If you come home to find a damp patch of cat pee on your bed, it can be pretty frustrating. But rather than get annoyed with your kitty, you should figure out exactly why they might be using your bed instead of their litter tray. We rounded up six reasons that your cat might be peeing on your bed.
1. They have a medical condition
Urinating outside the litter tray can often be a sign of a medical problem. So, if your cat is peeing on your bed or anywhere else they shouldn’t, the first thing to do is make an appointment for them to see a vet.
Kidney disease, urinary tract infections, or diabetes can all cause problems for cats. Either they simply can’t make it to the litter tray in time, or they’ve developed a dislike of using their litter tray. Whichever it is, medical problems that affect your cat’s urinary tract require immediate vet attention.
2. They may be anxious or stressed
If your cat has been cleared of any medical conditions, the next thing to consider is if they’re anxious or stressed. Despite their aloof demeanor, cats are sensitive souls and prone to becoming stressed from environmental or personal factors.
Competing for resources can make cats stressed, so if you have multiple cats and not enough places for them to eat, drink, and do their business, they may be getting stressed. It’s always a good idea to have one extra of everything. If you have three cats, make sure there are four water bowls, four food bowls, and four litter trays, all positioned separately around the house. That way, whatever each cat wants, there’s always a spare!
Living in a loud or busy household when they’re used to peace and quiet can also increase your cat’s anxiety levels. Moving home or adding another pet or human baby to the family can cause stress too. Even a neighbor getting a new cat or dog can cause anxiety levels to skyrocket, depending on your cat’s personality.
Considering what’s changed in your home environment is a good place to start when trying to reduce stress in your cat. You can add a pheromone diffuser to help your cat feel less stressed, speak to your vet, or seek help from a cat behaviorist.
3. Your cat might miss you
Some cats may pee on your bed as a way of trying to combine their scent with yours if you’re away from home for longer than usual. It’s weird but true!
4. They may not like the location of their litter box
Bedrooms are usually one of the quietest places in the house, so consider the location of your cat’s litter box in comparison. Most cats prefer to do their business in peace and quiet (which we can totally understand!), so if their litter box is in a high-traffic area, they may just not be comfortable using it.
Placing your cat’s litter box in a quiet area of the house that they’re comfortable spending time in will help encourage them to use it. Placing it next to appliances like furnaces or dryers that suddenly make loud noises can startle your cat, discouraging them from using the litter box.
Make sure the litter box isn’t placed in a corner, where your cat may feel trapped if another cat or your dog comes over to see what they’re doing.
It’s a good idea to place a few different litter boxes in a few locations around the house and pay attention to which ones seem more popular when you’re cleaning them out.
5. Your cat’s litter box is dirty
Cats are fastidious animals, and they don’t like having to use a dirty litter box. If you’ve been away all day and only have one litter box, your cat may decide to pee or poop somewhere else rather than use a dirty box.
Using an automatic and self-cleaning box can help solve this problem, as can having multiple litter trays for your cat to choose from.
6. Your cat doesn’t like the litter box or litter
Another thing to consider is that your cat simply doesn’t like the type of litter box that you have. Maybe it’s covered and too small for them to use comfortably. Some older cats can struggle to get into high-sided boxes, meaning they’ll look for somewhere else to go.
The type of litter you use is another consideration. Some cats find highly scented litters too overpowering, while others might not like the texture of the litter on their paws.
Try placing two litter boxes filled with different litters next to each other, and see which your cat prefers.
Remember when changing litter types, you must do so slowly over the course of a few days. Start mixing 75% old litter with 25% new, and gradually add more and more of the new litter until the change is complete.
If you have multiple cats, you may need to provide a range of different types of boxes, filled with different litters. It might sound like a ton of work, but compared to having to change stinky sheets on your bed, it’s preferable!
Your cat is not cross with you
Sometimes it can be easy for us to anthropomorphize our cats, and you might be tempted to think that your kitty is peeing on your bed because you stayed late at work or went away for the weekend.
In reality, cats just don’t think like that. Peeing on your bed is a sign that your cat is trying their best to cope with something, whether that’s a new feline housemate or a medical condition.
When cleaning up your cat’s pee, make sure to use an enzymatic cleaner to remove all traces of urine. Your bedspread may smell clean to you after a wash with regular detergent, but your cat will still be able to smell their scent. They may be tempted to pee again in the same place.
You might decide to keep your bedroom door closed when you’re away from home and only allow your cat to hang out on your bed when you’re there too.
Feeding treats and spending time playing on your bed with your cat may remove their association of using it as a place to pee. Cats don’t like to pee near their food, so switching their perspective of your bed from a place to pee to a place to eat can help.
Seek advice from your vet
If your cat is peeing on your bed, the first thing to do is speak to your vet and rule out medical conditions. Your cat may need medication or ongoing treatment.
Your vet may also be able to offer advice on how to help your cat cope with a change in their home environment, dealing with a new pet in the house, or moving.
Wrapping it up
There’s always a reason behind your cat peeing on your bed, from medical conditions to stress or the location of their litter box.
Working out the root of the problem will give you the best chance of figuring out how to help your cat. Be patient, and remember to spend plenty of time playing with and cuddling your cat when they get it right. Before long, those accidents on the bed will be a thing of the past.
Featured Image: Milada Vigerova, Pixabay