Cat Urinating on Bed & Laundry

Sometimes cat urinating will begin to take place outside of the litter box on bedding, laundry, or in shoes.

In some cases this type of behavior is not from a veterinary medical issue–which you should first rule out–but because of stress.

Stressed animals may react to changes in the environment and change their toileting habits in response. These changes can include:

  • new people (roommate, boyfriend/girlfriend)
  • moving to a new location
  • outside cats near territory
  • conflict with other pets
  • introduction of new household objects
  • litter box issues (location, cleanliness, or inadequate number)
  • negative association with litter box (ambushed or startled in box)

An animal behaviorist can help you to track down the underlying issue(s) and assist you with addressing the problem.

Usually a pet behavior modification program is about eight weeks long but can be shorter or longer depending on the complexity of the problem, how long it has been ongoing, and your compliance with the program.

(We have a litter box avoidance booklet available for sale in our shop or check our referral page for experts in your area.)

I’ve found success by using Feliway diffuser of use. It is an imitation cat pheromone that can be used in conjunction with an animal behaviorist’s recommendations.

There is also a Feliway Spray that is perfect for traveling and other situations where you need an extra stress reduction or a temporary boost.

Usually you need to trouble shoot and make temporary (and sometimes permanent) adaptations to eliminate the issue.

If you have multiple cats, sometimes the solution is as simple as making sure that you have one box per cat plus one. In other cases the issues may need barriers, temporary confinement or approximation back to the box.

After a 6.7 magnitude earthquake one of my client’s cats stopped using the box. She must have been using the box during the quake and so avoided it. The trauma caused a negative association with the litter box!

The solution was fairly simple, we moved the box to where she was toileting and gradually moved it in small increments until we got back to the original location.

Cat urinating and toileting issues are different from cat urine marking which I’ll talk about later.

Have you experienced this cat behavior problem of a cat urinating on your bed or laundry? If so, how did you solve it?

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  1. Serenity says

    I have an 8 year old cat and just a few weeks ago he started peeing on bedding. we cleaned up the mess with viniger and he did it we locked him out of all rooms and he is fine. but i decided to sleep downstairs with my blanket and again he peed on the bedding. It seems to only be on bedding, his sister is not doing this at all, we clean the box everyday. there is not a strong oder coming from the box so i dont believe that it is a bladder infection but we are getting it checked out. there is not much stress in the house its a normel level nothing out of the ordinary for him. The last time he did this we were moving to Germany that i could understand because there was a lot of stress around the house but this time i dont know we have lived here for two years now and nothing has changed.
    thank you

  2. Thanks for the note. It is good that you are getting the cat checked out. Get the help of a behaviorist and try some of the suggestions in the series–especially the odor neutralizer–not vinegar.

    If you need more help you can click into “hire animal expert” and make a phone appointment.

  3. William A Daubenspeck says

    My young cat repeatedly urinated on the bed in our guest room. Here’s how I stopped the wetting: I taped three long sheets of clear contact paper, sticky side up, to a waterproof mattress cover. It’s been over four weeks and no wetting. As a test I placed Maggie on the bed and she immediately jumped off. In time I will remove the contact paper and I think she will stay away from that bed.

  4. Thanks for taking time to share what worked for you. Barriers and other such techniques work for some but not in all cases. Glad that you had success but unless you get to the root of the problem, it is likely to occur again when you remove the barrier tape.

  5. We have a 1 yr old male cat who continually keeps urinating on fresh laundry out of the dryer and on our bed, when we’re actually sleeping in it.. He’s been checked out by the vet and has no medical issues.. We keep the litter boxes very clean and have one for every cat plus one.. We have neutralized the odor repeatedly.. we have tried Feliway.. Every time we think we’ve nipped the problem he surprises us again.. We’ve taken precautions to assure he can not and does not urinate in freshly cleaned laundry.. No more leaving a fresh clean load of laundry out.. He gets overly excited, jumps right in and does his business.. He won’t touch dirty laundry though.. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.. I’ve read books, talked to vets and tried a ton of different things..

  6. I have a gray cat named pookie. He’s twenty pounds with green eyes, but he keeps peeing on everything. My parents said if he doesn’t have an infection then he be put down or becom an outdoor kitty. (Ciyotes are in the woods) 🙁

  7. Sorry to hear that Mia. He needs to be taken to the vet and tell you parents to read the series on this topic here.


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