Ragdoll Cat Behaviour Issues: Peeing Outside of the Litterbox

If you’ve ever cared for a cat, you know that felines are usually easily trained to use litter boxes. That’s why dealing with an adult cat that doesn’t urinate where they need to is frustrating. However, peeing outside the litterbox is one of the most common Ragdoll cat behavior issues.

Lulu and Shany laying down on the sofa on green covers before the Ragdoll Cat Behaviour Issues started

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I was inspired to write this blog post because of a reader’s email I received.

I was hoping more people from our loving community could hop in, give their own advice, and share their personal experience with managing Ragdoll cat behaviour issues.

My Cat Is Peeing Outside of the Litterbox and How to Deal with Ragdoll Cat Behaviour Issues

My Ragdoll Lulu was Ragdoll of the Month last January.

We have a slight behavioral problem happening in our house with Lulu at the moment. Could you help me out by possibly posting this as a reader help question via the Facebook page or giving me your own expertise on the matter?

This question is related to Ragdoll cat behaviour issues – Any help at all would be appreciated.

I have given you as much information as possible, and I do apologize in advance for this lengthy email.

Up until 6 months ago, I was living at home with my parents. I had a small unit/apartment out in the backyard while my parents lived in the primary residence.

Lulu and Shany siamese cat ragdoll cat eating together

I brought Lulu home when she was around 3 months. Lulu, from the beginning, has always been a very:

  • Gregarious;
  • Friendly;
  • Easy-going cat.
  • She has never bitten or scratched me, even whilst I was bathing her;
  • She always loves to be around us;
  • She even sleeps with the dog in his bed when he comes in of an evening for a few hours.

At that time, she was not showing any troubling Ragdoll cat behaviour issues.

She is:

  • Active
  • Eats well
  • Is often purring, and
  • Shows to all of us constant signs of affection around the house.

She has always been a clingy cat; if I left the room for a few minutes, she would cry out until I came back in.

before the Ragdoll Cat Behaviour Issues Lulu and Shany laying on the couch

Like all of the cats we have owned, she is an indoor cat.

She adapted pretty quickly to life in my unit, which comprised of:

  • A large living area with a bed and
  • A separate bathroom with her food and water and a large covered litter tray.

She would spend most nights with me, and if I was working from home in the day, she would usually be in the room with me.

When she wasn’t in with me, she would be in the house with my parents and their elderly cat Shany, our beloved cat who is sadly no longer with us.

Shany was primarily my mother’s cat and didn’t take too well to an addition of a kitten into the household, but mainly kept to herself, and there wasn’t too much of an issue there.

Even at that time, Lulu was not exhibiting any Ragdoll cat behaviour issues, which can be called troubling.

When I was out of the house, Lulu would always be put in the main house with Shany and my father, who is retired. So she was always around another animal or person.

I would also take her into the main residence with me if I was spending time there. I would never leave her alone in the unit, as I didn’t want her to feel isolated in the small space.

Even then, Shany was really cool-minded, and we were not troubled with any Ragdoll cat behaviour issues.

She had access to clean litter, and food, and water in the main residence (shared with Shany), and spent a lot of time in there, and was very comfortable, and enjoyed being in the house.

Shany and Lulu on the couch laying down

Lulu was also quite familiar with the backyard and would know her way from the unit to the main entrance, and I allowed her to often walk independently from one dwelling to another, although she was always supervised.

As mentioned previously, last June, I moved from Australia to the UK.

Knowing that Lulu was in good hands (she is very fond of both my parents), I was confident she would be okay, and that she’d receive more than enough love and care.

Of course, it broke my heart to leave her behind, and she is in my thoughts every day. But my mum keeps me updated with photos and videos every day, which makes separation much easier.

Shany and Lulu Siamese and Ragdoll friends on the bed looking out the window

About a week and a half after I arrived in the UK, Shany passed away.

Of course, my mum was very upset, but Lulu helped her get through this difficult time.

Within a week or two, my mother talked about getting another cat. Even though she felt it was relatively soon after Shany left us, she thought it would be a good idea to get Lulu a friend.

