You expect your cat to pee in their litterbox, so you are probably quite surprised if your cat pees on you. You find it gross at the worst, and inconvenient at best. You wonder why your cat would pee on you. 

Why does cat pee on me?

Your cat is sitting in your lap relaxing. Suddenly, you feel a warm sensation on your leg. You look down and see a spreading puddle on your leg. Your cat just peed on you, but why?

Illness 

Illness is a common cause of inappropriate urination in cats. If this is the cause, you’ll also find your cat peeing in other places outside their litterbox. 

This is most often caused by a UTI. If your cat has a UTI, they may cry when peeing. They may use the litterbox more often than usual. They may also go to the litterbox and pee very little or not at all.

Dirty Litterbox

Cats are picky about where they use the bathroom. If their litterbox is dirty, they may use your leg instead. Scoop the litterbox at least once a day. It’s best if you can remove poop clumps soon after your cat poops. Clean the box and change the litter at least once a week. 

If you switched your cat’s litter, that may be the problem. Some cats dislike perfumed litter. They can also be picky about the texture of the litter. 

Age

Very young or old cats will have a hard time controlling their bladder, just like people. Kittens do not have adequate bladder control, because their bodies haven’t developed fully. 

As your cat ages, they may also lose control of their bladder. If this is the case, you’ll likely find them peeing in other inappropriate places as well. 

Fear

Just like humans, cats can pee when scared. If your cat is startled while in your lap, they may pee involuntarily. The limbic system is what controls the fight or flight response. 

When scared, it can override the frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for conscious thought. When this occurs, peeing is essentially an uncontrolled reflex, just like jumping when startled. 

Marking

Cats often use their pee as a way of marking their territory. It’s possible that your cat was actually marking you as theirs. Marking often occurs when there are multiple cats in the house, but it can also occur with solo cats. 

Stress marking occurs when your cat is stressed or nervous. It can help them feel like their home is a safe place. If your cat has been stressed recently, or simply enjoys marking their territory, this might be the reason. 

Litterbox Fear

Your cat can also pee on you if they are afraid of using their litterbox. This is common when you have multiple cats in the home. One cat will sometimes claim the litterbox, and act aggressively when other cats attempt to use it. 

Can you imagine someone blocking your access to the bathroom? In this case, your cat is peeing on you to let you know there’s a problem. 

Cats can also fear the litterbox if they’ve had a negative experience there. If your cat had a UTI which caused pain while peeing, they may associate this with the litterbox. After all, they don’t understand the cause of the pain. They simply know where it occured. 

A New Addition to the Family

A new addition to the family can cause your cat to pee on you. They may be stressed because their environment has changed. They could be jealous, particularly if you have a new cat. 

Cats Outside the Home

You may not think a cat outside the home could disturb your kitty, but they can. They can cause your cat to feel the need to mark their territory, including you. This usually occurs because your cat can smell the outside cats. 

Their sense of smell is about 14 times better than ours, so your cat can certainly smell animals outside the house. 

In Heat

A cat in heat can pee on you for a few reasons. First, they are typically more anxious during this time. This makes them more likely to pee on you out of stress or fear. 

Second, cats mark more often when in heat. It’s essentially their way of advertising their mating status, and inviting males to find them. 

What to do about my cat peeing on me?

If your cat is peeing on you, you’ll want to fix the problem as soon as possible. The good news is there are things you can do to keep your cat from peeing on you.

Vet Appointment

It’s best to start with a vet appointment to rule out any medical issues. UTIs are the most common medical issue that can cause your cat to pee on you, and everything else. However, there are other potential causes as well. 

Your vet will do a full examination and urine culture to determine if there’s a medical explanation. If it’s caused by a UTI, antibiotics will treat it.  They may also give you some tips about how to deal with behavioral causes. 

Dirty Litterbox

This is the easiest issue to solve. If your cat doesn’t like their litterbox because it’s dirty, you’ll simply need to put more effort into cleaning it. 

Other litterbox issues are harder to fix. If your cat’s litterbox stays clean, the problem may be the litter itself. Some cats don’t like certain litters. It may be the way it smells, or even the texture of it beneath their paws. 

In this case, you’ll need to try a different litter. You may need to try a few different options. 

Some cats like a covered box, while others prefer it open. Some owners love automatic litterboxes that clean themselves, but this can scare some cats. 

Location is another consideration. Cats tend to want to potty in quiet and private areas. If you notice your cat seeking quieter areas to do their business, try moving their box to a more secluded location. 

Lastly, if your cat has had a bad experience with their litterbox, you may need to make some changes. If your cat had a UTI that caused pain when peeing, they may associate this with their litterbox. 

Changing the litterbox and the location can help break any negative associations your cat has formed. 

Age

If you have a kitten that’s peeing on you, just remember they don’t have complete control over their bladder yet. The behavior should stop as they grow. 

