#11 Why are they peeing in their bedding and not using the litter box?

Help! The feral kittens I'm taming don't seem to know what the litter box is for. They pee in the nice beds I've provided and sleeping in the unused box. Have you seen this before? Sopping in Seattle
Dear Seattle,
Yes, I have seen this before. I'm guessing you are using one of the "designer" litters that make our lives easier, but can be confusing for cats that have recently come in from the cold. Feral kittens only know dirt in the great outdoors as their litter box. When they are brought indoors, they need some help with the concept of using a litter box. Unfortunately, dirt is NOTHING LIKE pine pellets, sweat wheat, absorbent crystal pellets, recycled newspaper pellets, ground corn cob, etc., etc., .
The best thing to start them out with is the old-fashioned non-clumping clay litter. Once they are using it, gradually you can transition to the other types if you have one you prefer. I've never seen a litter of feral kittens that didn't use the clay litter as soon as it was offered to them. Toss a hand-ful of dirt from the garden on top of the clay litter if they still need convincing. This problem, like most we encounter with cats can be solved if we can get outside of our human frame of reference and imagine the world through the eyes of the cat. Easier said than done, right?
On the same subject with regard to older cats too, sometimes they will suddenly start to pee on a bed or couch for no apparent reason. Aside from the annoyance, this is actually a sign of affection. Cats that are alone a lot or unhappy with the kind of litter they are being offered will seek a place that smells like the person they miss or are fond of. Whereas in most cases cats will use the offending litter to defecate, they find couch, bedding or towels more suitable to urinate. I'm assuming they want to cover and will use anything to do that but with peeing since it disappears in cloth there is no need to cover. In one difficult case I took a small litter pan and put a hand towel inside as a last resort. The cat in question was very happy to pee on the towel and I just used a series of old thread bare towels until he just as mysteriously returned to the litter box and that was that. I never completely understood why he didn't use the litterbox for the 4 months it took. He stopped peeing on the couch and the bed and was faithful to the hand towel once I offered that option. There is an excellent brand of clay litter called "CAT ATTRACT" that is very effective to make cats happy with the litter box.
All of the variables need to be considered to solve why a cat does or doesn't do something. For example, declawed cats often have an aversion to walking on litter since it is either painful or unstable for them to walk on. Declawing removed the equivalent of what would be our fingertips at the first knuckle and this often makes cats look elsewhere than the litterbox to do their business.
All the best, Mike


  1. Anonymous27 July, 2011

    I have 2 feral kittens about 5 weeks old and they are using the litter but also soaking the bedding. How can I solve this problem

    1. In exactly 4 days, you can stop your cat peeing outside litterbox! GUARANTEED !! There are essentially 3 MAIN THINGS you need to know about inappropriate urination in cats!!! Read here..


  2. Hello. I have a big problem. Lately, one if my cats has started to pee inside. She pees in beds, couches and on the floor. We have a litter box, and she uses it sometimes. She Had a full checkup at the vet's last week, and they Found nothing wrong. We bought feliway, but I don't know how long it is going to take before it might have any effect. She peed in my mothers bed as recent as today, and now it has gotten so bad that my mother is going to give her away if it happens again... Desperate for help!

    1. That is a behavioral issue and they are really hard to break! You could try spraying special hormone spray on the usual areas where the cat is peeing. Make sure to clean them with a scent blocker product so they cant smell their previous urine. You can get these at the pet stores. Also make sure that the litter box is always clean and if you have multiple cats then you need several boxes. hope this helped! Check out : How To Stop Cats From Peeing

  3. Really it was very helpful article. Because from past 1 years i was facing this problem that my cat peeing on bed and i don't like this. I was totally confused that what i have to do i showed to doctor also but no use again my cat started same thing. But after reading your article i really come to know about litter box and now i was using extra litter box and also my cat using there litter box. Thank you:-)

  4. Hi

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    Talk soon.