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Peeing in her own bed?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi! I'm new here, driven here by Her Highness' Scout's only quirk. She has taken to peeing in HER OWN bed. I don't get it. She will use her litter box just fine unless she is provided a bed to sleep in. By bed I mean everything from her original basket with pillow and fleece cat bed and blanket to an old towel on the floor. Sometimes she pees in the dog's bed, too, but much less often than her own. She pees in her own whenever she is given the opportunity.

We first discovered it when I started noticing this odd smell in the guest bathroom (her bedroom, which she used to love - she'd ask to be locked in). I cleaned the litter box thoroughly, I put in air freshener. Then one day I leaned near her bed and found the smell!! It was the same smell I had been smelling on her faintly. The bed was dry, but when I picked it up it was SOAKED on the bottom and the pillow and basket below too. She had been sleeping in it. WHY?! I got rid of the whole thing. Bought new. She peed in that regularly. Thought maybe it was the location so I put a litter box there and moved the bed. Still peed in the bed (but continued to use the litter box for poop). I gave her old towels. She pees in those. I got frustrated and started putting down loads and loads of toilet paper for her to sleep on, so at least all I had to do was throw it away.

She will sometimes pee in the dog's bed, but not anywhere near as often as her own bed. She never pees in our bed or on couches or the rug or a pile of clothes. Just her bed.

We've tried all the tricks. We've ruled out physical problems. Right now the only thing that stops her is making her sleep on a hard tile floor with no bed. I obviously can't do that.

Ideas? Help? Anything?! I'm being driven crazy.

Thanks!! I'll go introduce myself somewhere else. Please help my poor Scout.
post #2 of 28
Have you taken your cat to the vet lately? What did they have to say?

P.S. Welcome to the board.
post #3 of 28
Do you have only one litter box for her? Some cats don't like to pee and poop in the same box. Try adding a second box if you don't have two. But you will also need to thoroughly clean any other areas that have been urine-soaked. Regular cleaners may not be good enough. You might need to use one of the products that neutralizes the scent. Otherwise, if she can still smell it (and her nose is better than yours!), she may still think her bed or the towels are a proper place to urinate.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jean and twofatcats,

She has been to the vet and gotten a clean bill of health. They suggested Feliway for keeping her out of the dog's bed, and it isn't really a good option because it annoys the dog.

She had one litter box for about 8 months, and she has had two now for about a month. That doesn't seem to make a difference.

The urine soaked items have all been tossed, so she starts fresh each time. We tossed her old bed, and she has ruined 3 more. (The beds keep getting cheaper quality 'cause this is getting expensive!) We never reuse a towel after she has peed on it. The floor is tile and has been scrubbed with Nature's Miracle, but the pee has only hit the floor once. Usually it's absorbed and the lowest layer is clean.

Thanks for the advice!
post #5 of 28
It is VERY unusual for a cat to toilet where they sleep - she obviously has some kind of psychological issue here if physical problems have been ruled out by your vet.

It sounds as though you've tried just about everything. Have you tried using different fabrics for her bed? Or putting her bed near her litter boxes? Normally a cat would not put up with this and simply find somewhere else to sleep, but your kitty is peeing in her own bed and so sleeping near her litter box may not bother her and may just teach her to get up and go when she needs to.

If it is happening in her sleep then I would suggest another visit to the vet with some more extensive tests. When she gets up in the morning is she wet and smelling like her own pee? Once again, this would be highly unusual but if she is then it does seem to suggest a more physical problem even though your vet has checked her out.
post #6 of 28
Some cats prefer the floor to sleeping on something soft and cozy. I know Spot often chooses to lay on the linoleum because it's cooler (he's hyperthyroid, so he gets overheated) even though he has carpet, couches, clothes piles and mattresses to choose from. My parents' old kitty used to love hard surfaces. He would lay on tables or floors but never curl up on the bed (unless it was next to me). I don't know why she would lie in the bed after peeing in it, but it won't hurt her to not have a bed.
post #7 of 28
Is it possible that the dog is lying on her bed, and she's "protecting" her turf?

I had some issues with Sam, peeing on Bailey's beds. Every time I would put a new one out, she'd sleep on it, and then he would pee on it. I took him for tests, thought there was something wrong.

Then I found out that Bailey was the one who was sick. I think that her smell had changed, and when he smelled the bed she had been sleeping in, it seemed like a new, strange, cat had been around.

Once Bailey got better, he stopped doing that. But it seemed that it was prompted by an unfamiliar animal smell.
post #8 of 28
My cat always prefers a hard surface for sleeping.

