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.
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.
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.