When you first realize that your cat has peed on your dog’s bed, your first thought may be anger, followed by confusion. Do they not like the dog?
To make matters worse, cat urine is tough to remove. It will take many washes to eradicate the smelly cat urine. You may not even be able to get it out at all.
You may be considering punishing your cat or somehow training them not to pee on your dog’s bed. However, this is often not necessary. As we’ll discuss, inappropriate peeing is often a sign of an underlying health condition, which will likely need to be treated by your vet.
Reasons Why Your Cat May Pee on a Dog Bed
There are several reasons why your cat may pee on your dog’s bed. Some of these are much more common than others. Many are very easy to correct with a trip to your vet or some basic training. Others can indicate an underlying condition.
Either way, figuring out the why will often involve a lot of trial and error. If you take your cat to the vet, they may end up with a clean bill of health, for instance, which would rule out the chance of an underlying health condition causing the issue. It can be tough to determine the cause without using this method of elimination.
1. Medical Reasons
Several medical conditions can cause inappropriate marking from a cat. UTIs are the most common reason for cats to start peeing on things suddenly. It isn’t that they care so much about it being the dog’s bed. They can’t help it. The only way to treat this is to visit your vet.
It is essential to seek medical care in this case, as even some as basic as a UTI can get pretty serious. It can turn into a bladder or kidney infection, which can be deadly if it gets severe enough.
If your cat usually doesn’t exhibit this type of behavior, it is likely a medical condition. You will need to take them to the vet for a complete exam, and they will likely need medication.
2. Territory Marking
Peeing inappropriate places can also be a behavioral issue. This is surprisingly rare, though. Most cats are not incredibly territorial, which means they will likely not try and mark their territory. However, there are some cats that a bit territorial. These are typically cats that were not socialized much as kittens, so they tend to be anxious around other animals.
If your dog is new (or your cat), then this may very well be the problem. Luckily, you can train your cat not to do this and make accommodations to make life a bit easier for them, which will further end the behavior.
3. Heat Marking
Heat marking is different from average cat marking. This only occurs when an intact female comes into heat. To attract a mate, they may begin peeing on things. They’re spreading their scent around to increase the odds of a male smelling it.
If your cat is female and has not been spayed yet, this is probably what is going on. The only way to fix this is to spay your cat or wait them out. The behavior will typically stop when they get out of heat. However, some females do it even when they are no longer in heat. These females need to be spayed to prevent this problem.
Stress and anxiety can cause your cat to behave poorly, including peeing on your dog’s bed. Just like people tend to make bad decisions when stressed, your cat can make bad decisions as well. In these situations, the best way to stop the issue is to reduce the amount of stress your cat is experiencing.
Sometimes, the stress can’t be helped. Perhaps you’ve just moved, and the change is stressing out your feline. You can’t exactly undo the move. In these cases, the only thing you can do is wait your cat out and hopefully make the new situation a little bit more comfortable.
If you’ve recently adopted a new cat, this can cause quite a bit of stress as well. We recommend giving your cat a safe space to go that is only theirs, which can help reduce the stress substantially. You may also have to slowly introduce the cats, ensuring that they have plenty of time to smell and see each other before being allowed in the same space. As always, ensure you have one litter box per cat.
How to Make a Cat Stop Peeing on a Dog Bed
The way you make your pet stop peeing on the dog bed depends on why they are doing it, to begin with. If a cat is sick, the only way to prevent them from peeing on the dog bed is to treat them. If the cat is doing it for behavioral reasons, then training might be in order.
In some cases, you may need to retrain your cat to use a litter box. This only works for cats that are peeing for behavioral reasons. Usually, this involves restricting the amount of space your cat has access to. You’ll need to enclose them in the area containing the litterbox to let them get more exposure to the box.
Typically, cats don’t need to be trained as a dog does. Instead, they need exposure to the box.
Add More Boxes
If you have multiple cats or large home, you may need to use more than one box. If the box is on one side of the house and your cat happens to be on the other, they decide that walking to the litter box isn’t worth it.
Furthermore, some cats are sensitive when it comes to using the litter box after other cats. For this reason, if you have multiple cats, you likely will need multiple litterboxes.
Even if this doesn’t necessarily fix the underlying problem, it can be helpful in any case. It also prevents you from changing the litter in the boxes as often since there is double available for your cat to use.
Wash the Bed More Often
Litter boxes and dog beds are quite similar. They’re both the same shape and about the same size. Luckily, they smell somewhat different, and one of the critical senses a cat uses to tell where to pee is the smell.
However, if the bed gets smelly, your cat may mistake it for a litterbox. Some cats are more sensitive to smells than others, so this largely depends on your cat as well. Some cats will consider a smelly bed to be a litter box, while others will not.
If your cat pees on the dog bed but then stops after you wash it, they likely used it as a litterbox because it was smelly like one. In the future, wash the cat bed often and ensure that it isn’t smelly.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
Typically, in this situation, prevention is the best medicine. Your cat’s health and the set up of your home will largely determine if your cat pees on the dog bed or not. Therefore, your best bet is to ensure that you have plenty of litterboxes spread throughout the house. Also, consider washing your dog’s bed often – even using a harsh smell-fighting liquid like vinegar.
If your cat shows signs of being sick, take them to the vet as soon as possible. The last thing you want is for their UTI to get worse, which can cause a whole host of issues on top of causing them to pee places they shouldn’t.
In the end, if you focus on providing the right environment for your cat and keep them healthy, the odds of them peeing on something are low.
Featured Image: Petteri Sulonen, Wikimedia Commons