Why Does My Cat Pee On The Dog Bed?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

In this post, I’ll explore some of the most common explanations for why cats may pee on dog beds and how you can address the underlying causes.

Have you ever wondered why your lovable feline friend chooses to relieve themselves on your dog’s bed, rather than using their own litter box? As frustrating as it is to clean up, your cat isn’t misbehaving on purpose – their bathroom habits provide clues about their emotional and physical well-being. In this post, we’ll explore some common reasons why cats may pee outside the litter box, with a focus on what could be triggering your cat to target Fido’s favorite napping spot. By understanding what might be bothering your cat from their perspective, we can work to address the underlying issues and recreate the safe, stress-free environment they need to keep accidents confined to the litter. Let’s dive into decoding your cat’s peculiar potty problem!

Why Does My Cat Pee On The Dog Bed?

Cats may urinate on a dog’s bed for several reasons:

  • Territorial Marking: Cats scent last are left to mark their territory. If a cat feels threatened by a dog or any other pet, it may pee on the dog’s bed as a way to assert dominance and territory.
  • Medical Problems: Conditions like urinary tract infections or kidney disease can cause a cat to urinate more frequently, and sometimes outside of their litter box.
  • Behavioral Issues: Stress, anxiety, or changes in their environment can also make cats urinate in inappropriate places.
  • Dislike of Litter Box: If the litter box is not clean, too small, or in a location the cat dislikes, it may start urinating elsewhere, including on a dog’s bed.
  • Old Age: Elderly cats sometimes develop cognitive issues which may cause them to forget where they should urinate.
  • Protest: If a cat is not happy with the dog’s presence or behavior, it may urinate on the dog’s bed as a form of protest.

Is This Behavior Normal For Cats?

While it may seem unusual to humans, cats urinating in inappropriate places, such as a dog’s bed, can be normal behavior under certain circumstances. Cats are naturally territorial creatures and may mark places with their urine to communicate their presence and claim their space. However, frequent or persistent inappropriate urination can be a sign of underlying medical or behavioral issues.

Cats Stealing Dog Beds 2015 [NEW] - YouTube

What Steps Should I Take To Clean The Dog Bed?

When a cat pees on a dog bed, it not only creates an unpleasant smell but can also promote repeat behavior. The following steps outline how to properly clean cat pee and remove odor from a dog bed that’s been urinated on by a cat:

Remove Bedding: If the dog bed has a removable cover, take it off. Both the cover and the bed itself will need to be cleaned.

Blot the Area: Using paper towels, blot as much urine as possible from the bed. Applying pressure will help absorb more of the urine.

Wash the Bedding and Cover: If machine washable, put the bed and cover into the washing machine. Use a pet-friendly, enzymatic laundry detergent – these are designed to break down waste and eliminate odors.

Pre-soak if Necessary: If the urine smell is strong, or the bed is not machine washable, you may need to pre-soak the bed. Fill a bathtub with warm water and a cup of enzymatic cleaner, then soak the bed for 1 to 2 hours.

Air-Dry: Once washed, allow the bed to air-dry completely. Using a dryer can cause urine smells to set into the fabric, so it’s best to avoid this if possible. 

Recheck for Smell: Following cleaning, check the bed for any lingering smells. If the urine scent remains, you may need to repeat the cleaning process.

Remember, a clean bed can discourage your cat from re-marking the area, while also providing a comfortable and odor-free place for your dog to rest.

Should I Punish My Cat For Peeing On The Dog Bed?

It’s important to understand that punishing your cat for peeing on the dog bed is not recommended, nor is it an effective method for correcting the behavior. Cats don’t make the connection between punishment and the behavior you’re trying to correct, so punishment might only serve to make your cat fearful or anxious, potentially leading to additional behavioral problems. Instead, focus on identifying and addressing the root cause of the inappropriate urination. This could be a medical issue, stress, or territorial disputes with the dog. Always ensure to clean up cat litter and choose a box that easily accessible, and in a comfortable, private location. By addressing these factors and using positive reinforcement when your cat uses the litter box correctly, you can help encourage more appropriate behavior.

Is There A Certain Type Of Dog Bed That Cats Are Less Likely To Pee On?

