why does my cat pee on my bed?

lfinoAugust 11, 2007

My 7 year old, male, declawed cat started peeing on my bed in March. He is an only cat, although we do have a dog. They are best friends. He started this bad habit shortly after we had to put our 17 year old dog to sleep in early March. The following weekend my husband and I took a previously planned vacation. The cat has always been high strung. He'll carefully examine a dirty sock left on the floor for several minutes before passing it. I keep the bedroom door shut but occasionly it will get left open accidently. He figures it out every time. The UTI suggestion seems plausible, but would he have an infection for six months without noticing any other symptoms?

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Question about the dog. You said you currently have a dog. Also you had to have your 17 year old put down. I sympathize as I had to do that with a 16 yr companion. Anyway that means you have a new dog who arrived after the cat did right? You cat is acting out in a DOMINANT behavior. His previous friend is not there and he strictly objects to the new dog. Since your scent is on the bed he is reminding you that "hey I was here first". Soluition I have no idea.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 11:52PM
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Who knows what goes on in their little kitty minds. I am dealing with the same thing..(see other post), and can't give any advice as I need it myself. I agree it's a dominance thing and how to solve it????

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 1:51AM
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Talk to your vet. Get some Feliway. Your vet may prescribe kitty Prozac if it is a dominance/behavioral issue.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 1:41PM
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I can also sympathize as I am dealing with a cat that pees on my bed.I have heard so many "reasons" why this may be happening,just like the reasons everyone has given you already.I don't put much truth in most of them.Yes it could be kidney problem,or it could be a dominance problem orrrr........whatever! Since none of the above applies to my cat I am inclined to agree with lily316 when she says,"who knows what goes on in their little kittie minds"!! I thought I had the problem solved until,for no apparent reason,my cat started randomly peeing on my bed again.I do not believe it is a dominance thing in her case as she is the only animal in my household and she really doesn't like me that much anyway,and I know it's not kidney problems as she has been checked for that.I also believe if it was a UTI or kidney problem she would be peeing inapropriately in places other than MY bed! I also give her Feeliway every day because about a month ago she started pulling out the hair on her back legs and rear end.She has always been a strange cat,somewhat of a loner,very playful but only affectionate if SHE wants to be. Anyway,I am "again" at my witt's end with her.She has ruined a $2000. mattress set that I bought less than 6 months ago! I have to keep my bed covered with a large piece of plastic (really attractive) and she still managed to crawl under the cover a couple of times and peed on the mattress! Anyway,I hope you get the peeing problem solved with your cat but I wouldn't count on it.I think once they start it is really hard,if not impossible to stop,and even harder with male cats.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 2:25PM
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There's no reason that a cat has to ruin a mattress or that you have to cover your bed with an unsightly sheet of plastic -- you can purchase a plastic lined sheet cover (looks just a regular fitted sheet, but has a thin plastic sheet inside of it) for about $40 from Bed, Bath, & Beyond. It can be washed and dried just like a normal sheet. Of course, if the cat pees on your bed, you do end up doing a lot of laundry, but I prefer that to having a big plastic sheet on the bed, myself ;)

There's also no reason to just throw your hands up and say that there's no way to resolve the problem, just because you haven't resolved your problem, lillie1441. Feliway works wonders for many people, as do certain drugs like Clomicalm and Prozac. I know your feelings about using drugs like that, but please stop making it sound like all cats are unrepentant pissers whose behavior can't be modified. Many people ARE able to modify their cat's behavior positively through the use of Feliway and pharmaceuticals (I'm one of them) -- I'm sorry that YOUR cat is so difficult, but coming in every thread where people are having this problem and saying "Good luck, there's no solutions!" isn't much of a help.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 2:51PM
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I don't know if it works as I have not tried it yet so here it is FWIW.

I heard that if you want to deter a cat from getting on something like a bed or chair, or if you have a scratching issue somewhere, cover the area in doublestick tape.

You may only need to keep the tape on the edges of the bed for a short time before kitty is deterred sufficiently.

