Why Do Cats Pee Down Drains? What to Do?

Most people assume cats only pee on their litter box, but that’s not always the case. In fact, some cats love to pee anywhere, including drains and other places where they can’t fit their litter box.

Why do cats pee down drains?

Cats pee down drains for a variety of reasons, including

  1. marking their territory
  2. trying to communicate with their owners
  3. bored
  4. anxious
  5. feeling threatened
  6. seeking comfort
  7. experiencing urinary tract problems
  8. Some cats simply find it fun to relieve themselves in unusual places

Regardless of the reason, if your cat is peeing down the drain, you should take steps to address the issue.

Marking their territory

Cats often mark their territory by peeing down drains. When they do this, they communicate to other cats and humans that this area is part of their territory. 

The urine helps to discourage other animals from entering the area, and it also helps to keep the area clean.

In the wild, cats mark their territory by spraying urine on objects or surfaces near their home. 

Domestic cats living indoors typically do not have access to trees or other places to spray. They must rely on other means to communicate their presence and claim ownership of a space. 

When cats are confined indoors, they may find it difficult to relieve themselves outdoors, so they resort to peeing down drains.

Trying to communicate with their owners

Cats are very social animals and may feel lost or scared if they can’t find their way back home. So, when they make a mess in the bathroom or kitchen and then can’t get out, they may try to go down the drain to communicate that something is wrong.


Some cats pee down the drain as a way of relieving boredom. This behavior is usually seen in cats who have access to several places to pee but have no other way to escape from their quarters. 

If the cat is confined to one area, it may become stressed and resort to urinating in unusual places as an escape action.


Most cats pee down drains because they are anxious. When a cat is anxious, it will do anything to calm down, including peeing. 

If your cat is peeing down the drain and you don’t see any other signs of illness or stress, give her a good meal and some toys to play with, and she should be fine.

Feeling threatened

Many cats pee down drains in an attempt to feel safe and protect themselves from feeling threatened. When a cat feels threatened, their first instinct is to urinate. 

Peeing down a drain gives the cat the illusion that they are far away from the threat, which can help them calm down.

Seeking comfort

Cats are known for their love of exploring their surroundings, and they may pee down a drain to seek comfort. Cats use the position of the drain to help them balance as they urinate, which also helps clean them. 

The warm, wet environment below makes them feel secure and protected. In addition, the smell of urine dissipates quickly in fresh water so that the cat doesn’t have to worry about drawing attention to itself.

Experiencing urinary tract problems

When a cat experiences urinary tract problems, the urine flow will become erratic, and some may even find it difficult to go to the bathroom. This can cause them to pee down drains to relieve themselves. 

If left untreated, this problem can lead to more serious issues such as UTI’s (urinary tract infections) and even kidney failure

If you notice your cat peeing down the drain or if your cat is having trouble going to the bathroom, take him or her to the vet for a check-up as soon as possible.

Some cats simply find it fun to relieve themselves in unusual places

According to experts, some cats simply find it fun to relieve themselves in unusual places. Much like people, cats have an instinctual need to relieve themselves. 

When cats are indoor pets, they are usually confined to a certain area of the house where they can go to the bathroom. When they’re outside, they may have more freedom to explore and find new places to pee. 

What are the signs that your cat is peeing down the drain?

Peeing down the drain is common for cats, but it can signify something more serious. Here are some signs that your cat may be peeing down the drain:

  • Your cat is consistently peeing outside the litter box.
  • Your cat has been drinking a lot and is suddenly starting to pee more frequently.
  • You notice an unusual smell coming from your cat’s urine or water bowl.
  • Your cat eliminating in unusual places, such as on the floor near the drain or in corners
  • You notice that your cat’s urine has a strong odor.
  • Your cat is constantly scratching at the drain or trying to lift itself up so they can pee.

What happens when a cat pees down a drain?

When a cat pees down a drain, they leave an unpleasant odor that can be difficult to remove. The smell is caused by the bacteria breaking down the organic matter in the urine. 

The scent may linger until the drain is cleaned, which can be time-consuming. If left untreated, the smell may become overwhelming and nauseating.

What to do when your cats pee down drains?

When your cats pee down drains, you can do a few things. If the cat is currently occupying the drain, you may need to physically block the opening with a cloth or bucket. 

If the cat has already left the scene, then your first priority should be cleaning up any, and all urine spilled onto floors or furniture. 

Next, locate where the cat went and try to catch them before they reach another drain, then discipline the cat.

Cleaning up

Cleaning up the mess can be challenging when your cats pee down drains. Here are some tips for cleaning up cat urine:

  1. Use a plunger to clear the drain quickly and easily.
  2. Pour a pot of hot water into the drain, turn on the faucet, and wait until the water reaches boiling point before pouring it down the drain.
  3. Add 1 cup of white vinegar to 2 cups of warm water and stir well to combine. Pour this mixture down the drain, followed by cold water, until all the vinegar has been removed.
  4. Fill a bucket with fresh cold water and place it next to the drain. Wet a cloth in cool water and wring it out thoroughly. Place it over the top of the bucket and gently pour in enough cold water to cover the cloth (do not let any liquid leak out).

Disciplining the cat

If your cat has peed on a drain, there are some things you can do to help teach them not to do it again.

  1. Make sure you understand why they did it. If your cat was feeling stressed or anxious, the act of peeing might have been their way of dealing with that feeling. Helping your cat deal with their stress may be the best solution if this is the case.
  2. Be honest with your cat and tell them that this behavior is not acceptable. If they don’t understand why they are being punished, they will likely continue to do it to avoid punishment.
  3. Be consistent with your punishment. If you punish your cat every time they urinate or pee outside designated areas, they will soon learn that doing so will result in discipline.
  4. If your cat pees down the drain on a regular basis, try training them using positive reinforcement. This means giving them treats or toys when they behave correctly and ignoring their peeing behavior. Be consistent with your rewards – rewarding them every time rather than just for specific moments of good behavior will help make the process more effective.

How to prevent cats from peeing down drains

You can do a few simple things to help prevent your cats from peeing down the drain.

  1. Keep them indoors as much as possible. If you must let them out, make sure they have a litter box inside and close to the door where they can enter and exit quickly.
  2. Make sure they have a litter box in which to relieve themselves. Cats naturally prefer to eliminate in places they feel comfortable, so providing them with a litter box will help ensure that their bathroom habits stay under control.
  3. Keep your drains clean and free of debris. This will help to prevent your cat from urinating down the drain.
  4. Cover any openings in the drain with pipe insulation or rubber gaskets, which will help trap urine and feces before it falls into the drain.
  5. Be sure to train your cat not to pee on drain or other objects by rewarding them when they use the litter box and ignoring them when they start spraying urine on other surfaces.


Cats pee down drains for various reasons, including the need to mark their territory, relieve themselves in an inconvenient location, or because they are bored. 

If your cat is peeing down the drain, there is probably not a serious problem, and you can usually just clean it up. 

However, if the urine is accompanied by blood or foul-smelling urine, you should take your cat to the veterinarian for an examination.

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