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amandaafoote's avatar

Why does my cat keep doing this?

Asked by amandaafoote (860points) June 29th, 2008

For some reason, my cat keeps peeing in my suitcase. The first time I was home for about a week or two, and my suitcase was on the ground and he peed in it, then I got home about 10 minutes ago, and he peed in it again. The only other animal that goes near it is my friends dog, Princess. Usually he doesn’t mind the other animals, he will only pee in my suitcase, any ideas of why and how to get him to stop?

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22 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

I would keep the suitcase closed. I could see how the cat might think that it is a gigantic litter box.

tinyfaery's avatar

My cat did this once. I came home from vacation and once everything was out she peed in it. I figured that was her way of telling me she was not happy that I had been gone so long.

Inappropriate elimination could be a sign something medical is occurring. Take your cat to the vet to get him/her checked out. If all goes well, don’t leave your suitcase where your cat can get to it.

amandaafoote's avatar

@tiny- That seems like the most logical idea, thank you (o:

redsfan1324's avatar

uh, maybe your suitcase resembles a litter box?

bulbatron9's avatar

My guess is that your cat has a urinary tract infection. Ask syz!

stevenb's avatar

I’ve got one for you. My cat now puts one of her feet in her water, then goes into the cat box, which uses clumping litter. It sticks to her foot, so she then comes out and puts her foot BACK in the water to clean it. She is 18 and has never done this until a few weeks ago. Now I have little muddy litter prints everywhere. Any ideas?

cooksalot's avatar

I agree with @tinyfaery. It sounds like someone is not happy with your long absence. Yeah our cat would do that too. Actually both of them. Including things like peeing on our bed as a punishment for us being gone. Remember they own you not the other way around. LOL

tinyfaery's avatar

@stevenb Cats can get dementia as they age, so they might start to exhibit strange behaviors. Aside from putting out a mat in front of the litter box to help clean off the paw, or changing litters, there is not much you can do. Love your kitty as much as you can, because he/she probably won’t be around much longer. not to be depressing or anything

susanc's avatar

Plus, if the suitcase has already been peed in, perhaps, hate to be rude but, maybe it could still smell a little bit like pee, at least to the kitty, and now mean this to him: Rest Room. Put it outdoors (hung underneath an eave) for a long time and spray it with Bac-Out. Or dump it.

What a grand metaphor for “Don’t think about using this object again,
because you are supposed to be Here with Me.”

stevenb's avatar

@tiny, I know some day, so I give her anything she wants and love her a lot. She has been an awesome kitty, and has honestly never been sick since I got her at 16 weeks old. She is my first child LOL

rowenaz's avatar

Maybe kitty wanted you to bring her a cheezeburger from your trip….

charliecompany34's avatar

if suitcase is near litter or food, cats will get confused where to go.

cooksalot's avatar

Better yet we were getting ready to go on a trip and she crawled in and slept there one night. Made sure she shed major all over it. I think that definitely said don’t you dare go anywhere.

cartmankid's avatar

I can tell you that there are 2 possible answers the first being that she is angry at you for leaving and the second being that cats are territorial and they do not like any changes in their territory. The suit case is full of smells from a different place. Your cat is just marking its territory and asserting that it owns this new thing that’s has been placed in its territory. I’m working on becoming a vet and ive had to explain this to people at the clinic I’m working at. The simple solution that I recomend is either closing the suitcase or going out to buy a pee/poo remover that will eliminate the smell. However many of these remover also release smells into the air that will make your cat or any animal for that matter pee in your suitcase.
different place

jacksonRice's avatar

yeah, it’s what cartman kid said: animals pee on stuff to mark their territory; he’s reminding you that your suitcase is actually his & you’re not allowed to take it away.

this is also especially likely if you’ve been somewhere with your suitcase that is near other cats or any other animal, really.

amandaafoote's avatar

@ John Powell, after cleaning the suitecase, extremely thoroughly, i kept it closed and he found his way to it yet again and peed on top of it. Just a hate for the suitcase? haha

bulbatron9's avatar

Take your cat to the vet! I’m serious when I say that it probably has a urinary tract infection! Cats usually do this to tell you something is wrong!

amandaafoote's avatar

@Bulbatron, he’s kinda older, you don’t think they would reccomend putting him down, do you? He’s still really active

bulbatron9's avatar

No, they would just give him some medicine!

Ask syz about this! She is a Vet, and could tell you a whole lot more than me! Good luck getting that smell out of your suitcase!

scamp's avatar

You might as well chuck thw suitcase because you will never really be able to get the ‘scent’ out of it, and the cat has marked it as a place to pee. Just get a new suitcase and keep it where he can’t get to it. if he has a urinary tract infection as bulb suggested, it can be treated without having to put him down. Good luck!

stevenb's avatar

I had a problem like that a while ago and they just gave me some antibiotic drops to give her night and morning. Simple as that she was better in a week or so. Good luck!

syz's avatar

There are two different categories of inappropriate urination, behavioral and physiologic. If they are standing, with tail lifted, peeing on walls or objects, then they are “spraying”, which is a form of territorial marking. This is a very difficult behavior to eliminate once it has become established, but there are options.

The second scenario is squatting and peeing, more like a normal “bathroom” posture. There are quite a few things that can be causing the problem. The first thing that you need to do is your cat in to the vet for a urinalysis. Cats can have urinary tract infections, just like human women. The condition is uncomfortable, making them feel as if they have to constantly go and it burns when they do. You may or may not see blood in the urine (hematuria).

The most common reason for inappropriate urination is dissatisfaction with the litter box situation. Most experts agree that you need to have one box per cat plus one. (I know, that’s a lot, and I have never done that, but hey, they’re the experts…). You need to make sure that the litter brand suits them, that the litter is cleaned regularly, and that the litter box is not in the vicinity of food and water bowls. The other thing that is vitally important is that you eliminate all traces of the urine that has been deposited – just a whiff stimulates cats to repeat the infraction. I would recommend one of the various enzymatic cleansers designed for pet odors. The enzymes actually digest the material.

If there have been changes in your household (i.e. travel), the cat may be expressing it’s stress and unhappiness. You will see disagreement among behaviorists as to whether cats attempt to “punish” owners, but there are plenty of people who strongly believe that an unhappy cat may urinate inappropriately to express dissatisfaction. Distraction, lack of access, and a thorough cleaning to remove scent “signals” will help.

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