Have you discovered your cat peeing outside the litter box and on furniture and other forbidden places since the arrival of your new baby? Bringing a new baby into your home is a wonderful and joyous occasion for every new parent, but not always for family pets, particularly cats.
For your cat, this can be a confusing and very stressful time that can lead to your cat peeing outside the litter box in places like the sofa, your bed, or even on your baby’s clothing and other items.
This probably makes you quite angry at your cat, but before you decide to surrender or rehome your cat, understanding why they are behaving this way, and how you can help them adjust to the new family member, can make rehoming unnecessary, and help your cat return to their former litter box habits.
Understanding Cat Behavior – Why is Your Cat Peeing Outside the Litter Box?
Cats are creatures of routine and habit. They thrive in an environment that is predictable and stable. The arrival of a new baby and all the associated flurry of activity and different people coming and going can disrupt your cat’s comfortable routine and cause them a great deal of stress.
Babies, in particular, can be very distressing to a cat. From your cat’s perspective, they don’t understand what that tiny “creature” you brought into the house is. It makes a wide range of terrible noises, it smells funny and often stinky, moves in a weird manner, and it takes up almost all of the owner’s time and attention.
Cats can react in many ways. Most often, the problematic behavior is peeing in places other than the litter box such a the sofa, your bed, or even on the baby’s things. This can often taken as a terrible personal affront to a new Mom and Dad, low on sleep and high on stress. Your cat has crossed that “uncrossable line”. In some cases, the first reaction is: “The cat must go!”. Owners often believe, wrongly, that their cat is jealous and being vindictive and spiteful about the baby’s arrival.
If this is you, try to take a step back and think about how your cat’s behavior was before the arrival of the baby. How you used to snuggle up on the sofa together. How she cuddled up between your feet at the foot of the bed. And, most importantly, how she used the litter box without issue. A clean, well-behaved and wonderful furry companion.
Remember that your cat is your family member, and that you made a commitment to care for your cat throughout it’s life.
It is also important to know that a cat that is branded an “inappropriate eliminator” will not easily find a home, should you decide to surrender your kitty. Would you want your cat to be euthanized by strangers, all over a little inconvenient cat pee?
The better option is always trying to fix the problematic peeing, and to help your cat feel secure and confident around the baby. This is not all that difficult to do, but it might take some time for your cat to adjust.