And that’s when Lulu started showing Ragdoll cat behaviour issues.

Lulu and Shany hadn’t been friends due to the age difference, although that didn’t stop Lulu from trying!

My mum soon came across a 3-year-old Tonkinese female who needed to be re-homed due to a family moving. My mum felt like this cat would be a perfect addition to the family, and soon Lotus was adopted by my parents.

Lulu and Lotus were born only a year apart and soon became fast friends – everything seemed to be perfect.

My mum would send me pictures and videos of the two of them playing together, and one was not seen without the other.

Lulu and Shany Tonkinese dog laying together sleeping and cuddling on a blanket

A few weeks ago, my mum discovered a strange odor emitting from underneath the bed in her room.

My mum always keeps the house exceptionally clean, so this was a surprise. She soon discovered a large spot of urine under the bed on the carpet.

Since then, she has spotted Lulu several times urinating in the same spot, even after she called a carpet cleaner in. Lulu seems to be urinating quite often in the bedroom, even in front of my mum.

Urinating under the bed was not something my mother had experienced before. So, in a sense, it was something new in the list of Ragdoll cat behaviour issues.

My mum has taken her to the vet and will be returning tomorrow to take a urine sample.

My mum thinks she may be trying to mark her territory.

And according to the carpet cleaner, the stain that Lulu has left has been there for quite a while.

My mum has now blocked off access to under the bed. Lulu never urinated in the house when I was living there, and we may think the reason behind these Ragdoll cat behaviour issues it’s a combination of:

  • Me moving away.
  • An addition of a new pet into the household, and 
  • The death of a former pet.

Her Ragdoll cat behaviour issues are quite contradictory, as she seems very happy and is very active.

Lulu and Shany laying on a blanket with toys between them

Rehousing Lulu is definitely not an option as this is her forever home.

So, the only way forward is to work towards finding a solution to this and other Ragdoll cat behaviour issues.

My mum is strongly considering ripping up the carpet and putting in floorboards. She is currently trialing closing the cats into the laundry at nighttime, where they have access to their beds, litter trays, and food.

My mum did not want to isolate Lulu in the laundry, so she felt it would be best to put both cats together.

Before this, they slept on the bed at nighttime with my parents.

She is also closing off the bedrooms during the day. The rest of the house bar, the three bedrooms have floorboards or tiles, so if Lulu urinates in any of these rooms, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Siamese Shany wrapped with a white sheet and Lulu Ragdoll cat kissing her head

We don’t know when or if these Ragdoll cat behaviour issues are going to end, but we would like to find a solution or a way to work around it.

I am feeling very guilty, as I feel like I have partially created this situation for her. We are all very worried about Lulu.

Any help at all would be fantastic.

I appreciate this is a lengthy email, and it wasn’t my intention to take up too much of your time, it’s just I know that if anybody will understand it would be you, as your share the same level of love and adoration for your beautiful cats as we do!

Thank you so much in advance.

Warm Regards,

Rebecca

__________________

I have suggested that Rebecca check out the following posts on Floppycats:

But I also wanted to see if anyone had additional feedback for Rebecca and her mom!

If you have some insight to offer about this situation (related to Ragdoll cat behaviour issues), please let us know in the comments below this post.

Ragdoll Cat Behaviour Issues And How To Deal With Them?

Since Lulu is a Ragdoll cat, it would be best if we explore Ragdoll cat behaviour issues in a little more detail.

It is only after looking at the common Ragdoll cat behaviour issues, that we can come to an understanding of why Lulu is urinating on the carpets, as well as all the other troubling behaviours.

It is also possible that someone else who owns a Ragdoll may be facing a set of totally different Ragdoll cat behaviour issues with their cats.

So, even if your Ragdoll cat is not urinating on the carpets, you can still read this article to get an understanding of what to expect.

What Could The Ragdoll Cat Behaviour Issues Be?

After looking at the common behavior problems associated with Ragdoll cats, you will start to understand what it means to live with a ragdoll kitten or an adult cat.

