Why does my cat poop on my bed?

Why does my cat poop on my bed? This is a classic cat owner question about cat behaviour. I’d like to answer it – again 😉 . There are three possible reasons: behavioural, health and inappropriate elimination.

Behavioural Reason

The reason would be the same if a cat peed on their owner’s bed.

Both pee and poop are used as scent markers for wild cat species. Wild cats deposit urine on vertical surfaces as do domestic cats, even neutered or spayed domestic cats (but less so). You’ll see it all the time. Wild cats defecate in prominent places, perhaps a cross-roads on trails. The cat marks territory, their home range in this way. Most of us know that by now because there is a plethora of information on the internet about this.

Pooping and peeping on the bed is a bit different but the motivator is similar. The cat is depositing his scent at a place that is strong in the scent of the cat owner, the bed.

For me this is a form of scent exchange. The sort of thing that happens when a cat rubs against us when we feed him. It is a sign of friendship and it is reassuring for a cat. It “enhancing the cat’s confidence of being in a particular area“.

Pooping on the bed reassures the cat, which implies the cat needs reassuring which in turn implies that the cat feels nervous or anxious for some reason. 

I knew a person who worked and played very hard. She was out a lot and returned home very late very often. She cared for two cats. One of them peed on her bed. She couldn’t understand why but it did not surprise me.

One answer to the question, why does my cat poop on my bed, is because the cat is stressed and is seeking reassurance. The answer is to find the underlying causes, which means looking at the environment.

Health Related

It is conceivable that a cat has a health problem that causes him to be incontinent. If he likes to sleep on his owner’s bed, which lots of cats do because the bed smells strongly of the owner, then he might well poop on the bed involuntarily. Feline fecal incontinence – loss of bowel control – follows a spinal cord injury, “especially one which occurs when a car runs over a cat’s tail”1. This may also cause the bladder to be affected too.

So, if a cat with a limp tail is pooping on the bed you’ll know the reason.

Cat Litter Aversion

It is possible although unlikely, I’d have thought, that a cat who is averse to using the litter tray and decides to use the bed instead (inappropriate elimination). There are numerous reasons why a cat might be averse to using the litter.

Note: Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook 2nd ed page 200.

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6 thoughts on “Why does my cat poop on my bed?”

  1. Wee I think If you allowed your Cat to do that. I’ve never had a Problem with that Before. Something they piss or spray against the Curtain. As Most times they are prob trying to get out. It must be extremely hard for Indoor Cats. I really feel for people whos Cats are indoors.

      • Maybe also if they are feeling tense or Anxiety I’ve never had it happen. Yes i agree its territory thing. Smokey Often Sprays on the Curtains I give them a wash Twice a year. He’s Marking his Territory.

  2. I never really had a problem with poo on the bed. Some other places, yes, like next to a litter box that isn’t a cat’s designated one (there are cliques here with each set having their own feeding areas and litter boxes). It’s always males, and I take it as an expression of dominance, maybe even a challenge. It, mostly, happens when another cat enters the household and doesn’t have a designated area yet.
    So, not a lot of inappropriate pooing here; but, my house is marked up the ying-yang with pee. But, it makes me happy when someone remarks that they would never know that I had a house full of cats.

    • Dee, I’m sure you have cornered the market on clorox, I dare say! We shoulda bought stock!

      Bigfoot is consistently peeing on the bed. Well, actually leaking. I’m using disposable pads. My vet knows nothing about this condition. You, Dee, are the only other person who knows about this apparently. Bigfoot is male. Seems to have sprung a leak. He does have early stage CKD, and uses the little box with a huge stream of pee, but he leaks in between trips to the box.

      Has this been written about here at POC?

      • You need to write an article about “leaking cats” because I don’t think I have ever seen such an article. It would be a first.
        You know the ins/outs and how to deal with it.
        “Dribbling” from CKD or old age doesn’t matter. I do it myself sometimes (shamefully).
        Dealing with it in the most effect way is what’s important.
        You’re an expert now.
        Do tell.


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