Why Does My Cat Keep Peeing On My Bath Mat?

Imagine this.

You had a long day at work and need a long hot bath to destress. As you were drying yourself on the bath mat, you noticed that it was somewhat warm and damp.

And the make things worse, there was a rather powerful ammonia odor coming from the bathroom mat.

Your mind was struggling to solve the mystery when your cat walked by and sat in front of the bathroom door staring at you.

And then it clicked.

Your beloved cat has just peed on your bath mat and what you’re smelling is cat urine.

My Bath Mat Smells Like Cat Pee

Cats can pee on bath mats for a variety of reasons. It could be due to your cat having a medical condition that is causing it to not use its litter box for elimination. It can also be due to stress or some litter box issues that your cat is having. Multi-cat households can also cause cats to pee outside of the litter box.

Whatever the reason is, having to deal with cat pee on a daily basis can be frustrating. It stinks and the stench is almost impossible to get rid of once it has embedded itself in the fabric.

Let’s take a closer look at what might be causing little kitty to go ‘wee wee’ on your bathroom rug.

Your Cat Has A Medical Condition

Most of the time, when your cat is peeing anywhere else besides in its litter box, there’s a strong possibility that it has an issue with its urinary tract.

Urinary tract infections can be caused by a bacterial infection of the urinary tract or more commonly known as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).

Cats who don’t exercise much, eat a poor diet (dry food or high carb/low protein diet) or have weight problems are at a higher risk of contracting FLUTD. It is also more common in male cats due to their narrower urinary tracts.

A cat that has a urinary tract infection will show the following symptoms:

  • Meowing or yowling when peeing due to pain
  • Drinking more water but peeing less
  • Excessive licking of private areas
  • Blood in the urine
  • Urinating outside of the litter box
  • Feeling unwell

I remember the time when my cat had a urinary tract infection. He was going in and out of his litter box many times without peeing and wasn’t eating much.

I took him to the vet for a blood test to see what was wrong. After some time, the vet came out of the room holding what looked like a pet diaper.

Her first words to me were “Do you know that your cat has a UTI?”

I remember shaking my head in surprise.

And then she proceeded to unfurl the diaper which looked as if someone bled out on it. It was totally soaked in blood.

I could feel my heart skip many beats as I broke out in cold sweat expecting the worst.

Thankfully her next words were “Don’t worry, your cat will be fine.”

The following week wasn’t too fine for me as I had to give my very difficult cat his liquid medication. And that experience, as many cat owners can attest to, can be outright torture for both cat and human.

When cats have trouble peeing, they can get anxious and confused and start to fear the litter box and regard it as the source of its discomfort.

The soft and welcoming feel of your bathroom rug might make your cat feel more at ease.

If you notice any of the above symptoms from your cat, don’t wait and take it to the vet right away for treatment.

Your poor cat can be in a lot of pain.

Your Cat Is Marking Its Territory

Cats are very territorial animals and will mark their scent in areas that they frequent. This is to warn other cats to stay off their property and trespassers will be prosecuted by their teeth and claws.

Cats will mark their areas by leaving a small amount of pee on walls and furniture. This is a common practice for cats that are not sterilized.

It could be that your bathroom has a window that is allowing the scent of another cat in which is making your cat more territorial.

This problem will get even worse during mating season when cats start to get even more aggressive with their territory.

In order to prevent this, it would be good to spay or neuter your cat before they reach sexual maturity at 6 months of age.

The longer you wait to sterilize your cat, the harder it will be for your cat to break this spraying habit. This means that your cat can still continue to spray on your bathroom rug after it has been neutered or spayed.

Make it a point to sterilize your cat at a young age to prevent such issues. Neutering your cat also has other benefits like living a longer life, a lower risk of cancer and more.

Your Cat Doesn’t Like Its Litter Box

Unlike dogs that can pee and poo pretty much anywhere outside, cats are more discreet when it comes to their toilet usage.

Even stray and feral cats pee and poo in private. Once done, they will make it a point to bury their waste to prevent detection from predators.

Our domesticated cats are safe at home but their instinctive habits will still remain in their DNA. Like humans, cats need access to a toilet both day and night or they might start eliminating anywhere.

Litter boxes are personal to cats and each cat will have its own unique preferences. There’s a reason why there are so many different cat litter types in the market.

Litter Box Size

The most important aspect of a cat’s litter box is the size. Get one that is too small for your cat and chances are it will start using your bathroom rugs to be on.

If you have a new kitten, don’t get a litter box that is just big enough for it. Get one that your little cat can use even as an adult cat.

Your cat will be happy using the same litter box since young as it is very familiar with the scent of it. When it comes to litter boxes, size matters.

Type Of Litter Box

These days, litter boxes are starting to get fancier. What started off as a simple plastic box or tray has evolved into an automated cleaning machine with voice commands.

Do note that the more complicated the litter box is, your cat might be less inclined to use it. First and foremost, the litter box should be according to your cat’s liking and not yours.

You can buy the most advanced litter box and your cat still prefers to pee on your bathroom rugs.

Some cats are not fans of litter boxes with lids or covers as it makes them feel claustrophobic. While some actually like it as it keeps them safe from prying eyes.

