What to Do if Your Cat Is Peeing in the Bathtub?

If a cat is suffering from a physical or emotional problem, they may start peeing in the bathtub. Your veterinarian will need to examine them and rule out any problems that need to be addressed. If your veterinarian has given your cat a clean bill of health, it’s possible that they’re peeing in the bathtub because they’re unhappy with their litter box scenario.

A few years ago, I came across a very sad situation. There were two cats in a house with a bathroom. One day, one of the cats started using the bathroom, which was located next to the bathtub. That’s when it happened. The cat used the bathtub as a bathroom—and every time he finished, he just walked away from the bathroom to find another place to pee.

The science of cats has been long studied. But one area of behavior that we have yet to crack is why cats use the bathroom in unusual places.

Why is my Cat Peeing in the Bathtub?

why does my cat pee in the bathtub

If a cat is suffering from a medical or emotional problem, they may start peeing in the bathtub. Your veterinarian will need to examine them and rule out any problems that need to be addressed. If your veterinarian has given your cat a clean bill of health, it’s possible that they’re urinating in the bathtub because they’re dissatisfied with their litter box scenario.

Physical Issue

A physical health issue is the first thing to rule out, especially if your cat has suddenly started urinating in the bathtub. They might be suffering from a urinary tract infection, renal illness, or a blockage of some sort.

Why did they choose the bathtub over the litter box? They may have had pain when using their litter box, and they now link that discomfort with the litter box, which they wish to avoid. Or cats may need to pee and not have enough time to go to their litter box, especially if it’s on a different level of the home, so they use the bathtub as a huge litter box.

If your cat is straining to pee or showing indications of pain, you should take them to the veterinarian right once. They’ll be able to check for any health conditions that might be causing them to pee in the tub.

Mental Issue

Cats, like humans, can cope with stress and worry. Even the tiniest change in their surroundings, like as changing their litter box or litter, moving your furniture, or obtaining a new roommate, might cause them discomfort.

Cats, on the other hand, might suffer from a chemical imbalance that produces unusual behavior. Talk to your veterinarian about mood medication possibilities if your cat doesn’t have a health problem and nothing has changed recently that may cause them upset.

Litter Box Issue

why does my cat pee in the bathtub

The litter box itself is a typical cause of a cat peeing outside the litter box. It might be that it hasn’t been maintained clean enough, that smells have developed, that your cat doesn’t like the new litter you bought, that they don’t like the placement, type (covered, top-entry), or size of the litter box…the list goes on.

It’s possible that anything you’ve recently altered in and/or around your cat’s litter box is causing them to seek refuge in the bathtub. Your cat’s tastes may have simply changed, and they’ve decided they won’t put up with a little filthy litter box any longer, or that they don’t like their litter.


Cats are creatures of habit, so even if they had a health problem that was cured, they may continue to pee in the bathtub out of habit. If they’ve peed in the bathtub a few times, they may link that location with going to the bathroom and decide to go anytime they’re near it.


Your cat may be sensing their own aroma, which informs them it’s time to urinate, if the smell of cat urine isn’t being totally removed. If you have a blockage, cat urine scents may be caught in the drain, or your cat may have sprayed on the shower curtain and wall without your knowledge.

You may not be able to identify the odors, but if they are present, your cat will detect them.

If you use a cleaning that contains ammonia, you may unintentionally be attracting your cat to pee in the bathtub. Because cat urine includes ammonia, the smell of ammonia might tempt them to urinate in an area where they can leave their scent.

Health Issues

why does my cat pee in the bathtub

Another reason your cat may be urinating outside of the litter box is if they are suffering from health problems.

And peeing outside their box—especially in front of you—could be a way for them to convey that they’re experiencing a difficulty. It’s possible that your cat is suffering from bladder stones, a urinary tract infection, or even cystitis.

If you have any concerns that your cat’s urinating issues are health-related, you should take them to the doctor right once. Do not wait for the problem to worsen.

Behavioral Issues

Finally, tension and worry may be causing your cat to urinate outside of their box. Changes in the surroundings or habit are frequently responsible for these symptoms. And some cats are more susceptible to change than others.

These are the most hardest behaviors to change and may put your patience to the test. Behavioral changes in your cat will often self-correct as they grow more used to the changes in their lives.

Dirty Litter Box

The litter box is quite crucial in your cat’s life.

Consider this: they utilize it on a daily basis.

Now, much like people, we would never use a filthy restroom.

It’s the same with your cat.

Don’t expect your cat to use the litter box if it isn’t clean.

If you’re wondering how often you should clean your litter box, go here to read my post.

Every day, the litter should be changed and scooped.

If you can clean it twice, that’s fantastic; otherwise, you should clean it at least once a day.

Number Of Litter Box

why does my cat pee in the bathtub

Some cats prefer to use one litter box for peeing and another for pooping.

