Why Does My Cat Pee On Plastic Bags?

Cats are weirdos.

They engage in behaviors that leave many cat owners scratching their heads in bewilderment and amusement.

Most cat owners can attest to their cats have a fetish for plastic bags.

Mine too.

All I have to do is leave a plastic bag unattended on the floor, turn away for five seconds and my cat will make himself comfortable in the plastic bag.

But what if your cat has started peeing on plastic bags?

Not just once but it has been peeing on plastic bags more than in its litter box.

Cats might pee on plastic bags due to medical issues. Some cats like how plastic bags feel and smell. While others might have a thing for how plastic bags sound. All these reasons can cause cats to treat plastic bags as their own litter boxes.

Let’s dive more into each reason.

Why Do Cats Pee On Things?

It is a normal occurrence for cats to pee on things as a marking behavior as a cat’s urine contains its own scent signature. This is something ALL cat owners dread this happening at home as cat urine smell is really hard to remove.

Common places that a cat will pee on will be on furniture, doors, windows, walls and even plastic bags. As long the surface or object smells different than what your cat is used to, it can be a prime target.

Why Do Cats Pee On Plastic Bags?

Here are some plausible reasons that can be causing frequent cat peeing on plastic bags.

Your Cat Likes The Texture Of Plastic

I for one do not like the texture of plastic bags but your cat might beg to differ. Plastic bags feel soft, malleable and comfortable. The kind of texture and feel that most cats would like.

Many cats in the wild have a natural tendency to bury their poo and pee under sand or soil. This is to hide their tracks and prevent predators from tracking them.

It could be that your kitty prefers the feel of plastic compared to the current cat litter that you are using for its litter box.

If you notice your cat trying to bury its urine with the plastic bag after peeing on it, this could be why.

Try changing your cat’s litter to one that is softer on its paws. Pellets and silicon gel types of litter can be too hard. Something softer like clay or clumping litter would be preferable for your cat.

Your Cat Likes The Smell Of Plastic Bags

Cats have very sensitive noses that can pick up scents that we humans and even some dogs can’t even detect.

A cat’s nose comes equipped with 200 million odor sensors making them ultimate sniffing machines.

By having such an incredible sense of smell, your cat can be drawn to the smell of individual ingredients that goes into the making of plastic bags.

Many commercial plastic bags contain animal fat, which is used in the manufacturing process. Cats are drawn to fat and can sniff it out like how a shark can smell a drop of blood in the ocean.

If you see your cat enjoying butter or milk it is due to the high animal fat content in them.

Plastic bags also tend to retain the smell of whatever has been inside. Try smelling a plastic bag that has been used to keep blue cheese and you’ll know what I mean.

Your cat will pee on the plastic bag if it contains a scent that your cat feels a need to cover up with his own scent instead.

Your Cat’s Litter Box Is Filthy

Yes, I understand as cat owners we all lead busy lives and having to scoop out a litter box full of poo and pee isn’t high on one’s priority list.

Not making the effort to keep your kitty’s litter box clean can have adverse effects like your cat peeing on your clothes. Cats are generally clean animals that enjoy grooming themselves and having an inviting litter box to use.

If it has been days since you’re scooped out your cat’s waste, your cat will be more inclined to use something else as its toilet.

Your cat peeing on a plastic bag is its way of telling you that its litter box is full and you need to do a better job of cleaning it out.

If you are really busy and can’t find the time to do so, get an automated litter box that can scrape and clean out your cat’s waste into a bag after it is done.

It’s a great and effective way of maintaining clean litter boxes at home.

Not Sufficient Litter Boxes

This can be a problem for cat owners with multiple cats. The rule of thumb is that there should be one specific litter box for each cat.

This means that if you have three cats at home, you should have three different litter boxes placed in different areas of the house.

Cats are not pack animals like dogs and are taught to be independent since young. Therefore, having to share litter boxes is a foreign notion for them.

Furthermore, a cat’s urine contains its own pheromones which can discourage or put off another cat from using the same litter box.

There are some cats that can be very dominant and protective of their litter box and will not hesitate to use aggressive behavior to stop another cat from using it.

These cats have no other choice but to eliminate elsewhere.

Make sure that your cats have their own private litter boxes in quiet areas of the house and you won’t find cat pee on plastic bags any longer.

Your Cat Has A Medical Condition

There are some medical conditions that can cause a cat to pee outside of its litter box and onto a plastic bag.

The most common health issue that can cause this would be feline urinary tract infections or disease. A urinary tract infection in cats can be caused by bladder stones, bacterial infection or the lack of water consumption in your cat’s diet.

Your cat will experience pain and discomfort when trying to pee in its litter box. It will then start to associate its condition as caused by the litter box and will stop using it. Your cat will then start to seek out other places or objects to pee in or on.

If you notice your cat also meowing or yowling loudly whenever it pees or goes in and out of the litter box many times without peeing, there’s a high probability your cat has a UTI.

Your cat needs to see the vet immediately for treatment to resolve the issue.

Your Cat Has Yet To Be Neutered Or Spayed

Cats can reach sexual maturity as early as six months of age. That little cute cuddly kitten that you just adopted might be ready to mate.

Male and female cats that have yet to be sterilized have a tendency to spray their urine on objects to attract and let other cats that it is ready to mate.

If your cat is not sterilized, it can start peeing on plastic bags during the mating season. Neutering or spaying your cat has its benefits as it prevents mating behavior and reduces the risk of some diseases like cancer.

Dangers Of Plastic Bags

Even though your cat likes to play and be neat plastic bags, it is not a toy and should not be left unattended with cats.

If eaten or chewed on, it can be a choking hazard for cats. If the plastic bag is large enough, your cat can get trapped inside and suffocate.

Some plastic bags have a rather strong chemical smell and can irritate your cat’s upper respiratory system and skin.

So cat parents, please keep any plastic bags away from your pets and young children.

How To Stop My Cat From Peeing On Plastic Bags?

If you have many changes to your cat’s litter box and the vet has given your cat a clean bill of health but it is still peeing on plastic bags, then it could be due to a behavioral issues.

The easiest and best way is to make sure you keep all plastic bags away and out of reach from your cat. If your cat doesn’t have any access to a plastic bag, it won’t feel the desire to pee on one.

In the event that your cat can still get its cute little paws on a plastic bag, use some form of punishment.

Never verbally or physically abuse your cat.

Just a firm ‘no!’ and a spray of water at your cat will scare it away. Vinegar can also stop cats from peeing on plastic bags as they do not like the smell. So just spray a little vinegar mixed with water.

Most cats will soon realise that going near a plastic bag will result in undesirable consequences.

Why Do Cats Pee On Clothes?

Going to your laundry basket or closet only to find that your cat has peed on your favorite clothes can be infuriating.

First of all, cat pee really stinks and secondly, the smell is really hard to get rid of.

This strange behavior can be caused by a couple of reasons:

  • your cat is feeling stressed
  • litter box issue
  • underlying medical condition

Your cat can be feeling more stressed than usual about a change in the environment. This can be due to a new pet or family member.

Try to slowly let your cat adapt to the new changes and it should stop peeing on your clothes.


It isn’t normal behavior for cats to pee on plastic bags and it should be stopped. Make sure your go through the above points and eliminate them one by one to find the root cause of this issue.