Stop Your Cat From Peeing Indoors With This DIY Spray!


Indoor cat peeing, or urinating outside of the litter box, is a common behavior problem that can affect cats of any age. Studies show that around 10% of all cats will pee outside of their litter box at some point, leaving unpleasant messes around the home and frustrating their owners. Indoor peeing can have many causes, ranging from medical issues like urinary tract infections to behavioral problems like territorial marking or stress. Whatever the reason, it can become an annoying and difficult issue for cat owners to resolve if the behavior persists.

When cats urinate in places like carpets, furniture, or kitchen counters, it can damage or stain these items, creating an unpleasant smell in the home. The ammonia odor in cat urine is very strong and persistent, requiring thorough cleanup and deodorizing. Cat pee also contains bacteria that can spread illness. So indoor peeing creates extra work and stress for owners forced to constantly clean up after their cats.

For cats, inappropriate peeing can be a sign of underlying physical or emotional issues that need veterinary attention. It can also cause damage to the relationship between the cat and owner. That’s why it’s crucial for cat owners to discover the cause of indoor peeing and take steps to resolve it, for the health and harmony of both the cat and human.

Causes of Indoor Cat Peeing

There are several potential causes of indoor cat peeing, including:

Medical Conditions

Medical issues like urinary tract infections, kidney disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism can lead to increased urination and inappropriate peeing (RSPCA). Cats may pee outside the litter box when they have painful urination and associate the pain with the litter box. Getting a veterinary checkup can rule out medical causes.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress, anxiety, and territorial insecurity can cause inappropriate peeing. Cats are sensitive creatures and may pee outside the litter box in response to changes in their environment, new people or pets in the home, conflicts with other cats, or loud noises (Feliway). Using pheromone plugins and providing a predictable routine can reduce stress.

Marking Territory

Urine marking is a form of communication. Unneutered male cats in particular may mark their territory by spraying urine. Neutering can help reduce this cause of peeing outside the litter box.

Litter Box Issues

If litter boxes are dirty, in an undesirable location, or the type of litter is unacceptable to the cat, they may avoid it and pee elsewhere. Providing adequate, clean litter boxes and types of litter appealing to the cat can resolve these issues.

Dangers of Indoor Cat Peeing

Indoor cat peeing can lead to several issues if not addressed properly. According to the VCA Animal Hospitals, cat urine contains high levels of protein that can damage carpets, floors, furniture, and other household items when soaked into the fibers or surfaces over time ( The ammonia in cat urine can also leave behind a strong odor that is difficult to eliminate.

Cat urine contains microbes that can pose health risks to humans, especially vulnerable populations like children, pregnant women, and the elderly according to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine ( Bacteria and parasites in cat urine can cause diseases when accidentally ingested. The ammonia in cat urine can also trigger asthma attacks.

Indoor peeing issues can negatively impact a cat’s wellbeing. According to Countryside Veterinary Clinic (, inappropriate peeing is often a sign of stress, anxiety, or underlying health issues for cats. Persistent peeing outside the litter box can lower a cat’s quality of life and lead to behavioral issues over time if left unaddressed.

Store-bought Cat Sprays

There are many commercial cat sprays available on the market that aim to deter cats from urinating indoors. Some of the most popular and effective options include:

Nature’s Miracle, Bubba’s Super Strength Pet Stain and Odor Remover, and Urine Gone Pet Stain Remover. These enzyme-based sprays help break down the proteins in cat urine that cause lingering odors. They can be sprayed directly on problem areas or added to laundry to remove odors.

Some pros of store-bought cat sprays are that they are readily available at pet stores and online, easy to apply, and formulated specifically to target cat urine odors. The enzymatic formulas work to permanently eliminate odors instead of just masking them. Many reviewers report good success with commercial sprays for removing cat urine stains and smells.

Potential cons are that some cat owners find the smell of certain commercial sprays unpleasant. They can also be more expensive than homemade options. It may take some trial and error to find a store-bought spray that works well for your specific cat urine odors. Checking reviews can help identify the most effective products.

Homemade Cat Spray Recipes

There are several homemade spray options that can help deter cats from spraying and peeing indoors. Popular homemade cat spray recipes include:

Catnip Spray

Catnip spray can be an effective homemade cat deterrent. Catnip is a natural herb that induces a euphoric reaction in cats when they smell it. Spraying catnip oil around furniture or other off-limit areas can encourage your cat to avoid those spaces 1.

Essential Oil Sprays

Many essential oils, including citrus, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass and rosemary oils can deter cats. Dilute the essential oil with water and spray around unwanted pee spots. The strong smells will repel your cat. Use citrus oils sparingly though, as some cats enjoy the smell 2.

Vinegar Spray

A mixture of vinegar and water sprayed onto surfaces acts as a natural cat repellent. The strong vinegar odor overwhelms their sense of smell and deters scratching or peeing. Use a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water for an effective spray.

