(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you, and I appreciate any support. You can read more about affiliate links here)
Help! My Cat Is Peeing On The Bed!
Inappropriate urination would have to be one of the most common behavioral problems people have with their cats. It is of course extremely hard for an owner to understand why this happens, let alone deal with it.
We received a plea for help on our FaceBook page “my cat is peeing on the bed”. And I have posted the question and my answer below.
My Cat Is Urinating On The Bed
Alisha wrote: Need help/ideas for my cat. She kept urinating on the bed so I eventually bought Illness detecting litter; and it turned blue. So I took her to the vet and she said she was fine it’s just behavioral.
So we put her on amitriptyline. If I put it in her mouth she would hide it and spit it out 95% of the time. If I crushed it in her food even wet or treats anything she would not eat it.
So she went on the bed twice in this time. So we started locking her out of the bedroom. Now we set mouse traps on the bed with a sheet over them to keep her off the bed all had been well. Until we got a new couch she has peed on it twice now. The spots I just found where three huge huge spots and all still wet. So they must be from today.
I don’t know what to do and we are newlywed college students who just can’t afford another vet bill. I want to contact the place we got her from and see if they will help. But I’m almost to the point where she might need a different home if ours isn’t working for her .
We have an Alaskan malamute puppy who I think might cause her high stress and I don’t know if she is getting enough attention now that she doesn’t snuggle with us all night.
I am wondering if the vet missed something but I’m at the point I can’t afford to take care of her right. I don’t know what to do. Anyone have any suggestions.
I need to pick her up a second litter box and find a place to put it. The vet said she is in perfect heath but all she did was a urinalysis and physical check up. Help, my cat is peeing on the bed! Thanks in advance.
Here Is My Reply:
The Steps to Solving Cat Litterbox Problems:
1) Veterinary Check Up.
This is to first eliminate any possible health problems that may be causing your cat’s inappropriate choice of where to pee. In your case, you have already done this – and it seems as though the vet thinks it is an anxiety problem, from what she has prescribed.
2) The Litterbox Itself
Ensure the litterbox is placed in a quiet place, and is always clean and easily accessible for the cat. Also, add more litter boxes – temporarily … see below.
3) Add Litter Boxes
Where possible add a few extra temporary litter boxes, and especially near to the accident area. Once your cat is going in the litter box again, you can slowly move the ones she is using closer to where you want the permanent spot to be.
And also, start removing the extra ones. The idea here is to make it really, REALLY easy for your cat to go in the right place, so she starts building up a reliable habit again.
4) Change The Litter
Try changing to a different substrate. For example, if you currently use a crystal litter – try changing to a wood or paper-based litter. You cat may be objecting to what is underneath her feet, the smell of the litter, or the feel of it.
5) Eliminate Stressors
Try and figure out what, if anything, may be stressing your cat out. This may be a new addition to the household, strange cats appearing outside, new noises. Where it is possible, remove the stressor – and also take steps to de-sensitize the cat. Natural anxiety treatments can often help a lot with calming your cat’s emotions down, such as Feliway.
6) Remove All Urine Traces.
It is very necessary to thoroughly clean any areas where your cat has had mishaps with an proper enzymatic cleaner. This includes bedding, mattresses and soft furnishings.
*** This is extremely important! Even though we clean up where little accidents happen and think it is all gone, there still remains the enzymes there that cats can smell, as they have a very powerful sense of smell. So they think this is where they are allowed to go again.
You will need to buy a product specially for removing urine odors with enzymes in it to break down and remove the urine proteins deep in the surfaces. I recommend this enzymatic cleaner. Most pet shops should have a similar product. Make sure to read all of the instructions and use it exactly as it says.
7) Deter The Cat
Where there has been any accidents, put deterrents or totally block access for at least a month (preferably longer) to break your cat’s habit of using that area. I don’t recommend using anything that will scare your cat – as stress is one of the things that is probably causing inappropriate peeing. So you do not want to add to that stress in any way. Just block her access where possible.
For example … if your cat is peeing on the bed, keep all the bedroom doors closed. If she is peeing or pooping on soiled laundry, put the laundry in a basket with a lid. If your cat is peeing on the couch, keep something on there that she doesn’t like stepping on … such as a piece of aluminum foil, or a mat with a prickly surface.
8) Lots of Love
Make sure to give the cat lots of extra attention and play time on a regular basis. Build up her self-confidence and sense of worth. If you think your cat is being stressed by a new family member or pet, then make sure to include them in the play-time. Start with them a little way a way, and gradually move them closer, stopping immediately and backing off slightly if your cat shows any signs of stress at the close proximity.
8) De-Stress Your Cat
Try one or more of the natural methods of calming anxiety in your cat. Try Feliway, both of these often produce very good results.
In your case, Alisha, I think it is highly likely that the addition of your lively new puppy is the trigger of your cats litter box problems. If you don’t have one already, I would recommend getting (or making) a scratching post with a very tall place she can feel safe on. One with a bed or little enclosure right at the top where the puppy can’t reach would help her to feel safe, while still being able to watch what is going on.
Over time, this will help her acclimatize to the noise and activity, and build up her confidence in dealing with her new housemate.
I hope this helps, and you go on to have a reliably well toilet-trained kitty once again.