Cats are peculiar, wonderful, amazing, adorable, intelligent, peculiar, entertaining, precious, beautiful, peculiar, and then some. Did I mention they were peculiar? Because they most certainly are.
You could have 50 cats in the course of your life (if you’re lucky) and odds are no two will ever be quite the same in temperament, personality, and manners. What’s even more fascinating to me is that you could (at any one given time), have three from the same litter and each will probably be completely original. They may look alike, but few ever act alike.
Many people experience, firsthand, just how different and peculiar cats can be when it comes to their pottying behaviors and habits. I hear from people often who have cats that get pretty creative with their peeing habits. Some cats, who have a diversion to litter boxes, have been known to prefer bathroom rugs, dirty clothes (these are the lucky cat parents, in my opinion), furniture, and even beds.
If your cat pees anywhere other than the litter box, you first need to take a long, hard look at the litter box.
- Is it clean? Litter boxes need to be cleaned several times a day – not just once and certainly not once every other day.
- If you have more than one cat, do you have more than one litter box? One box per two cats is a good ratio. Cats are very particular about their “business” and don’t want to share their sacred spot with too many others.
- Is the litter box easy to get in and out of? Some cats (whether it’s due to age, weight, or a previous injury) have trouble getting in and out of high-sided litter boxes. Your solution may be as simple as a shorter box.
- Is it in a safe, quiet place? Many cats are uncomfortable using a litter box that’s near loud noises (tv, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers….). In fact, if the cat in question has her “accidents” consistently in one place of the home, the location may give you a clue. We had a little girl (cat, of course!) who insisted on peeing on bathroom rugs. After I answered the two questions above with a, “Yes,” “Yes,” and a, “Yes,” I asked myself, “What is it about the bathrooms that she’d find more attractive for peeing than the litter box?” The answer was fast and furious – they’re quieter. The litter boxes were in another part of the house, fairly near ever-present kitchen activity and well-within earshot of ever-playing televisions. Being a very timid cat, by nature, she was apparently more comfortable in quieter settings. When you come to this type of realization, you may have to get another litter box and put it in the quietest place you can find for the rebel cat.
- Some cats may not like a hooded litter box – most cats use whatever is available but I have heard of people having to simply remove the hood.
Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract Litter (pictured at the right) is one you may want to try if you have a cat who has forgotten how the whole litter box thing works (or if you’re training a new cat). I’d definitely recommend clicking through and reading all about it. It sounds absolutely amazing… the thing that sold me on it was the first review at the bottom of the page.
This litter sounds like the very thing that could solve MANY cat litter problems.
If the litter box situation passes inspection, make absolutely certain the cat is healthy.
- A quick trip to the vet can make certain your cat doesn’t have an underlying health problem.
- Often, for reasons we humans may never understand, having a cat spayed or neutered solves the problem. Again, I have no idea why – maybe it calms them down a bit.. who knows? But I’ve seen cats suddenly accept litter boxes again once they were spayed or neutered. Seems the problem is often fixed once they are!
Now, we cat lovers know that they aren’t always the most well-mannered “toddlers.” However, when they resort to peeing on their parent’s bed, that takes mischievousness to a whole other level! While getting to the bottom of litter, litter box, or temperament or health issues, there are a few things to do to save your sanity and your bedtime:
- Buy a large waterproof shower curtain liner. Use it directly on top of your covers (if you don’t mind the looks of it). The “feel” of the liner turns off most cats – and, IF the bed-wetter decides to risk it all and still wet the bed, only the liner gets wet, saving your covers, sheets, and mattress. You could always put a cheap “who really cares about this blanket anyway” directly under the liner for further protection.
- If the liner lying on top is a turn off, buy an inexpensive comforter to place right on top of the liner… one that (should it get wet), won’t disrupt the rest of your linens.
- If the cat has soiled your mattress, it’s a real headache to try to get rid of the smell. Febreeze just won’t “cut it.” You’ll need an Odor Neutralizer Made Specifically for Cats. Spray this on the mattress to get rid of the urine smell that their little noses can still pick up.
- Buying a mattress cover can also put the odds back in your favor.
Whatever you do, don’t yell (and for Heaven’s sake NEVER hit) a cat. Cats are not like human children or dogs. They do not understand what you consider “discipline,” and will only think you are mean and are trying to harm or kill them. It will affect your relationship with your cat in a horrible, often irreversible way. Imagine if someone with a similar size advantage yelling at or striking you!
It simply does not work – you cannot reason with a cat. You have to outsmart them.
Go through each of the steps above and find the solution that works for your family. If it comes down to simply buying extra throw rugs and washing them frequently and using a shower curtain liner and extra covers on your bed (or shutting your bedroom door, if that’s an option) – trust me, the companionship, love, and entertainment a cat brings to your home is more than worth it.