I imagine this must be like having a child and waking up in the middle of the night to find that they have soiled the sheets. It was around 2 a.m. when Java woke me up by pawing at my legs through the comforter. Definitely not normal for her, I sat up to check everything was okay and realized she wasn’t pawing at me….
My stomach sank as I realized our bed had become a litter box and the comforter was SOAKED with her pee. There was no point getting upset with her though, it’s not like she did it out of spite. When cats do something wrong, they usually have a logical reason for doing it, even if we find it undesirable. But either way… you can guess that I was pretty annoyed.
I tore off the comforter along with all of the sheets for good measure and then began my late night research on getting the cat urine out of my bedding and figuring out why she peed there in the first place. Following the guidance of this article by The Spruce, the sheets ended up with a dusting of baking soda to hopefully pull out some of the odor. Tomorrow they’ll be sprayed down with a diluted vinegar solution before being washed in cold water with an enzymatic detergent and left to air dry. The most important part I read was to avoid heat, as that can lock in the scent pretty much for good.
My search for answers as to why she did this was less fruitful and only served to worry me more before getting back to sleep. There are a few common reasons cats tend to pee outside of their litter box:
- There’s something wrong with the litter box situation. It could be location of the box, infrequent cleaning, or even the type of litter
- They’re experiencing some form of stress or anxiety
- There’s a medical reason, such as an urinary tract infection
Java has been really good about using her litter boxes and before this I never would’ve thought she would pee elsewhere. She has two boxes that are cleaned in the morning and evening, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t from a lack of a clean, safe space to go. That leaves stress or a UTI as possible explanations. I texted our vet and they said UTIs are really uncommon in young cats like Java so it was most likely due to stress.
The only obvious cause of stress she’s been under is her ear infection, which she has been recovering from for a few weeks now. I don’t see why all of a sudden she would be reacting like this when the infection has been a constant. Since there’s no other clear reason for her peeing in the bed, I basically just have to monitor her in case it happens again and then I can hopefully identify a pattern. Until then, I can’t risk her peeing on the bed again, so no more night snuggles for Java until we figure this out.
Anyways, wish me luck with this comforter… From the sounds of it, getting pee out of fabric is. Not. Easy. If anyone has any advice on Java or the soiled bedsheets I would be grateful! Let me know in the comments below.