Waking up in the middle of the night, with your adorable cat snuggling up to you, is a wonderful feeling. Waking up in the middle of the night, with your cat’s pee puddled underneath you, is not. “Why did this happen?!”, you might ask in frustration as you are changing the sheets again.
A cat peeing the bed should not be a normal occurrence and there are a few good reasons this could be happening. If you recently relocated or had any big changes around the house, your cat may be feeling stressed, anxious, or scared. If you have changed their litter-box and litter, they might not like it and are protesting. They could also have a medical condition that will require a visit to the vet.
Rest assured, whatever the reason is, it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to get to the bottom of it!
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If your cat has developed a medical condition, this might cause them to pee in your bed. Having a bladder infection or bladder stones can cause severe inflammation and an inability to hold it in long enough to get to the litter box. This incontinence can be diagnosed by your vet using x-rays or an ultrasound. The signs you may see at home are blood in the urine and straining to urinate.
Idiopathic cystitis is an issue caused by a hormonal imbalance, usually resulting from stress in their environment. In these cases, the bladder is inflamed with no known causes. This will cause the cat to pee the bed until they have been able to relax enough for the hormones to regulate themselves and the situation to clear up.
Stressed or Anxious
Cats really need to feel safe at home and do not do well with big changes. Cats do not respond well to negative feedback, which is why you need to reinforce the behavior with positive feedback. If your cat has been acting up lately and is now peeing the bed, this could be a result of the way you train them to behave.
It’s also important that you don’t use the area near the litter-box to trim their nails, give them medicine, or put them in travel crates. These situations can stress them out and then they associate their litter-box with that stress. They become nervous and fearful of going over there, as it may mean that they will need to go through one of these situations that they do not like.
Changes in the House
If you recently got a new cat, this could cause your cat to feel stressed out. They may also start peeing in the bed to mark their territory and reclaim what belongs to them. This is to show the new cat that they are the ones in charge. Some cat behaviorists also think that this is the cat’s way of ‘getting revenge’ on you for getting another animal, which is why they target your bed and not any random place in the home.
Peeing in the bed and outside the litterbox can be a sign that your cat is not happy with its new box or the litter within.
Litterbox in Bad Location
If the litterbox is in an area with high traffic, then your cat will not get the rest and relaxation it needs to use their bathroom. The constant interruptions will have them on edge, and they may decide to forgo the litter box entirely and start petting around the house. Cats need an uninterrupted, calm and quiet space to do their business, so it is important that you put the litter box in the right place.
The best place for the litterbox is somewhere out of the way but easy to access. You do not want to have to do any more work than you must in order to clean it, but you also want your cat to feel secure. Putting the litter-box in your own bathroom is a good idea, as this room does not get a lot of foot traffic. It is usually cool and calm in the bathroom, just make sure to keep the door open for them to get in and out when they need it.
You can tuck the litterbox next to the toilet, between the toilet and tub, or under the sink. This also gives you the ability to check it out every time you use the bathroom, to make sure it is clean. Cats do not like to use dirty litter boxes and keeping the litter-box clean will go a long way in preventing them from peeing elsewhere.
Other areas that are good for litterboxes are: Guest bedrooms as these do not get much use, a hallway or closet with a cat door, or underneath a counter with a curtain. You want to make sure that your cat feels as if it has privacy when it needs to do its business.
Need More Litterboxes
The common rule when it comes to litterboxes is 1.5 per cat. If you have two cats from the same litter who grew up together, they can usually share two litterboxes. It is not recommended to use 1 litterbox for two cats as you will need to clean these multiple times a day.
Using one litterbox for one cat is doable if you live in a small apartment and don’t have the extra space for another. If you live in a bigger home, it is best to have two. This will give them options and if you haven’t cleaned the litterbox all day, it will still give them another clean spot to pee.
If your cats are not from the same litter or you got them at different times, you will need to get more than one litterbox. Cats don’t often like to share these spaces and they will commonly mark the area where they go so that other cats don’t come into their territory. The best thing to do is have multiple boxes spread out across your home, one on each floor at least.
Some ways to tell if you need more litterboxes is if your cat doesn’t cover up their waste after they go. This is their way of telling other cats to keep out. Another thing that they will do is spray the inside of the box and around it, marking it with their scent. If they have a litterbox all to themselves, they will not do this as often. Most cats will choose what litter-boxes they use and keep with the same one.
How to Prevent Your Cat from Peeing on the Bed
Once you have ruled out a medical condition, there are a number of things you can do to stop your cat from peeing on your bed. The first most obvious choice would be to not let them into the room. Keep your door shut during the day and while you are sleeping. If you are going to do this, make sure you give them ample attention during the day, so they do not get stressed out.
Make the litterbox as attractive to them as possible. This includes putting it in a safe, quiet place away from foot traffic. Using a curtain to give them privacy or ‘hiding’ the litter-box in a cabinet or tucked away place.
Always stay on top of cleaning your cat’s litterbox. Not only is this important for them, as it will encourage them to use it, but it’s important for you. A litterbox will smell pretty bad when it has sat uncleaned for too long and the more often you clean it, the quicker and easier the job will be. There are many different types of litter out there so choose on that your cat likes to use and that is easy for you to clean.
Is It Okay If My Cat Sleeps on The Bed?
While there is nothing wrong with sharing your bed with your cat, it might be harder to stay asleep. This is because cats are more active during the night, even if you played with them all day. They may fall asleep with you but will most likely wake up well before you and start racing around your room.
Do Cats Have A Favorite Person?
It might seem like your cat favors someone in your family more than another and this is usually the result of whoever gives them the most attention. They become attached to people they know will keep them safe and well cared for. So, if there is someone who feeds them every day, or takes time to play with them, they will usually pay more attention to that person.
Do Cats Recognize Their Owners?
After numerous studies, it has been thought that cats either can’t tell human faces apart or just don’t care. They instead use other clues, like our scent, the way we interact with them, or the sounds of our voice.