While there’s no definitive type of dog bed that cats are inherently less likely to pee on, there are certain factors that could potentially make a bed less enticing for a cat. Waterproof or water-resistant beds may be less attractive to cats as their urine won’t soak into the material as easily, therefore reducing their ability to leave their scent mark effectively. Dog beds with a higher elevation or sides may also deter cats, as they typically prefer to urinate on flat surfaces. Additionally, choosing a dog bed with a fabric that is infused with odors that cats typically dislike, such as citrus or certain essential oils, might discourage a cat from urinating on it. However, the best approach lies in addressing the root cause of the cat’s behavior and ensuring the cat has an appealing litter box to use.

How Can I Prevent My Cat From Peeing On The Dog Bed?

Here are some strategies to discourage your cat from peeing on the dog’s bed:

Provide an Attractive Litter Box: Ensure your cat has a clean, spacious and easily accessible litter box. Place it in a quiet, safe location where your cat can use it without being disturbed.

Clean the Dog Bed Regularly: Cats are attracted to urinate in places that smell like them. Regularly cleaning the dog bed can help to remove the cat’s urine scent, making it less appealing for further marking.

Medical Check-Up: Since health issues can cause inappropriate urination, regular vet check-ups are essential. If your cat starts peeing a lot more, or in strange places, it might be a good idea to schedule a vet visit to rule out any health issues.

Introduce Safe Spaces for Your Cat: Cats need their own territory. Make sure your cat has its own space and doesn’t feel threatened by the dog. This could be a certain room, a high shelf, or a comfortable cat bed.

Create Positive Associations: Reward your cat when they urinate in the correct place. This can help to create a positive association with using their litter box.

Use Cat-friendly Deterrents: There are certain smells cats dislike, like citrus or certain essential oils. Spraying these on the dog bed may deter your cat from approaching it.

Behavioral Therapy: If the problem persists, consider seeking help from a cat behaviorist who can provide specialized strategies for your cat’s specific needs.

Are There Any Products Or Techniques That Can Deter Cats From Peeing On Dog Beds?

Yes, there are several products and techniques that can help deter cats from peeing on dog beds:

  • Pheromone Sprays: Products such as Feliway mimic the natural facial pheromones produced by cats, creating a calming environment and potentially deterring unwanted behaviors like urinating outside the litter box.
  • Citrus-Based Deterrents: Many cats dislike the smell of citrus. Spraying a citrus-based scent deterrent on the dog’s bed may help keep the cat at bay.
  • Aluminum Foil: Cats often dislike the texture and noise of aluminum foil. Placing it on the dog’s bed when not in use might deter the cat from approaching.
  • Essential Oils: Some essential oils, such as eucalyptus or citrus, can act as cat deterrents. However, it’s important to use these sparingly and in a manner that is safe for all pets in the household.
  • Waterproof Bed Covers: As mentioned earlier, waterproof or water-resistant beds might discourage cats because their urine can’t soak into the material as easily.
  • Motion-Activated Pet Deterrents: These devices can detect when your cat approaches the dog’s bed and will emit a harmless spray or noise to deter them from getting too close.
  • Training Aids: Products like clickers or cat treats can be used to reinforce positive behavior (like using the litter box correctly) and deter negative behavior.
  • Cat Repellent Mats: These mats have a texture that cats dislike, preventing them from stepping on or urinating on the dog’s bed.
  • Professionally Formulated Deterrent Sprays: There are sprays available on the market designed specifically to deter cats from certain areas or behaviors. These should be used as directed by the manufacturer.

Read more: Why Does My Cat Pee On Towels?


In conclusion, understanding the reasons behind your cat’s unusual behavior of cat peeing on the dog bed is essential to finding a solution. From territorial marking to medical issues and stress, there are various factors that can contribute to this unwanted habit. By taking the time to observe your cat’s behavior and consulting with a veterinarian, you can determine the root cause and address it accordingly. It’s important to remember that your cat’s actions are not intentional or meant to spite you. They simply have their own unique ways of communicating and addressing their needs. So, instead of punishing your furry friend, try to be patient and understanding as you work towards finding a solution together. With proper training, adequate resources, and lots of love and patience, you can effectively curb this behavior and create a harmonious living environment for both your cat and dog.