Wait cats can use pee pads? Yup, you read that right! We have a current cat pee pads user here in our house. So yes pee pads for cats is absolutely a thing! When our girl Tinkerbell, went into acute kidney failure she stopped peeing in our litter boxes and well hasn’t ever gone back to using the box. Even once we were able to lower her kidney values. It’s all good though since after months of trial and error we have her successfully using pee pads all around our house.
What is a Cat Pee Pad?
A pee pad for cats is just you standard pee pad you find on the market for dogs. These pee pads come in various rectangular sizes and you should choose based on the coverage size you need. These pads are soft almost have a cotton ball or diaper feel. The back of the pad is lined with plastic that helps hold the liquid in and keep if off your floor.
Why Would Your Cat Not Use a Litter Box?
At your wits end over you cat no longer peeing where they are supposed to? Yeah I have been there. Nothing like getting up in the middle of night to use the bathroom only to step in a sopping wet bat mat on the way. Well the first step is to get to the underlying cause of this new cat habit.
I would love to tell you hey it’s just a behavioral cat issue no worries. But when a cat stops using their litter box it’s normally a sign that this an underlying medical condition at play. So I encourage you to quickly make an appointment to see you vet and have your cat checked out along with getting some bloodwork checked.
If your cat checks out with a clean bill of health there are two other common causes of cats stopping using the box. The first is stress, cats do not like change. Have you moved recently, did you introduce a new family member to the house? While cat stress warrants a whole book on its own we found a great way to help cut the stress is using cat pheromone diffusers and if that doesn’t help starting a low dose of CBD Oil has worked wonders.
Situations Where Pee Pads Come in Handy
If you find after doing your proper due diligence of research (aka vet trip) that you are facing a cat that is just going to be avoiding the box from here on out welcome, I assure you it’s not all as bad as it seems at first.
Missing the Litter Box
Just like your kids, sometimes when you using the the bathroom accidents happen. If you find you cat occasionally is having an issue with aiming I would break out a pee pad. That way when an accident does happen you can simply pick up the pee pad throw away and replace.
When little ones are getting the hang of the whole litter box thing or maybe you are deal with kittens who aren’t big enough to crawl into a box yet a pee pad is perfect with its no barrier to entry. If you are using them for training you can sprinkle some kitten training litter on top of them.
If you cat has been declawed they had an extremely painful procedure that involves a life long pain and change of life. The process involves cutting off what would be the equivalent to cutting off all a humans fingers at the knuckle. Ouch! We advise never to have your cat declawed and are very happy to see many states are starting to ban the operation.
Unfortunately this does still happen and sometimes when we rescue a cat it comes to us declawed by the previous owner. Most find that once declawed cats have an aversion to traditional cat litter as it hurts their paws to walk on. A pee pad offers a non rigid, soft surface for your sensitive kitty.
Lastly, we come to our situation. As I stated earlier we have two cases of kidney disease in our house. One uses the box like a dream the other only uses it to “go number 2” so we use the pee pads. Since she was aiming for our towels, bath mats and other plush items left on the floor it was a no brainier that swapping pee pads in place of the items we didn’t want her peeing on.
Kidney disease isn’t the only ailment that causes a cat to not use the litter box. Some other culprits are arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, diarrhea or urinary tract infections.
Our 5 Cat Pee Pad Tips
Use a Frame or Pee Pad Holder
Cat’s feel obligated to cover up their business when they are done. Which is typically great when they are using your typical litter box setup. However when it’s a pee pad this quickly leads to it getting folded over. Despite pee pads being quick to absorb pee it can still lead to issues.
Our cat would fold it over, we would be at work and then she would return later and pee right on top of it. The back of pee pads are slick plastic so it ends up flying right off and all over the floor.
When I discovered these pee pad frames it ended the daily cleaned of turned over pee pad messes. We have a folding peed pad holder which I don’t like as much since she has figured out how to pop it out of the corners from time to time. This pee pad holder on the other hand completely covers all the edges of the pad and stops here from getting it out of the frame.
If you are in a pinch for a solution now. Some have also had luck with putting the pee pad in an empty litter box. Note if you cat has mobility issues or arthritis this likely won’t be enticing for you cat to use especially if it has high sides. If you can’t like the safety of a covered box however this is a great way to give him and her a pee pad hut!
Pee Pads Marked for Dog Work Just as Well For Cats
Puppy pee pads are very common, I swear dogs just get all the attention! However good news for us cat owners, pee pads labeled for dogs work for cats too. So no need to pay extra for something marked specifically for cats.
