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Cat Peeing on Countertops

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If your cat is peeing on your counter, you will want to prevent it from doing this any more as soon as possible. This is a page about cat peeing on countertops.


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February 2, 2010

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


February 2, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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February 9, 20100 found this helpful
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Thanks all. I did take him to the vet, and he had too high (?) a PH, so he is on acidifiers.


He wasn't angry, just in pain. Hopefully this will take care of the problems. Thanks for suggestions.

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October 20, 2017

I have 3 cats who use a cat flap which is always open. They also have litter indoors to use as when there was no litter in the house 1 cat would pee on the carpet. The litter very regularly gets used. Recently over the past few months I have noticed pee on the kitchen counter. I don't know if it's one of my cats or if it is another cat coming in through the cat flap. I am now locking the flap at night.

I have never see the cat pee on the counter. All 3 cats seem healthy with no other noticeable issues so I wouldn't know which one to take to the vet. How would I stop this behaviour? Any ideas? My cats are all around 9 years of age and have never urinated on the counter before. Any help would be appreciated.


October 20, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Here is a few things to check to see if this helps:

  1. You don't know if it is actually one of your cats or a stray cat that is coming in your home to pee on your coutertop. Therefore, you will need to find out if it is one of your cats or a stray.
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  3. Try isolating each of the cats in an area alone with a litter box. Check to make sure you have no more pee on the countertop when you let them out.
  4. If you don't find pee you'll know for sure it is one of your cat's doing this.
  5. Now you need to find out which one. In order to do this you will need to isolate one of them alone in a room with a littler box. Check to see if you have pee.
  6. If you still do then it means one of the other two cats is doing this. Keep isolating one to find out who is doing this.
  7. Now that you know which cat it is you will need to determine why they won't use their litter box.
  8. Have you changed the litter that you used? If you haven't then it is another reason.
  9. Examine your cat's feet. Check to see if your cat has an ingrown nail or a sore foot.
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  11. Normally if they do this means they won't use the litter box because it is hurting their feet when they dig in the litter.
  12. You might need to take a urine sample to the vet and have it tested. One of your cats could be sick and you don't realize it.
  13. As some cat's get older they can have stress related issues. Do you notice that one of the cat's has been stressed or acting differently?
  14. Last one is are you gone when the cat pees on the countertop or are you home when this happens?
  15. If you are away from home when this happens one way is to keep the cats in a room with thier litter box when you are gone. Only let them out when you arrive home again. Keep the cat door locked when you are not home.
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October 14, 2017

I am not sure which of my cats is doing this behavior. About 3 or 4 times a week we find puddles on our countertops. We have been using tin foil to block things, but they pee on it or near it.


We use disinfectants to clean and an odor deterrent, but it doesn't seem to matter. All the litter boxes are always clean. This is a multiple cat household. Help please!


October 16, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

From reading your question it appears you are already doing a lot that responders are suggesting but in a situation like this, sometimes just simple changes will help.

  • Do all of your cats have a clean bill of health? Vets say that sometimes cats that have a urinary tract infection will do things out of the ordinary to try to let someone know they are in pain.
  • Perhaps you could talk to your vet about this problem just to see what they think. There are home remedies for UTI.
  • If no health problems then have there been any changes to their normal routine? Changes will also make cats change their bathroom habits.
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  • Only an enzyme cleaner will completely remove urine odor (cats have great smell ability) and it will draw them back to the same spot.
  • Bleach will not remove the odor.
  • Not all enzyme cleaners are equally effective. Cheap ones will work, but need to be reapplied over and over (and probably end up costing as much as the more expensive enzyme cleaners). Enzyme cleaners: Nok Out, Urine Off and Anti-Icky Poo.
  • From a vet: Vinegar and baking soda work to neutralize the odor temporarily, and hydrogen peroxide is 30% more oxidizing than chlorine. But cat urine is composed of things that REQUIRE enzymes to break down the chemical bonds. When cat urine dries, the urea is broken down by the bacteria. This is what makes it smell like ammonia.
  • Health first and good cleaning second.
  • You may have to place a barricade on your counter tops until you can break the habit. Maybe some boxes to prevent the cat from jumping on the counter tops. Be sure they are large enough for the cat to see from the floor.
  • You may have to cover even your stove top so there is no vacant spot.

