Why cats pee on your bed and how to stop it

Your cat peeing on your fresh-out-of-the-washing-machine, newly clean sheets may just be one of the most irritating things they can do. There are a lot of different reasons behind your cat just being a jerk that explains why they would do such a thing. Understanding the “why” will help you figure out what is really going on inside of your furry feline’s head, so you can then determine how to discipline your cat.

While many believe that the main reason cats pee on the bed is primarily because they’re trying to be their sassy selves, this is usually not the case. There are a plethora of reasons as to why your cat has picked up this unsightly behavior.

Striped cat sitting on bed in bedroom

Why is your cat peeing on your bed?

Whether it’s related to medical issues or not, it is a serious problem that should be stopped. First, however, you have to get to the root cause of the behavior. Some of the most common causes of cats peeing on the bed include:

  • Underlying medical condition. A urinary tract infection, diabetes, and kidney disease are the top three reasons why your cat may have difficulty controlling their bladder. This may be the case in cats that not only urinate on your bed but also in other places besides their litter box. It is important to bring your cat to the vet immediately if you begin to notice this type of behavior.
  • Stress and anxiety. When cats become overwhelmed and stressed, they can sometimes use urination as a coping mechanism. Your cat may be stressed or anxious about a variety of different factors that will cause them to pee in places other than the litter box — like your bed.
  • Attachment issues to their owner. Since your bed is filled with your natural scents, your cat probably finds it to be very comforting when you’re away. If you have a kitty that doesn’t like to be a part, they may urinate on your bed to combine their scent with your scent for comfort.
  • Jealousy. Adding a new cat, dog, or even baby to the home could create some jealous feelings in your cat. Any new animal, in particular, may cause your cat to feel threatened. They will want to mark their territory, and your bed may be the prime spot for this behavior.
  • Unappealing litter box conditions. If your cat’s litter box isn’t up to their standards, they may urinate in your bed to let you know. Whether you haven’t been scooping out their poop often enough or their litter box isn’t the right size, your cat will avoid the litter box completely if they don’t feel comfortable using it. Cats are highly particular, and they might protest the litter box’s location, the type of box, and even the type of litter.
  • He or she isn’t fixed. A cat who isn’t spayed or neutered may spray and mark furniture, walls, and carpets. They’re more likely to mark surfaces than pets who are fixed. In this case, the solution is easy — call your vet and make an appointment to get your pet spayed or neutered.
Large cat lying on bed in bedroom
Kristen Prahl/Shutterstock.com

What can you do to stop this behavior?

The best thing to do to stop this type of behavior is to first find the root cause. Usually, the cause is some kind of underlying medical condition. Because of this, the first step should always be to check with your veterinarian. If your cat is cleared of any medical ailments, you can try some of these tactics to help keep your bed clean:

  • Tire your cat out with long playtimes to reduce anxiety and stress
  • Prioritize cuddle time, so your cat feels loved and secure
  • Ensure your cat’s litter box is always clean
  • Try out new litter boxes and litter box locations to ensure the perfect conditions for your cat
  • Find any outside stressors that may be causing anxiety in your cat
  • Make the bed an unattractive place for peeing with unappealing scents or a scat mat
  • Encourage litter box use with treats as positive reinforcement

Answering the question “Why does my cat pee on my bed?” is just the first step. In addition to addressing the specific issue that’s causing your cat to pee on the bed, you’ll need to take some steps to help your kitty “reset.” Start by thoroughly cleaning your bedding so that it no longer smells like pee. Next, you may need to cover the bed with something unattractive, like a plastic tarp or shower curtain. Your cat won’t like the texture, and the cover can help protect your bed while your cat learns that it isn’t a litter box.

There are oftentimes underlying medical issues or stress that cause your cat to urinate on your bed. While this behavior is frustrating, unsanitary, and pretty gross, it can be a sign that your cat needs help. Whenever this behavior arises, it is important to bring your cat to the veterinarian for further diagnosis. It may be the most effective way to resolve this issue. If your cat has no medical issues, this type of activity could simply be a behavioral issue that needs some fixing. Either way, getting to the bottom of your cat’s peeing problem will ensure a more healthy and happy lifestyle for both of you.

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