If you only have one litter box, you should get another.

One litter box plus one for each cat is the normal rule.

The Type Of Litter

Some cats are quite particular about the litter they use.

Have you replaced the litter in your cat’s litter box?

Or perhaps your cat has grown tired of the litter you’re using.

The ideal cat litter, in my opinion, is one that is dust-free and odor-controlling.

Take a look at my article.

The top 6 dust-free cat litter options

The greatest advice I can give, which I give in the post above, is to

Litter that is pretty

This litter is unlike any other.

With this litter, you can keep track of your cat’s health.

Do you want to learn more?

Check out my review of Pretty Litter.

So you can see how vital the litter box is, and if it isn’t up to par or something is wrong with it, your cat may refuse to use it.

How Do I Stop My Cat From Peeing In The Bathtub?

To prevent your cat from urinating in the bathtub, have them examined by a veterinarian to rule out any health concerns. You can try minimizing their stress, adjusting their litter box scenario, and/or removing their fragrance from the bathtub and replacing it with positive pheromones once they’ve been given a clean bill of health. More information is provided below.

Vet Checkup

When your cat exhibits any unusual or new behavior, the first thing you should do is call your veterinarian. They are the only ones who can rule out a health problem. It’s also usually better to discover health problems early on, before they become serious.

Reduce Stress

If you think a change in your cat’s surroundings is causing their behavior to alter, consider minimizing their tension. If you’ve just brought a new pet, infant, or roommate into the house, your cat may be feeling neglected.

Increase the amount of time you spend chatting, caressing, brushing, or playing with your cat. Even if you believe they already get plenty of attention, there’s no such thing as too much attention from the person they care about the most in their eyes.

Change Litter Box Variables

You never want to make too many changes at once since it can stress your cat out and cause extra problems. Change one item at a time to see if their litter box habit improves. You might want to change:

How often should you sweep and change the litter (here’s an excellent schedule)?

Adding a litter box (particularly if you’re experimenting with new litter box placements, different litter, or numerous cats)

Size and design of the litter box (change the litter box from a covered to an uncovered litter box)

What kind of litter do you use? (try an unscented)

Location of the litter box (here are the best places to put a litter box, as well as placement ideas for small apartments)

You might also try temporarily putting an extra litter box in the bathtub to see if they start using it. If they do, you can take the following measures to gradually relocate the litter box to a more suitable position.

Any litter box adjustments may benefit from the following articles:

How Often Should Cat Litter Be Replaced?

How to Avoid Accidents When Moving a Cat’s Litter Box

How Many Litter Boxes Does Each Cat Need? (There’s More to It Than You Think)

Make their litter box as appealing as can to them; a litter attractant may also assist.

Also, utilize positive reinforcement to encourage them to use their litter box instead of making a big deal when they pee in the tub. If they’re peeing in the bathtub to grab your attention and you respond when you discover it, they’ll keep doing it because it works. They don’t care if the focus is pleasant or negative; all they want is your attention.

The more attention you give them for doing something “good,” such as using their litter box, the less likely they are to engage in “bad” behavior to gain attention. When they use the litter box, speak to them in a loving, eager tone, and offer them pets and maybe snacks once they’ve finished.

Remove Their Scent From The Bathtub

Even if your bathtub is already clean, consider using an enzyme cleanser to get rid of any traces of cat urine. If your cat detects their fragrance in the bathtub, they will be drawn to it and assume it is a proper place to visit.

How can you get cat pee out of a bathtub?

The coating of your bathtub prevents water from penetrating the substance, yet odors may remain in the drain. Your cat’s urine might be stuck beneath the drain’s edge, or it could be sitting in your drain if you have a blockage.

As long as it doesn’t include ammonia, a simple bathtub cleaner should enough to clean the tub.

Check for obstructions in your drain to ensure that cat urine is completely washed away. Make careful to clean the area around the drain as well. If there’s a space between the drain and the tub, use a tiny scrub brush or even a toothbrush (for domestic cleaning only) to get some cleanser beneath the drain’s rim and make sure cat urine odors aren’t trapped there.

You may also use an enzyme cleaning to ensure that any urine odors are fully gone.

Pheromone Diffuser

Invest in a cat pheromone diffuser and place it in the bathroom. The smells are meant to relax your cat and prevent him from clawing and spraying pee.

How To Keep A Cat Out Of A Bathtub

The bathtub is one of the finest locations for your cat to urinate outside of the litter box. Although you don’t want to promote this behavior, it’s possible that leaving the choice available will help them to use their litter box.

If you’re confident they won’t use the bathroom elsewhere in the house, you may try filling the bathtub with just enough water to cover the bottom.


The same reasons that your cat pees in the bathtub apply to peeing on a bathmat. Take a look at the above-mentioned reasons and solutions.

Latest posts by Spring Bamboo (see all)

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.