I wanted to thank you all so much for helping me get this figured out. I finally had an emotional breakdown the other day because he just wouldn't stop! I called the Oregon Humane Society and they gave me the information below. They made a few suggestions and so far they've worked.
I got a plastic tablecloth with a fabric back and put it on my bed. Then I got some citrus smelling spray stuff and put it all over the tablecloth. He won't get on the bed anymore... its so wonderful!
Territorial Marking Behavior In Dogs And Cats
Dogs and cats are territorial animals. This means that they â€œstake out a claimâ€ to a particular space, area or object. They let other people and animals know about their claim by marking it with a variety of methods and at many levels of intensity. For example, a dog may bark to drive away what he perceives as intruders to his territory. A cat may mark a valued object by rubbing it with her face.
Some pets may go to the extreme of urinating or defecating to mark a particular area as their own. Urine marking is not a house-soiling problem, but is a territorial behavior. Therefore, to resolve the problem, you need to address the underlying reason for your petâ€™s need to mark his territory in this way.
House Soiling Or Urine Marking? How To Tell The Difference!
Your pet may be urine-marking if:
The problem is primarily urination. Dogs and cats rarely mark with feces.
The amount of urine is small and is found primarily on vertical surfaces. Dogs and cats do sometimes mark on horizontal surfaces. Leg lifting and spraying are dominant versions of urine marking, but even if your pet doesnâ€™t assume these postures, he may still be urine-marking.
Any pet in your home is not spayed or neutered. Both intact males and females are more likely to urine mark than are spayed or neutered animals. However, even spayed or neutered animals may mark in response to other intact animals in the home.
Your pet urinates on new objects in the environment (a shopping bag, a visitor's purse), on objects that have unfamiliar smells, or on objects that have another animalâ€™s scent.
Your pet has conflicts with other animals in your home. When thereâ€™s instability in the pack hierarchy, a dog may feel a need to establish his dominance by urine-marking his territory. If one cat is intimidating another cat, the bullied cat may express his anxiety by urine marking.
Your pet has contact with other animals outside your home. A cat thatâ€™s allowed outdoors may come home and mark after having an encounter with another cat outside. If your pet sees another animal through a door or window, he may feel a need to mark his territory.
Your dog marks frequently on neighborhood walks.
What You Can Do:
Spay or neuter your pet as soon as possible. Spaying or neutering your pet may stop urine marking altogether, however, if he has been urine marking over a long period of time, a pattern may already be established.
Resolve conflicts between animals in your home (see our handouts: â€œCanine Rivalryâ€ and â€œFeline Social Behavior and Aggression Between Family Cats.â€)
Restrict your petâ€™s access to doors and windows through which they can observe animals outside. If this isnâ€™t possible, discourage the presence of other animals near your house (see. our handout: â€œDiscouraging Roaming Cats.â€)
Keep your cat indoors. Heâ€™ll be safer, will live longer, and will feel less need to mark his territory.
Clean soiled areas thoroughly (see our handout: â€œSuccessful Cleaning to Remove Pet Odors and Stains.â€) Donâ€™t use strong smelling cleaners as these may cause your pet to over-mark the spot.
Make previously soiled areas inaccessible or unattractive (see our handouts: â€œAversives For Dogsâ€ and â€œAversives For Cats.â€)
If making soiled areas inaccessible or unattractive isnâ€™t possible, try to change the significance of those areas. Feed, treat and play with your pet in the areas he is inclined to mark.
Keep objects likely to cause marking out of reach. Guestsâ€™ belongings, new purchases and so forth, should be placed in a closet or cabinet.
If your pet is marking in response to a new resident in your home (a new baby, roommate or spouse), have the new resident make friends with your pet by feeding, grooming and playing with your pet. Make sure good things happen to your pet when the new baby is around (see our handout: â€œPreparing Your Pet for Babyâ€™s Arrival.â€)
For dogs: watch your dog at all times when he is indoors for signs that he is thinking about urinating. When he begins to urinate, interrupt him with a loud noise and take him outside, then praise him and give him a treat if he urinates outside. When youâ€™re unable to watch him, put your dog in confinement (a crate or small room where he has never marked) or tether him to you with a leash.
For cats: try to monitor your catâ€™s movements. If he even sniffs in an area he has previously marked, make a loud noise or squirt him with water. Itâ€™s best if you can do this without him seeing you, because then heâ€™ll associate the unpleasantness with his intent to mark, rather than with you.
