If you’re ready to hit the hay, the last thing you want to deal with is a fresh pile of cat poop on your bed. But you’re probably here because your sweet kitty has been using your sleeping space as a toilet, and you want answers. So, what are some reasons that your cat might be pooping on your bed? There are more answers than you might think. Because it could indicate a more significant underlying issue, you’ll need to get to the bottom of what’s going on.
Why Did My Cat Poop on My Bed?
You can introduce kittens to the litter box as early as three weeks old. At this time, they should get well-acquainted with their private bathroom so they learn the ropes. Cats are arguably the easiest domesticated animal to house-train because they do all the hard work for you. Most kittens are litter-trained by four weeks, but it can vary slightly depending on the cat. They have a natural desire to use the potty in an area where they can easily cover up their mess. Kittens usually learn most by watching their mama.
Generally, cats are spotless animals that take personal hygiene very seriously. They self-bathe, grooming their bodies all on their own. If you have a fully-grown cat that just started this behavior, you know that it isn’t related to litter training.
So, when your cat goes to the bathroom outside the box, it’s an obvious concern because it’s not normal. While issues like spraying can happen because of territorial marking, pooping has another cause entirely.
The 8 Reasons Why Your Cat Pooped on Bed
1. Cat Illness
If pooping on the bed is new behavior and there have been no recent changes in the household, consider an illness first. Some health problems are very time-sensitive, so knowing what to look for can help. There can be several medical reasons why your kitty has taken an interest in using your bed as a litter box. Here are some of the illnesses that might be the culprit.
- Intestinal Parasites: Issues like intestinal parasites can cause nasty side effects. Because worms can cause diarrhea or constipation, your cat might not be able to get to its litter box on time.
If you think gastrointestinal parasites might be to blame, you might look for other signs like:
If you make a vet trip and discover your kitty has intestinal parasites, they must take a deworming medication to kill off the problem. The specific treatment will depend on the species of parasites found. Some are easier to eradicate than others, so be sure to follow the vet’s instructions carefully.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome: IBS is a gastrointestinal condition that produces an extra-strong urge to eliminate with little notice. If your cat suffers from IBS, your bed probably isn’t the only place they poop when they can’t make it.
This condition usually appears in middle-aged to older cats, but it can happen at any age. There might not be an excellent way to pinpoint what causes it, but doctors believe it can be a combination of their diet, intestinal bacteria, and immune system health.
If your vet runs the necessary tests to determine your cat has IBS, they must create a health plan to reduce the signs. Usually, a vet will try a combination of dietary change, stress management, and prebiotics to see if the condition improves. Severe cases might need anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics.
Food Sensitivity: Like humans, cats can suffer from food allergies, and they can be tricky to sort out. Your cat will likely have to undergo food trials to eliminate certain ingredients in its diet. That can help your vet peg down which component is causing the sensitivity.
- Hyperthyroidism: A disease of the thyroid gland of cats where the thyroid becomes overactive and speeds up the cat’s metabolism. It causes food to move more quickly through the intestines, which can cause diarrhea. It also causes behavioral changes, and the cats become more active, aggressive, nervous, and vocal.
Luckily, most cats who develop hypothyroidism are over 12 years old. So, the likelihood of it happening to your cat is much less if they’re younger.
- Diabetes: Yes, even our beloved felines can get diabetes, and it can cause numerous side effects. The condition wouldn’t cause your cat to poop on your bed, but it can make them exhibit new, unwanted behaviors that can vary.
Your vet can run a few simple tests to rule out or confirm diabetes as a possibility.
- Liver Disease: When your cat develops liver disease, it will wreak havoc on otherwise typical aspects of their lives, including trips to the litter box. That’s because the changes it creates in the body can trigger behavioral changes and physical problems.
There is no at-home test for liver disease, but they must receive treatment. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian.
- Cancer: Don’t fret because it’s probably not cancer. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously if your cat is behaving oddly. Your vet will rule out many common health problems before they check into cancer.
Cancer can also mimic the signs of other illnesses. So, try not to self-research too much and get stressed out. Because cancer can be asymptomatic, blood tests (among other tests) will warn your vet.
