Cat Peeing on the Bed? Find Out Why and What You Can do.

cat-pee-bed 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.

How to Choose a Cat Litter Both You and Your Kitty Will Love

Change that cat litter!

Is Your Cat Litter Doing its Job?

Walk into a pet store or just browse the pet products aisle of your local supermarket, and chances are you’ll be confronted with at least five different types of cat litter, if not 10 or 15. All of them claim to be the least messy, least smelly, and the best for your cat’s health.

With all that competition, it’s hard to know which one your cat will prefer. While it’s tempting to just grab the cheapest one or whatever happens to be on sale, choosing a cat litter that way could leave you with a cat who prefers to use the living room carpet instead. Taking the time to find a type both you and your cat are content with helps prevent little “accidents” like this.

Know Your Litters

Each type of cat litter has its pros and cons. Often, the type your cat prefers depends on some factor unique to her. For instance…

  • The declawed cat you adopted may prefer a softer litter, such as one made of corn or wheat.
  • Your former outdoor kitty may like a handful of dirt mixed into the box.
  • A long-haired cat will want something that won’t stick to her fur.
  • Your cat may simply not like the powerful odor of scented litter, but will happily use unscented.

Fortunately, you have a number of options.

Natural Clay  

This is the most common and usually the cheapest type of commercially available cat litter. Most (non feral) cats will use it, primarily because most have used it at some time when they were kittens. The downside of this litter is the silica dust it produces, which can cause lung problems in your cat. Inhaling that dust when you clean the box isn’t especially healthy for you, either.

Clumping Litter

The bentonite clay in this litter allows it to absorb liquids and swell, forming a clump that’s easy to scoop out. It’s convenient and many vets recommend it for adult cats, but only for adult cats.

Never use clumping litter with kittens younger than six months. Kittens tend to ingest litter when they clean their paws after using the box. Once inside the kitten’s digestive tract, the litter will swell just as it does in the litter box and can cause a potentially fatal intestinal blockage.

Crystalline Silica 

Just like clay litters, silica litter produces silica dust. To make matters worse, when your cat ingests it (by licking it offer her paws), it absorbs water and nutrients the cat needs for optimal health. This litter is less than ideal and some pet care professionals are wary of its safety. In any case, steer clear of silica litter if you have kittens or if your adult cat has any health issues. 

Plant Products

More recently, a number of plant-based litters have appeared on the market. You’ll find litters made of pine, cedar, corn and wheat. Produced by eco-conscious companies, these litters are typically free of preservatives, dyes, and perfumes. Even so, they’re formulated to control odors so they won’t sink up the house.

Some cats prefer the softer texture of these litters. Not all cats take to them right away, but most can get used to them. Those who don’t may be put off my the natural scents, particularly with cedar, or the texture, so you’ll want to find a brand more suitable for your individual cat.

Tips for Switching Brands with No Accidents

If you’ve been having problems with your cat not using the box and you’ve decided to try a new litter, offer the new litter for at least two weeks. Your cat may need a little time to get used to the new scent.

If you’re currently using a litter your cat likes, but you want to change for health or ecological reasons, make the change a little at a time. After you clean the litter box, first fill the box with a layer of the new litter, then spread a thinner layer of the old litter on top. With each litter box cleaning, increase the amount of new litter, while decreasing the old.

Once you find a litter both you and your cat are happy with, stick with it. Cats are sensitive to change and a sudden change in litters could put the cat off the box. Switching brands in an attempt to save a little could cost you more in both time and money if your cat stops using the box and wets on the floor instead.

For more on choosing a safe, effective cat litter that meets your cat’s individual needs, check outCat Urine Problems Eliminated.

Is My Cat Peeing on the Floor Because He’s Mad at Me?

The short answer is…no.

This is NOT why your cat wet on the floor!

The long answer is that you may have done something to upset the cat and, in effect, caused the inappropriate urination behavior.

From a human perspective, wetting on someone’s floor or furniture sounds like a reasonable form of passive-aggressive revenge for a creature that can’t talk and only weighs nine pounds.

The story usually goes something like this: your cat jumped on the counter for the third time two minutes after you shooed him down, you got frustrated and shouted or maybe chased him out of the room. Later that day, you find a wet spot on your carpet. Clear case of her getting back at you, right?

Except from a cat’s perspective, that doesn’t make much sense.

Two Reasons Cats Don’t Pee for Revenge

1) Cats don’t necessarily get angry for the same reasons people do. Scolding is a good example. If you yell at your cat for doing something wrong, he may have no idea why you’re being so loud and dramatic. He’s likely to become anxious and scared of your strange behavior. (Will you attack? Will you bite?) That stress causes unusual behavior like peeing outside the little box.

2) Cats don’t mind their own pee that much. Sure, they won’t eat food near the litter box and (usually) don’t pee near their favorite sleeping places, but they are willing to use it for territory marking. They don’t see why you “have to” clean it up. They’re not disgusted by it and probably wouldn’t expect you to be, either.

To a cat, urinating is just a bodily function for either waste elimination or marking. It’s unlikely it would ever occur to a cat that you would consider his urine to be a weapon.

A Case in Point

My Dad had a cat whom he swore did indeed take revenge. He claimed whenever he or my step-mom scolded the cat, the cat would go into their bedroom and either claw a hole into the waterbed or open a drawer and pull out all the socks and undies. Whoever scolded the cat was the one who ended up with a hole in their side of the bed or their unmentionables all over the floor.

