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I have four cats. Pepe is a male orange tabby about six years old. Smudge, Buddy, and Pudding are male, male, and female grey tabbies about a year and a half old (they're triplets from the same litter). I also have a dog named Brutus who's a seven-year-old Boston Terrier/Beagle, but I don't believe he's relevant to this post.

Last month, one of my cats peed on my bed. I called it a fluke, washed my bedding, and moved on. Then it happened again. Some time yesterday, one of the cats peed on my bed for the second time. And one of my cats also peed on my brother's bed. How can I figure out which of my cats is the culprit, and what can I do about it? My brother speculates that one of them has a urinary tract problem, but we don't know which cat to take to the vet. Here are some relevant facts:

  • None of the cats have been otherwise behaving strangely; they eat their food, use their litterboxes, drink their water, and play with each other (and us).
  • The triplets were stray kittens that we socialized and adopted, but that was over a year ago. They're now very comfortable in our house (though still a little shy). They've always used the litter box without incident, even when they were fresh off the street.
  • No one has recently changed any major habits. No moved furniture, no moved litterbox, nothing. (We recently started feeding them in a different part of the house, but that change happened without incident.)
  • All cats are willing to enter both of our bedrooms, and do so regularly (though not usually at the same time).
  • Pepe is not shy in the least. The triplets are a bit, but they don't tend to hide under furniture any more unless you make loud noises or sudden movements near them.
  • We have two adjacent litterboxes, but they're nowhere near my bedroom or my brother's.
  • Until this incident, none of my cats has ever peed outside the litterbox.
  • We don't close our bedroom doors if we're not inside.
  • The cat did not pee on the bed in our presence.
  • All cats continue to use the litterbox.
  • All cats eat the same food, and have no interesting nutritional requirements.
  • No cat is currently taking medication of any kind.
  • This has a lot of good information, but can you also clarify: When cleaning the bed and washing the bedding, are you using enzymatic cleaners designed to clean up cat urine? – Allison C May 3 at 13:30
  • No, just ordinary laundry detergent and vinegar. And the first time this happened, the mattress itself did not have urine on it because I had a lot of mattress coverings, and my bedding is pretty thick. However, there is a bit on the mattress this time. – JesseTG May 3 at 13:34
  • Putting this in a comment since it's not a solution to identifying the culprit(s), but I'd highly recommend Nature's Miracle or a similar enzymatic laundry booster for the linens, and for cleaning the mattress. While you may think the bedding is clean, the cats will still be able to smell it and more of them may start targeting that area as a result. – Allison C May 3 at 13:40
  • I'd take all of them to the vet to check for a UTI. Whatever you do to figure out which is the culprit will probably take time, meanwhile UTIs in cats can become quite serious. – Kai May 3 at 13:43
  • @Kai What are the symptoms or noteworthy behaviors of a UTI in cats? – JesseTG May 3 at 13:44

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