How to Make Homemade Cat Spray

Making homemade cat spray is easy with just a few simple ingredients. Here are some recipes to try:

Citrus Spray:
In a spray bottle, mix 1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar, and 10 drops of lemon essential oil. Shake well before each use. The strong citrus scent will deter cats from peeing in the area you spray (source).

Herbal Spray:

Combine 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup water, 5 drops lavender essential oil, and 5 drops peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake vigorously to mix. Lavender and peppermint create a potent smell that cats dislike (source).

Store your homemade cat spray in a cool, dark place and shake well before each use. It will keep for up to 1 month. Always spot test on a small area first to ensure your surfaces or fabrics won’t be damaged by the spray.

Using Homemade Cat Sprays

Homemade cat sprays should be applied to areas where your cat has repeatedly urinated or sprayed inside your home. Target areas like furniture, carpets, walls, and baseboards. Be sure to thoroughly spray the homemade repellent over the entire area that needs to be protected.

Most homemade cat spray recipes recommend reapplying daily or every 2-3 days. The repellent smell tends to fade over time, so frequent reapplication is key. After cleaning up an area where your cat has peed or sprayed, be sure to respray the homemade cat deterrent so your cat is discouraged from soiling that spot again.

When applying homemade cat spray, be sure to give a decent 2-3 second spray until the area is thoroughly covered. Avoid saturating the area, as you don’t want puddles of liquid forming. Gentle, even coverage works best.

After cleaning carpets or fabrics that your cat has urinated on, allow them to fully dry before respraying your homemade cat deterrent. The vinegar or citrus oils need to directly contact the area to work effectively.

Effectiveness of Homemade Sprays

Homemade cat sprays can be an effective deterrent for some cats, but their success seems to vary greatly. Here’s a look at some anecdotal evidence on their effectiveness:

Many cat owners report success with homemade sprays using ingredients like apple cider vinegar, citrus fruits, and essential oils. For example, one cat owner said “I sprayed my homemade mixture of lemon juice and rosemary on the edges of the couch to stop my cat from scratching, and it worked like a charm!” (Source)

However, other owners find homemade sprays to be ineffective or only provide temporary results. As one owner reported: “The vinegar spray kept my cat from peeing on the carpet for about a day or two, but then he was back at it.”

Veterinarians tend to be skeptical about the effectiveness of homemade cat deterrent sprays. They point out that what repels one cat may not work on another, and results are unpredictable. Most vets recommend commercial formulations which have been professionally tested.

Additionally, homemade sprays have some limitations: they may need reapplying frequently, the smell may dissipate quickly, and they are not guaranteed to work. Commercial cat deterrent sprays are designed to stick to surfaces longer.

In conclusion, some owners report success with homemade cat sprays, but they do not reliably work for all cats. Commercial options are likely to be more effective. Homemade sprays may provide temporary results or be helpful in conjunction with other training tactics, but talk to your vet before relying on them.

Other Tips to Stop Cat Peeing Indoors

In addition to homemade sprays, there are some other tips that can help stop a cat from peeing indoors:

Litter Box Training

Make sure cats have access to an adequate number of litter boxes that are cleaned frequently. The general recommendation is one litter box per cat plus one extra. Litter boxes should be placed in quiet, low-traffic areas and cats may prefer different litter types like clumping vs. non-clumping. Following a regular scooping and emptying routine for litter boxes can help reduce undesirable peeing.

Cleaning with Enzymes

Thoroughly cleaning areas where a cat has peed with an enzymatic cleaner designed to completely eliminate the urine odor is important. Even faint smells of urine can trigger a cat to repeatedly pee in the same spot. Enzyme cleaners help break down the compounds in cat urine so the smell is neutralized.

Cat Stress Relief

Stress, anxiety, or territorial issues can cause inappropriate peeing. Providing environmental enrichment through cat trees, toys, scratching posts can help relieve stress. Using pheromone diffusers like Feliway can also calm anxious cats. Addressing conflicts between cats through gradual introductions or separating them can reduce territory marking. Consulting with a vet or behaviorist may be needed for ongoing issues.

When to See a Vet

Urinating outside the litter box can sometimes be a sign of certain UTIs or other medical issues in cats. According to, if your cat has been diagnosed with a urinary obstruction, emergency surgery may be required to remove the cause of the obstruction. You should take your cat to the vet if they are straining but producing little urine, crying while trying to urinate, or excessively grooming their genital area, per

In some cases, the underlying cause of indoor peeing may be behavioral rather than medical. However, a vet can still provide professional assistance and advice to curb this behavior. They may prescribe medications or pheromone products to reduce stress and anxiety in your cat. The vet can also rule out any medical factors that could be contributing to the peeing. It’s best to consult a vet before trying homemade sprays, as they can evaluate your cat and home environment to determine the suitable solutions.

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