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I went away and my cat got mad. He peed in the dish drainer. The cat sitter cleaned it out with Clorox, but the day I came back he did it again. I threw it away.
Then last night he jumped on the counter and peed in the fruit bowl. This is getting expensive. He knows the counters are off limits, so he is clearly acting out.
What will work as a cat repellent that isn't a spray? I was told moth balls, but I hate to put them in my fruit bowl. Help.
By Joanie from Mill Valley, CA
If the cat is doing this only when you are away from home, confine the cat to a room with door closed like a utility room. Put a throw rug down for the cat to lay upon, the water/feed bowl, litter box and toys. That way when you must leave, the cat will be come used to this room. Turn a radio on so the cat doesn't feel so alone and perhaps things will improve.
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Can anyone tell me how to stop my cats from peeing on my stove and countertops?
Sharlene from Hagertown
Sometimes if a cat is experiencing urinary problems they go in strange places to get your attention. Has your cat been to the vet lately? This could be a sign of a health problem as cats are clean animals. Good luck with your kitty. She could be in pain. (10/23/2008)
What a bummer for you.
If it were me, I'd do each and every one of these things, start by cleaning your stove and countertop well with vinegar, then always keep a spray bottle handy to teach him to stay off the countertops and stove and say "NO!" when he jumps up there. Put double-stick tape or contact paper face up onto the counter top or onto a section of cardboard and leave this sticky stuff on the countertops while he learns. Also get a litterbox with the special litter in it for the kitchen along with your regular litter box. Also, get him tested by a vet for any problems. (10/23/2008)
Usually when an animal starts acting in a way that is totally not like them at all, they will start doing things like that. Sometimes they may be upset at company that came over today, they may feel stressed about a change in their usual routine, anything out of the ordinary could make them behave in an unusual manner. The urinary tract infection is a very plausible cause for this kind of behavior; a vet visit is recommended.
In the meantime, you still have the problem of the cat pottying where he/she is not supposed to. Using the sticky-side-out thing is good; placing several light-weight aluminum pie pans or a bunch of tin cans on top of the stove is another good one. When the cat jumps up, he knocks the pans or cans off onto the floor and it makes a tremendous racket, scaring him away from the stove. It doesn't take but once or twice for him to get the message. The squirt-with-the-water advice is good as well, but you have to stay in the room and catch him in the act of jumping up. Good luck; but please do look into the health issue. (10/23/2008)
You might need to have kitty checked for incontinence because it may not be his/her fault. Kitty may be sick. I'd go to the vet. Also, make sure litter boxes are totally clean. My cat refuses to use the box if it's dirty. (10/23/2008)
Has there been a recent event such as a person or pet added to or removed from the household? Has any member of the household had an extended stay or stressful visit to a doctor, hospital, or veterinarian? Have the cats begun to fight? Is a non neutered pet entering sexual maturity? Have strange animals begun to come calling or marking at doors or windows? Has there been a sudden change in litter or some disturbing event in the litter box area? All these factors, as well as illness, can lead cats to pee where they should not. Check with a veterinarian if the cause is not obvious.
In the meantime, slightly crinkled aluminum foil laid on a counter can encourage cats to leave the area alone. Many cats don't like the feel or the sound. (10/23/2008)
By Red Neck
You only mention one cat and it seems that the cat is selectively peeing only on your countertops and the stove.
I would check around behind the stove, refridgerator and the kitchen to look for signs of any kind of rodent that might have moved in for the winter. The mice would stick to the cabinets and counters when they find food and it could explain why your cat might be selectively peeing there.
Obviously scour the entire kitchen and trap the mice if that's the case and the problem should resolve itself. Even if you don't see signs of mice; I would put out traps or carefully position some poison because you might not see the signs of a mouse for a long time.
Your cat should already be spayed or neutered but if not; get it done. Cats are extremely territorial and will start all kinds of bad behaviour if the home gets too crowded with pets or people or has unwanted guests. It's rarely one specific behaviour like you describe when there are extra pets or invited guests.
Check carefully to make sure the cat isn't also peeing elsewhere. Also check the cat out yourself. Give them a good pet and gently feel around their abdomen. If there's an infection they will let you know if it hurts or they're uncomfortable. If you have any doubts or find other pee spots; get them to a vet.
It's unlikely a sick cat would jump and only pee on counters.
If the cat is sick, you can make temporary, cheap and effective litter boxes with a simple cardboard box cut down at the store with a plastic bag liner if need be to help the cat while they recover.
Cats can be trained. Definitely use a spray water bottle or compressed air (never directly into their face) and firm "off" command when the cat even jumps onto the counters, because it just isn't sanitary to have them there.
Some cats dislike the scent of citrus so using a lemon scented cleaner or leaving lemon/orange/lime peels about might also discourage them. All animals are different so don't be afraid to try something and change if it doesn't work.
By Shelter Worker
Do you have plants on your countertops? One of my cats did that once to a plant on my table. It definitely is a behavioral issue. The cat is upset about something, it's like a payback or something. (10/24/2008)
Yes to all. I would add that I have had success with using vinegar in which I soak some citrus peels for a day. Cats don't like the smell of citrus. Nature's Miracle works on the same idea of citrus smell keeping them from using the same place. Don't use ammonia or bleach, as it smells to them like old pee. (10/25/2008)
The first thing you should always do when a cats urination habits change is see the vet. A friend of mine learned the hard way. Her 1 year old cat started peeing on everything. Clothes, her bed, etc. She thought the cat was just being bad and let it go on for months. When she finally took her, the cat had had a urinary tract infection that traveled to her kidneys and she had to have her put to sleep. She was heartbroken. If you haven't taken your cat yet, please do. It's better to make sure the cat is not sick and then try different suggestions. (10/25/2008)
Do you have other cats in the house? If so, it could be because the other cats are chasing her when she tries to go to the litter box. It happened to one of mine; the other cats bully her and she runs from them. She usually ended up in the kitchen on the counter or stove. When I realized what was happening, I had to put her in her own room. She now occupies the spare bedroom. During the day while I'm at work and after I feed her, I'll keep the door shut so she can have some peace. Hope this helps. Good luck. (11/03/2008)
I took her to the vet and she does have UTI. She is on antibiotics and we will check her in one week. Thank you for all the great advice. (11/04/2008)
One of my 4 cats has been peeing on the kitchen countertop. How do I get them to stop and is there any magic way I could find out who the culprit is?