about the time when the male cat is in heat.