However, as much as my kitties love to play with tape, I have no idea if it will really work. Thought I'd post it just in the off chance it may help you.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 3:10PM
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rivkadr-If you will read my post again you will see that I said "I think", not that there is "never" a solution to the problem,so don't put words in my mouth! That is just my opinion and I think we are all entitled to express our opinions??
I did try the mattress pad but the plastic is hot to sleep on.I know....I'm strange but it makes me sweat.Plus,I would still have to wash mattress pad,sheets and comforter,which is hard for me.As you remember I have a dissability and changing/laundering sheets is not one of the easiest things for me to do by myself,especially at midnight or later which is when this usually happens or when I discover that it has happened! Therefore the plastic over all of it is much easier,except for the times when she gets under it an pees on the sheets anyway.And I haven't thrown up my hands (at least not yet)since this has been going on for a year or more and I have tried a lot of different things,none of which have worked up to this point.We may not feel the same way about animals or I may not be willing to go to the extremes with my cat that you do but that doesn't make me any less humane than you or anyone else,so don't be sarcastic and judgemental to me because you don't agree with me.I do still have the cat so maybe I'm not as bad as you seem to think!
trekaren-Thanks,I never thought of that.I will try the tape.I would like to get some kind of motion detector that would make a loud noise and scare her off the bed when she gets on it but haven't found that yet.In the meantime I plan to get a larger piece of plastic that can be tucked under the mattress! LOL

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 3:50PM
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I've never had cat peeing problems (count my blessings) but I find citrus scent is a great cat deterrent. Lemon pledge keeps cats off tables or window ledges and ground up orange peels out of flower pots. I would try a citrus scented rinse when washing your sheets and blankets or find a citrus spray scent you can spray on your bed. The scent is not objectionable to most humans but it does keep most cats away. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Aluminum foil always works to keep my cat off furniture I don't want her to make her home. I leave it on a few days, take it off, put it back on until she's completely broken of the habit. I also use light scolding when I see her where I don't want her, then the foil appears. That's usually all it takes.

As far as sleeping on plastic, I can't do that either; but there is a mattress cover made of heavy felted type fabric that is water repellent or absorbent. I think it's for incontinent adults. I had to buy one years ago when we couldn't keep our youngest from wetting the bed and she was too old for diapers, the days before adult diapers. And it may be heavy enough barrier to place those incontinent sheet protectors under as an added protection for the mattress, you know the kind they use over the sheets in nursing homes and hospitals when they think you may wet the bed. Of course, this solution still creates laundry, which would be a problem as well.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 1:18PM
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It can be dominance, or just an "I'm really upset" issue.

When I got married, my 2-year old spayed female cat began to pee on our expensive silky comforter. She would wait until we were settled and almost asleep and do the deed. As I had heard my mother and grandmother say many times that once a cat "becomes dirty," it will never stop, but in time, she did. For several months I had to get up many nights and pour water on the comforter and blot it up, though. We didn't have a lot of helpful sprays back then. I think the cat was just expressing her upset at the addition of a new family member.

If possible, it is good to get rid of the urine scent so thoroughly that the cat can't detect it. (I used spray perfume on that comforter.) Terrapots' range and lemon peel suggestion is good, too. I have put them (not ground up) in mesh bags and pinned them to things to deter our cats.

When we had one male cat (not yet neutered), and he was our only pet, we had to go away for one night. We left him plenty of food and water. When we got back the next day, he had pulled a (flat, Japanese) sitting cushion out into the middle of the room, saturated it with urine, and left a couple of piles of something more solid on it. We took it as a sort of unconscious protest. He never did it again, and we think that might be because soon after, we got a kitten, so he now had company.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 4:54PM
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As far as sleeping on plastic, I can't do that either;

ROFL, you're not sleeping on plastic. It's a sheet. That has a very thin "plastic" lining inside (and I'm not even sure it's plastic -- it may even be the incontinent sheets that you're talking about). It has a thick, fluffy layer of cotton sheeting on top. And we put our regular fitted sheet on top of it. There's no possible way you could tell that there's a plastic sheet inside of it. You can't hear it, you can't feel it. It's like sleeping on a regular bed.

I'll say what I always say in these threads -- there's a very specific order to what you should do when faced with these situations:

1) Visit your vet, and rule out any medical problems first. I have no patience for people who don't do this minimal step first. You may think that your cat doesn't have a UTI, but since your cat can't speak English, how do YOU know?
2) Once medical problems are ruled out, make certain that you're doing everything possible to make your cat's bathroom area acceptable to him/her. Is it scooped daily? Do you change the litter regularly? Is it in a place that is open and accessible? Is it away from noise, and high traffic? Be honest about this -- if you're not practicing good litter habits, then how do you expect your cat to?
3) Next, consider if there have been any major changes or disruptions in your cat's life recently (new baby, new pet, construction in your house, other cats lurking around outside your windows, etc)
4) Based on the above, you generally have two possibilities:

a) Behavioral issues -- this happens due to changes and stress in the cat's life
b) Dominance issues -- usually in multi-cat households; the cat is acting aggressively and peeing to show dominance.

