It’s one thing when your cat simply likes sitting in the bathtub or hanging out in the shower. But it’s an issue when they start using the bathtub as their litter box.
The reason a cat may pee right down the bathtub drain is because they like how their waste immediately goes away. This is a sign you’re not keeping the litter box clean enough for their liking or that they feel threatened and don’t want the scent of their pee to attract “predators”. They may also pee down the drain when they’re dealing with a health issue.
1. Health issue
A health issue, such as a UTI or kidney disease, may be encouraging your cat to pee in places they normally wouldn’t, like the bathtub drain. Sometimes mood and mental disorders can also be behind changes in your cat’s behaviour. When your cat starts exhibiting new concerning behavior, contacting your vet should always be the first step.
2. Dirty litter box
Although you may believe you’re keeping the litter box clean, your cat is the one who will ultimately decide what “clean enough” looks like. To get your cat to stop peeing down the bathroom drain, start by increasing how often you scoop the litter box. Once a day is the minimum, but try increasing to twice a day, or whenever you notice they’ve used it to see if it helps.
It may also help to get a new litter box that doesn’t have any odors trapped in it; a stainless steel one is a good option that won’t hold on to odors and will last you a long time. Be sure to fill it with the right amount of fresh litter.
Even better, add an additional litter box to your home. This will help ensure there’s always a free litter box for them to use (if you have multiple cats) and that there’s always a clean one. The rule is: one litter box per cat, plus one extra. So even if you only have one cat, you should have two litter boxes.
You also want to keep on top of regularly changing the litter. How often you must change it will depend on the type of litter you use and how much use the litter box gets. Changing frequency suggestions typically range from every 1 – 4 weeks, but here’s a guide.
Be sure to wash the litter box each time you change the litter to keep those odors down and keep your cat happy with their litter box (you may also be interested in: How to Clean a Litter Box in an Apartment (5 Easy Steps).
There may not be any “predators” in your home, but your cat has natural instincts that help keep them safe. In the wild, less-dominant cats will bury their waste to hide their scent from predators.
If the litter box is dirty and has a strong scent of their urine, they may go to one of the cleanest places in the house; a sink or bathtub. These surfaces never absorb the smell of cat urine, so they always smell clean to them. They may also appreciate how their urine immediately goes down the bathtub drain.
Your cat may be feeling threatened by another cat or pet in your home, or perhaps even a new neighbourhood cat that’s been hanging around outside your doors and window.
You may help your cat feel less threatened by keeping a cleaner litter box that doesn’t have as strong of a urine smell, giving your cat more attention and love so they feel safe, or using a pheromone spray or diffuser. They can help calm your cat.
And if you’re finding your cat pooping in the bathtub, learn why and how to fix the issue.