Getting kitty pee out of a dog bed
May 16, 2009 8:20 PM   Subscribe

Cat Pee question - this time preventative and on a dog bed

Our cat(s) are/were peeing on our dog's bed. I bought a UV light for cat pee detection and didn't see any on the cover, but then I took out the insert pad and it was soaked. I haven't ever seen them pee on it, which makes me believe that they do it when we are out of town.

We humans and dog really like the dog bed. He likes sleeping on it and we like how it keeps him off the rug and keeps our rug dog hair free for a day or so.

I machine-washed the insert (not recommended, but I figured that it'd be worth a shot) and cover. I'll inspect them with the UV light but I don't have high hopes, especially for the insert, I ordered another insert ($50!). Is the cover beyond repair too?

My questions:

First, our dog has been sick with intestinal problems for the last few months. Could the pee-soaked bed be related to that?

And second, any recommendations for preventing the kitties from peeing on the new one (we do Feliaway and IckyPoo and all that stuff) and/or avoiding the pee from setting into the new dog bed? (maybe could we put some of those absorbent pads in between the cover and the insert?)
posted by k8t to Pets & Animals (5 answers total)
Does it still smell bad after you washed it? For that matter, you didn't mention - did it smell bad before you washed it? The UV light can be helpful but it isn't fail-safe. Many substances glow under UV light, including some detergents, so just because it glows doesn't mean it's cat pee. In fact, it's more likely that it's dog pee if anything, since your dog is on it all the time and you never see your cats near it. But if it smells fine after washing, it should be fine. If it doesn't, Anti-icky-poo is probably best, but you can also try vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or baking soda.
posted by platinum at 8:51 PM on May 16, 2009

I am not sure about the first question. No doubt your dog can smell it much better than you can, and the situation is probably causing him some anxiety and stress. My cat peed in my dog's crate one time, and I kenneled him in it not knowing this was the case. He ended up breaking one of his canine teeth in half trying to get out. I felt so bad that I've never crated my dog since.

My animal behavioralist recommended confining the offending cat in a small room with a litter box, food and water for 2-3 weeks until the cat got used to using the litter box and only the litter box. She also suggested having several litterboxes on each level of our house.

To save the insert from future pee attacks, I would buy one of those waterproof mattress covers, cut it up, and sew a new cover for the dog bed. This should prevent the pee from soaking through the cover into the insert. If you don't sew, you could check on etsy or craigslist to see if someone could sew a new cover for you.

Just in case it's a territorial thing, you might consider getting your cat a new bed as well. Perhaps lace it with catnip to make it even more attractive.
posted by Ostara at 9:00 PM on May 16, 2009

Response by poster: To add:

Yes, something smelled. I was going crazy trying to figure out what it was and the dog bed (and the stuffed toy the dog chews on) smelled. Now that they've been removed, I can't smell cat pee anymore.

And yes, it is possible that it is dog pee, but I feel like I would have heard the dog peeing, right? I mean, he is an 80 pound lab. I hear him peeing from far away when I am outside. But who knows. And our cats went on a peeing spray when we left them without a housesitter for a summer, so I assume they are the guilty ones.

posted by k8t at 9:10 PM on May 16, 2009

So your dog would still lie on the bed, even though it was full of cat pee? This makes me think that maybe it isn't cat pee at all, but his own pee or drool. My lab-mix is very mouthy - everything is a potential chew toy, and what she chews on eventually gets stinky from her drool. Have you ever noticed if he leaves a wet spot after sleeping? If it's pee, you may not hear him peeing, if he's leaking small amounts while asleep. If you suspect this, you may want to contact your vet, just in case there's a health issue there. Although sometimes my dog will leak a teensy bit of pee if he's having a very animated dream, or if he lies down after relieving himself outside and hasn't shaken things off enough.

Any way - if you still notice smell after washing, and you think it's cat pee, soak the insert and the cover in Nature's Miracle (orange bottle specifically for cats). Hang them outside to dry, and that should do the trick on the smell.

Re: absorbent pads - Not sure which kind you're referring to, but the paper kind with the plastic backing that you use on the floor for housebreaking puppies or for dogs with bladder-control issues would be worthless for this. You'd be changing them out every other hour. The cloth kind (like they use in nursing homes or hospitals for people with bladder-control issues might be better, but I've never used them for anything other than inside a crate.

And seconding Ostara's waterproof mattress cover suggestion.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:39 AM on May 17, 2009

Make sure their litter boxes (and there should be two, because each cat likes to have his/her own box) are immaculate. That means you'll have to scoop twice or three times a day sometimes. And get a spray bottle or water gun and keep it at the ready in that room. When the cats get near the bed, spray them. I know it sounds mean, but they need to know, in no uncertain terms, that the bed is completely off limits to them.

Another option would be to remove the bed for a month or so while you retrain them in the litter boxes. We have a cat who needs to be reminded every so often that the litter box is where the pee goes. When she starts wandering around, sniffing everything, we take her downstairs and put her in her box. 99% of the time, she pees immediately. Once they start using the boxes reliably again, try putting the dog bed out ONLY when you're in the room. You may want to verbally discourage them from going near it or use the spray bottle technique.
posted by cooker girl at 10:42 AM on May 17, 2009

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