Keeping Cats from Peeing on a Couch

September 15, 2015

I'm literally at my whits end and I've tried everything and I don't know what to do. I have a rescue cat that continually pees outside of the litter box, on my couch in fact. I have taken her to the doctor's, I have multiple litter boxes, I have pheromone plugs ins, I have special litter, I clean the litter box at least once a day, I have a water fountain, she's on a special diet, she's on anti-anxiety meds, I've tried Spirit Essences, and I play with her everyday.


She's already ruined one couch that I had to get rid of and my new couch is currently covered in puppy pads and couch covers. I find something almost every day! Help! I honestly don't know what do to, and at this point I'm going to have to rehome her because it's causing issues with my other cat. I really don't want it to come to that, but the tension between the two cats is getting bad and it's not fair to either of them. Please advise.


September 17, 20150 found this helpful
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You have certainly given this your best shot. The only thing I can suggest is try a pheromone collar. Friends have had good luck with those when the plug ins didn't work. It seems to have cured random urination for some of them. Also, can you "catify" your home? It can help with territorial issues. Create spaces your cat can get to that are high up. This comforts some cats. Best of luck to you. If it doesn't work you wont be the first person who could not blend a couple of cats.

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June 23, 20165 found this helpful
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Puppy pads may be a tempting choice (I've been there, done that) but they have an attractant in them that makes an animal want to pee there (this why they're used for house training puppies, get the dog to pee on the mat and keep moving them closer to the door until they get the idea that they're supposed to pee outside).

I've found crumpled tin foil to be the best deterrent for my cats, and have also used an upside down plastic carpet runner (little nubs facing up, cats hate the feeling on their paws) on the couch.

I made a couch cover out of vinyl table cloths from the dollar store, taped a few together with a few layers of duct tape and taped tin foil to the outer layer. The cover goes on the couch whenever we leave the room and definitely over night which is when we had the majority of our problems with our cats. Hope this helps.

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17 More Questions

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March 20, 2007

I have a 7 year old female Seal Point Himalayan. She has been fixed. She is constantly peeing on my couch and near my wooden furniture. She doesn't seem to have a UTI. She does use the cat box. I was wondering if any one knew what could be wrong with her.

Dawn from Lisbon Falls, Maine


April 6, 20070 found this helpful
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First, rule out any underlying medical conditions by having your kitty checked by the vet. If she checks out fine, there might be a very simple problem you can easily remedy. Cats are fussy creatures, and they are purposeful! In other words, she's trying to tell you something. LOL!

1). Where is the litter box located? Is it in a high traffic area of your home?? Is it near a toilet or near her food source? Is it a covered type box with a high step up? These are all things that some cats find objectionable.

2). How often do you clean the litter box? Do you wash it once a week? If so, do you use chemicals to clean it?

3). Do you use deodorant litter? Clumping type litter? Many cats are sensitive to anything but unscented, clay litter.

Make some changes towards encouraging her to use her box. Often this is all it takes. Make sure you use an enzyme cleaner on the spots she's peed on though...if she continues to smell her own urine there, she'll continue to go there.

Good luck.

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December 5, 2015

We got my cat when she was kitten. When she was about 4 to 6 months old she started peeing on the couch and sometimes even on the bed. We weren't sure what to do since we had never had a cat do this before. She was already fixed and declawed and everything so that can't be why she does this. We started putting blankets on the couch thinking maybe if it doesn't look the same she won't do it anymore.

We were wrong. We have another little kitten, but he doesn't live in the house and they don't have a problem with each other. Maybe we should try another litter box or move it in a different spot, but I don't know. If anyone knows what to do please let me know.


April 26, 20160 found this helpful
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You don't have to train cats go to the bathroom in the litter box, they just know. If they are peeing and pooping elseware it is either a bladder infection or anxiety. Talk to your vet for answers.

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March 18, 2020

Just before Christmas 2019 my sister brought home a kitten from the vet's office who was going to be put to sleep because his owners didn't want him. I took him in and hadn't had any problems until the new year. He is approximately 19 weeks old.

About a month and a half ago I found a poo on our rug. The night before I had just wormed him and it was a syrup so I just put it down to stress because of the situation. He was using his litter tray perfectly before this and kept using it, but every few days there would be a poo on the rug. I tried pet carpet cleaner, but it didn't work so we just ended up rolling up the rug and putting it out of the way. Then he was using his littler again perfectly until he started peeing on our sofa. It go so bad that we had to throw the sofa away and I replaced it with a bean bag for the time being. I've just come home from work to find that he's peed on the bean bag now. I don't know what to do? Whatever I move or replace he pees on the next thing I put there. He has a good diet, he's wormed regularly, he's putting on weight consistently, he's had all his up to date on vaccinations, and generally he's a really well behaved kitten. Please if anyone has any advice I would be grateful.


March 31, 20200 found this helpful
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I would follow the work of Jackson Galaxy, the guy from My Cat from Hell. He states that with a lot of cats it boils down to territorial problems - in particular to having lots of high places in which to perch so that he can be above other people and animals. He suggests 'catifying' the house by installing shelving, having cat hotels, and even a 'catio' if you have the possibility.

