We have talked a lot about cat litter box problems before, but occasions when cats pee on their owner’s beds, shoes, clothes, and other personal belongings require special attention.
Soiling a bed or slippers is usually associated with a conflict between the cat and the owner or some other stress, which may falsely suggest that it is an act of revenge. It isn’t.
In this article, you are going to learn why cats urinate on their owners’ beds and personal items, as well as how to stop this annoying behavior.
Let’s address the revenge myth first. We won’t discuss whether cats are or are not vengeful creatures, as it would require a separate article to prove that they are not.
The more important fact is that cats do not find their urine disgusting, like we do. Also, they have no idea that urine can be used as a tool of revenge.
Why cats pee on your bed or shoes
If it isn’t a revenge, then what is it? Let’s, for a second, assume that your cat is healthy. Peeing on your belongings could be described as a cat trying to add his scent to your stuff. Although it is an analogy, it is like when our relatives give us vases and photo-frames, so we remember them every time we see their presents.
Ironically, a cat might pee on your shoes in order to improve the relationship between the two of you. Needless to say, it rarely works.
Most owners . . . all cat owners don’t want this, regardless of the cat’s good intentions. So can you stop it?
How to stop a cat from peeing on your bed
1. Check your cat for medical problems and other reasons for avoiding the litter box.
First, you need to know your cat is fine. Urinating outside of the box is among the most common cat behavior problems caused by medical reasons. Often it is associated with painful urination, urine incontinence, or over production.
IMPORTANT: Every cat who experiences litter box problems must be examined by a veterinarian, especially if the problem has appeared suddenly.
You should also check your cat’s box to see if there isn’t something undesirable about it. Other common causes of litter box avoidance are an untidy litter box, an inappropriate location for the box, or wrong litter box type. You can learn more about possible causes of cat litter box problems here.
Note: sometimes a litter box problem can be solved, but the habit remains. You can learn how to get your cat back to the litter box here.
2. Do not punish your cat for peeing on your belongings
It sure can be hard to control your frustration as you step inside a wet slipper early in the morning, or worse, discover wet sheets as you drag yourself into the bed after a tiresome day. However . . .
Punishing your cat for peeing on your belongings is likely to make the situation worse. Why?
As stated above, much of the behavior problem is caused by stress, and punishment, physical or verbal, isn’t going to help reduce it. It only adds more stress.
3. Recognize and limit your cat’s stress
Instead you should try the opposite and implement strategies that reduce stress. It does not mean you must praise or cuddle your cat for the mishap. Ignore what happened, clean everything up without giving any hints, positive or negative, to your cat.
Simultaneously try to find out what stresses your cat so much and if there is a way to relieve it. Check how your cat feels from day to day and at what moments he seems out of balance.
Does this happen because of your relationship? Try to improve your relationship with your cat as much as you can by playing, petting, or just talking to your cat more. Limit negative interactions and punishments. It does not mean you have to allow your cat everything. It is okay to discipline, but think about ways to do this less dramatically. For example, to disrupt an undesired behavior one can pick a cat up and place it somewhere else instead of yelling at it. If you need to be harsh, okay, but once the desired outcome has been achieved, calm down; don’t chase after the cat.
Besides the relationship, other things can cause a cat to be stressed. Common stressors include changes in the environment or schedule, an owner’s absence, boredom, a tight living space, and its relationships with other pets, including ones that can be seen through a window. You can learn more about causes and solutions to stress here.
However, the most common reason cats pee on their owner’s beds, shoes, and other stuff is because of their own relationship. As stated above, they might be doing it in order to improve their bond with you, which often fails miserably as owners do not find the act warm and welcoming. You don’t need to, but, if you work on other areas, maybe your cat won’t need to pee on your shoes to appeal to you.
Note, if your cat has other behavior problems, you can check for solution to most common ones here.