Most of the typical behaviour problems can be solved with proper:

  • Socializing, 
  • Training, and 
  • Positive reinforcement.

Without further ado, let’s look at the common ragdoll cat behavior problems and what each of those issues could possibly mean.

1.  Annoying Ragdoll Cat Behaviour Issues: Your Ragdoll Cat is Urinating On Inappropriate Places In Your Home

Now, let’s explore the issue of Lulu, the Ragdoll which has been urinating under the bed lately…

To pinpoint one certain behavior issue as the leading reason for the inappropriate urination in Ragdolls or other cats, would be very difficult.

In reality, many different reasons could be at play and lead to such behavioral problems.

When we talk about Ragdoll cat behaviour issues, the problem with urinating inappropriately is a fairly common one.

In general, Ragdoll cats can start urinating inappropriately in the house because of:

  • Frustration
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Addition of new person
  • Addition of new pet.

If you believe that your cat is experiencing stress, anxiety, and frustration, then you need to take the relevant measures. Remove or limit these stressors from your home or areas where your cats spend most of their time.

If the issue is related to a change in routines, such as adding a new pet or a new person, then that’s a different story.

In fact, Ragdoll cats can also start peeing in different parts of the house when they move to a new household. A cat urinates to mark their territory. By doing it in different parts of the house, your feline friend is marking their territory and claiming it for theirs.

So, in short, for Lulu or any other cat which starts urinating in the house, the reason might be they’re exposed to:

  • Stress,
  • Anxiety, or
  • The addition of a new pet or person.

In the case of Lulu, a new cat was added to the household. There is a good chance that Lulu IS also experiencing:

  • Stress,
  • Anxiety, and
  • Frustration when a household member or a pet friend isn’t around anymore.

What Could You Try To End These Ragdoll Cat Behaviour Issues?

If you believe that your cat’s behavior of inappropriate urinating is related to:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety, or
  • Frustration,

Work towards removing these stressors. And the problem should go away.

Don’t focus on your Ragdoll cat behaviour issues. Focus on solving what’s causing them in the first place.

This is the only way you could see results.

A possible solution could be to restrict the Ragdoll cat’s access to the specific areas where they are urinating.

In general, cats tend to urinate on:

  • Carpets
  • Mats
  • Wooden floors.

Here are a few things you can try to prevent these Ragdoll Cat Behaviour Issues:

– Restrict the cat’s access to the problem areas.

Cats can’t urinate where they can’t reach. So this could be a solution, at least for starters.

– Place multiple litter trays in different parts of the house.

The next time your cat comes to urinate in a part of the house where they’re not supposed to, it will encounter a new litter box. Chances are, your cat will instinctively start using it.

No more damage to the carpets or wooden floors!

Once the cat becomes accustomed to using the litter box, start to slowly move it to a new location. But be cautious and do not go overboard. You can move the litter box a little bit every day until you finally reach the place where you initially wanted it to be (or remove it at all).

– Change the function of the place where your cat urinates.

Cats are very clean creatures. They spend an enormous part of their day grooming and cleaning themselves.

Try turning it into a:

  • Scratching area
  • Sleeping area
  • Play area
  • Feeding area.

A cat would never pee in these places.

– Try using loud noises or a squirt gun with a “No!” command.

Another solution is to use a squirt gun and use it along with a NO command whenever the cat tries to urinate inappropriately in your presence.

Some people have even found success by shaking a bottle filled with coins or pebbles with a “No!” command.

This particular solution can also be used for a range of Ragdoll cat behaviour issues that seem inappropriate or troubling for the owners.

2. Excessive Grooming & Licking In Ragdoll Cats

Ragdoll cats are known for their obsession with grooming. If you notice this behavior, just know that your Ragdoll cat isn’t the only one that does this! 

In fact, when it comes to Ragdoll cat behaviour issues, this one is among the top problems.

Ragdoll cats lick and scratch their paws when grooming, which can even lead to a condition called hairballs (a health condition). 

When the cat tries to lick the paws, there is a good chance that the fur can also make its way into the cat’s stomach. These furballs, which make their way into the stomach, can cause the cat to vomit.