This question is asked off and on so maybe you would like to read some responses from previous questions.

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February 3, 2019

I recently re-homed two Siamese cats. My sister-in-law passed away and left behind these two that are brother and sister. They are 11 years old and I flew them from Massachusetts to Florida. They have been extremely stressed out, but are starting to come around; it hasn't been a month yet. There are two other cats in the house. They for the most part get along however have developed a bad habit of peeing on the countertops in the kitchen. My sister has taken them to the vet and there are no issues; it is related to stress. I tried enzymes and have heard to try cayenne pepper. I wondered if anybody out there has any other ideas.


February 3, 20190 found this helpful

Ask your vet for anti anxiety medication. Your cats have been through a lot.

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February 4, 20190 found this helpful

Do not use cayenne pepper. If they get it in their eyes they can be blinded. When I want to keep my cats off of something I put down a piece of aluminum foil. After a couple of days throw away the foil.

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February 10, 20190 found this helpful

Poor kitties! Sending them prayers to relieve their stress. You are wonderful to take them in. It is hard to reach older animals new habits. You can try the foil trick to line the counters with foil slightly scrunched and flattened. Some folks try double stick tape on card stock on the counter. Do not do that if they are long hair cats, as then it goes from a deterrent to a hazard sticking to their fur and pulling. Ouchies! Post back how it goes.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 16, 2009

Can anyone tell me how to stop my cats from peeing on my stove and countertops?

Sharlene from Hagertown


Cat Peeing On Countertops

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)

By nelliemary

Cat Peeing On Countertops

What a bummer for you.

  1. I'd suggest using double stick tape directly on the countertops or placing double stick tape onto sections of cardboard, then putting this cardboard on your countertops. Because cats hate the sticky feeling of this on their soft little foot-pads. Another idea, buy Contact paper at the Dollar store (or wherever) and put this sticky side up. I bet that the first time he feels the Contact paper on his feet, he will think twice before doing it again.
  2. Also, whenever you see the little fellow up on your countertops and stove spray him or her with a spray bottle and say "NO!" loudly. We don't need to use the spray bottle with our cat, we just say "NO!" quite loudly whenever he goes up there and now he hardly ever tries to jump up there.
  3. Your cat may have a urinary or kidney infection or could be sick with some other ailment, I'd take him or her to the vet. If you don't have the money, you should call around first and tell them your story and ask for prices (as some vet prices vary, especially in the "upper class" parts of town). Or, before you decide on a vet, you can start by buying the cat litter that is made for testing if your cat has a urinary infection. The crystals in it will turn a different color. I saw some of this "urinary infection testing litter" at Walmart, but I bet most pet stores would have it. I'm sure it doesn't really test for much, I bet it's just a pH tester, but at least it's a start.
  4. Put a litter box in the kitchen and after you cat starts using it, slowly move it into the room you want him to use it in. My cat was sick and peed on my kitchen floor (we took him to a vet) so we temporarily put a small litterbox in the kitchen along with his regular box in the bathroom.
  5. Clean the stove and way down inside of stove underneath the burners and also the counter top with vinegar. Clean it super good. The vinegar will remove most traces of the smell of cat pee. The smell of his or her own pee may be luring him up there again and again. Remember, even though we can't smell it, does not mean our cat's great noses can't.

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)

By Cyinda

Cat Peeing On Countertops

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)

By Carole Heaven

Cat Peeing On Countertops

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)

By Kimberly

Cat Peeing On Countertops

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

Cat Peeing On Countertops

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.

Good luck.


By Shelter Worker

Cat Peeing On Countertops

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)

By Amy

Cat Peeing On Countertops

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)

By Denise

Cat Peeing On Countertops

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)

By debbie

Cat Peeing On Countertops

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)

By Kathy

Cat Peeing On Countertops

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)

By Sharlene

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February 2, 2010

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?

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