Why is my cat having bowel movements on the bedspread?

Our question this week was:

I have a two-bedroom apartment. My son occupied the second bedroom but has been gone for over 10 years. For some reason when I put a bedspread on the twin size bed in that room, my 16-year-old “Pepper” has a bowel movement on the bedspread. I have tried putting different bedspreads on it and every time he does it. This is going on for about 5 years now. I just have a plastic mattress cover on the bed and he never goes on that. He never ever goes outside the litter box. Never has accidents and sleeps on my bed with me and the other two cats every night without ever doing anything on my bed. Sometimes in the winter I will even put one of those bedspreads on my bed for added warmth and he does not do it there. Do you have an explanation for this?

Kathy Karlsberg


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your 16-year-old cat has a bowel movement on one particular bedspread in one particular room for the past 5 years.

To be honest – cats are such complex creatures – we will never know why. Some cats may like a certain texture or sense a certain smell that they want to “dominate”. I’d recommend not using that bedspread or keeping that door shut. Cats are also deterred by citrus smells – so you could consider placing a bar of soap or something with a citrus smell on the bedspread which may help minimize the appeal of the bedspread.

One option would be to close the door and therefore the access to that room.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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