Excessive grooming and licking in Ragdoll cats can cause some health issues. 

But the question still remains as to why the Ragdoll cats are so obsessed with grooming? 

The answer is hidden in the long hairs of the Ragdoll cats, which are not easy to groom. With more and longer hairs to groom, it is natural for cats to spend more time grooming.

It is similar to human beings as well. People with long hair have to spend more time grooming and combing their hair. 

On the other hand, people with short hair usually do not spend the same amount of time. In a sense, you can say that it is part of Ragdoll’s genes. 

Ingesting too much hair and struggling with hairballs can cause Ragdoll cat behaviour issues.

The Possible Solution For Excessive Grooming & Licking Is To Groom Your Ragdoll Cat Often

Help out your cat by grooming it yourself using a comb or other hair care tools. The other alternative is to be ready to spend money at the vet clinic.

Fur is not digested by your feline friend’s stomach. Hair tangles in your kitty’s stomach. This leads to the forming of hairballs and can cause blockages, and other health issues. 

In fact, this is a widespread health problem associated with the Ragdoll cat breed.

With adult Ragdoll cats, grooming and licking is a common and natural behavior. 

On top of that, these cats also shed a lot of fur/hair as well.

The only solution to avoid your cat getting sick from excessive grooming is to groom it yourself.

Once a day would be fantastic. However, if you can’t do that, try at least once or twice a week. This will significantly decrease the accidental ingestion of fur and the furballs around your house.

3. Ragdoll Cat Behaviour Issues: Your Kitty Wakes Up Too Early

Among the commonly encountered Ragdoll cat behaviour issues, cats waking up too early is one of my personal nightmares.

In general, Ragdolls (both males and females) tend to sleep a lot during the day.

Then, they wake up at night being all playful and energetic. And usually, the cats’ owners are not very happy about this.

Do you have Ragdoll cats with a habit of being awake at night and requiring your constant attention?

If your cat disturbs you when you are sleeping, you’ll need to put in some work to retrain your feline friends’ sleeping habits.

What To Do If Your Ragdoll Cats Wake Up Too Early?

This is one of the easiest solutions among the common Ragdoll cat behaviour issues.

Before sleeping, play with the cats to drain their energy. You can play a fetch game or any other game which your Ragdoll cat likes.

This way, the cat will not disturb you at night as it will be less energetic!

If your Ragdoll cat has a couple of favorite toys, then allowing it to play with them before bedtime can also solve the problem!

FAQs About Ragdoll Cat Behaviour Issues

Let’s have a quick look at the frequently asked questions about the different Ragdoll cat behaviour issues.

What Problems Do Ragdoll Cats Have?

A Ragdoll cat can exhibit all the common behavior problems related to cats.

On top of that, this particular breed tends to be:

  • Picky eaters
  • Scratch furniture
  • Urinate inappropriately
  • Are usually too dependent on the owners.

But we can’t deny that these cats look absolutely gorgeous! They are just the most adorable and loving felines!

Through proper training and socializing, all of the Ragdoll cat behaviour issues can be solved.

Are Ragdoll Cats Temperamental?

No, a Ragdoll cat is the exact opposite of being aggressive or temperamental. These are not common among the Ragdoll cat behaviour issues.

Ragdoll cats are usually:

  • Even-tempered
  • Calm
  • Loving
  • Friendly.

Most Ragdoll owners have reported that these cats are very good-natured and relaxed.

However, to be sure, double-check your breeder. Some of them offer genetic testing.

This way, you can make sure what’s your pet’s history and family tree. And research for Ragdoll cat behaviour issues in your kitten’s bloodline.

Why Does My Ragdoll Cat Bite Me?

Your Ragdoll cat can bite when it feels:

  • Frustrated
  • Threatened
  • Depressed.

In addition, the biting behavior can also be a result of separation anxiety or just attention-seeking.

Working on these issues can rectify the biting problem altogether, as well as any other related Ragdoll cat behaviour issues.

We have a more detailed post about biting as one of the common Ragdoll cat behaviour issues if you want to find more about this problem.