As convenient as having an automated litter box can be, the mechanical sounds of the cleaning mechanism scare a cat from using it.

If you have a new cat, don’t be discouraged if your cat doesn’t like its litter box. Try to experiment with a few. Make sure you have all the essential cat items for your new feline companion.

Type Of Cat Litter

Cat litter to cats is what toilet paper is for humans. We have our 2ply, 3ply, extra-gentle, scented and what have you not.

The same goes for cats.

Some types of cat litter are easier on their paws or some are even scented to mask the odors. Most cats are particular about their cat litter.

If you change the present one that your cat is using to another brand or another type, it might not like it and will start using your bathroom mat as its pee pad.

To help your cat adapt to its new cat litter quicker, slowly mix in the new one with the present cat litter to let your cat get used to it.

Scented cat litters aren’t always popular with cats as they are not a fan of the smell. It is more for the convenience of the cat owner.

Cats have a sense of smell that is 14x more sensitive than ours. What might sell lightly scented to us can be overbearingly pungent to the cat.

The Litter Box Isn’t Clean Enough

cat doesn't like litter box

Cats are known to be clean creatures and can spend many hours a day grooming and cleaning themselves. Cats typically expect their litter boxes to be cleaned out every day.

Nothing is worst than wanting to do your business and finding the toilet to be filthy. If your cat finds its litter box too dirty to be used, it will seek out another place to do its business which translates to bad news for the owner.

Unfortunately, your cat’s litter box doesn’t come with a flush so make it point to clean it out once a day.

Too Few Litter Boxes Available

If you have only one cat at home, having just one litter box is sufficient. However, for cat parents with more than one cat, a separate litter box for each cat would be preferred.

It is not a good idea to have a few cats sharing the same litter box. As mentioned earlier, cats are territorial and can behave that way over with the litter box.

Cats leave their scent signature when they eliminate. And if the litter box is fiercely protected by the most dominant cat, the other cats will be too afraid to use the box for fear of getting bullied or attacked.

They will then have to resort to relieving themselves on your bathroom floor on even on your clothes.

Place one litter box per cat in a quiet corner and this should stop your cat from peeing on your bathroom rug.

Why Does My Cat Love The Bath Mat?

Sometimes it just boils down to your cat having a strong preference for your bath mat. There could be something in the material of the bath mat that your cat is attracted to. Some bathroom rugs have some plastic or plastic-based components in them.

Some cats are drawn to plastic as animal by-products are sometimes used in the manufacturing process. Having such a keen sense of smell, your cat is able to pick up the scent that we are unable to.

Your cat is peeing on the bathroom rug to claim it as its property. Once a cat pees on something, it will continue to refresh its scent on that object.

How To Stop Your Cat From Peeing On My Bath Mat?

There are a couple of methods that you can use to help stop your cat from peeing on your bathroom rugs.

Do note that when it comes to corrective behavior for cats, it requires more time and effort as compared to dogs but it can be done.

The first thing that you should do is to change your bath mats to a material that is less alluring for your cat.

Change Your Bathroom Rugs

Cats tend to gravitate to surfaces that are smooth and soft so try changing to a bath mat that has a rougher texture. Some bath bats are slightly ribbed to increase traction but those will come in handy in keeping your cat away as it is uncomfortable for their paws.

Check On Your Cat’s Litter Box

If you have recently made any changes to your cat’s litter box or cat litter, try to revert back to the previous ones to see if that helps to encourage your cat to start using the box. If you have more than one cat, make sure each cat has its own litter tray.

See A Vet

For cats that are showing symptoms of an underlying medical condition, please take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.

Your cat needs to be treated with medicine for it to get better. The longer you wait, the more health complications can arise.

Don’t Allow Your Cat In The Bathroom

If you place your bathroom rug outside the toilet, place it inside and leave the door closed at all times. If your kitty can’t get into the bathroom to access the bath mat, it can’t pee on it.

One thing your should note is that cats are very persistent and determined creatures. Make sure you block off all access to your bathroom and not just your windows.

Cats are able to squeeze through very small openings as wide as their whiskers. So what you might think is impossible for your cat to squeeze through is very possible for your cat

Check out our tips on how you can stop your cat from entering a room that has no door if that applies to you.

How To Get Cat Urine Smell Out Of My Bath Mat?

If you manage to catch your cat in the act when it is peeing on your bath mat, the chances of you removing the smell from it is a lot higher.

Cats pee smell bad because they use it for marking territory as well. The stinkier it is, the stronger a deterrent it serves to keep other cats away.

Rinse the bath mat thoroughly and then pour a good amount of hot water on it to get rid of the smell. If the smell still remains after the first wash, use hot water and add some vinegar to the mix.

If the above fails, your next best bet is to use cleaners that are meant to get rid of pet urine. These cleaning solutions normally consist of enzymes that are capable of breaking down the cat urine and eliminating the smell thoroughly.

And if the spray still doesn’t work, your cat’s pee probably contains uranium and plutonium and your bath mats should be discarded forever.


It isn’t normal practise for most domesticated indoor cats to pee outside of their litter box. If they do, it usually signifies a medical or behavioral problem.

Make sure to monitor your cat closely and seek veterinary advice if required.