Practice â€œnothing in life is freeâ€ with your dog (see our handout: â€œNothing In Life Is Free.â€) This is a safe, nonconfrontational way to establish your leadership and requires your dog to work for everything he wants from you. Have your dog obey at least one command (such as â€œsitâ€) before you pet him, give him dinner, put on his leash or throw a toy for him. Establishing yourself as a strong leader can help stabilize the hierarchy and thus diminish your dogâ€™s need to mark his territory.
What Not To Do:
Donâ€™t punish your pet after the fact. Punishment administered even a minute after the event is ineffective because your pet won't understand why he is being punished.
Pets Aren't People:
Dogs and cats donâ€™t urinate or defecate out of spite or jealousy. If your dog urinates on your babyâ€™s diaper bag, itâ€™s not because he is jealous of, or dislikes your baby. The unfamiliar scents and sounds of a new baby in the house are simply causing him to reaffirm his claim on his territory. Likewise, if your cat urinates on your new boyfriendâ€™s backpack, this is not his opinion of your taste in men. Instead, he has perceived the presence of an â€œintruderâ€ and is letting the intruder know that this territory belongs to him.
Dominance Or Anxiety?
Urine marking is usually associated with dominance behavior. While this is often the case, some pets may mark when they feel anxious or upset. For example, a new baby in the home brings new sounds, smells and people, as well as changes in routine. Your dog or cat probably isnâ€™t getting as much attention as he was used to getting. All of these changes cause him to feel anxious, which may cause him to mark. Likewise, a pet that is generally anxious may become more so by the presence of roaming neighborhood animals in your yard, or by the introduction of a new cat or dog into your household. If your pet is feeling anxious, you might consider talking to your veterinarian about medications to reduce his anxiety while you work on behavior modification.
Aversives For Cats
Determining an effective aversive reaction for your cat is definitely a case of trial-and-error, as individual preferences will vary with each cat. This is often the best method to discourage a cat from a particular action or place, but will seldom work effectively without offering an alternative that is both convenient and rewarding.
You may need to weight the â€œmaterialâ€ firmly or tape it in order for it to stay put. To protect furniture or floor finish from sticky substances, attach them to a piece of foil or heavy plastic and secure that with weights or light tape.
Shelf paper (sticky side up)
Double-sided carpet tape
Irregular or sharp rocks, firmly set into dirt
Chicken wire, firmly set into dirt (sharp edges rolled under)
Heavy plastic carpet runner (pointed side up)
Soak cotton balls, rags or washcloths in the â€œstinkyâ€ substance. To help protect carpets, upholstery, floors or furniture, place the saturated object on a piece of weighted foil or heavy plastic. To prevent the substance from seeping into the ground, use the same precautions. Outdoor substances need to be reapplied daily, due to quicker dissipation into the air.
Indoors & Outdoors:
Insect repellent, especially those containing citronella and/or citrus odors (check for toxicity - if safe for young children, it's generally safe for pets)
Citric odors - colognes, concentrated juices or fresh peels
Some muscle rubs (NOTE: some cats react to menthol as they do to catnip - beware!)
Some of these substances may damage furniture or floor finishes, so be sure to test them in a hidden location before wide-spread use. Except for hot sauce and cayenne pepper, these substances should be safe to apply to most peopleâ€™s skin; however, some individuals may be sensitive to them.
Bitter Apple or similar sprays and gels marketed specifically for taste aversion
Insect repellents, especially those containing citronella or citrus odors (check for toxicity, if it's safe for young children, it's generally safe for pets)
Some hot sauces
Some muscle rubs
Citric odors (colognes, concentrated juices or fresh peels)
Remote Controlled Aversives:
Motion detector that reacts with a startling sound
Snappy Trainer (upside-down mouse trap thatâ€™s securely taped under paper to avoid contact)
Aluminum pie plate containing water, beans or pebbles -- preferably balanced precariously on a counter or other undesirable â€œjumpingâ€ surface
Scat Mat (very slight electrical shock)
Human Controlled Aversives:
Use these to get your cat's attention, and thereby offer an appropriate alternative.
Spray bottle or squirt gun filled with water or a combination of water and vinegar (NOTE: avoid the super-duper water guns that have a very forceful spray)
Loud air horn
Shaker can (soda can containing nails, pennies, beans or pebbles - securely taped shut)
WARNING: For fearful cats, try everything else before trying surprise techniques, especially those using noises!