I would have never imagined that catnip could be making my cat to pee outside the litter box. Through all the years I have been cat owner I thought I knew most of the reasons why cats urinate outside the litter box, such as the cat not being happy with the hygiene of the litter box, location, type of litter, a new pet in the house, another cat spotted through the window, urinary tract disease issues, etc.
I was so happy that my cat never had these issues, she always enjoys a clean litter box thanks to the Litter Robot and she is the only cat at home.
Sophie is very confident about her territory inside the house and she doesn’t feel threatened by other animals she can see outside the window. Actually, when a visitor comes over or even strangers (e.g. the cable guy or others) Sophie is like a little queen walking with confidence and coming close to the person, sniffing it a little and then like saying: welcome! This is my home! :-)
So I never thought my cat could ever urinate outside the litter box, but that day happened. One day I was sitting on my couch and could smell cat urine, I thought it was weird and mentioned this to my husband. We determined that my cat urinated close to the couch and I started paying attention to her after that. However, I never smelled cat pee again anywhere in the house so I assumed she never did it again and that event was just like one-time-deal.
When I Found Out That Catnip Causes Litter Box Accidents
About 3 months after this event I saw my cat playing with her catnip toy and decided to give her a little catnip herb so I did. She started rubbing her face onto it and eating a little bit. Then she got a little crazy playing and running so I thought this was the catnip effect (I almost don’t give Sophie any catnip, I did it just a couple of times when she was a kitten and that’s it). After seeing my kitty going crazy over the catnip I went to my bedroom to finish some work so I stayed there for about 30 minutes and after that, I decided to get a glass of water so I went back to the kitchen. Oh, boy, did I get surprised; Sophie had used the carpet as a litter box and did a big pee, I couldn’t believe it. My Sophie doing this? Urinating on the carpet? Really? The only connection to this behavior was the catnip so I started researching and I found several cat owners commenting on forums that their cats pee right in front of them after having catnip!
Why Does Catnip Make Some Cats Urinate Outside The Litter Box?
It seems like the catnip somehow releases some hormonal response making cats male or female spray. Catnip has a strong effect on the cat’s body and this is some of the responses to that stimulus. Some cats don’t even experience any effect with catnip, while others experience like being “high” similar to the influence of marijuana or LSD in people. This is due to the stimulant called nepetalactone that catnip contains.
I learned that kittens don’t get very affected with catnip but as they get adult some cats react like this, they simply urinate right after the catnip use.
Some cats even urinate right on top of the catnip, others do huge urine next to where they eat the catnip. I read stories of some cat owners describing how the kitchen floor looked like a lagoon with pee right after they gave their cats some catnip. That’s was it! It was the catnip that made my cat do this unusual behavior.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to record my cat when this happened, but I share with you this video of a cat peeing after consuming Catnip. This behavior is not so uncommon in cats.
You Sill Need To Discard Urinary Issues
Even when I suspected the catnip being the one to blame, I still took my cat to the Vet because I didn’t want to take chances of an underlying condition, such as a urinary disease. Just relying on my suspicious wasn’t enough.
After the Vet run some tests she concluded that my cat didn’t have any urinary issue, no urinary tract disease nor kidney problems and told me that some cats react like that with catnip. Then I remembered giving my cat catnip like 3 months previously to this event and it was probably the urine I smelled by the couch about that time.
A Good Urine Destroyer Will Help You
To clean the areas where she urinated I bought a good cat urine destroyer that kills the enzymes from cat urine that nothing else can kill which is what makes cats smell and keep them urinating again on the same spot. I also bought a black light urine detector to check the spot close to the couch and I found it and cleaned it as well.
Bye Bye Catnip!
After this event, I threw what I had left of catnip away and never used it again and I won’t. If your cat is reacting like this to catnip I recommend you to avoid using stuffed toys with catnip as well. All adds up to the point that your cat may end up spraying where you don’t want him to.
All cats may not react the same to this herb, but some cats do, so if your cat has occasional litter box accidents and you have given it catnip maybe that’s a thread to get to the root of the problem.
Since I stopped giving my pet catnip she hasn’t had any litter box accident again, which confirms my suspicions.
When you think you have learned it all about cats, you find out that catnip can be the cause for cats to urinate outside the litter box. I hope my experience helps you and finally gives you the answer you have been looking for.