OK, I probably should have covered this first.  If you haven’t read the earlier posts, then make sure you do.  They are important!  Everything I’ve covered so far is correct, but your first step should be to clean up the mess!  And, it needs to be done correctly!  Here’s why:  Cats have an incredible sense of smell.  They recognize the smell of urine.  They also recognize the smell of their own urine.  You probably came to this site because you looked into “cat peeing on bed”.  After all, that is the name of the blog.  So, first things first.  Clean it up!  But, there are some things you need to know…

Since cats recognize the smell of their own urine, you need to clean up the mess correctly, or there’s a danger of your cat thinking of your bed, or clothes or carpet or couch or plants, or wherever they are peeing, as a LITTER BOX!!  You need to stop them from thinking it’s OK to pee in their new-found location.  So, here’s what you do to clean it up:

You need to remove the most amount of cat urine as possible.  First, you need to dab the area using paper towels until the they no longer show ANY trace of dampness.  Use firm pressure, and keep using new paper towels until the paper towel comes up completely dry.  What you do next depends on how the urine-stained item can be cleaned.  If it is clothes, blankets, sheets, or a small rug, etc., then it can probably be laundered.  Throw it in the washer, and give it a thorough laundering.  If it can’t be put in a washer, but CAN be cleaned thoroughly, then hose it down, and scrub it with soap VERY thoroughly, and rinse it out good.  Then repeat!

If the object with urine on it is something like your couch, a chair, or your bed, then it obviously can’t be thrown in the washer!  So, the first step is the same as above.  Follow the paper towel and dabbing procedure already outlined.  But BE THOROUGH!  Make sure you get as much urine out of it as possible!  Then, carefully vacuum the area with your vacuum cleaner to try to get as much out as your can.  Then, and ONLY then, can you move on to the next step.

Spray the area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner.  Spray it until it is wet.  Then, let it sit for 15-20 minutes to let the enzymes react fully.  Then, dab it all up with paper towels, vacuum, then repeat.  Finally, let it dry.  This is about as good as you can do for items like couches, beds, etc. to clean them.

What is an enzymatic cleaner?  It is a special class of cleaner that use enzymes to change the molecular make-up of the urine itself.  It doesn’t just cover up the smell, it actually changes the molecular make-up of the urine so that your cat no longer recognizes it as urine.  Not even its own urine!  So do yourself a favor.  USE IT!!    I don’t care where you get it, just get it!!  It really works.

Two of the brands that I know first hand that work well are Zero Odor, and also Nature’s Miracle.  They work.  Just be aware that they also have types of products, so make sure you get the right ones.  You can see them here:

Zero Odor Pet Stain Remover and Molecular Odor Eliminator.

Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Remover.

That’s it!  I know it’s a pain in the butt, but do it!  And, make sure you continue to do it until you “solve the problem” that your particular cat is having.  If you don’t, you risk your entire home turning into a giant litter box!

If your cat is spraying or peeing outside the litter box, and you have had your cat checked out by the vet as covered in my last post,  then the next step is to clarify which type of problem you have. You can generally separate litter box problems into two groups.  It is either a behavioral issue or a health-related issue.  If it is a behavioral issue, we will cover these in future posts.  If your vet found a health issue that needs active treatment, then follow their advice for the treatment of that health issue.  There are, however, several health issues that your vet may not bring up.  We’ll look at these problems and their potential solutions next.

If your cat is older, overweight, has any difficulty walking or jumping, or has a strange or stiff walking gait, then these mobility problems could be contributing factors to your cat’s difficulty using the litter box.  You see, these issues could mean your cat is having problems getting to the litter box in time, or getting into the litter box.

If you think it sounds like mobility may be the problem, then I might have a solution.  Try adding an additional litter box closer to the location where your cat likes to spend most of its time.  Also, make sure it’s a low-sided litter box so your cat can get into it easier.  It may even be necessary to cut down the ‘entry’ side of the litter box a little lower to ensure they are able to easily enter the box.  Also, you may want to put an easily cleanable mat, with slightly raised sides,  just outside the litter box.  This will act as a ‘welcome mat’ for your cat.  If they don’t make it all the way into the box, it will make cleanup easy.  That is the reason for getting one with slightly raised edges, so it will contain any urine that ends up on the mat.  Mats like this are often made as placemats for pet food dishes.  You can see the one we use by Clicking Here.  So, if mobility is an issue, it’s very possible this will take care of the problem.  These solutions have worked for us in the past when we had cats who were older.  They also worked well for a younger cat who had congenital mobility issues.

One more thing… If your cat’s mobility problems are caused by a treatable condition, whether it’s something the vet found, or if it’s from obesity, then MAKE SURE YOU TREAT THE PROBLEM!  If your cat is overeating or is eating the wrong type of food, this can contribute to both obesity and arthritis.  Check out the food you have been feeding your cat.  Cats are obligate carnivores.  This means they evolved to pretty much only eat meat.  You don’t see wild cats grazing on the open plains like cattle.  You don’t hear about packs of feral cats eating the vegetables out of people’s gardens like rabbits.   They eat meat.  So make sure your cat’s food is primarily meat, and has little or no grain content.  This one change can make your cat much more healthy.  Luckily, the food labels have their ingredients listed in order from most-used ingredient to those used the least.  This means you need to check the label and make sure the first several ingredients are some type of meat, and there should be little or no corn, wheat, soy, etc.  Lately, ‘no grain’ foods are becoming more popular and more readily available.

