Four Common Explanations for Urinary Incontinence

As a pet owner, there’s nothing more frustrating than returning home to discover your pet has urinated on your floor. If you’re providing regular potty breaks, this habit can be confusing. However, there are several common reasons your pet is peeing inside, many of which are easily treated. If your pet is suddenly experiencing urinary incontinence, one of these common reasons might be why.

Excitement

This is a big reason for urinary incontinence, especially among new pets. Put yourself in your puppy or kitten’s shoes – or paws, rather. You’re in a brand new home with an owner who loves you, and there are new things to explore everywhere. You are so happy and excited, and it’s simply too much. You forget to tune into your body’s signals that it’s time to “go,” and all of a sudden you’ve had an accident. When this happens, be patient with your pet. Don’t scold or shame; simply give a firm “no,” clean up the mess, and take him or her outside to see if he or she can finish there. Pay attention to his or her body language, such as jumping and wriggling.

Fear

Puppies and kittens often urinate out of fear, although this is common in pets of any age. It often happens around strangers who reach for your pet without warning, scold them, or raise their hands in a threatening way. Sometimes, your pet seems comfortable with a stranger only to urinate after continued interactions. Let your pet get to know new people slowly, and ensure your own behavior doesn’t inspire fear. Keep your voice and touch as calm as possible.

Marking

Scent marking is another big reason for urination, and male dogs or cats often get the biggest rap. While this behavior is common in male pets, females do it, too. Unless you catch and stop the behavior early, it will become a habit. A new pet might inspire other house-trained pets to do it, too. Ask your vet about training to prevent scent marking.

Illness

If your pet has a urinary tract infection (UTI) or other illness, expect him or her to have accidents or pee outside designated areas like litter boxes. Make a vet appointment as soon as possible, and follow prescribed treatment. If your pet is prone to such infections or if you have other incontinence questions, contact LAMC or your vet.