Why Do Cats Pee On Bathroom Rugs?

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Cats may pee on a bathroom rug for several reasons. This could be stress or anxiety but may also be down to a medical condition – which means that this behavior should not be ignored.


Introduction to Why Do Cats Pee On Bathroom Rugs?


Cat’s are meticulously clean animals – you’ve probably seen your furry friend grooming herself fastidiously multiple times each day. So, urinating in locations outside of the litter box normally points to an underlying problem.

This type of behavior is extremely unlikely to be malicious, but despite this, many cat owners still believe that their cat is simply naughty.

In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the reasons that a cat might pee on the bathroom rug – or any other rug, and how to discourage and ultimately stop this behavior.


Why Do Cats Pee On Bathroom Rugs?


Medical Problems

As we have already mentioned, some cats may develop a medical condition that causes them to urinate in places that they shouldn’t. If your cat begins to pee on the bathroom rug – or anywhere else outside of the litter tray, the first thing that should be done is booking a trip to see the vet.

Various medical conditions could result in a cat peeing on the bathroom rug; these might include:

  • Urinary tract infection, which could also cause the cat to show other symptoms such as darker urine, grooming the rear end more often, and pain. Of course, it can be difficult for your cat to communicate his pain with you, so keep a lookout for signs that he is uncomfortable or otherwise distressed.
  • Bladder crystals – this could potentially develop into a very serious, or even life-threatening illness, so your cat must receive treatment as soon as possible.
  • Kidney problems
  • A blockage within the urinary tract
  • Diabetes – this will usually be coupled with other symptoms such as excessive thirst, weight loss, decreased appetite, and a lack of interest in exercise as usual.

Your vet will be able to rule out any underlying health conditions that could be the root cause of this unusual behavior. Hopefully, your cat is in good health, but this will mean doing a little more detective work to find out why he has begun to display this behavior.


Your Cat May Like The Rug


Once you have ruled out any health concerns, it is time to start thinking about other reasons why your kitty may be taking a shine to the toilet in this strange area.

One of the most common reasons is that your cat may simply like the bathroom rug – and this is far more common than many pet parents realize.

According to some, cats are attracted to the smell of the underside of the bathroom rug – sounds crazy, right? Not so much. This rubber, non-slip surface has a distinct scent, and there are plenty of humans who will sniff certain things for their unique and satisfying smell. So it isn’t too much of a stretch of the imagination that cats might behave in the same way. Only your cat may use urination as a way of expressing her love for the rug.

If you find that this is an issue, you could try changing the type of bathroom rug you are using and see if this stops the problem.


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Claiming His Territory


It is widely known that cats, males, in particular, will mark their territory, and quite often this is related to mating. However, there are times when this isn’t related to attracting a mate or letting them know that the cat is ‘open for business.’

Your home doesn’t just belong to you when you live with an animal, and your cat will likely feel the same sense of security in the house as you do. For this reason, if something new arrives, he will want to let everyone know that this is his because it is in his home.

Many of the soft furnishings in the home will have a common scent to them – we perhaps don’t notice this, as humans, but the cat, on the other hand, picks up on these subtle smells.

If you purchased a new bathroom rug and your cat began to pee on it, this could indicate that he is claiming it as belonging to him. When he pees on it, the rug will contain his unique scent, and whilst this may not be appealing to us, it’s your cat’s natural way of showing what is his.

Of course, no pet owner wants a stinky bathroom rug that fills the air with the potent scent of urine, and repeated washing may not get rid of the smell completely. For this reason, a lot of people would throw out the rug and purchase a new one – only to find the cat continues to behave the same way.

The best way to avoid this is to make the bathroom inaccessible to your kitty. There is no reason why a pet owner shouldn’t close off certain rooms if their cat is behaving in a challenging way when they are inside. Provided your pet has somewhere safe and warm to sleep, eat, and play, blocking access to specific rooms is perfectly acceptable.


You Haven’t Cleaned The Rug Properly.


Often, cats will mark their territory and then go away, but if they find that their scent has been removed, this can drive them to pee on it again.

One of the most common mistakes that cat owners make is that they will run the rug through the washing machine and believe that the odor is gone. And to the untrained nose, it is. But felines have a far more sensitive sense of smell than us, and even a bathroom rug that has been through the hot wash cycle may still contain traces of urine that she can still pick up on.

While your cat can pick up on these, they will be diminished, so her natural reaction will be to ‘refresh’ the scent and pee on the area once again.

It is essential that when you clean anything with cat pee on that, you do so very thoroughly so that every last scent particle is removed. There are several products out there that will help in odor elimination, but in some cases, you may wish to replace the rug altogether.




When cats feel stressed or anxious, this is displayed in their behavior and is often the only way that they can communicate their needs with us and let us know that something is wrong.

If the cat peeing on the bathroom rug is something new, it is worth thinking about any recent changes that the animal has had to endure.

It is also essential to remember that what might seem like an insignificant change to us could be earth-shattering for your puss.

Several things could cause your cat to become stressed or anxious; these might include:

  • A new cat or other animal moving into the home.
  • Moving home
  • New humans moving in – a new baby, a house-guest, or a new partner, for example.
  • Redecorating the home such as a new bathroom suite or a new floor
  • Problems with neighborhood cats and scrapping
  • Feeling lonely or bored.

If you can pinpoint an area of your cat’s life that could be causing her to feel stressed, addressing this may alter her behavior.


Problems With The Litter Tray


Many cat owners will find that the litter box is the main point of contention for their cat. It is widely accepted that cats like a clean litter box and a certain degree of privacy when they are doing their business.

Therefore, pet parents must pay particular attention to the placement of the litter box. It should be somewhere quiet and comfortable where your cat won’t be frequently disturbed – being interrupted just once can be enough to put him off using the litter box in the future.

What’s more, you should be meticulous about the cleaning routine for the litter tray. It is essential to remove any poop and pee as it is done and give the litterbox a complete overhaul and deep clean at least once a week. However, if you can do this more frequently, then you should. The cleaner it is, the better.

However, once a cat has been deterred from their litter tray, in some cases, it can be impossible to reacquaint them with it. At this point, it is advisable to discard the used litter box and purchase a new one. They are relatively inexpensive, and this could be the solution to your problems.

If you want to drive your cat away from the bathroom rug and back to the litter tray, it might be worth admitting defeat – at least in one respect.

Since your bathroom rug is already soiled, you will likely want to invest in a new one anyway. For this reason, you could take the old rug and use it underneath the litter tray. A lot of cat owners have found this to be enough to sate the cat’s urge to pee on it and harmony is effectively restored.




Cat’s are diverse animals that require a lot of care and attention, but even with the best care, things can go wrong from time to time. One of the most common problems for cat owners is that their beloved pets will pee in inappropriate areas.

This can be extremely problematic, and one of the most frequent places that this occurs is on the bathroom rug. Despite your best efforts, you may find that this behavior continues.

However, to stop your cat from peeing on the bathroom rug, you must first determine why she is doing this. There are usually two reasons – behavioral and medical. If it is the latter, your vet will be able to treat your car, and the behavior will likely stop. In contrast, if this is a behavioral issue, you must work out why she is doing this. It could be related to stress, claiming her territory, or fear of using the litter tray.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent your cat from peeing on the rug, including restricting her access to the bathroom, altering the litter box, and helping her to overcome stress.



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