Also, your cat does NOT need to have food available all the time.  Many cats have a hard time controlling their eating.  If there is food out, they will eat.  But, they do NOT need to be able to “freely feed”.  If your cat is obese, it is completely OK to only feed them twice a day.  Once in the morning and once in the evening.  It’s better for them and it’s also more natural.  If you picture a wild cat, they don’t always have food available to them.  Instead, they need to find it and catch it first.

So, if your cat has mobility issues, try the litter box suggestions listed above.  If the mobility problems are caused by a health problem, have it treated.  If it is caused by being overweight, then it’s time for a diet!

Whether you know it or not, your cat may have health issues. These need to be taken care of FIRST! If your cat does have unaddressed health problems, this could easily be the cause of their itinerant urinary habits. If you don’t fix this first, no technique, idea, or cat whisperer ‘secret’ is going to help.

Many times a change in your cat’s health will be accompanied with other more subtle changes in their behavior.  To try to find out if there are any issues, first think back over the last few weeks…

  • Has your cat’s behavior changed in any way?
  • Has their appetite changed?
  • Have their litter box habits changed in any way? (Other than peeing where they shouldn’t.)
  • Have they been urinating or defecating (pooping) more or less often?
  • Has the consistency of their poop changed?
  • Do you remember them being more or less lethargic, (sleepy), than usual?
  • Are they hiding or sleeping in places that are unusual or even just different than normal?
  • When they walk or jump, does it look like they are stiff, achy or in pain in any way?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it’s likely that it’s time for a visit to your favorite Veterinarian.  Frankly, just the symptom of urinating outside the litter box is enough of an issue to have your cat checked out.  I know, nobody likes to go to the vet.  But, if you are honest with yourself, they’re probably due for a checkup anyway.  Just some of the health issues that could cause or at least contribute to the problem are arthritis, diabetes, feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), infections, and interstitial cystitis.  You can’t just leave this alone, because it’s likely it will only get worse.  Make sure that you tell the vet about any possible symptoms you’ve noticed, and also about your cat’s problem with urinating outside the litter box.  Tell him that you want to rule out any health issues that could be causing or contributing to the situation.

Remember, rule out the health issues FIRST.  No other ideas are likely to help if there is an untreated health problem with your cat.

The first step to successfully addressing the problem is looking at it from the correct prospective.  The best way to look at the situation is that your cat has a problem, and needs your help.  When you first discover that your cat is spraying and urinating where it shouldn’t, your first reaction may be anger.  This is understandable.  For instance, maybe you discovered the problem like this:

You are tired at night after a long day of work.  You are ready for a good night’s sleep.  You slide into bed, and the first thing you notice is a wet spot on your legs.  “What the heck is that?!”, you think.  Then the smell hits you.  “The #%!&# cat peed on the bed!!”, you exclaim.

That’s when you need to stop yourself.  Its OK to be angry at the situation.  Just don’t take it out on your cat.  Remember, they don’t think the same way we do.  They can’t use logic to determine what went wrong.  And, they don’t have the same concept of time that we do.  Because of this, you can’t punish your cat!  It will certainly do no good, and is more likely to make the problem worse!  If you punish your cat, they will never mentally relate the punishment to the act of peeing where they shouldn’t.  They just don’t think that way.

Most people get angry when some rule that they have in their own subconscious is broken.  For instance, you may have never thought about it, but you may have your own subconscious rule that pets should never be in the bedroom. Or maybe the rule is as simple as you shouldn’t pee on someone else’s bed!  It really doesn’t matter.  All you need to know is that your cat doesn’t understand.

One more thing, people often attribute complex human emotions to cats that they simply don’t have.  If you think that your cat doesn’t like you and is urinating where it shouldn’t just to show you or get back at you for something, then your are wrong!  Again, cats don’t think that way.  They are not spiteful.  There is some other problem.

So, in summary, your cat doesn’t get it.  They don’t understand.  They are peeing where they shouldn’t for some other reason.  They are NOT spiteful.  They are NOT trying to make you mad or get back at you for something.  Instead, look at it for what it is.  Your cat has a problem, and it needs your help.  In future posts, I hope to highlight what can cause this, and address how to fix it.

If you’re a cat owner, then you probably know that it’s not uncommon for a cat to pee outside the litter box.  Whether the problem is your cat peeing on your bed, on a carpet or rug, in your plants, on your clothes, on your couch, or just about anywhere else in your house, I’m going to try to give you some solutions that will help stop the problem.

As a lifelong cat owner, it dawned on me how common this problem is.  I realized that many of my friends and family have gone through this at one time or another.  Since I knew so many people that have had this issue, there must be thousands of people across the country that need help stopping this problem.  Many times, there is a simple secret to identify the real problem and immediately stop your cat spraying or peeing in unusual locations around your house.  In this blog I’ll identify various ways to identify the problem and fix it as quickly as possible.