Few things are worse than walking into your bedroom ready to snuggle up in your fresh, spring-sunshine-scented sheets only to find a big, yellow wet spot waiting for you. Not only do you have to pull off the wet sheets and throw them in the laundry, you may even have to clean the mattress.
If this happens too often, you’ll end up with a lingering cat pee odor on the bed, which is as unhealthy as it is unpleasant. A cat peeing on the bed isn’t an uncommon situation and there are usually clear reasons for it which can be managed so don’t you have to deal with those nasty messes anymore.
Potential Cause #1: Urinary Tract Problems
Lots of things that can go wrong with a cat’s lower urinary tract. Urinary tract conditions are one of the most common health problems in cats and, not surprisingly, one of the most common reasons cats are brought to the vet.
Collectively, these issues are known as feline lower urinary tract disease, or FLUTD. This term encompasses disorders or diseases that affect the lower urinary tract (bladder or urethra) and includes feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC), bladder stones or crystals, and bladder infections. A true urinary tract infection of the kind humans get is possibly, but these are relatively rare in cats and are more common in cats over age 10.
All of these conditions cause pain when the cat tries to urinate. The cat starts to associate that pain with the litter box. In attempt the relieve the pain, she looks for some softer, squishier alternative to the litter box’s scratchy sand. That place is very often a bed.
That means if your cat is peeing on the bed when she’s never done so before, it’s time for a call to the vet as soon as possible. If your male cat is straining to urinate, call immediately because this could be a potentially fatal situation.
Chances are you’ll need to bring her in for examination, but keep in mind it could be critical to your cat’s health and well-being. And you can take some comfort in the fact that it’s still cheaper than having to constantly wash (and replace) your sheets and eventually replace the mattress.
Potential Cause #2: Separation Anxiety
Despite their reputation for being aloof and their highly refined skills at ignoring us, cats actually do get quite emotionally attached to the people and other animals in the household. When one of those household members isn’t around as often as usual, the cat quite naturally misses them.
In attempt to get close to them, she seeks out things that smell like the person she miss. And few things carry a person’s scent like their bed and clothes. The cat wets on the bed or clothes in attempt to mix her scent with the “missing” person’s to create a sense of closeness. And now you have a cat who’s peeing on the bed.
Keep in mind, separation anxiety can happen due to situations that you might not even notice. It doesn’t only happen when the cat’s favorite person leaves the household for days. Other potential causes are:
- A change in your schedule (eg. coming home later)
- Decreased attention (Maybe you’ve been busy and distracted)
- A change in who feeds and cleans up after the cat
Essentially, once your vet has ruled out health problems, consider any reason the cat might feel separated from the person whose bed she’s been wetting on. If it’s not possible for that person to spend more time with the cat, give the cat something else that smells like them. An old t-shirt they’ve slept in for several nights in a row is a good choice. The cat might pee on that item, too, so when you first give it to that cat, place it on plastic or an easily washable surface.
If your cat has has already left a few wet surprises around the house, there are ways to get rid of the odor and get your cat back to using the litter box normally again. In Cat Urine Problems Eliminated, I’ve covered 11 different reasons your cat might have urination issues, given guidelines for solving these issues, and including both homemade and store-bought solutions for getting rid of those nasty lingering odors.