No one likes it when a cat starts eliminating outside of the litter box but the one place that really is difficult for cat parents to deal with is when kitty starts peeing on the bed. It seems to be the one location most human family members take as a personal insult. As hard as it may seem to understand why your loving cat would suddenly view your bed as a litter box, it has nothing to do with spite or revenge.
Is Your Cat’s Behavior Anxiety Related?
Many times when the bed is the chosen area, there’s a good chance the behavior is due to anxiety. That anxiety can be due to many factors in the environment but before you start running through the list of what might be stressing your cat to the point where he feels he needs to pee on your bed, you first have to check other things off the list.
Time for Your Cat to Visit the Veterinarian
No matter where your cat has begun eliminating, if the location is not in the litter box itself, then the first step is have him checked by the veterinarian. A physical exam, including a urinalysis and any other appropriate diagnostic tests need to be performed to make sure there isn’t an underlying cause for the behavior. Even if you’re convinced it’s behavioral, don’t skip the important first step of ruling out medical issues because you certainly wouldn’t want your cat suffering. Additionally, it’s very common for a cat with a medical issue such as lower urinary tract disease, to avoid the box.
Make Sure the Litter Box Itself isn’t the Problem
It’s time to do a thorough evaluation of the litter box conditions. Let’s start with cleanliness. How often is the box getting scooped? It should be checked and scooped at least twice daily. It can be very stressful for a cat to have to deal with a dirty litter box. When I do consultations I come across many clients who are shocked to learn that scooping every other day isn’t adequate. Imagine if your toilet only got flushed every other day. It wouldn’t be pleasant, would it? For cats, the need for a clean toileting area is also rooted in survival. They eliminate away from their nesting area and then cover their waste so it doesn’t attract predators. Indoor cats retain this same instinct. A dirty, smelly litter box becomes a neon sign advertising to predators. The box should be scooped twice daily and then the litter should be completely dumped and the box scrubbed on a monthly basis. If you’re not using scoopable litter then the scrubbing schedule will have to be more frequent.