Understanding why some cats will pee or poop (eliminate) on your stuff is more complicated than you might think.

If this behavior has started suddenly, it could be your cat trying to tell you they don’t feel well. Anytime there is a sudden behavior change, we recommend a vet visit to rule out any health issues. Because cats don’t show pain (or talk – yet), these behavior clues should be taken seriously.

If your cat has a clean bill of health and is still eliminating on your stuff, it’s time for more investigation.

First, you’ll want to evaluate the litter box situation. Do you have enough litter boxes? Is the litter box big enough and in a low traffic area? What about the type of litter?

If your cat’s ‘bathroom’ is in order and you’re still finding ‘deposits’ on your stuff, this is likely a stress behavior. Did you know that a cat’s scent – and your scent – brings them comfort?

We humans would find it very rude if one of our loved ones pooped on our pillow. As hard as it is to separate our human emotions from something like this, but…

Here’s what your cat is likely trying to tell you when they eliminate on your stuff:

You are loved. And needed.

In stressful situations, some cats will pee or poop outside the box to self-soothe with their own scent. If you notice your cat is only making these deposits on your stuff, they’re comforting themselves with your scent too. Our dirty clothes, beds, favorite spot on the couch – all are soaked with our pheromones. Meshing their scent with your scent adds an extra sense of security and comfort during a stressful time.

Once we understand this, we can address this issue with compassion and focus. Evaluate what may be causing your cat stress and do what you can to reduce or remove it. If you can’t identify the stressor, consider consulting with a feline behaviorist to find the cause.

Engage your cat in one-on-one playtime – bringing them through the prey sequence. This is a powerful way to reduce stress, build a stronger bond, and allow our cats to exercise their feline instincts – which builds their confidence.

We know from experience how difficult this issue is. It can make us feel like our cats are being ‘rude’ on purpose – and this is an awful emotion for our cats to feel from us when they’re trying so hard to tell us they need our help and love. Taking the time to understand what they’re ‘saying’ and why makes all the difference in their lives – and ours.

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