It’s an all too common problem – one that frustrates and confuses some cat owners to the point of rehoming their feline companions. The cat seems fine, has a clean litterbox and comfortable living environment, but still makes a mess of the bed. The cat may use the bed of a roommate or relative as a makeshift litterbox instead, or pee on shoes or clean laundry or a briefcase. Sometimes the problem is intermittent, and sometimes it’s persistent; either way it is beyond exasperating. In this entry, we’ll explore some reasons for this behavior.
Consider Medical Issues
If your cat is consistently urinating inappropriately, or pees in front of you, there may be a medical condition such as a bladder infection. These infections are uncomfortable, and the cat be associating this discomfort with the litterbox. I always recommend a vet check to rule out a physical reason for the behavior.
Quite often, inappropriate urination is an expression of anxiety from cats. Has a new person, such as a roommate or significant other, entered your cat’s personal space recently? Have you adopted another animal without preparing the cat? Has a new baby entered the picture? Is the litterbox clean? Have you changed the brand of litter substrate? Has the litterbox been moved? Try seeing the world through your cat’s eyes (even crawling on the floor with him) and figure out how to eliminate potential stressors whenever possible.
Develop New Associations
Play a game with your cat on your bed that encourages positive behaviors that can then be rewarded with a treat. Cats aren’t likely to urinate in the same place that they eat, so this exercise can help to establish positive new associations with your bed as a place for play rather than a place to pee.
Is Your Reflecting Your Stress? Objecting to Your Distraction?
Are you stressed out? Are you having (or choosing) to spend more time away from home? Cats have deep connections with their human companions, and may express their worry or anger by urinating on their owners’ belongings. While it’s usually a statement of anger, the intermingling of scents is sometimes comforting to a cat (even though it’s less than endearing to humans). Be sure to set aside dedicated time to play with your cat when you’re home. It also helps to tell her what time you’ll be home. She’ll understand the feel of the hour you tell her, and will anticipate your coming home when it feels like that hour.
Still not sure about the reason for your cat’s undesirable behavior? Give me a call, or schedule a consultation online today.