Finding out you’re lying on sheets soaked in cat pee may be the only time you’re awake in bed and wanted to have a nightmare. But, unfortunately, cat urination on your mattress is one of those dilemmas that some pet parents are dealing with.
There may be some reasons why your cat urinates on your bed. When a cat urinates wherever other than in its litter box, the first step, the owner should take is to have a vet do a physical exam and relevant diagnostic tests, including the urine test to make sure he doesn’t have an underlying medical problem. When you have a bladder infection, for example, your cat may associate pain or discomfort with your litter box. The cat can choose another position. If the test, urine test, and other diagnostic tests are normal, then we need to determine why the cat is selecting the owner’s bed.
Anxiety is often the culprit
Most of the time when a client asks me about the inappropriate urination of their cat in their bed, I can usually identify an anxiety-related question. We seek to identify stressors that contribute to the cat’s inappropriate behavior. Is there a problem with the litter box, the location of the box or substrate (a type of garbage) that is causing the cat to deviate from the designated toilet area? Or are we dealing with a social problem, any tension in the relationship with the keeper or with another cat, family member or pet in the house?
First, we need to evaluate the conditions of the litter box. How often is the litter box clean? A sandbox should be cleaned at least once a day. (Think about how you feel when you go to the bathroom and someone doesn’t wash after using the toilet.) Make sure you are providing the most perfect stretcher, box type and location for your cat’s grooming area. When the perfect stretcher may vary according to a cat’s individual preferences, previous studies have indicated that most cats prefer the substrate finely to the soil, such as clay agglomeration. Although manufacturers may make a scented stretcher attractive to humans, some cats may prefer the unscented stretcher.
Look at the size of the sandbox, are you supplying a large enough box? The general recommendation is 1:30 times the length of the cat’s body (not including the tail). I always go with the best and often have my cat owners use plastic storage boxes instead of traditional sandboxes. (Simply remove the lid and cut a small opening on the side.) Many cats prefer a tray of sand that has no lid. The caps are often designed to appeal to an owner’s preference to keep the contents of the sandbox out of sight and content. If the owner is concerned about the litter of cat pulling on the edges, he can buy boxes of uncovered sand with high sides (unless he owns an older arthritic cat that may have more difficulty is climbing the high sides). Although some cats may have a preference for covered boxes, keep in mind that in nature, cats do not choose to remove them in caves.
When I make a consultation for an inappropriate urination problem, I usually recommend offering two sandboxes placed next to each other and then changing a look, such as removing the lid or switching to a different type of trash in the second box. In this way, we can determine the true preference of the cat. Usually, when a cat looked good with a litter box, but suddenly finds it intolerable, it wasn’t really happy with the preceding arrangement in the first place.
Where’s the sandbox located? Are you in a high pedestrian traffic area where the cat can be disturbed during the removal? Are you at a distance from where you spend most of your time? If the box offers very little privacy or is too far away and the cat wants to make a great effort to get there, you can choose an alternate place for removal. The ruler is a stretcher tray per cat plus one, especially if your house is large or has several floors.
Find comfort in your duvet
Some cats urinate on their owner’s beds if owners work long hours or travel. Occasionally inappropriate episodes occur when an owner is out of the house or out of town, or the cat can wait until the owner returns home. It’s a cat’s way of communicating how unhappy or stressed he’s been through his absence. Sometimes a cat can urinate at the bedside of the person with which the cat has a conflict. I saw this happen when an owner brings home a new partner or a housemate moves and the cat is not immediately accepting the new person in his life. Sometimes a movement can be a catalyst to urinate on the bed. These various scenarios can be stressors for the cat, and the cat may want to mix its own aroma with the smell of the owner in bed. It is significant to remember that the cat is not being “Rancoroso ” If this happens — it is simply that mixing these smells can be comforting to the cat. Because it can be difficult to identify exactly what is causing cat anxiety, it is significant to work with a veterinarian or veterinary behaviorist to determine the cause and to determine the right steps to help remedy the situation.
Another strategy that sometimes employment is for the owner to start a special game or treat time in bed where the cat urinated. The goal here is to change the association for the cat of a possible latrine or marking the area to a place of fun and/or eat because most cats usually do not pee where they eat.
When you are solving the problem, you can restrict access to the bed by keeping the room door closed, or try putting a litter box in the room, although often the behavior will continue even if a stretcher tray is nearby. Sometimes, this problem can be easily solved by providing the appropriate or preferred grooming conditions to the cat to encourage you to use the stretcher tray again, or by removing all the attractive bedding material from the bed. At other times, however, the problem may be more complicated and you need further evaluation of a trained behavior consultant. The essential thing to keep in mind as you face the situation is that your cat is easy trying to tell you something, and it’s up to you, with the right help, trying to figure out what it is.