Does your cat piss on the bed or couch? Here’s why

There is a place and a function for everything. While litter boxes act as litter boxes, couches and beds are meant to be used for relaxing, sleeping, and (if we’re lucky) for cats to cuddle. We expect to find cat urine in the litter box, not where we relax and nap. But what about a cat peeing on the bed or couch?

A cat who pees on the bed or couch is not intentionally naughty or seeking revenge. Cats who urinate in the wrong places should never be punished – there are legitimate reasons for this behavior problem. A cat peeing on the bed sends a message to everyone in the household that there is a problem that requires immediate attention. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why does my cat pee on the bed?” or: “Why does my cat pee on the couch?” We found some reasons and ways you can solve the problems!

1. Your cat peeing on the bed or couch is a sign of a medical problem

A cat peeing on the bed can have medical problems. Photo by Africa Studio / Shutterstock.

If your cat has a behavior disorder or has a behavior change, get a veterinarian to examine it as soon as possible. There are no exceptions to this rule, and that includes a cat peeing on the bed.

Many serious medical problems can cause cats to avoid using litter boxes. A short list includes urinary tract infections, diabetes and arthritis, and a host of other painful and serious conditions.

2. Urinating in high places feels safe for your cat

An orange tabby cat sleeping on a bed.

Raised areas like beds feel safer for cats. Photography © Aksenovko | Thinkstock.

What do sofas, beds, chairs and counters have in common? They have surfaces that are higher than the ground and have good views. The height is perfect for kittens to identify and escape potential threats and stressors. Survival is a priority – it’s instinctual, cats of course don’t want to be ambushed.

Sometimes your cat peeing on the bed or couch will tell you that these places feel safer than their litter box. It is more difficult for other animals to corner and trap cats in elevated areas because the culprits are easy to see.

3. A cat peeing on the bed or couch indicates problems with the litter box

Cute kitten coming out of a closed litter box.

Some cats do not like closed litter boxes. Photography © amstockphoto | Thinkstock.

Sometimes a cat who pees on the bed or couch is the cat parents’ fault. The cats just don’t feel safe with their litter boxes. From the point of view of cats, the locations and types of crates can be set up so that other animals can corner them and possibly catch them.

Depending on the stressors, people can help their kittens feel more secure and stop or prevent unwanted behaviors such as a cat peeing on the bed or couch by making a few simple changes to the litter box. Cats need a choice – if one litter box doesn’t feel right, there must be others around the house.

The litter box rule is one for each cat and one for the household. If you have three cats, your particular cats will need four litter boxes. The locations make the difference between use and avoidance. Place them in areas with good views that would be difficult for other pets to catch. Avoid places like closets, cupboards, and small spaces.

The box itself also makes a difference. Litter boxes must be exposed. Kittens can be caught and ambushed in covered litter boxes. Other faux pas that can cause cats to avoid their crates include providing litter boxes that are too small and not cleaning the litter boxes regularly.

4. Inappropriate urination can indicate relationship problems

A cat is playing with his scratching post.

Vertical territory helps cats feel safe. Photography © marima-design | Thinkstock.

Minor and major disputes with the other resident animals can cause problems such as: B. When a cat pees on the bed, couch, or other inappropriate places. Cat fights often take place over status, territory, and resources and can occur when other animals are introduced into the household too quickly. Dogs can also be a source of stress – some pose serious threats, others hunt or play too rough. The end result is often the same – a cat peeing on the bed, couch, or other area with a good view to leave quickly.

The situation must be assessed – new cats should be introduced separately and gradually to the other resident animals. Most likely, you’ll need to add more vertical territory – scratching posts, shelves, and other tall pieces of furniture the cats can use.

One way kittens show their status is by where they sit in relation to one another. These heights are also sanctuaries from dogs and other threats. They should be at least five feet tall. In addition to the vertical area, add scratching posts and horizontal scratches. One way cats mark their territory is by scratching.

5. A cat who pees on the bed or couch may have separation anxiety

A small, anxious, or nervous calico kitten.

Separation anxiety can cause cats to pee on inappropriate items like beds or couches. Photography © skyblue16 | Thinkstock.

Kittens are not socially lonely – they often form close relationships with people and other animals. Sensitive kittens can become anxious if their loved one is away for a long time. These cats might respond to the absence by peeing on the bed or couch, saturated with their human’s odor. They mix their own scents with those of their loved ones.

While separation anxiety can be heartbreaking, there are steps you can take to help your cat feel more secure when left alone. This includes getting someone to either stay with your cat or visit at least twice a day. During their visits, they should interact with her and do activities that she enjoys, such as: B. Play and maybe care. Their scent can make your kitten feel like they haven’t been abandoned. Before leaving, put small towels and other items of clothing that have your odor in sealable plastic bags – one for each day you are away. Your cat sitter needs to bring out a new fragrance item for your cat every day.

The final word on a cat peeing on the bed, couch, or other raised surface

When a cat pees on the bed or other similar surfaces, the cat sends a clear message that there is a potentially serious problem. Although frustrating, never punish the cat for the behavior. Instead, identify and address the reasons for the behavior. If you cannot solve the problem, contact a qualified, behaviorally certified expert.

Thumbnail: Photography Rommel Canlas / Shutterstock.

This piece was originally released in 2016.

Read more about cats and peeing on

Also, read one cat parent’s personal experience with this improper cat urination – and their tips for cleaning up >>

About the author:

Please follow Marilyn on Facebook!

If you suspect a behavior problem, always rule out any potential medical problems that could be causing the behavior by first getting your cat examined by a veterinarian.

Marilyn, a certified cat behavior consultant, owner of The Cat Coach, LLC, solves cat behavior problems nationally and internationally through on-site advice and via Skype. She uses positive reinforcement, including environmental change, clicker training, and other behavior modification techniques.

She is also an award-winning writer. Her book Naughty No More! focuses on solving behavior problems in cats through clicker training and other positive reinforcement methods. Marilyn values ​​education – she believes it is important that cat parents understand the reasons for their cat’s behavior.

She is a frequent guest on television and radio, answering questions about cat behavior and helping people understand their cats.


Related Articles