My cat poops on my son's bed.

by Suzanne
(Cedar Falls, IA)

My cat poops on my son's bed after my kids are away for the weekend. Our cat is a shaded silver Persian, almost 3 years old. She is my daughter's cat and definitely knows that.


My kids spend alternate weekends with their Dad. When they are gone, the cat often poops/pees on my son's bed. I close his door when they are gone, and last night she did the same thing, although they had come home the night before.

My even bigger concern, is that we are moving to a new house in 3 weeks. I anticipate that this will be a stressful disaster for the cat.

She is our only pet, we have ruled out medical issues in the past, she tends to be shy and moody rather than playful/cuddly.

Any suggestions (to both issues) would be greatly appreciated!

S.B.










My Thoughts:

I've answered the second part of your question on the move first. When I get some more time, I'll address the inappropriate elimination and update the site.

Update: It seems from your description that you've determined there's not a medical issue involved, and the soiling of the bed happens during (although this time just after, it seems), your children spend time away from the house.

Cats are extremely sensitive creatures, and changes in routine can add stress, which is a common cause of house soiling. In addition to a routine/schedule change, there's the chance that separation anxiety is at work.

Stressful situations can bring out behavior problems in cats. If she's typically a bit of a nervous or moody cat to begin with, it can be that much worse.

If it is separation anxiety, then you'd have to work on reducing stress before, during, and after the separation takes place.

Also, something to consider is that cats will return to a spot they have previous soiled, so cleaning and removing the scent is extremely important. With a mattress, this can be tricky as there can be penetration into the interior of the mattress.

Many cat owners have reported that Feliway has helped reduce anxiety and solve litter box problems of various kinds. You might try Feliway, and see if you can reduce the stress in other ways as well.

A combination of more attention, more regular exercise, more toys, and the Feliway might help.

Do your kids (especially your daughter) spend extra time with her just before and after they go away? You might try having them play with her with her favorite toy (catnip enhanced if she responds to that) just before and after their visits.

Perhaps leave some food treats around the house for her to find, and maybe place a catnip laced scratching post or board in your son's room. It might relieve some stress.

Moving your cat to a new home:

I've moved cats to new homes several times. It's always an adventure, especially when moving three cats with three very different personalities.

As always with cats, they really dislike being out of control. Since cats are very territorial, they usually resent being moved. If there are any other cats in the new neighborhood, this can be even more traumatic and threatening.

One key then, is to try to reassure your cat as much as possible, and reduce stress as much as possible. You can try using Feliway (which may help with inappropriate elimination as well) to reduce stress. I would get the Feliway started now, and then use it in the new house for a while as well.

Below is an Expert Village Video on moving a cat to a new home. In addition to the recommendations in this video, I would add a few ideas:

There are really two approaches. First, is to set up all the cat essentials (litter box, toys, food, water, resting spots, etc.) and then move the cat using a cat carrier to the new house. Show the cat the food, water, and litter box, and release the cat and see how she does.

She might explore, or she might just go find a hiding spot and stay there. Offer her a familiar toy and blanket, or cat bed. If she stays in the hiding spot for any period of time, you might close that room off and keep her in there. Move a litter box, food, and water in there and let her get used to being there.

Stay with her for a while initially, and visit her often. When she's ready, she'll start exploring the room. Eventually, she'll want to explore the rest of the house, and you can let her out. When she feels more secure, you can put her food, water, and litter box where they belong.

The second approach is to set everything up in a room that you choose, and then immediately confine her to that room, instead of giving her the run of the house. Let her out when she's ready to explore.

Remember that it can take up to 6 months for a cat to get used to a new home.



Here's a link with advice on moving a cat to a new home.

Here's another with some more ideas on introducing a cat to a new house.

I hope that helps. Let us know how she does.

-Kurt

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Sep 15, 2009
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think about this
by: Anonymous

You didn't state how old your son is - but has he ever wet the bed on that mattress? An animal will cover the smell with their own.

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