Ragdoll Cat Behaviour Issues: Why Does My Cat Bite Me Unprovoked?

When we talk about cat breeds, some tend to be more aggressive than others. These are natural traits and can be controlled through proper training and socializing. 

But when we talk about Ragdolls, they rarely show aggression and are considered to be very calm and loving cats.

If you want to read more about Ragdolls and their genetics in this article.

Why Is My Ragdoll Cat So Clingy?

Well, that has to do with the nature of the breed of these cats. Ragdolls are known to be clingy, and there is nothing you can do about that. 

In fact, they require more attention than the average domestic cat, which means the owners have to spend more time with them. 

Ragdolls being clingy doesn’t have anything to do with Ragdoll cat behaviour issues. It is just the way these cats are and you have to accept it!

What Illnesses Are Ragdoll Cats Prone To?

Among the common cat illnesses, there is one particular disease, which affects the Ragdoll cats. Its name is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a form of heart disease).

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a cardiac disease in which the cat’s heart muscles become hypertrophied or abnormally thick.

To prevent the transmission of diseases and mutations to the Ragdoll’s offspring, a test called HCM is available. It is genetic testing, which is very cheap and widely available.

This illness can also lead to other deeper Ragdoll cat behaviour issues.

Other common health problems, seen in all cat breeds, could affect your Ragdoll cat, too. These include:

  • Bladder stones
  • Kidneys diseases
  • Nasal discharge
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Lethargy
  • Rabies
  • Etc.

If ignored and not taken care of, all of these health issues can cause significant Ragdoll cat behaviour issues.

Are Ragdoll Cats Hard To Take Care Of?

Well, it depends on you!

Most owners absolutely love their Ragdolls. But for some people, it could feel a little hard to take care of them. Compared to other cat breeds, these cats require a lot of attention from their owners.

For more information, you can also refer to the Ragdoll cat behaviour issues we have listed in this post above.

What Is Special About Ragdoll Cats?

This cat breed is famous for its:

  • Affectionate nature
  • Silky coat
  • Placid temperament
  • Blue eyes
  • Colorpoint coat.

Ragdoll cat behaviour issues are not typical with this particular feline’s owners.

Most cat lovers absolutely love Ragdoll’s coat and its unique appearance and texture.

For example, the seal-mitted Ragdoll cat showcases a mixture of dark brown, white, and a few other colors.

Some of the colors of Ragdoll felines are: 

  • Chocolate
  • Cream, 
  • Blue, 
  • Lilac
  • And more.

Did you know it’s possible to predict the colors of your baby kittens if your Ragdoll is expecting? If you’re curious about their coloring and patterns, you need to check this post, too.

Did you like this blog post about Ragdoll cat behaviour issues? Then have a look at these other articles from our site:

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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11 Comments

  1. Patti Johnson says:

    ALWAYS a SUPER IMPORTANT topic, Jenny honey! TYSVM for all the great info! The ONLY TIME Miss PSB EVER peed outside her litter box was when she had a UTI when she was younger (about one or two years old if I recall correctly). Got it treated and changed up her diet a bit and she’s never had another one (and she’ll be 10 years old in October!)! YAY!!! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love & purrs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

    1. I am so glad you only dealt with a UTI once. I just learned today that apple cider vinegar can help a cat with a UTI. Crazy!

  2. Hello;
    I have a 12.5yr. Old ragdoll that has been urination issues presently.
    Appears to be struggling to get the urine out so as he try’s to “force” it out he stands up more and misses the target, so it hits the floor missing pee pads and all! I was told by one vet that it could be the start of a Kidney problem. He still eats and drinks water…lots of water! Also urinates quite a bit when He does! Sometimes just howls for no reason so I believe it’s time he get examined…AGAIN as they found nothing as far as infection last time. Even did an X-ray To try and view his lungs. Nothing! So we shall see what comes of this visit…

    1. Was he checked for a UTI? Yes, large amount of pee can be kidney, diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Sounds like he needs his blood taken.

