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The cat in question is a female. She is probably 5 or 6 years old, maybe older, outdoor farm cat. She has always lived outside but is super friendly and loves to be petted.

When I let her in I put down a small bowl of dry food and water. She checks that first. She seems calm and loving. But then she pees in my bed. Can I get her to stop this?

I have prepared an outside shelter for her as well. It is 1.5' x 3' and has heat from a light bulb and a heated water dish.

She wants to come in and be petted and I oblige! But I understand if I must just keep her outside to protect my bed.

Any idea or suggestions about what to do?

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First off, have you provided her a litter box for when she comes inside? If you've given her food and water, but no bathroom facilities, then she's likely identified your bed as the best substitute.

Since you don't mention it in your question, I'll assume you haven't offered her one, so start by providing a litter box and making sure she knows where it's located (ideally not too close to her food and water). Next, you'll need to clean your bedding and mattress with an enzymatic cleaner designed for cleaning up pet messes. While you may think your bed is clean, her sense of smell is much keener and thus it'll still smell like a place to eliminate to her.

If this isn't sufficient to curb the issue, we have a large number of additional questions on solving litter box issues, and you may very well be able to find your answer there.

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I have a cat that will do that when I get out of bed to go to the bathroom. For him, it's a way of claiming the prime spot and establishing dominance over his feline sister. Because he only does it in one place, a place that's socially very significant, I'm confident that it's not related to a health issue.

So here's how I deal with it; this may give you some ideas. First, when I get out of bed now, I invite him to the bathroom with me. (Often I carry him, because he loves being carried.) In the bathroom, I give him lots of attention. There's a special battery-operated cat toy that I bring out on occasion as a special treat.

Second, when I leave the bed, I remove the pillows and fold the sheets and duvet down so that most of the fitted sheet is exposed. My cat won't be tempted to pee on the bed because he can't pull anything over it to cover his pee.

In summary, I figured out when he was likely to pee in the bed and distracted him at those times, and I made the bed less attractive for peeing in. You should also get a waterproof mattress cover to put under your sheet. A litter box in the bedroom, at least temporarily, may be helpful too. But certainly make sure the litter box isn't too far from the bedroom.

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It seems likely to me the cat is one of those that doesn't instinctively use the litterbox, and needs to be trained to it. Many cats will simply be attracted to the box as a place to eliminate, and so don't need much in the way of training, but other cats do need to be trained. I would imagine this is especially typical for cats that have been outside all their lives, and therefore are used to going wherever, and don't really think to look for a litterbox like indoor cats.

Typically you go about training cats to use the litterbox by keeping it in a very small room, where their bathroom options are very limited, and so they'll most likely use it first. Then you gradually, over the course of days or weeks, make the area they're allowed in bigger. However, I imagine in this case that might not be a workable solution when the cat is an outdoor cat. There are several options then to deal with this:

  1. Don't let the cat inside.
  2. Temporarily keep the cat inside for the duration of litterbox training.
  3. Don't train the cat perse, but only allow it into a small area of the house with a very prominently placed litterbox. If you observe the cat is starting to use the litterbox consistently, you might decide you can make the area it's allowed in bigger, but because this option is less about training and more about keeping it contained to easier to clean areas of the house, I wouldn't necessarily expect it to make progress.

Make sure to thoroughly clean any areas it's used with pet odor removing cleaners, and make the litterbox as obvious and appealing as possible. I suggest just a simple uncovered litterbox, so it will look the most obvious to the cat. The box should be kept as clean as possible as well.

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