Another thing you might check is how often you clean the litter boxes. Cats are extremely finicky about their box. How often do you empty the box and thoroughly wash it with LOTS of water and a non-toxic cleanser? I would also check how often you replace the litter and the amount of litter you have in the box.

And I agree that you may need the vet to run more extensive tests. Do you have confidence in your vet?
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Litter box: We use Feline Pine with a nested box system. So when the pellets turn to sawdust, we shake down the sawdust into the bottom box. Poops get scooped as soon as we see them (she tends only to go once a day at night, so usually when I get up in the morning). The sawdust gets tossed every 3-4 days. We haven't scrubbed the boxes ever because the thing about Feline Pine is that it doesn't ever stick to teh box. So tossing out the sawdust and a quick wipe with a paper towel make the box look like new. We did, however, just in case, get new litter boxes when the problem started. So they're only about 3 months old at this point.

It doesn't seem to be happening in her sleep (at least not ONLY), we've caught her squatting in her bed a few times since. The bed that was thorougly soaked had obviously been pee'd in several tiems befor we noticed, and the fleece wicked the moisture away so it didn't even feel wet. The replacement "beds" have only had a very small amount of urine in them, and she covers it with the rest of the towel or mushes up the area. So she's never wet herself.

We do have confidence in our vet, and he really seems to think it's a behavior problem.

However... good news. Thursday I made up a new bed for her... a large basket, big enough to fit a standard sized pillow in, then I put a pillow in 3 layers of garbage bags in it and covered it with cheapo handtowels from Walmart. I figured if she pee'd in it, I'd just toss the handtowel and garbage bags and re-cover the pillow. At least I wouldn't have to keep buying new pillows. She has two litterboxes in the bathroom with her new bed. They are equidistant from each other... litterbox - bed - litterbox in a triangle formation approximately. She gets a handful of kibble IN her bed at night (she used to get them in a bowl next to her bed). No problems so far, It has been 2.5 days and 2 nights. She seems to like this new bed as much as she liked her original one. We've found her sleeping in it many times during the day and when we go out and come back home, she's usually in it. Keep your fingers crossed!!!
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
I wrote too soon. There's pee in the bed now. *sigh*
post #11 of 28
Gosh, I'm so sorry you're having trouble with this. Have you tried using a different kind of litter? I've heard some cats don't like the pellet-form of the pine litter.

Otherwise, I guess I'd take her to a vet specialist to run more extensive tests on her. Sorry I'm not much help.
post #12 of 28
Try the suggestions in this handout:

Stopping Inappropriate Urination

First, we need to know for sure that the problem is urinating rather than spraying. If the cat is standing and the urine shoots straight back so that he/she is aiming high on the wall or side of the couch, it is spraying. If the cat squats while urinating, it is normal urination. This hand-out is for urination problems rather than for spraying.

The first and most important thing to do is to take the cat to the vet! You need to specify that the cat is urinating outside the box so that the vet knows what to look for. Urinating outside the litter box is the #1 symptom of urinary tract problems! A urinary blockage can quickly kill a cat!

If the vet says she is okay, then consider making a few changes:

• If you use a covered litter box, take off the lid. Many cats refuse to use covered boxes.

• Most cats prefer fine-grained unscented litter. So, try changing litter even if she liked this litter in the past.

• Most cats prefer to poop in a different box than the one in which they pee. So have at least two boxes for one cat.

• If you have more than one cat, make sure you have at least one litter box per cat PLUS one extra box. So, if you have two cats, three litter boxes is ideal. Do not place the boxes right next to each other. Two boxes that are together is the same as just one box in the cat’s mind!

• Make sure you scoop the litter box daily, and with multiple cats, scoop twice daily. Cats often refuse to use dirty boxes. Most of us avoid toilets that are full of pee and poop. Cats are even more fastidious than us humans and certainly have more delicate senses of smell, so of course they do not want to step in a box full of old feces and urine! A clean rug is much more attractive than a dirty box!

• If your litter boxes are old, they may have absorbed odors even if you regularly clean them. So, try buying new boxes.

• Make sure your litter boxes are in a place where the cat feels safe while going potty. If she is disturbed by you or your kids or another cat or dog while she is trying to potty, she will choose to use a safer location. So, move the litter box to a location where she can see the comings and goings of the other people and animals in the house. You can set up the box in the corner of a room, then surround the box with nice house plants. It will be attractive and open enough for the cat to feel safe!

