We’re having a huge problem with our cat. We bought a new bed a few months ago, and she has peed on it five times. My poor husband washes the sheets and mattress covers, and we get the quilt cleaned. We had no choice but to keep her out of the room unless one of us is in bed. This has gone on for a couple of months. She was very unhappy, and so were we and our dog. We gave in, and that night she did it again. She has never peed on anything else. Any insight would help.
– Ellen, Mount Sinai, New York
If you aren’t extracting every molecule of urine out of the mattress, sheets, and quilt, your cat will return to the same spot to urinate – no matter how much time has passed.
Purchase an enzymatic cleaner at the pet store or online to clean your mattress. An enzymatic cleaner “eats up” biologicals like urine and poop, thus eliminating any residual odors. These cleaners only work when wet, so you may need to wet the mattress and put a wet towel over the spot to activate. Repeat the process until the area is completely neutralized.
Washing sheets is not enough. Soak the sheets and quilt in the enzymatic cleaner before washing them. (Test it on a corner of fabrics first.) Some enzymatic cleaners can be added directly to your washing machine, so check products for more information. Make sure the quilt is cleaned and not dry cleaned. Dry cleaning can leave subtle odors that a cat may want to cover up with their urine.
Finally, when everything is clean, spray your bed, sheets, and quilt with feline pheromones and/or put a feline plug-in pheromone near your bed. You won’t smell the pheromones, but she can, and it may calm her and prevent her from urinating in your room again.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal