If your cat is house trained, you may be surprised to find them peeing on your door. It’s also possible that other cats are peeing on the outside of your door. Smelling urine each time you open the door certainly isn’t appealing. To stop the behavior, you will first need to understand why it’s occurring.
Why does my cat pee or spray by the front door?
It can be a frustrating experience to have your cat peeing on or by your front door. You may even think that they are doing it out of spite. There are many reasons your cat may pee by the door, but it’s highly unlikely that they are doing it out of anger or revenge.
Peeing vs. Spraying
First, it’s important to know the difference between peeing and spraying. Both these behaviors involve releasing urine, but they serve different purposes. They also have different motivations.
When a cat urine marks, they will squat and release a small amount of urine. They may do this several times, moving to a different area each time. When a cat sprays, they usually do so on a vertical surface. They will back up to the surface with their tail held high. Then they release a spray of urine, often moving their legs back and forth at the same time.
Urine marking and spraying are performed differently, but have the same basic motivations. These motivations are behavioral, and can include marking their territory, searching for a mate, or anxiety.
Peeing, on the other hand, is a biological necessity. A cat will squat to pee, similar to urine marking. However, instead of releasing a small amount of urine, they will empty their bladder. Instead of a behavioral motivation, peeing has physical motivation.
Marking is one of the most common reasons cats urine mark or spray. Both are ways of scent communication. The urine has an odor that is distinct to each cat. When other cats visit the area, they will smell the marking. This lets them know that another cat has claimed the area.
Cats tend to be territorial. They will often mark, and even defend their territory when necessary. If there are other cats outside the home, your cat may mark the door to signal that the house belongs to them. The other cats may also mark the outside of the door, as a sort of competition or counter-claim.
Marking can also occur due to sexual maturity or availability. A male cat will mark areas to let fertile females know they are available. A female in heat will also mark as a way to let males know she is ready to mate. Think of it as the number on a napkin of the cat world.
Lastly, a cat may mark if they feel there’s a threat. If there’s a predator outside the home, the cat may mark as a means of defense and warning to other cats.
Stress or Anxiety
Cats may also have urinary issues due to stress or anxiety. Some cats develop Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, also known as Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC). Symptoms of this disorder include straining to urinate, genital licking, bloody urine, pain with urination, and urinating outside the litter box. In this case, psychological stress is causing a medical disorder.
However, the problem can also be behavioral. In this case, the stress is leading to the behavior of inappropriate urination. If your cat uses the litter box to pee sometimes, and urinates outside of it at others, this could be the cause.
It’s common for cats to stress urinate near a door or window. They will also typically urinate in the same area each time.
If there’s been a recent change to your cat’s home or routine, this is likely the reason they are peeing by the door. These changes can include owner absence, a new pet or family member, moving, or even rearranging the furniture.
Stress can also be caused by the door itself. It’s a high traffic area, with people frequently coming in and out. This can cause stress or anxiety.
Wants to Go Out
If your cat prefers to urinate outside, they may pee by the door when they want to go out. If they aren’t let outside in time, they will simply pee by the door. If they only pee by the door, this may be the reason why.
Medical Reasons for Inappropriate Peeing
There are three broad categories of medical causes for inappropriate peeing. These are conditions that make urination painful, cause urination to be more frequent, and physical or mental deterioration.
In addition to FIC, mentioned earlier, bladder stones and uti’s can cause inappropriate urination. These disorders will cause pain with urination. Your cat may seem distressed or in pain when peeing. They may also strain to urinate, and need to urinate more often.
The diseases just listed also make urination more frequent. Other causes of increased urination include kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, and hypothyroidism.
Lastly, some cats have physical or connive disorders that cause inappropriate urination. These include feline dementia, and muscle or nervous system disorders.
Why does my cat pee by the bedroom door?
It may seem like a strange behavior, but peeing by your bedroom door is often an indication your cat cares about you. It’s not the most pleasant way they show affection, and can indicate a behavioral issue. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not done out of spite, but a love for their owner.
We know that cats mark their territory, but sometimes the target is more specific. If they are marking your bedroom door, it’s their way of claiming you. They are telling any other animals in the vicinity that you belong to them.
