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August 19, 2008 7:15 PM   Subscribe

Why did my cat just pee on the bed?

I was busy watching my reality tv, when all of a sudden my cat just starts peeing on the air mattress I have set up for my visitor. Right in front of the tv! I saw him squatting and yelled at him to move, cause I couldn't see what I was watching. Then, I noticed the glimmer or the pee coming down.

Also, he had been playing around his clean litter box before he peed on the bed.

He is almost 3 years old, spayed and frisky. Yet, this is the first time any sort of out of the litter box activity happens.

What's wrong? What can I do for this not to happen ever again.
posted by octomato to Pets & Animals (23 answers total)
 
Get rid of the cat.

But srsly, it seems no matter what I've done, any cats I've owned for whatever reasons they conceive have to pee outside their litter box, be it stress, or whatever. My only solution has been to keep stuff off the floor and avoid getting the little buggers worked up.
posted by glip at 7:22 PM on August 19, 2008


Our cat did the same thing, two different times. He's spayed and we have had him for 6 years he was probably 3 when we got him.

The first time, he had enlarged anal sachs. The vet cleaned him out and he had no further problems.

until a few years later he had a new set of litter box issues. Turns out he had diabetes.

He's still a very happy and frisky cat. Although he gets twice daily insulin injection he no longer goes outside of the litter box.

So see your vet!
posted by akabobo at 7:23 PM on August 19, 2008


Visitor in from out of town? That's why. It's an attention thing.
posted by jon_kill at 7:26 PM on August 19, 2008


the air mattress I have set up for my visitor

The air mattress and the visitor are not usually there, right? I would either guess the cat is either marking territory on a new, unfamiliar object; is not aware that the air mattress is not for peeing on; has taken a dislike to the air mattress; has taken a dislike to the visitor.
posted by frobozz at 7:28 PM on August 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Another vote for stress / "frustration" as a result of the unfamiliar conditions.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:43 PM on August 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


he didn'y like the Op Ed in the paper today?:)
stress! plus anger
posted by femmme at 7:49 PM on August 19, 2008


A cat of mine does this sort of thing when she gets a urinary-tract infection. Probably a long-shot, but you might want to keep an eye on it.
posted by lekvar at 7:56 PM on August 19, 2008


Yet another vote for stress. My cat was unhappy that I had moved her litter box about three feet, so she took to peeing in the center of my bed. I think she measured in from all four corners to find the exact center.
posted by PatoPata at 7:56 PM on August 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've heard that there are typically two big reasons why a cat will pee* somewhere else besides its litterbox. One, something is wrong with it medically, and it is trying to get your attention to let you know. Two, it's unhappy with the litterbox situation (litterbox is not clean, new type of litter it doesn't like, new location it doesn't like, etc).

This happened recently to my cat, and he completely stopped peeing in his litterbox, and eventually started peeing blood. It turned out he had crystals in his bladder. I would advise you to take your cat to the vet, ESPECIALLY if it happens again.

*There's also spraying, but that's a different matter than peeing....and it sounds like your cat is peeing....
posted by Squee at 8:08 PM on August 19, 2008


S/he is ticked the place looks different. The air mattress, you know. It's confusing, ("cat'' defines narcissist), makes him/her feel out of control . Or so I've surmised after 25 years of various cats doing such things whenever we change residences/move something in the home. Or they're marking their (new) territory??? It never fails... sometimes when I just move my bed, the furniture, or get the guest bed ready for company. It's really fun to strip the bed, though, and go spend $15 and 3 hours at the laundromat, isn't it???? THAT'LL learn ya! You'll never set up the air mattress again...hence that will never happen...ever again!! ; )
posted by mumstheword at 8:11 PM on August 19, 2008


My cat is particularly prone to peeing on items made of plastic or rubber, especially ones that smell strongly of said plastic or rubber. The smell of the air mattress combined with its new invasive presence might have been enough to set off a little territorial marking behavior to make the place feel and smell like home again.
posted by platinum at 8:50 PM on August 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


My cat started doing this shortly after I bought one of those AirWick bathroom air deodorizers. There were three bed-pee incidents before I made the connection and threw the AirWick out. Bed peeing promptly stopped.
posted by brownpau at 8:55 PM on August 19, 2008


Our cat did this because of urinary tract infection. I've been told that because it hurts to pee, the cat associates the pain with the litter box, so it tries (in vain) to find a place to go where there is no pain.

In any case, get your cat checked out.
posted by recurve at 9:21 PM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Like platinum, I own a cat that pees on plastic or rubber. He would certainly pee on an air mattress if it weren't inflated, though a puffed up one would freak him out to walk on.
posted by unknowncommand at 9:27 PM on August 19, 2008


My brothers cat started peeing on beds and lounges, and it turned out to be a serious medical issue. If it keeps happening I'd go to a vet.
posted by Admira at 9:31 PM on August 19, 2008


Consult your vet. One of my cats did this, and went so far as to pee on my bed, while I was sleeping in it a few times. Everyone tossed up anger issues and stress, but my vet checked his urine and found some crystals. It was uncomfortable for him to pee anywhere, but his mind attached the discomfort to the litterbox as the usual place, so he eventually just went anywhere else. My bed was the best way to get my attention to it I supposed. Hard to avoid when you wake up soaked.

It was a medical issue, and if I just chalked it up to stress or something else, I would have been trying to fix the wrong thing, and it could have gotten much worse for him.

If it's NOT a medical issue in your place, at least you'll know for sure, and then you can address any environmental issues it could be.
posted by mr.anthony337 at 10:08 PM on August 19, 2008


I was staying with friends, using a roll-out mattress, and their cats peed on said mattress every damned night. I think it was just an annoyance/attention/territory thing. The cats were always fine with me in person.
posted by dhartung at 10:09 PM on August 19, 2008


She's marking her territory. It's her own charming little way of saying "Hey! Visitor from out of town! This house is MINE, bitches!"

If you don't want it to happen again, put the airmattress upright and out of the way until it needs to be used. And then, immediately after use, stow it in its upright and locked position. That's the best you can do, really.

(And invest in some Nature's Miracle in case of emergencies.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:38 AM on August 20, 2008


Male cats are prone to urinary problems. The timing makes me think visit over health issues, but a trip to the vet won't hurt anything but your pocket book.
posted by Silvertree at 5:30 AM on August 20, 2008


Take it to the vet, but if it turns out to be behavioural and not medical, ask your vet about kitty prozac (eg Clomicalm).
posted by Gortuk at 6:29 AM on August 20, 2008


Nthing all of those "marking his territory" answers. There's new people around, likely disrupting his routine and a weird object in the middle of a room where there usually isn't one. Unless the behavior continues or escalates, I wouldn't be worried.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:36 AM on August 20, 2008


Going by my experience, it's either the smell of the plastic (my cats have peed on new plastic items) or failing kidneys (I've got a cat going through this now).

If you notice any weight changes, discomfort, or other behavioral issues, take the cat to the vet.

If it only happens the once, and the air mattress was new, you can probably discount it.

But I've had two cats fail to contiue existing in the past year, so I may not be the best at giving advice on how to keep them alive.
posted by krisak at 7:45 AM on August 20, 2008


Almost definitely the stress. This is a pretty common behavior when a cat gets pissed off (heh) by some sort of change. One of our cats started taking dumps on my bed right after I left for college, and another decided he hated the new carpet we put in the spare room and peed all over it (and it worked; we had to rip it out).

However, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for anything that might indicate a urinary tract infection, such as straining, since they are fairly common in male cats.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:39 AM on August 20, 2008


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