My kitty pees in the shower!

Okay, this is serious.

I used to live in a tiny bachelor apartment with my kitty cat, Naomi, and her daughter Wynonna. Wynonna eventually moved in with her good friend Snowflake, and this thread is really about Naomi.

There was no bathtub in the apartment, but there was a tiled shower stall. Naomi generally used one of those fancy automatically flushing kitty litter machines. I think one day the machine conked out and stopped halfway through its cycle, when the litter was all wet. That day, I came home to find that someone (who I now assume was Naomi) had both peed and pooed in the shower stall, right next to the drain. I suppose this was due to the lack of an alternative, and I am grateful that they chose this rather convenient location. After all, who does not enjoy a pee in the shower?

Naomi still generally uses the fancy machine, but has pooed in the shower on maybe two other occasions, and peed dozens of times, always in the same location next to the drain.

Then we moved. Fancy machine was in up and running. Namoi peed in the new bathtub right next to the drain on the very first day. She continues to do so to this day. But she will properly poo in the machine.

The big question is obviously “Why does she do this?”

It couldn’t be that Naomi smelled her pee in the new bathtub and assumed it was the right place to pee, as this was a new apartment. So why did she immediately go there?

Is is weird that she immediately knew that the bathtub, which required a jump in order to enter, was analogous to the shower stall that she used as a toilet at her previous place?

Also, after she pees, she does the normal pee-burying motions with her paws, but of course this accomplishes very little in a ceramic bathtub. Does she not see the futility of this?

Why just pee and not poo?

She does not know that her actions are naughty. I have not scolded her. And when she jumps into the bashtub to pee, she is not ashamed. I can sit right next to her, and she will happily pee away.

Is this healthy? I don’t really mind, I guess, as the pee just washes away, and I don’t want her to start peeing somewhere where I would have to clean up after her.

Lemme try out a smiley.
There we go.

Here’s my suggestion for what’s going on:

Cats are like guys in distinguishing between places to poop and pee. When my cat Cookie Monster goes for a pee, though she does it in the litter tray, she just goes, but if she wants to poop she prepares the area for a few minutes and then gets down to business. In the wild, cats have a place for poop, but pee pretty indiscriminately.

Secondly, I have read that if a litter tray is too clean or too dirty, the cat will find some alternative place to go. This could have happened once to Naomi, and since the shower seemed a reasonable place to go, she started accepting that this is the correct place.

Next, I have also read that cats find bathrooms the most similar between different houses, due to familiar textures and bathroom and cleaning smells - when you move house, you are meant to put the cat in the bathroom at first, so it doesn’t feel alienated.

So Naomi recognises the shower tray in the new place by its texture and smell, and associates that with peeing.

Cookie Monster also attempts to bury her doings by using the tiled floor, radiator, even thin air. I think it’s because cats are largely stupid and illogical.

I don’t think cat’s urine is harmful, and it’ll wash away, though I have heard that pregnant women should avoid it.

Finally, when my friend was on vacation, I was looking after his cat. Unknown to me, my friend’s cat did a big turd in his shower tray, and when my friend came home, he thought it was me that did it.

Sounds like you’re already close to learning How to Toilet Train Your Cat

If kitty only uses the litterbox for poo it means less cleaning for you.
Cool, that rhymes.

Cats are strange.Be glad she pees in the shower and not anywhere else that would be a wrong place for her to pee.
I had a cat once who got upset with me because I took her to the vet so she got into my closet and peed on my nice traveling bag the hat really super wheels and a sticky-up handle.:frowning:

She is a cat.

She hates you.

There is no deeper meaning, Grasshopper.

It sounds like this might be “learned” behavior. You have gotten some good advice about that already. A 10 to 1 solution of water and bleach will kill everything but prions (sp?). I’d probably rinse the shower and spray it with bleach water just because of the yuck factor.

My concern here is that many cats pee in the tub, sinks and shower when they have a urinary tract infection. Is Naomi making big puddles or little ones? If she is making small ones or showing any signs of straining or discomfort, a vet visit might be a good idea.

Indoor cats have instincts that are frustrated. Their normal behavior in the wild is to pee and poop around their territory, but not close to their den or other favorite places to sleep. I observe that they pee in one place, and poop in another.

Be thankful that the cat is peeing where you can wash it down. Some cats decide that the corner of the closet is a GREAT place to pee.

As for trying to cover up her pee in a ceramic bathtub, cats have the instinct to paw. No “thinking” is going on at that moment. Or so I believe.

As desertrat brought up: Is it possible that she has a urinary tract or bladder infection? When cats have either one of those illnesses, they feel a burning irritation while urinating and will often pee on a cool surface - on tile or in a tub or shower - because the coldness of the surface triggers a soothing sensation for them. This could be why she’s only peeing in the shower.

I’ve had cats that would do this in an emergency (ie, locked out of the room with the cat box in it). I think it’s the earthy smell from the drain which attracts them.

Interestingly, one of my three kittens will pee on our freshly washed laundry if given half a chance. He’ll actually run into the room to do so nanoseconds after the door is opened. Dunno what that’s about.

The urine’s fine (well, aside from that smell); it’s cat feces that pregnant women are advised to avoid, because of the risk, however small, of toxoplasmosis. The CDC has everything you’d ever want to know about toxoplasmosis on their site.