This is more common if you have multiple pets in the household, but it can also occur if you have a solo kitty. Some cats are more territorial or possessive than others, so they are more likely to mark your door.
In addition to marking your door, the cat may mark your personal items. If they urinate on your clothes, purse, or even your feet, they are likely marking you.
Your cat may also mark your door to mingle their scent with yours. This is one of the ways they show affection and bond with their owner, at least in their minds.
Cats have a reputation for being aloof and independent. However, cats’ personalities vary widely, and many can suffer from separation anxiety. The degree of separation anxiety also varies.
Some cats are fine being left alone for short periods, but will exhibit anxiety symptoms when you are away at work all day. Others may be distressed as soon as you leave the house, or even the room they are in.
A cat with separation anxiety will typically be clingy. They may follow you from room to room, sit in your lap, or demand your attention by pawing or meowing frequently.
The most recognizable sign of separation anxiety is excessive meowing or crying, particularly when you leave the home. They may also be very excited when you get home. Excessive self grooming and changes in appetite are signs of anxiety as well. Elimination outside the litter box is common. They will often pee on your personal items or your bedroom door. Destructive behavior is also an indication of separation anxiety. They may chew or claw things that they know are off limits.
Seeking Comfort When Missing Owner
In addition to separation anxiety, which is considered a behavioral issue, it’s possible that your cat simply misses you. If they pee on your door only when you are away, this is a likely cause. What distinguishes this from separation anxiety is that the cat is better able to cope with your absence. They are likely peeing on your door as a way of comfort.
How to get my cat to stop peeing by the door?
How to stop your cat from peeing by the door will largely depend on the reason they are peeing to begin with. the good news is there are things you can do to eliminate the behavior.
Get A Checkup
Even if the cause seems to be behavioral, it’s a good idea to bring your cat in for a checkup. If there’s a medical cause, your vet can work with you to treat it. If there’s not a medical cause, you can move forward knowing for certain that the issue is behavioral.
It’s likely that anxiety is playing a role in your cat peeing on the door. If your cat shows signs of anxiety, helping them feel calmer should improve the behavior. One of the best ways to do this is to adjust their environment.
Do they have a place where they can go when stressed? A secure place to get some me time is essential for a healthy cat. Some cats prefer a hide on the ground. This may be under your bed, in a cat house, or even inside a box. Other cats want to be up high. For them, a shelf or a special place on a tall dresser may do the trick.
Regardless of the height of your cat’s retreat, it should be an area that’s low traffic, so your cat will not be disturbed.
Repel Outside Cats
If you have neighborhood cats near your home, this may be why your cat is peeing on the door. The cats outside motivate them to mark their territory. To keep cats away, you can use citrus peels. Citrus or mint essential oils are effective as well. If you enjoy flowers, planting mint in your yard may also cause cats to stay off your property.
You can purchase cat repellant sprays as well. Lastly, consider predator urine. It’s not recommended to use this near your door, because you may also stress your cat. Apply it around the perimeter of your property instead.
Water is another deterrent option. You can use a water gun to chase off unwanted cats. You can also set your sprinkler system to go off at times they normally arrive.
Keep Your Cat Away From the Door
Keeping your cat away from the door can help as well. Many of the repellants that can be used for outside cats can also be used on or near your door. Citrus and mint oils, as well as cat deterrent spray, can be applied directly to the inside of your door. This should discourage your cat from peeing on the door. However, if the underlying issue isn’t resolved, they may simply find another potty spot.
Spay or Neuter
Cats who aren’t spayed or neutered are more likely to mark their territory. Getting your cat fixed isn’t a guarantee they will stop peeing on the door, but there’s a good chance it will help.
The younger your cat is, the more likely that spay or neuter will curb sex-related behaviors, which include marking. However, early neutering is linked to a wide range of behavioral and health issues. Research is still ongoing, but it’s believed to wait until 1 year of age to spay or neuter your cat.
The hormones that cause sex drive and heat in cats are also responsible for growth, emotional regulation, and mental development. Fixing your cat too early can negatively impact their development.