  3. teddy bear says:

    my ragdoll Teddy is peeing on my bed he doesn’t pee anywhere else I have bought new linen gone through bottles of natures miracle I am at a loss what to do he sleeps with me every night as I got him as a therapy cat

  4. Rachel, Clean the area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner just for pet odors. The ones designed for cat pee are even better. You must remove the scent entirely. Then try placing a dish of food where he pees. They don’t usually pee by where they eat. Also, Have you put a litter box there? Something to try, at least for a while. Once he uses it for a while you can slowly move it away from the door. I know it’s hard to deal with but at least he’s not peeing on your furniture or bed, god forbid!

  5. Rachel Bache says:

    Hi
    I have the same problem with my sons ragdoll Jerry! He has moved out and we decided the best thing was for Jerry to stay with me as he loves the garden and adores my other cat. But unfortunatly when my son left home Jerry decided to pee by the front door, so i added more cat litter trays although he sometimes uses them he still pees by the front door. I must admit i am at the end of my teather with him and not sure what else to do.

  6. Con Cahill says:

    My mother and I have a Soral Abby called Rosie who has been with us for 8 years or so. During most of this time there have been urine marking issues, partly due to the presence of our Siamese, (who passed with kidney failure at christmas), and other stress. We tried leaving litter trays in the areas that she was spraying in, which had some success (at present 4 trays for 1 cat!). Most effective was putting the cats in different rooms at night so that they both had there own individual ‘territories’ as well as shared areas in the house. However the most useful tip I can give came from a vet: SURGICAL SPIRIT (diluted with water) will kill the active ingredient in the urine that makes the smell. Once a cat has ‘scented’ a place it will repeatedly go back to it to reenforce the message to other cats. With regard to the carpet it is probably best to ditch the really smelly bits and spray surgical spirit on to the floor under it. Once dry (or in a day or so), let the cat smell it. If ‘flemming’ takes place (where the cat ‘bares’ his/her teeth and gums in order to ‘taste’ the smell) then some scent is still there for the cat, and another go with spirit is needed. If no flemming occurs, (just sniffing) try a spray down with cat nip to change the association with the area. Feeding treats there can help as cats do not usually spray where they eat. Another thing to try is FELIWAY. Either in spray or diffuser form (www.feliway.com) will help reduce stress. Both of these are effective, but you will still need to find the root cause of the problem, and as you are not a cat, that is easier said than done! (I speak from lots of experience!). It should be noted that any aversion sprays only mask the urine smell. Unless you use surgical spirit first, the cat’s sensitive nose can still pick up the ‘message’ saying “this is my territory, keep off!” I am now being told by my owner (Rosie) that 0600hrs is time for food, so I wish you lots of luck.
    Con Cahill (Mr).

  7. Hmmm…such a tough problem! There are perhaps no easy answers here, but here are some thoughts: I wonder if Lulu was upset by the recurring changes in her living conditions…Is this a medical issue or a territorial one?..Vet should reveal that. If not medical, has your Mum tried Feliway or any Spirit/Flower Essences? In addition to cleaning or pulling up the soiled carpet under the bed, she can try putting aluminum foil OR a dish of food under there since cats don’t pee where they eat. I have heard that sometimes cats are made even more upset when they are shut out of rooms they used to enjoy inhabiting– sort of a catch 22. Other thing to try would be to have a consult with a reputable animal communicator to try to find the root cause of the issue. If you are so inclined, it could help for you to ‘talk’ to Lulu telepathically. Doesn’t matter how far away you are! Think of her in detail. Share your feelings with her and reassure her. Make sure your Mum is not constantly thinking about the problem– Lulu can pick up on that and follow suit. She should picture her using the litter box and feel as if she was in L’s cat body feeling the wonderful feeling of digging in the litter and relieving herself in the box. Sounds weird perhaps, but they are very sensitive to our thoughts. So sorry to hear of the problem. Hope things take a turn for the better and all will live happily and stress-free again soon!

  8. That’s a tough problem and I wish I had an answer – but I don’t. Hope you get some good advice to add to your already helpful blog.

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