When you catch your cat peeing on the bed, your first reaction may be to get angry or want to try to discipline the culprit. Instead of getting mad, consider investigating why your cat is behaving this way. There are three common reasons for your cat to urinate outside of it's litterbox:
- Your cat could have a medical problem.
- Your cat is trying to tell you something.
- Your cat is struggling with anxiety.
What About a Medical Problem?
When you catch your cat peeing on the bed, you should take your cat to the vet. The vet can do a physical exam and a number of relative diagnostic tests to determine whether your kitty has a bladder infection, or another issue. When your cat has a bladder infection, it hurts to use the litter box, and they may try to find another place to go.
If the results come back and your cat does not have a bladder infection, it's time to investigate two other options that could be causing this behavior.
What is My Cat Trying to Tell me?
Are you cleaning the litter box on a regular basis? Think about how grossed out you feel if you walk into a bathroom and the previous user forgot to flush. Cats feel the same way!
You should be cleaning out the litter box at least once a day. If you've been slacking on your litter box duties, step up your household chores and see if the problem stops. You may also want to consider an automatic cat litter box.
Make sure that you are using a cat litter that your kitty likes. If you've switched recently, this may be your cats way of showing their dislike.
Studies show that cats prefer a clumping clay litter the best. Consider getting a brand like Precious Cat Clumping Litter, Fragrance Free. The fragrance in litter is to please humans, not cats. Imagine stepping into a box that smells like your grandmother's perfume, unpleasant, right?
Take a look at the size of your litter box. They recommend the box should be big enough for your cat to turn around and do the hokey pokey inside (about one and a half times as the length of your cat). Does your box have a lid on it? Some cats prefer not to be trapped in their own stink.
Consider getting a litter box with really tall sides like the Iris High Sided Litter box. This helps keep the litter inside the box, if your cat is a litter kicker and keeps fresh air in the area.
Is the litter box in a high trafficked area? Cats like their privacy, just like we do. If the box is where a lot of people pass by, or near loud appliances like washing machines and dryers, it may not be the ideal pooping place! Look for a quiet place that is convenient for your cat to get to.
What About Anxiety Issues?
If the state of the litter box isn't the culprit, take a look at how your life may be affecting your cat. Cats are finicky creatures and changes in their daily routine can give them stress. Think about anything in you and your cat's life that has recently changed.
Have you been working late? Or, going out of town? When your cat urinates on your bed, it could be your cat's way of communicating that they are unhappy with how often you're gone.
If you recently moved to a new house or apartment, this may be stressing out your cat as well. Perhaps, you have a new housemate. If your cat has a conflict with the new roommate they may pee on the side of the bed. You can try to initiate play time or give them affection in the bed of question. That way your cat associates positive activity with your bed.
You can try feeding your cat near your bed. Cats won't want to pee where they eat, so eliminate the option by bringing cat food or treats in your room.
Sometimes it's best to not allow your cat in the room with your bed until you have the problem resolved. Plus, less bedding that you have to wash in the future!
What Else Can You Do?
Cats are finicky creatures and changes in their daily routine can give them stress. Think about anything in you and your cat's life that has recently changed. The most important thing is to not get mad at your cat and remember they aren't being spiteful towards you.
Consider getting in touch with a cat behaviorist if problems persist.