The question is, how to resolve the problem in either a or b?

In the case of behavioral issues, it can be really hard to narrow down what caused the stress in the first place -- that's why people are like "Who knows what's going on in their little minds!" -- considering that they probably spend a good portion of their time at home without you around, they may well have had a stressful incident (or multiple ones) that you know nothing about. I would assume that if you know what is stressing your cat out, you can possibly reduce the source of the stress, and hopefully reduce the peeing incidents. In the case of new babies or new pets, you may know the cause of the stressor, but there isn't much you can do to resolve the stress, except give it time. Some cats will always be stressed -- my male cat jumps a mile in the air if someone in the next room drops a book, and runs and hides if someone knocks on the door. Cats that nervous can really be helped with drugs like Clomicalm or Prozac -- his incidents of peeing on the bed have been greatly reduced since he's been on medication; he's also a lot calmer.

Dominance issues with multi-pet households can be tough. My nervous-nelly male cat is also aggressive, and will constantly pick fights with our other cat, which possibly contributes to his peeing issues. Separation helps, as does Feliway. The Clomicalm has also helped a LOT with his aggression. As he's gotten older, I've been able to wean him off the Clomicalm somewhat, and I generally only give it to him when I can tell that he's going through a "bad spell".

I'm a big fan of Clomicalm -- it's cheap, effective, and has worked wonders for my cat. Yes, it makes him a little sleepy and dopey. I give it to him at bedtime, and he sleeps through the night, and is relatively "normal" during the day. Given the choice between a slightly dopey cat versus one that pisses on my bed every few days, I'll take the former.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 5:31PM
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How about locking the cat in the bathroom or basement each night with their food, litterbox and a nice kitty bed. During the day keep your bedroom door closed. Limit access completely to your bed and there is zero chance she will pee on it again.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 10:32PM
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rivkdadr-No,it isn't a "sheet",it was an expensive,fitted mattress pad with thick padding over a very thin "plastic" or some kind of waterproof liner (and it wasn't the incontinence sheets).And yes,it WAS hot and I could tell there was some kind of waterproof material inside that didn't allow air circulation.I also had another thick,fluffy mattress pad over that! No,I could not "hear" it but it was hot and made me sweat and I didn't like sleeping on it nor did I like having to strip the whole bed anyway when she peed on it!
I am at home all the time with this cat as I am pretty much house bound.The cat pees on the bed when I am here,not just when I'm not so that isn't the problem,and there are no stresses in her life that I am not aware of! She is a very laid back,well behaved cat,except for the peeing! I don't understand why you don't "get" that there may be animals who have strange behavioral problems that can't be explained(or that can be "cured" with a pill)and that my cat just may be one of those animals.Everything isn't just black or white you know! I am just as tired of you jumping in and criticizing me because you think I "haven't done enough" to resolve this problem with my cat as you are of me coming in and voicing my opinion! I never said there was not a solution to the problem,just that I haven't found one yet for my cat.
livvysmom- I can't lock her out of the bedroom.She will only drink water from the sink and faucet in my bathroom and the only way to get to it is through my bedroom.Believe me,I have tried other alternatives and nothing has worked yet.I tried locking her in the bathroom once and she ripped up the carpet under the door trying to get out!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 1:57AM
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lillie, for pete's sake, get a life. I wasn't even responding to you (the plastic response, for example, was to terrapots, who I QUOTED). The rest of my response was to the people who posted after to you. Stop thinking that everything is about you.

I am just as tired of you jumping in and criticizing me because you think I "haven't done enough" to resolve this problem with my cat as you are of me coming in and voicing my opinion!

