Recently, a co-worker came into work, stunned at what she witnessed her cat doing that morning. She knew her cat liked to sit in the bathroom sink, but she had no idea her cat liked to urinate in the sink! A quick thinker, she put foil over the sink her cat had been in and also pulled the stopper in the other sink.
A permanent solution would be ideal, which is why the “cat peeing in the sink” discussion began. With as many cats that belong to different families at PetSolutions, no one had encountered this problem. So, I set out to find some solutions!
As with any behavioral change in your cat, you should take him to the vet to make sure nothing is wrong. When cats start urinating in areas other than litter boxes, it could be a sign of an illness, including a Urinary Tract Infection. Once illness is ruled out, check out some other reasons your cat may not be using his litter box anymore.
The only problem that remains after illness is ruled out is re-training your cat to use the litter box. Here are some suggestions on helping your cat decide to use his litter box, rather than your sink:
In regards to the litter box:
- Make sure you have enough litter boxes. Rule of thumb is one litter box per cat plus one extra. So, if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes. This is due to some cats not liking to share litter boxes, or some cats liking to use one box for urinating and another box for defecating.
- Make sure you regularly clean the litter boxes. Most litter boxes need to be cleaned once a day, sometimes even multiple times a day. Even though Febreze has a commercial with a woman stating she hasn’t cleaned the litter box in 2 weeks, I can bet that woman’s cats aren’t as happy as she is.
- Make sure the litter boxes are placed in private locations. Your cat is most likely a private being when it comes to using the potty. Putting on a public show in the middle of the living room is not going to be acceptable. Heck, my dog has to go in the yard, and he even looks embarrassed about that!
What starts out as urinating in the sink due to an illness may turn into a preference for eliminating in a spot other than the litter box. Or, your cat could have discovered that using the sink is preferable to the litter box. No matter the reason, your cat still needs to stop using the sink for a litter box.
In regards to the sink:
- Place sheets of aluminum foil, plastic, Scat Mats, or anything else your cat may not like over the sink so he cannot access the bowl of the sink to urinate. If your cat does not like touching the items over the sink, he won’t be able to get in the sink.
- Deny your cat access to the room by shutting the door. While shutting the door may be a hassle, it is the cheapest, fastest way to prevent your cat from accessing your sink.
- Clean the sink to remove any urine smells. Many cats associate smells of urine with a place to urinate. If you clean using vinegar or a cleaning product with a strong scent, your cat will not want to urinate in the sink any longer.
- Leave a little bit of water in the bowl of the sink. Chances are, your cat will not want to get in a wet sink in order to urinate. If you leave some water in the sink, it should prevent your cat from using it as a litter box.
Hopefully, some of these suggestions will help if you find yourself in the same situation as my co-worker. While she is still in the process of figuring out what is going on with her cat, she has used some of these suggestions with success.
What have you done while trying to keep your cat from urinating in the sink?