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October 18, 2017

I don't know what to do. My cat, Zeus, doesn't have a urinary infection and is completely healthy. Ever since we got a leather couch from a family friend he has peed on it. It took us a while to get the old couch removed, but during that time I put cayenne pepper and baking soda on the couch. That helped for a while. Then we got another couch and no longer let him sleep on it because he slept and played on the last leather couch, but would still pee on it. So far we've gotten rid of 4 couches in the past 3 years. I've tried spraying him with water after he pees on the couch. I've tried positive reinforcements when he uses his litter box. We have the fourth couch downstairs still cause we haven't had the money to have it removed yet. I put cayenne and baking soda all over it cause it's ruined. But if we drop a piece of mail on the ground without noticing he'll pee on it and we won't notice till an hour later when we smell pee and notice his litter box isn't being used. He has two litter boxes and they are changed every day. We have one cat and two litter boxes and he still pees on furniture, like come on. The oddest thing is when we first get the couch for the first month or so he loves it, cuddles it, and plays on it. Then he ruins it for himself cause he has no where comfy to sleep. I even felt bad one day even though we have no where to sit now in our own living room and got him a cat bed.

He used it for a week then peed on it too. The family stays in our rooms now cause we can't even enjoy being downstairs anymore. He'll pee on plastic bags and paper as well. I don't know what to do anymore. He's spoiled with love an attention all the time. I just bought a cage for him today after we yet again found one piece of paper that had fallen of a ledge and been peed on it before I got home. So I'm going to try putting him in the cage for an hour or two now since he just peed on the paper today. Our carpets are ruined. We've cleaned countless times and the smell never seems to fully go away. I'm honestly regretting getting him. I love him, but I cannot deal with this anymore. He was the first kitten in his litter to be litter trained and opened his eyes first. It's been ever since that leather couch we got a couple years ago which is long gone where it all started. From a kitten to age 1 1/2 he was so good with using the litter box. He only used to need one. Now we have two and clean them even twice a day sometimes. I'm lost, please someone help. I'm hoping the cage timeout will make it clear to him that he's been bad. He was in the cage for an hour and I've never heard him meow so much. He isn't very vocal usually unless he really needs to be. So I'm really hoping the timeout made him realize something. Help!


October 18, 20171 found this helpful
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Use an enzyme cleaner like Natures Miracle to remove all traces of scent. Otherwise, the cat will continue to go back to the same spot.

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March 15, 2016

I have 2 cats and we adopted both. I am not sure of age, but they are quite young. All of a sudden they peed on my couch.

I don't know what to do! How do I stop them from doing it anywhere else and how do I cover up the smell?


March 18, 20160 found this helpful
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You always need to have them checked by a Vet when this happens more than once or twice. It can be a bladder infection. It may be they see cats outside and feel threatened and are marking their territory. The thing I use for stain and odor is a product called Fizzion. It is a tablet you put in a spray bottle and it dissolves. It stops any odor, especially cat pee. You may need to order it off the internet.

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September 17, 2015

I have a 6 year old female cat that has never peed on anything. About 2 weeks ago I had a good friend over for girls' night and she had too much wine and got sick on my 1 year old $1500 fabric couch and my area rug.

I used my carpet cleaner to clean the couch and area rug. Within a day my cat had peed on both the rug and the couch. I threw out the rug and used baking soda, Windex, vinegar, etc. Finally a special cat pee cleaner seemed to do the trick, it smelled better. Then I covered the cushions with garbage bags and tin foil to really let the cleaner do it's thing and deter her from peeing on it again. Today I looked over and she was peeing on the back of the couch, where the wasn't any vomit or cat pee before.

How can I get her to stop?! This is a pretty new couch and she hasn't touched the matching love seat.

Thank you!


September 19, 20151 found this helpful
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Here's what's in your cat's mind:
You let somebody in your house who "marked" the cat's sofa, claiming it as her own. How dare she! Your cat "marked" it back.

You keep removing the smell, which is just confusing your cat. She was trying to mark that and you keep un-marking it.
You're wondering how to get her to stop marking it and she's wondering how to get you to stop erasing it.

This is a difficult situation. One of the things you can do is drape your clothing or a blanket you have used on the sofa. If you "mark" it with your scent your cat might be satisfied again. However, you risk your cat peeing on this.
Alternately, if there is a scent your cat definitely thinks of as "you" such as a perfume or spray deodorant you always wear, a little of that might work.

Some people have success feeding the cat on the sofa for a while. Cats generally won't "go" where they eat.

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October 14, 2019

I desperately need help. 1 of my female cats keeps peeing on my husband's side of the couch only. She has always been attached to my husband and only likes males. She is fine with my other cats, but doesn't get along with our dog as our dog keeps jumping on her for no reason or chases her so we know that is an issue as well. She no longer walks around our house and we had to move 2 other litter boxes she uses to the side of the house she stays on. So that is issue #1. How do I stop my dog from going after her?