• Put a litter box on each level (floor) of the house.

• Make sure you thoroughly clean all old urine spots on the rug and elsewhere. If she can smell the old urine she will think that place is a good place to potty. Use a flourescent black light to find old urine and treat all old spots with an enzymatic cleanser.

• Try putting a plastic carpet runner upside down on the places she likes to urinate....most cats don't like to walk on the "spikes" so they will avoid the covered spots.

• Put something real smelly where she likes to urinate...most cats hate the smell of citrus, so try putting citrus scented air freshener or orange peels or citrus potpourri where she urinates.

• According to Cat Behaviorist Amy Shojai- if your cat is peeing on personal items the cat is probably stressed out over something. Urinating on some object that holds your scent is calming to him. If you can eliminate the stressor, chances are good that the potty problem will end.

• If your cat is standing inside the litter box and aiming outside the box, you simply need a larger box! Try a Rubbermaid under-bed storage container as a litter box instead of the typical small box.
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks, lotsocats. I've tried all the ideas on there that I can... obviously I can't use spikes or citrus since this is her bed we're talking about. We've moved the boxes, and she uses them. But she ALSO pees in her bed. The only one I haven't tried is the fine grain litter because *I* love Feline Pine and it really doesn't seem to bug her. She is still using the box.

I'm currently feeding her in her bed, and that *seems* to be working (though she pee'd in the dog's bed this morning). I'm hoping it stops on its own at this point 'cause I am at a loss.
post #14 of 28
Sadly Gandalf is the same way, so I just wound up getting rid of the kitty beds and that stopped the problem. I'm not sure why he did it, took him to the vets and had a full check up and everything and they could't find anything wrong with him. And once I got rid of the bed it stopped, very strange. I think it was a just a mental thing with him...maybe something he learned as a kitten before I got him, I'm not sure but we're happy now.
post #15 of 28
I adopted a cat from a shelter 10 years' ago and have had problems with her off and on for years. She has been to numerous vets and finally I settled on an Holistic/Chinese vet. He explained the cat was fine but suffered from serious behavior problems. We tried Chinese herbs to calm her anxiety and they worked for awhile and she started peeing on articles of clothing, my couch, everything. Thank goodness for enzymes that take smell out. Next step was a tiny amount of med's to help her learn how to be a cat again. I have done countless research and spent so much money on different vets and finally realized my new vet is right. On the med's, she was calm, but did not want to eat. So back to the herbs. She would be fine for awhile and start again. I have tried everything and anything, I.e. new kitty boxes, litter, four kitty boxes, extra love, etc. one thing that helped for awhile was the raw diet. I figured out she also has severe allergies to fish, chicken, any verges not green, and brewers yeast.mthe slightest amt would throw her off and she was itching and behaviour would flare. I believe that cats, like kids, can have behaviour problems and need something to take the edge off. I have experienced it on and off for so many years, she would be fine for three months and started up again. There is never one thing I can blame it on. It is the cat has psychological problems...period, nothing else. My cat started up again after two months of being good. I am exhausted and am back on the herbs, one time a day did not work, now I am trying two. Next, I will find another med that will work on her. I am tired and the cat has been so bad that she will have to live her life on med's if I have to. I am a holistic person, but my vet told me that so stiles not even herbs will work on some cats and they have to learn to be a cat again. Good luck, I am still going through it. Talk to your vet about some treatment, once the cat gets started peeing, they will not stop and can destroy your house in time. I send away for heavy enzymes that take the smell out; otherwise, I would have had to get rid of the cat. I love her, but have been unable to find help, and will now find another low dose med's.
post #16 of 28

Good old fashioned sibling rivalry... it's the dog that's likely creating this behavior.  Your cat wants to be top dog and does not want any competition.  I am just now figuring that out about my own cat.  She started doing the same thing and it was directly linked to the dog getting attention that she was not and that she wanted... when she first got into his bed to pee, then the light bulb went off for me.  She is trying to say that she is as important as the dog, if not more so.... it's just love that your cat is after.... who can blame her??

post #17 of 28

The poster you replied to made the post 7 months ago to a thread that had been dormant for 8 years. You gave some good advice. I invite you to introduce yourself and your cats in the New Cats on the Block board. Be sure to include pictures of your furbabies.

post #18 of 28



My Siamese cat is 18 and has had the odd "accident"  in bedrooms and on sofas most of her life, she's a tad neurotic. As these things happened we banished her from the contaminated rooms. She sleeps all day on the sofa on a cushion covered with a refuse sack covered with her fleece and only when we are there. If we go out she goes into the back garden room where she sleeps on her bed, has her food and her 2 toilet bowls.