Well, if you'd stop posting about your cat in threads that have nothing to do with your cat, maybe I'd stop criticizing you. It's amazing how every thread about peeing cats magically becomes about YOUR cat. So far in your responses you have nothing to contribute other than "My cat pees all over the place too!" Wow, that's really helpful. And then you seem to always end up hijacking the thread with your cat's problem -- you've heard every suggestion under the sun on how to resolve your cat's problem, and have every excuse not to make use of any of those suggestions, so why you keep posting about your cat, I have no idea. If you have nothing useful to contribute, why post? And why keep hijacking threads so that they become about your cat?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 11:33AM
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We had an issue with one of our cats peeing on new carpet. After taking him to the vet and nothing was wrong with him, we purchased a big crate and crated our guy for 3 weeks. They cry like the devil for the first few days and soon calm down. The result no more peeing outside the box. Remember if you do this put the crate in the family room or where people often are. Continue to give them lots of loving. It worked wonders for us!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 1:10PM
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Years ago, I house-sat for a year for two cats. I brought my own two cats to the house, so there ware 4 cats. They got along fairly well, but one of the home-owners cats started peeing on my bed after a month or so. Trip to the vet showed no physical cause.

Once I started giving him more attention, he stopped peeing. I interpreted the peeing as a sign that he was unhappy about something. Every morning after breakfast, I would sit in the sunroom and hold Max on my lap. His brother (the dominent cat of the pair) would try to sneak on my lap, but Max wouldn't let him. It got to the point that once Max saw me loading the dishwasher with the breakfast dishes, he would run to the sunroom and be sitting on the sofa wiating for me. The peeing stopped immediately after I started giving Max his 10 minutes a day of special one-one-one time.

Given the fact that things have changed in your household, your cat may be feeling unhappy. You can't make things back to the way they were, but you could try giving the poor kitty some extra love and affection and see if that helps. And if you do have a new dog, maybe your cat is just jealous.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 1:58PM
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rivkadr-I have a very good life thank you very much!
I see a lot of other people relating stories and experiences they have had or are having with their cats that pee in places where they aren't suppose to pee.I don't understand why you have to be so rude,but believe me,this is my last response to anything on this board.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 2:06AM
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camlan, I also have noticed that my male has a tendency to pee on our bed when he's feeling "neglected" as well, so I try to shower him with affection when he starts acting out (it's weird, I can tell when he's in that mood) in the hopes that it will keep him from doing it. I wonder if it's tied into the dominance issues.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 10:53AM
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lfino, I think you might have answered your own question. It is highly plausible that your cat is stressed because his friend is gone and has been replaced. The fact that you went away shortly thereafter only confirms my thoughts.

Since this forum has turned into nothing more than FLAMING (and I think you know who you are), I will not go on about my cat and his problems. I will say that my problem is with vomiting and it is NOT because he is SICK. I have had him checked out. He does it because he seeks attention because my husband now works long hours. I posted in another forum regarding cat vomit and my observations with my cat. Feel free to e-mail me if you like. The bottom line, my cat is doing it because he misses my husband. How do I know this? Because when we moved from our tiny apartment a year ago when he was vomiting at least once a week (if not more), he did not vomit once until about six months later. He also did not attack our legs as we walked until about the same time, when he used to do it every night we got into bed.

It's a shame that people cannot post on this forum with their related stories and not get assaulted. Sometimes people do not have a solution, but talking about what happens to them serves two-fold, the people reading the posts and looking for help can notice a pattern with their own pet and get the help they need or confirm what they were thinking, or they can offer help to the poster.

And I agree with lilie1441, a grandmother who probably has more experience with cats than ___ does. I don't think you need to medicate your cat unless their health warrants it (i.e., diabetes, kidney problems). Feliway may be one thing, but giving a cat Prozac -- give me a break!

But I guess some people just have to be right all the time.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 5:34PM
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Junebug-I got your e-mail and tried to reply but it came back.Thanks....Lillie

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 1:39PM
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The OP "lfino" asked this question the day they registered, almost a month ago and hasn't replied since.

Even so, there have been some helpful answers here, so maybe others can benefit from the advice.

When my cat grieved for her deceased companion she lost interest in food. Another poster here recently mentioned that if a cat stops eating, that quickly throws his system into starvation mode, with damaging effects on the kidneys. It could be another explanation for the OP's cat's problem.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 2:38PM
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I haven't posted on any forum on GW for a long time, but this one really got to me. Not in a bad way... it just did.

My cat has peed for forever...off and on. Let's see. Got him in 1995 (my roommate got his sibling). Pee'ed everywhere (beds, chairs, carpet).

Moved out in 1996. Pee'ed everywhere (cats outside the window).

1997-2000. Lived in a place with no cats outside. No peeing anywhere but the box.

2000-2003. Another place with no cats. No peeing.

