Why Do Cats Pee on Beds, Towels, and Dirty Laundry?
Some cat owners will have a strange thing happen at some time or another... their cat will pee on their bed. We all know cats are suppose to urinate in their litter box, but what are the reasons that some don't?
Some of the places that cats will select to urinate, other than their litter box, are on a bed, sofa, towels, laundry, or even carpeting. You will note they seldom pee on the floor. Just to clear things up – we are not referring to “Spraying” or marking behavior which is most often seen in male cats and is characterized by them standing with their rear end facing a (usually) vertical surface. They “shoot” their urine, and typically twitch their tail at this time. This article is about cats who empty their bladder on the bed, towels, and such, rather than "marking territory" with small amounts of urine.
There are basically three reasons why cats pee on the bed, towels, or what have you. One is that they have a reason for not using their litter box (there are many reasons for this), an other is because you have made these sources available to them, and finally it is because these things smell like you. Let us look into these factors further.
Reasons for a Cat Not Using the Litter Box
There are a multitude of reasons cats fail to use their litter box to urinate. They could have a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), they could have a behavioral problem, or somehow you failed to keep the litter clean, locatable, and of the right type of litter. Perhaps another cat is not allowing them to use their litter box, or the door was shut to the room where it is.
There are so many reasons, in fact, that if a cat is having this problem, one should try to determine the source, a link is available here to help finding out the cause of a cats refusal to use the litter box.
Peeing on the floor is not fun, it splatters, and cats know this. They sometimes have the same problem when their litter box gets so low that all the litter is piled up on one side of the box. They know that fabric is absorbent, and will not cause urine to splatter on their legs. When a kitten cannot find a litter box it will look to whatever is available.
Smells Like You
Your bed, your towels, your dirty laundry on the floor, these things all smell like you. Of course people will try saying that your cat is marking your stuff as its own, but really we do not know what the cat is thinking when it urinates on your bed or clothing. Many theories exist, including that they use this as a way of stating their anger with you, but this is really just guess work. The fact is your cat does not pee on you (hopefully), just your soft stuff, so perhaps your cat thinks of this in a familiar sort of way.
What Can be Done to Prevent, or End, the Problem of a Cat Peeing on your Stuff
Assuming again that the cat is spayed or neutered, and is not spraying... and assuming the cat is not suffering from any kind of urinary tract infect, diabetes, and so forth, there are some things we can do. First amend the problem as mentioned in the link also mentioned above relating to why it cats fail to use the litter box in the first place.
Keep bedroom doors shut and/or keep clothing picked up or in a hamper (with a lid). Try spending a few minutes every day with the cat, patting it, or giving it treats. Keep the home as stress free as possible (do not allow kids to chase your cats). If you must, shut the cat up in the room where the litter box is located at night (with food and water of course), or when you are away, thus reinforcing it to use the litter box, but only if you have filled it with the correct litter, and it is placed in an appropriate spot to begin with (not next to a laundry machine or furnace).
Be aware that cats do not understand discipline for this problem. Rubbing the cats nose in “it” will not help, and may only add to the stress and confusion the cat is experiencing – thus making the problem worse.
Please read the link on why cats fail to use their litter box as this is the start to the problem of them using your bed, towels, and so forth, as a litter option.