She will only use a bowl once, one for pee and one for poop. She very often misses the bowl and it goes on the newspaper under it, which is on top of a large perspex sheet to protect the wood floor.

Every night she wets her bed and if we leave it there during the day she will re-use it. I bought her a new bed and she wet that. Even if her bowls are fresh.

When we go away my sons see to her needs but last time it was not pleasant for them. She has never been in a cattery due to a bad experience with our previous cats. But if we go away again she is going to have to go in one. How will a cattery react to this? She'll be peeing everywhere.

We are both retired and can't keep putting our holidays off until she is no longer with us or we will be too old to enjoy them.

post #19 of 28
I work in a boarding cattery and to be honest we would NOT take a 18 year old cat that as NEVER been boarded before. It would not be fair on the cat, the stress would most likely finish her off.
We once took a 15 year old that had never boarded before she had a heart attack and died within one hour of arrival. Not nice for us or the owners.
Also older cats when such a big change happens can sort of give up. Stop eating, drinking and act like they are waiting to die. Luckily we only had one cat do this before we learnt our lesson about it not being fair on boarding older cats for the first time. He was off to the vets to be put on a drip and other treatment. Big vet bill for owners on return from holiday.

My advice would be to get a pet sitter. So your cat can stay in her own house. Explain to pet sitter which rooms the cat is allowed to go into and about washing bed, blankets everyday. I cannot see this being a problem as you are paying them to do this.
post #20 of 28

A friend of mine who boards cats that she knows did have her for a few days about 3 years ago to see how she would fare. She settled in really well. No problems apart from the toilet. This lady is getting on now and I no longer boards cats.

post #21 of 28

Hi All,


Thanks for replies to my dilemma. I don't want to speak too soon but I think we may have cracked it.:)

A friend of mine posted on Facebook  20 uses for Vick's vapour rub. One idea for it was to stop your cat peeing where she shouldn't by leaving an open jar of the said product next to the area in question.

I thought a £4 jar of Vick's was a bit  extravagant so I smeared some onto a metal drinks mat and put it next to her bed and the bit left on my finger I smeared the other side on the black plastic bag that her bed sits on.

Well we've had five nights of dry bed, she's used her toilet bowls like a good girl and she sleeps quite happily in her bed.

As the Vick's looses some of it's potency over 24 hours, I replenish it each evening.

Fingers crossed it's done the trick.

post #22 of 28
Just the other day my Mamma Pooch started peeing outside of her liter box. MP will be 21 years old next month. So off to the vet she went. She was dehydrated from peeing constantly on things we would find. She peed in her Dad's slippers and peed in a mop in the corner of the kitchen then peed in the other cats hard good bowl. MP has no teeth, I adopted her when she was 17 unfixed and toothless. I never had a problem with her, she just likes to sleep in special places that she calls her space. She has to live with 6 other cats from 6.6 months old to 8 years old. Yes she gets cranky when the younger cats want to play with her, doing some growling, hissing and swatting. But for the most part, I believe she enjoys her life here.

So she spent the night at the vet getting fluids and other meds to hydrate her. The diagnostic testing revealed she has gallstones. Which at 20 the vet wouldn't even consider the surgery, although her kidneys and liver test came back perfect. So we have now had to change her diet to a low fat, high fiber diet and give her a weeks worth of antibiotics. The overnight stay at the hospital getting fluids did wonders for her, she came home a little heavier then she left, completely filled out and right before I took her home they gave MP her medicine and some sub Q fluid so her little legs were carrying around some extra fluid as well. She has stopped peeing every where and has stopped throwing up. We have 8 liter boxes in the basement, 7 cats. They are kept spotless with cleaning multiple times a day, I use Swheat Scoop liter, unscented. What I did notice was, one of my male cats likes to sleep on the floor, right at the top of the stair case leading to the basement with the 8 liter boxes. This is prohibiting MP from getting to the liter boxes without a confrontation. So Virgil has to get the boot from his new napping spot to give everyone free an clear access to the liter boxes and the basement.

While MP was peeing all over I have washable bed pads for humans that a purchase at a local pharmacy, and I had placed them everywhere she would nap, just incase she was suffering from incontinence. Those bed pads are awesome, they are soft and strong and can be placed right on top of her pillow, the dogs pillow, whatever and where ever she is peeing. They come 3 feet x 3 feet and can be folded or tucked any which way during this period of unusual behavior by your girl until the issue is solved. Who would have thought gallstones would be the cause of my MP's peeing as well as Virgil blocking the staircase to the basement.