2003-2004- Moved to a place with cats outside. He started to pee again. Husband threatened to kill one of us! LOL. Actually not so funny. I cried almost everyday.

2004-Saw the vet, linked the history, and my cat is on prozac as of about 2 years ago. No problems since.

My problem (not MY problem...my cats problem...LOL) was territoriality. Don't discount the drugs in certain situations. It's best to be open-minded.

It worked for my cat. I was considering giving him away or euthanasia...didn't want to do either. This problem had seriously affected my home life, which is why I was thinking about serious solutions. I'm glad I still have my cat. I adopted him, so he became my responsibility, and I don't take that lightly.

Talk to your vet. And good luck from someone who sympathizes.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 6:41PM
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years ago my parents had a male cat that peed on my bed and a female that didnt they both didnt like me to much"i was not very nice to them"i have since come to love cats and america and i think that someone(lillie)has the right to post a blog and if someone else(rivkadr)basicly tells them to shut up they should move to a different country.lillie you go getem girl!!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 12:04PM
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Thanks for your input, dobert420. I love how people who are brand new to the board jump right in with absolutely no knowledge of the history of the situation, and give their opinion. This thread is a year old, so why drag it back up to post something that makes no grammatical sense, and has no point to it? Whatever.

People may not like what I have to say and how I say it, but I will keep telling people that there are solutions to cats that pee all over the place. There are other people on this forum who will tell you that there is no solution, and I'll be frank that I have NO patience for them, because they have not tried everything themselves, and when they come in and tell people "It's pointless. My cat pees all over the place. Yours probably will, too," then all it does is make people depressed, and that much more likely to euthanize the cat or dump it at the shelter, rather than trying to resolve the problem.

If you read what I've posted in this thread, I give several real solutions and options on how to deal with problems like this. The same can't be said for other people.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 12:34PM
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De-clawed cats are frankly 'Feline pitbulls', some are nice some are not. Most de-clawed cats bite/or have some type, SOME TYPE of behavioral,emotional trama related to the de-clawing process. Like the pit bull some never turn nasty,they remain proper, other bite for no reason, Why take the chance?.

De-clawing is a horrible thing to do to a cat, its basically like chopping off parts of a humans fingers and has lasting muscle harm, when a cat uses its paws for scratching its excerising its body, wen they have no claws they do not use those muscles, also de-cawed cats are 75% defenseless and often get killed by dogs/ect. Some Vets also test pain medications on De-clawed cats to see how powerful and effective they are. THATS how much it hurts after words, vets often times don't say anything because it gives them $$$ to de claw a cat.

In many of the european/other civilized countries De-clawing is illegal and is consittered a form of animal abuse.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 6:04PM
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I haven't been to this board for a long time but thought I'd check it out tonight cause I'm bored!LOL Just wanted to jump in and give an update on my cat.
Dobert-I don't think Rivkadr was telling me to shut up! He was just giving his opinion,just as we are all entitled to do. Thanks for the support anyway!
Ok about my cat,she is still with me,fat and sassy, and hasn't peed on my bed or anywhere else in quite a while.(I'm knocking on wood here!LOL) My home has been in turmoil for several months now with DS and DDIL moving in with us in June,twin grand babies coming along in July,my 16 year old DGD moving out then moving back in.Then the accident with my little dog being injured and having to stay in the house all the time.Then DD and DGS coming 3 weeks ago with 2 inside dogs.All this has been more than enough to set her off if this was due to stress but she has been a good girl.Everyone left today,except for DGD and she will be here permanently,so things are back to somewhat normal.We will see what happens.LOL

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 12:44AM
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It could be that those injured paws,are getting older along with the rest of her body, and it hurts her to use her paws to cover the mess in a litter box, there fore she's taken to peeing on your bed. Its not only upsetting to you, its upsetting to an animal whose, forerunners spent millions of years hiding their waste from carnivores/revival cats, A lot of changes also points to me as a stress, cats do not make good pets for people who deal with a lot of changes esspeically as they age, dogs are better this regard because a pack is always moving always finding new things, cats tend to stay put in the same area most of their lives.

I hope the messes stop.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 12:08PM
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Hey lilliepad -- different lillie that was being referred to :) She and I had some contentious back and forths back in the day, if you read back in the thread.

And I'm a she, by the way ;)

Glad to hear your cat appears to be doing better.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 3:25PM
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