Now maybe it was just illusory correlation on my dad’s part, but it’s the clearest case of feline vengeance I’ve ever heard. But if the cat really was taking revenge, notice she wasn’t doing it by wetting. She did it by messing up their space. The unpleasantness of a ruined favorite sleeping place is definitely something a cat can understand. The unpleasantness of cat-pee smell, not so much.

How to Stop Apparent “Revenge Peeing”

The best way to stop it depends, of course, on what you think your cat is angry about.

If your cat’s jumping on counters, scratching furniture, picking on other cats or doing something else she shouldn’t, a firm “No!” or “Stop!” is enough. Usually. If it isn’t, try the spritz-of-water technique. Shouting, waving your arms, stomping your feet and swatting at the cat is excessive and likely to scare the cat, which can lead to inappropriate urination.

While dogs understand the concept of “punishment,” cats aren’t so clear on it. For cats, rewards are the important things. If you’re having trouble with training, you’ll probably have better luck rewarding good behavior and making minimal fuss over the bad.

Think kitty’s ticked off because you were gone too long or you’ve been coming home late? Try to fit in a little more playtime. Two fifteen-minute play sessions a day suits most cats. If the wetting happens when you spend several days away, especially if the wet spots appear on your bed or clothes, the problem could be separation anxiety.

So go easy on your cat. She’s not trying to get revenge, she’s just a little freaked out.

Need more tips on stopping your cat’s inappropriate urination or getting rid of that nasty cat pee smell for good? Check out Cat Urine Problems Eliminated.

Top 4 Myths About Why Cats Urinate in the House

Like with any other aspect of pet care, there are a lot of myths surrounding the problem of cats urinating in the house, whether on floors, furniture, clothing, beds or elsewhere. Part of the problem comes from false assumptions that cats think and behave like dogs or people. Since cats don’t come with an owner’s manual (or telepathic abilities), it’s an easy mistake to make.

Another part comes from the sheer frustration of people dealing with creatively piddling kitties. When it feels like you’ve tried everything to solve the problem, it’s tempting to grasp at semi-logical straws to explain why your cat’s peeing in the house. But those desperate explanations don’t solve the problem.

If you’re having trouble figuring out why your cat’s going everywhere but where she should, you may have fallen victim to one of these common myths:

Myth #1. My Cat is Angry at Me

Sure, cats get angry, but that doesn’t mean Continue reading

Top 5 Possible Reasons Your Cat is Peeing in Your House

One of the things that makes cat urine problems so difficult to solve is that fact that there are so many potential causes. The good news is that cats don’t pee on the floor for the sheer joy of it or because they want to tick off the humans. They naturally prefer to use just one spot for their business, so when a cat starts going all over the place, something is wrong. Your job is to find out what. That takes some patience and some experimentation, but you can do it.

Below are some of the most common reasons cats stop using the litter box and start urinating on the carpet, furniture, and elsewhere.

Of course, not all these reasons apply to every cat. It is possible, though, that two or three apply. So you may suspect your cat has a medical issue, take her to the vet and find out you were right. But then even after that issue has been treated, kitty still continues to wet on the floor. Clearly there’s another underlying cause.

The secondary problem could be a poor diet that caused the original health issue or stress from undergoing medical treatment. Or it could be something completely unrelated, like the fact that your cat doesn’t like his litter box being next to the big scary washing machine or he’s stressed out by the new dog next door.

If your cat’s taken to urinating in the house, here are some possible reasons:

1. Health problems

Health problems that cause inappropriate urinatation range from Continue reading

Why Do Cats Pee On Furniture? Find Out So You Can Solve the Problem!

Understanding the root causes of why cats pee on furniture is essential if you’re ever going to get your cat to stop piddling on your sofa, armchairs, ottomans, beds, computer desk, coffee tables and just about everything else. First of all, cats may exhibit a change in urination behavior due to a health problem, so you’ll need to take your cat in for a check up as soon as possible. For example, peeing on the bed is often a sign of a urinary tract infection in cats. Prompt care is vital because some urinary tract conditions can turn fatal quickly.

Stress and Behavior Problems

If your cat is spraying, rather than just urinating, on the furniture, it’s a sure sign of stress over a perceived threat. That said, even ordinary urinating can be a way of marking territory and warding off a threat or securing the area. What humans see as harmless, a cat may regard as threatening, so you’ll want to consider all the factors that can cause stress in cats.

Loneliness and separation anxiety also come into play here. Furniture–especially absorbent, frequently used furniture like sofas, beds and armchairs–carry the scent of the people who use them. The cat may urinate on these items in order to Continue reading

Potty Training Cats: Techniques and Tips for Effective Training

teacher-cat “Potty training” or “housebreaking” cats is something of a misnomer. In most cases, you don’t really need to toilet train a house cat because the cat’s instincts along with training from their mothers lead them to choose only one place for their elimination needs.

If an indoor kitten is shown that the litter box is the appropriate bathroom area in the house, she’ll use that area and only that area. Of course, certain problems can interfere with the natural order of things and there may be times you need to help your kitty learn to keep her “business” in the box.

Training Kittens

Mother cats typically teach their kittens to use the litter box, so there’s no need for human interference. Sometimes, though, when the kittening box is far from the litter box or the house is full of activity, the mother may not feel safe taking her kittens to the litter box. Instead, she lets them do their business right there in the kittening box where they sleep.

The kittens then learn to pee on the bedding in the kittening box and may continue to wet on your bedding or furniture when they’re older. And naturally, orphaned kittens need a little help from humans to understand what the litter box is all about. In these cases, the process for potty training kittens is similar to the process for adult cats.

One thing to avoid is Continue reading