Sometimes are all have to be Sherlock Holmes to find the true cause of why our cats do what they do that's unusual. Good luck.
post #23 of 28

My cat pees in his bed all the time but only when he's in the house with just my boyfriend home and I'm out.  My boyfriend is nothing but lovely to the cat but he's a rescue cat and at 17 I think he has some serious psychological issues with boys!  I can tell he doesn't do it on purpose as he's really upset and doesn't sleep in it, he also has no pre-existing physical illnesses he just is really freaked out by boys when I'm not around to reassure him.  He's fine if we're in together, he's best friends with both of us but as soon as I go out the bed gets peed in again!  I think he's too old to fix now though.  Feliway helped a bit but just when I thought he'd stopped it happens again!  I don't think it has anything at all to do with his litter tray its purely a fear response...maybe the original cat is a bit scared of the dog?  My cat is terrified of dogs after two tried to rip him to shreds!  He is a bit of a psychological minefield!! If I could carry him around in a baby sling all day or spoon him on the sofa all day ONLY then would he feel ok! Poor kitty!  Whoever had him before must have been pretty rotten to him.

post #24 of 28

I hate it when patronizing people say things such as.....

"It is VERY unusual for a cat to wee on its' own bed.....".etc....

Says WHO?!

In my experience with many different types and ages of cats,  one can  not be so dogmatic. Cats are such complicated characters I would hate to be so negative.

The Vicks thing is interesting. I would keep on trying different ideas. Different cats present different ways!

They are not always sick,although it is a good idea to check the health aspect first.

I like ' Vet Bed'  for bedding as the surface stays dry . I use this especially for kittening etc.

Don't get downhearted, keep trying to "read" what is going on in that complicated little head.

And don't let people make you feel  foolish because no one really knows exactly how felines think.


post #25 of 28

I think I may have found the answer!!!!!

Ok, so I have this beautiful male persian, and He uses the litterbox normally, no problemo.

I made a bed from him out of my old t-shirt and a cardboard box.

He peed in it.

But I also have another bed, which I put NOT On the same level as the litterbox 

he has yet to pee in there. He never has.

So basically, if your bed is on the same ground level as the litter box, your cat might be associating it with a litterbox!

So, move your bed somewhere high, so he can see the whole place, which makes him feel safe, and he wont associate it with a litterbox because it's not on the same height.

See if that works and report back!

TL;DR Kitty is associating litterbox with bed because they are both on the ground, put bed somewhere up high.


post #26 of 28

could you please tell me what Not On is. My male 'posh' cat has just started peeing in his bed. So far nowhere else. He is 10 months old and has been immaculate about his litter box since being with me (6 months)

He goes in the garden supervised. He is trained to harness and does not mind car and likes walking out in country and on the beach. he his curious about everything.

He actually escaped from the garden and eventually came back. Did this upset his equilibrium? Is he just craving to be free?

He is very beautiful and affectunate. I live on a small road and am surrounded by large gardens. Some have ponds and swimming pools, dogs and cats. I am nervous about just giving him his freedom as I would be devastated if he was stolen or injured or worse. 

He has been to the vet for pee sample but so far there seems to be nothing wrong though I think his pee is very coloured and smelly. He will only eat Hills perscription diet biscuits despite trying every thing possible as treats to vary his diet slightly. This has all distressed me more than him I think. 

I am going to try 2nd litter tray..have already taken top of which seems better. Have left last nights soiled towel at side of litter tray and hes used it. He only pees in bed at night?

I will try the Vicks idea which sounds feesable. Only peeing his bed makes solutions more difficult.

post #27 of 28

I am having a similar issue with my female after getting her a clean bill of health we narrowed it down to her purely being jealous. Try giving her more attention. If you have gotten another cat or dog since you have gotten her that could be why. She is getting territorial over her stuff she wants everyone to know it is her's. Luck enough it is on her bed though my cat took it out my clothes she pulls them out of the laundry basket and pee's on them. Since I have been setting aside time just for she has stopped completly though. So that might be the problem 

post #28 of 28

After 2 years, I have given up. "Madeliene" now has the enitre kitchen table to herself. To pee on. I have plastic sheeting down to cover the table and big fluffy towels for her to pee on. I could never find a reason why she did it, even after a vet visit and 2 litter boxes strategically placed near her favorite spot. So I live with it. Change towel every day to avoid orders.

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