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Why is my cat peeing on my bed? The real truth (and how to stop this gross habit)

Causes and solutions for when your cat pees where you sleep

No one likes to ask, “Why is my cat peeing on my bed?” Noticing that your cat peed on your fresh-out-of-the-washing-machine sheets is of the most irritating things they can do. There are a lot of different reasons besides your cat just being a jerk that explain 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 stop this unwanted behavior.

While many believe the primary reason cats pee on the bed is because they’re just being sassy, this is usually not the case. Read on to learn why your cat has picked up this undesirable habit and what you can do to put an end to it.

Striped cat sitting on bed in bedroom

Why do cats pee on the bed?

Whether it’s related to medical issues, it’s a serious problem that you should stop your cat from doing. First, you have to determine the cause of the behavior. Some of the most common reasons cats pee on the bed include:

  • An underlying medical condition. A urinary tract infection, diabetes, and kidney disease are the top three reasons your cat may have difficulty controlling its 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’s important to bring your cat to the vet immediately if you notice this behavior.
  • Stress and anxiety. When cats become overwhelmed and stressed, they sometimes use urination as a coping mechanism. Your cat may be stressed or anxious about various factors that will cause them to pee outside of the litter box.
  • Attachment issues. Since your natural scent fills your bed, your cat probably finds it very comforting when you’re away. If you have a kitty that doesn’t like to be apart, they may urinate on your bed to combine their scent with your scent for comfort.
  • Jealousy. Adding a new cat, dog, or even a baby to the home could create jealous feelings in your cat and 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 the poop often enough or their litter box isn’t the right size, your cat will avoid the litter box entirely if they don’t feel comfortable using it. Cats are highly particular and might protest the litter box’s location, the type of box, and even the type of litter.
  • They aren’t fixed. A cat that isn’t spayed or neutered may spray and mark furniture, walls, and carpets. They’re more likely to mark surfaces than fixed cats. In this case, the solution is easy — call your vet and make an appointment to get your cat spayed or neutered.
Large cat lying on a bed in the bedroom

What can you do to stop your cat from peeing on the bed?

The best way to stop this behavior is to find the cause. Usually, the reason is some kind of underlying medical condition. Because of this, the first step should always be to check with your veterinarian. If your veterinarian clears your cat 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 provide the perfect conditions for your cat.
  • Find any outside stressors that may be causing your cat anxiety.
  • Make the bed an unattractive place with unappealing scents or a scat mat.
  • Encourage litter box use with treats as positive reinforcement.
Gray cat lying on a white comforter on a bed

Answering the question, “Why does my cat pee on my bed?” is just the first step. In addition to addressing the specific issue causing your cat to pee on the bed, you’ll need to take steps to help your kitty “reset.” Start by thoroughly cleaning your bedding, so 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 it isn’t a litter box.

Underlying medical conditions or stress can cause your cat to urinate on your bed. While this behavior is frustrating, unsanitary, and pretty gross, it can signify that your cat needs help. If this behavior arises, bringing your cat to the veterinarian for further diagnosis is essential. It may be the most effective way to resolve the issue. If your cat has no medical problems, this type of activity could simply be a behavioral issue that needs addressing. Either way, getting to the bottom of your cat’s inappropriate urination will ensure a healthier and happier home for both of you.

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