If you have a senior cat, there are a few things you can do. Ensure that their litterbox is easily accessible. Cats lose some of their agility in old age. If the litterbox is tall, get a shallow box or a ramp for your kitty. 

Calming a Scared or Stressed Cat

Fear or stress is likely the most common cause of inappropriate urination other than urinary infections. 

One way you can calm your cat is to give them a safe place. Does your cat prefer to hide when anxious, or do they climb up high to get away from things? 

If your cat is a hider, create a cozy den in a quiet location. Allow them access to the den at all times, and don’t try to coax them out when they are inside. It’s important they have time for themselves. 

If your cat prefers a high vantage point, consider installing a shelf for them. You can place a piece of carpet onto the shelf with adhesive to make it cozier. Again, it should be in a relatively quiet area of the home. 

Of course, when possible, you should eliminate or reduce the source of the stress. If it’s another cat or pet, you may need to confine them to different areas of the house. Allow them to interact when you can supervise. 

Routine

Cats thrive on routine, and can become out of sorts when things change. Sometimes a change in routine is inevitable, but you can make it easier for your cat. 

Owners often don’t realize how much of an impact a change in routine can have on their cats. If your schedule has changed, this is also a big change for your cat. 

Keep as much of your previous routine as is feasible, only changing what you need to. Keeping some things the same will help provide a sense of stability for your kitty. 

You’ll also need to be patient and provide a little extra TLC during the change.

Reassuring a Jealous or Lonely Cat

If your cat seems jealous, they aren’t spiteful. They simply need some reassurance that you are there for them. Give them extra attention throughout the day. Remember adjustments like a new pet or family member take time. 

It’s also important for your cat to have a safe space in these situations. As mentioned above, your cat needs a secure area where they can be alone when they want to be. 

Spaying or Neutering

If your cat is intact, they are more likely to mark with urine. Male intact cats are typically more territorial, so they are more likely to pee as a way of establishing their territory. 

Female cats can also be territorial. A female in heat wil mark as a way to solicit a mate, essentially leaving a calling card for other cats. Even if your cat remains indoors, outside males can smell her pee. They will know she is in heat, and may become vocal when they can’t reach her. 

Seeking Professional Help

If you can’t get your cats peeing under control, you may need some help to do so. Your vet is a great starting point. However, if the issue isn’t medical, a behavioralist may be the biggest help. 

They can work with you to determine the cause of the problem and potential solutions. 

Remember that inappropriate urination might be common in cats, but it’s not normal behavior. It’s not something you should dismiss, particularly if it happens on a regular basis. 

Do cats pee on things for attention?

It seems like your cat is peeing on things to send a message. Perhaps they are even punishing you for something. Are they peeing on things as a way to get your attention?

Are They Seeking Attention?

It is possible that your cat is peeing on things for attention. However, this isn’t out of spite. Instead, it’s a cry for help. Your cat isn’t just trying to get your attention. They are attempting to let you know something is wrong. Since your cat can’t communicate with words, they must use the methods they have. Peeing is one way your cat can communicate with you. 

Are They Punishing Me?

No, your cat isn’t punishing you, although it may feel that way at times. Many cat owners suspect their cat is angry with them, and peeing on things out of spite. In most cases, stress is actually the culprit. 

Stress

Why is your cat “punishing” you? Have you started working longer hours? Did you get a new pet? Did you begin dating someone that is now coming to your home? 

If you think your cat is angry with you for a specific reason, you are likely half right. The recent change is likely the cause. However, they aren’t doing it out of spite. 

Stress can cause your cat to pee in inappropriate places. This is often a way to reclaim the area to make them feel safer. They may also pee because they find their own scent comforting, particularly in times of stress. 

Why would my cat pee on my bed?

Few things are more infuriating than your cat peeing on your bed. You may think that they did it out of spite or to get attention. However, there’s likely a more benign cause. 

Your Smell

Few things are more comforting to your cat than your smell. You are their source of comfort. When your cat pees on the bed, it’s likely because they are mixing their smell with yours. This is very comforting to them. 

Have you ever worn a loved one’s shirt because it smelled like them? This is similar to what your cat is doing. 

Loneliness

If you haven’t been spending as much time with your cat as they are used to, they may be craving a connection with you. They will pee on the bed to mix your scents as a way to feel close to you when you aren’t there. 

Cats have a reputation as being anti-social and aloof. The truth is, most cats adore time spent with their owners. Cats have social and emotional needs just like we do. If they aren’t met, your cat will seek other ways to meet them. 

A New Bedmate

If you’ve recently invited someone else into your bed, this may be why your cat is peeing on it. They may feel the need to reaffirm their bond with you. 

They may also be marking their territory, and telling the intruder that the bed, or you, belong to them. 

Author

I created and currently run Kitty Cat Tips, the website that you can go to when you have questions about your cat's behavior. It's my hope that you find Kitty Cat Tips to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your cat. You can read more about me and my website here.