Minimize Cat Stress With Outdoor Construction

Our question this week was:

Doc, there is a lot of construction going on outside my home. One of my cats just started urinating on the floor-which he has never done. Could this be from stress?

Sally B.

Newton, North Carolina


Sally, your cat may have urinated outside of the litter box for one of a few reasons. One reason could be secondary to stress from the construction outside. The other could be an underlying medical problem. I’d recommend that you take your cat to your local veterinarian to help determine if there is any underlying illness that might be contributing to your cat’s behavior. If he finds a problem, read this article If there appears to be no medical problem, it could be from stress.

Construction outside the home can be very stressful to cats. It is a combination of the activity, machinery, loud people, and smells. They also have sounds and activity during different times of day and not the routine stuff that they normally see and smell. Some cats are more stressed if they can hear it and not see it and other cats may be more stressed by seeing it. If your cat seems curious, may want to add a window perch so they can watch the activity. They may be comforted to be able to watch what is going on. If they seem stressed by seeing it, you may want to block access to that window. If the stress is really bad, you may want to block access to rooms that are closest to the construction.

You could put your cats in one room that will be least affected by the outdoor noise. Put the radio or TV on low to help block out some of construction noises.

Best of luck,

Dr. Debra

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