The More Options the Better
If you want to minimize your cat’s accidents the more options you give him or her the better. A great place to start is to put pee pads in all the places you cat is currently peeing outside the litter box. You may think it’s too many spot but odds are your cat will have a few go to and you won’t need to keep them all down.
Once you find out the favorite spots your on the right track. If you don’t like their favorite spot you can slowly start to move the pad closer to where you would like every day. I would move the pee pad no more than 6″ – 12″ each day.
Add Their Scent
If your cat isn’t taking to peeing on the pee pad right off you can amp up it’s attractiveness by moving their scent onto this. This means the not so fun job of getting their pee or poop placed on the pad.
I find it easiest to dab up an accident spot onto a fresh pee pad. Don’t wipe up too much or it won’t be clean enough for your cat. It’s a fine balance with them.
Throughly Clean Up the Accidents
So in order for the pee pad system to work you need to clean up any areas where you cat didn’t you a box or pee pad and I mean ALL of them. This even goes back to before you introduce the pee pads.
If you have a cat that is spraying or having accidents it is time to take a blacklight to your whole whole and find anywhere that you didn’t know about. We just used this simple black light to find the areas.
Then it’s important you use a CAT enzyme cleaner to remove all traces of the smell. I have used Natures Miracle and had a lot of success with it. The The foam breaks down bio-based messes on contact, to eliminate strong urine and the yellow, sticky residue that comes along with it. Once I have cleaned the area and let it dry I come back with the blacklight to ensure the mess is gone.
Conclusion on Pee Pads for Cats
Hopefully these tips get you back to peace and harmony in your house. I know how stressful it is dealing with animal you love that is also at the same time destroying your home.
If you are wondering what we order for pee pads at the moment we have been very happy with our AmazonBasics Pee Pads. I get the jumbo box and keep the cost down to just pennies per pad.
Our most popular pee pad spot for our cat is believe or not right next to her litter box. Cat’s have instinct to pee in sand and I do think she wants to using it something is just tripping her up we think maybe our other cats or she is start to get arthritis early since her kidney failure case is very severe. Also in our house we have been happy to find that no other cats have taken to trying out the pee pads, just our girl who doesn’t want to use the box.
Thursday 8th of July 2021
Hi!!! I'm fostering 5 week old kittens for the first time. I was NOT prepared enough so I appreciate this article. Most articles rave about the ups of fostering but i have never worked so physically hard in my life. It's been almost a week and I have then for a few more weeks! I ADORE them but as you said, they have been destroying my room (carpet). Today i used Dawn and warm water to scrub up spots and now have thin plastic table cloths all over. I have caught kitties peeing right outside the box. There are a few boxes and they use them sometimes and sometimes they don't (SIGH). Sorry for the rant..haha To the point, I have training pads and I'll put them underneath the boxes and one other spot that one of the kittens seems to keep going to. But will i have to use these for the whole month??? Thank you~~
Thursday 8th of July 2021
To be honest I never had kittens that young, they all came box trained. For our cat that needs the pee pads, she has a health condition and we definitely will be buying them for the rest of her time with us. I would think once you get past the potty training period you are in the clear. You could try switching up the litter I know there is kitten specific that will attract them, much like the pee pads that have an attractant in it.
Tuesday 2nd of February 2021
I just started doing this! Our 23 year-old cat was outside for years, as he stopped going in litter boxes. He has all but ruined a part of our bedroom carpet. He seemed happy outside, too. He had a heated water bowl, three houses (all heated), and we changed his blankets and brushed him routinely. Now he is deaf, cannot see too well, and is not as agile as he was, and it has bothered me to no end to see him as an outdoor cat.
Last week he wanted to come inside for the first time in seven years, so I took it as a sign that he may be nearing the end of his run. We brought him in, and while he pooped in the litter, he was peeing outside of them. We bought wee-wee pads, a geriatric cat litter box (super low to the ground), Nature's Miracle, and a few boxes with low entry levels (Nature's Miracle). I put some of the pads outside the boxes, and it's a miracle, but he has slowly started to use them. Then this evening, he used the geriatric, wee-wee pad box. I am beyond excited about this, as he should be with family. I love seeing him sleeping on the chairs in the dining room (22 hours a day), and I love that these pads have helped us.
I am going go look for the pad tray and maybe even find some linoleum to place under the box. I don't think he will live out the year, but we should try to save the carpet's integrity as much as we can.
Thanks for this article!
Monday 1st of February 2021
Pee pads will be more helpful for me.