Issue #2 is after taking in 2 abandoned kittens she started peeing on only my husband's side of the couch. We first thought she was being picky with the litter box as she has in the past. So we added more litter boxes and completely change the litter every week and clean it every night, but she still pees on the couch. We have tried anti-marking sprays, we were told to spray it with mouthwash, everything we have found online, but nothing is working. We don't know what exactly is the issue that is causing her to be like this, but we even give her special attention. Nothing is working. My brand new couch is being ruined and I can't take it. I will walk away for a single minute and she pees on the couch. What can I do to stop this without rehoming animals because that isn't an option I can think about.

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September 1, 2019

My cats pee on my couch. They have been to vet and they are fine. The litter is clean. What can I do to stop this and what can I use to clean it?

Someone told me to spray cinnamon, but I want them to sleep on the couch by me.


September 1, 20190 found this helpful

Cat urine is quite strong and you own more than one, so I would suggest talking with a professional carpet/furniture cleaner to have the urine cleansed from sofa. Problem is, if cats are urinating on sofa often, you may need to replace it as urine drains deeper in and is harder to get out. Then I would suggest you purchase a couple waterproof sofa covers that are washable and won't let liquid absorb into sofa. This way you can always keep one on sofa while other is getting laundered.

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January 16, 2019

I've been using Feliway for over a year. My one cat started having accidents on my couch. I took him to the vet and he checked out fine. Feliway was recommended. I don't think it's working because he is still peeing on the couch. I've been religiously buying Feliway for over a year and I feel like I've just been wasting my money. His litter box is always clean and I have multiple ones. And he has no problems with the other cats. What should I do? What can I do?


January 16, 20190 found this helpful

I think the couch is imprinted with cat urine smell which lets him believe it's good to pee there.

you probably need a new couch or clean it with enzymatic cleaners, you can buy at any store

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January 17, 20190 found this helpful

He may not like the litter in the box. Get a different brand that is softer on his paws.

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November 11, 2018

We have a 3 year old cat that we have had since she was a kitten. She has started peeing on the couch. We have used the correct cleaners, but she keeps peeing on the couch whenever we are out of the room. The vet said she is heathy, we have tried calming collars, plug in pheromones, extra litter boxes, cleaning the boxes multiple times a day, and replacing the couch.

We don't want to have to give her away, but don't know what else to try.


November 11, 20180 found this helpful

She is marking her territory. Did you get another pet or have a baby?

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November 12, 20180 found this helpful

When our pup had incontinence issues and was otherwise healthy, we used diapers (human ones). I am not certain a cat would tolerate that, but it is something to try.

There are medications out there to give cats for incontinence issues--so maybe ask the vet which one is best (some can be purchased over the counter, if I remember correctly, and some need a script).

I don't know how easy your cat takes meds--I sat one that did well with it, put it in a spoonful of yogurt and it was gone, and other of my charge nothing would get the meds into her, so I had to rely on getting it in through a small amount of food over the day. And a third that the med was compounded to be a cream that got rubbed into her ear, which worked for that situation (thyroid).

Consider takking to you vet about the incontinence meds. Prayers for the kitty!

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November 12, 20180 found this helpful

It sounds like you have considered a number of things. A couple more you can consider... Are there any outdoor or feral cats that visit your property where she can see or smell them? This can set off that marking behavior. You need to find ways to discourage the visitors. There are many products made for this, motion activated canned air, motion activated sprinklers etc. As a last resort block the view your cat has of the visitor. You will need to find your inner detective on this one. Be sure and check patio doors and all doors for spray left behind by visitors. Your cat can smell it. You can also try putting aluminum foil on the couch when you are not there. Cats hate the feel of it on their feet and will avoid walking on it. Usually they just quit going there. Consider anything else that may be making her feel insecure. Some extra affection may help too, as well as some good play time. Try a different cat litter. They can very opinionated about that. Good luck.

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July 16, 2019

This question has been covered thoroughly, but I have a new idea and want to know if anyone has made this association. Our kitty is 2 years old and never did this until we got a brand new couch. No UTI, he's on anxiety meds. I use pheromone plugins and have clean and plentiful litter boxes. The only change is that we threw out the old couch and got a new one from IKEA. I was thinking...

My old couch was black and cushy. My new couch is gray and cushy. The litter and litter boxes are gray and cushy. Am I on to something?

Could this be as simple as color? Just curious if others have had noticed anything specific about the couch color or fabric that could make sense of this. I am at my limit. If I can't figure this out, I'll have to apply the old saying; "if you can't beat him, join him", but I am not looking forward to watching movies from the litter box.

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March 30, 2019

My cat used to pee on one specific couch and it would have the whole house stinking. We realized that it was because we weren't cleaning his litter box frequently. So, we cleaned his litter box, took the couch outside to clean it, and left it outside for a few days.

Recently, we have brought the couch back inside and he's started urinating on it again, even though we have been up to date on cleaning his litter box.

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