Not "Cats in Sinks" exactly, but close.
November 12, 2006 11:59 AM   Subscribe

I just caught my cat peeing in my shower. Should this be encouraged?

Finally, I have a question worthy of the hive mind. Apparently, my cat has been doing this for some time. I hopped out of the shower, and I was drying off.
And Low and Behold - she hopped in the tub, and she peed right down the drain.

Number 2, as it were, is still making it in the litterbox, thank sweet baby Jesus.

She hasn't done it anywhere else in the apartment. Just the bathtub. The sane bathtub that I scrub weekly.

I'm caught betwixt and between "Good girl, I don't have to clean that up!" and "Um, would this freak out a person I brought over?"

Opine freely.
posted by YoBananaBoy to Pets & Animals (17 answers total)
How often to you change her litterbox? Often-time urine will build up in a corner, buried by a fresh dusting of recently-scratched fresh litter, so that just looking at the cat's box won't help you determine whether or not it really needs to be changed.

The problem with this is that the ammonia levels quickly become painful (especially to the eyes) and the cat will look for other places to piss. Personally, I think it'd be awesome if our cats peed in the shower. Piss is pretty clean, from a hygenic standpoint.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:10 PM on November 12, 2006

She pees right down the drain? I wouldn't be the least bit freaked out if I was at someone's house and the cat peed down the shower drain. I'd be amazed that you managed to train your cat to do that, actually.
posted by limicoline at 12:13 PM on November 12, 2006

I, personally, would think that was pretty cool. But then again, I have cats. A guest or a date, particularly one who might be using the shower the next morning, might not agree.
posted by christinetheslp at 12:24 PM on November 12, 2006

Consider yourself lucky you don't have OCD Flushcat's monthly water bills.
posted by rob511 at 12:26 PM on November 12, 2006

Response by poster: I scoop daily. I change the bag that covers her box weekly.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 12:26 PM on November 12, 2006

Best answer: My last cat started peeing in the shower when he began having some serious health problems. In fact, it was the first sign that something was not right with the cat. It then progressed to pooping in the shower too, and a trip to the vet to get a very bad diagnosis. You might want to consult a vet, at least a phone call, to see if maybe you shouldn't have the cat looked at. Peeing in unusual places can be a sign of various cat health issues.

If the cat turns out perfectly healthy though, I probably wouldn't have a problem with it. It's always the pee that messes up the litter box the most and requires the constant buying of more litter (speaking from a two cat household here). Though guests may not see it the same way.
posted by Orb at 12:40 PM on November 12, 2006

My 12 yr-old cat has always liked to occasionally pee in the shower, too, regardless of how clean or dirty her litterbox is. I think she likes the feel of the cool ceramic on her paws. We always assumed that she liked the change of pace in a similar way to how our guyfriends tell us that it's rather satisfying to piss outside when camping.

Ours never "escalated" to pooping in the tub, though. If she's very angry and wants to communicate it, she might poop directly in front of her litterbox. But it is clear that the bathtub-peeing is NOT retaliatory.

We just check the tub in the morning before any guests shower to make sure it doesn't need a quick swish-out with water.
posted by desuetude at 1:16 PM on November 12, 2006

Response by poster: Orb: thanks, I'll be calling the vet tomorrow.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 1:24 PM on November 12, 2006

I haven't had cats in some years, but it wouldn't bother me in the slightest, as a visitor. As long as the cat's OK, I'd think it was cool of the cat to figure that out. It's a shower, so there's no danger of anyone running a tub full of water and sitting in it. I don't see a problem.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 1:55 PM on November 12, 2006

Ooops. just caught there is a tub under the shower. Just get up early and scour around the drain. There's bleach in most scouring powder, I figure that'll kill most anything interesting.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 1:57 PM on November 12, 2006

A friend trained her cat to use the toilet. Peeing in the shower seems safer--your cat can't fall in.
posted by Carol Anne at 2:18 PM on November 12, 2006

Urinating in the tub (or in other non-litterbox places) can be a sign of a urinary tract infection. As I understand it, these can be more dangerous in a male cat because of the relatively short urethra. My (female) cat's peeing in the tub turned out to be related to recurring UTIs caused by diabetes. Once diagnosed, I injected her twice a day with insulin (which turned out to be surprisingly easy--done at the scruff of the neck) for the remainder of her life. You should get it checked out.
posted by Morrigan at 3:08 PM on November 12, 2006

Of course, a trip to the vet is a good idea to rule out any urinary problems. Just thought I'd also mention that our shower-peeing cat was cleared for all such problems.
posted by desuetude at 3:14 PM on November 12, 2006

Yup, I'd be worried about a UTI in any of mine if they were peeing in places they shouldn't. Of course, for some reason when the litter box is not accceptbaly clean, the male pees in the shower; when he has a UTI, he pees in the sink. It makes no sense but there you have it. If the cat is fine, then peeing in the shower is not the worst thing that could possibly happen, so assuming that the health checkup is a-ok, peeing in the shower is not so terribly off putting.

Also, ours used to do this when they were stressed (too many new people around, too much moving of furniture, etc).
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:34 PM on November 12, 2006

My old cat peed in the shower for many (healthy) years when she was angry at me. The number of times she did it was always exactly proportional to the numbers of days I had left her with the cat sitter. She started peeing under the bed when she first got thyroid cancer, though I didn't realize it at the time, and resorted to peeing on the couch when her kidneys started to fail. That got my attention beyond being angry/annoyed and I finally took her to the vet. Boy did I feel guilty. We got her back in working order and she went back to her earlier habits. Sure enough, from then until when she finally died, the only times she peed in the shower (besides the day after trips) were cues to me that she was getting another infection. Hopefully, your cat isn't sending you an "I'm sick" message, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's trying to tell you something. If your vet says she's healthy, you might want to give her a lot of attention.
posted by dness2 at 10:43 PM on November 12, 2006

Here's another vote for urinary tract infection. I also had a cat who would pee in the tub when he'd get one. I could see blood against the white of the tub so I knew there was a problem.
Interesting to find out it isn't unusual.
posted by BoscosMom at 11:50 PM on November 12, 2006

My Toots (the best cat, ever) peed in the tub/shower much of the time. However, like someone above said, she used the sink (when I was sitting on the throne) when she had a problem. Turned out she had some insideous Californian burr caught in her! The vet was surprised I spotted the burr and recognized it (just too little hair-like things, sticking out). An easy fix (he tweezed it out and applied some ointment).

The peeing down the drain thing was clever, IMO, and I appreciated it. I can only suppose that she somehow understood that it was gone that way, not making trouble. No one would be showering in my house that didn't understand, it was my cat's home, too.
posted by Goofyy at 2:11 AM on November 13, 2006

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