2. Environmental Changes
Cats are creatures of habit. If things have been pretty routine around your household and then changed suddenly, it can cause bad behavior. Sometimes, your cat—much like a child—can’t process new information without acting out a little.
If you remember when the issue started, you might think of something that changed drastically—even if it wasn’t that big of a deal to you. It could be something as simple as reorganizing your bedroom. It can throw your cat off completely, making them do questionable things in response.
3. New Pets or Children
If you welcome a new addition to the household—human or animal —it may not go over well with your roommate. After all, you didn’t ask your cat if someone else could live with you. Your cat may be having a hard time adjusting to this significant change.
They might use your bed as a toilet, especially if the new pet or person stays in your room. This is more a cry for attention than a spiteful action—no matter how it might feel to you. Remember to make introductions slow and be patient with the process.
4. Untreated Cat Stress
If your kitty has an anxiety condition or high-stress level that you haven’t noticed before, it’s a sign to pay attention to. Cats can have atypical anxiety levels, being very sensitive to everyday stimuli. If you have a cat you might call “skittish,” nervousness could be the culprit.
If your cat started using your bed to poop, it could signal that something around their litter box stresses them out. Maybe you recently placed the litter box in the laundry room, and now they’re scared of that big, loud dryer.
5. Multi-Cat Households
Cats can be territorial or combative with other household felines. If they feel they need to make their statement, they might poop outside the litter box. Competition is real for cats. If they feel upset about the natural order, it can cause a battle to assume the alpha position.
Even though it isn’t your fault, your cat might be doing this toward other cats and not you.
6. Plain Old Spite
We’ve all been at the receiving end of our kitty’s scorn. It’s not a pretty place to be. If you have done something to upset your feline, you might want to rekindle the relationship. Your cat might be telling you that they disapprove of your new boyfriend. Or they might smell another animal on you when you come home—how dare you! You’ll want to explore the triggers so you can eliminate the problem.
7. Cat Litter Problems
If the litter you buy irritates your kitty’s skin or their allergies, they might not want to use the litter box. Look for other signs like sneezing, skin irritation, and watery eyes. Cats also hate dirty litter boxes. If you haven’t been keeping up with the cleaning like you usually do, this could be their way of signaling that it needs to happen more.
8. Cat Habit
Once your cat has used the bathroom in an area, it can be a real pain trying to remove the scent. Even when you can’t smell it anymore, your cat can. Now that they’ve used your comforter as their toilet, they might think they can go there whenever they please. If it’s become a habit, try using an enzymatic cleaner to neutralize the smell.
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Stop Cat Defecating on Bed
If your cat is pooping on the bed and you can’t figure out why you can try a few things to find the root cause.
- Look for Other Signs
There might be other odd behaviors going on that you might have overlooked. Make a list of other, if any, signs your cat is displaying. Try to investigate the possible causes first to see if something has changed.
- Eliminate Potential Triggers
If you know the cause, you need to find a way to accommodate your cat. If they’re scared of a new household member or don’t like their new litter, they’re counting on you to solve it.
Try to eliminate one thing at a time. Once they stop pooping after you change a few things, you can discover the original trigger.
- Keep Your Cat Out of Your Room Unattended
Make sure you shut your bedroom door when you’re not in it. That way, they really can’t poop on your bed. If the habit continues in other inappropriate places, you can visit a vet.
- Use Kitty-Safe Sprays
There are certain smells that your kitty would rather stay away from completely. You can make your own spray bottle at home by mixing citrus juice (orange, lime, lemon) and water together. There are plenty of online, at-home suggestions for safe cat-repelling sprays.
- Maintain the Litter box
Cats don’t like dirty litter boxes. If you wait too long to clean it out, your cat will find other places to go. To avoid that, clean the litter box once or twice a day, depending on the number of cats.
- Make a Vet Appointment
To be safe, take your cat to the veterinarian for an examination. Realistically, there could be something you’re overlooking that could be serious. To err on the side of caution, get your kitty examined to rule out anything more significant.
Summary: Cat Pooping on Bed
Now that you have a pretty good idea about what could cause this behavior, it’s time to work on trying out new methods. Just know that there is a solution to every bad action. You might not be able to pinpoint an exact reason, and that’s why it’s crucial to work closely with your vet to determine the cause.
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Featured Image Credit: Paul Hanaoka, Unsplash