Bean bag chairs are a popular item of furniture, both inside and outside of many Australian homes. In fact, with the vast range of bean bag chair covers available, as well as their robust nature, bean bags can easily stand both outdoor and indoor use. However, the bean bag chair, while hugely comfortable and convenient does seem to have one particularly nemesis. That is our furry feline friends. Many of which appear to encounter the irresistible urge to pee on said bean bag chair! But why do cats pee on bean bag chairs?
In fact, search online and you will quickly discover that this event is something of a common phenomenon for bean bag chair owners. The good news is that no one has to choose between unsurpassed comfort and the smallest furriest member of the family. In fact, in the post below, you can find out all you need to know about why cats do this, and what you can do to stop it. Keep reading for more on this topic.
Section 1: Cat toileting behaviour
The majestic feline was once worshipped as a god in ancient Egypt, and in fact in many homes today, their position is a similar one. Perhaps that is why they think that such deplorable behaviour such as peeing on valued items of furniture such as a bean bag is OK? Well, the truth of the matter is actually a little bit more complicated than that.
In fact, toileting behaviour in cats is a fairly complex thing, depending on psychological factors, health issues, their diet and the environment in which they live.
For example, while you may provide a beautiful clean litter box for your moggy to use, they may not always choose to pee (or poop) there. This can be for several reasons. The first of which is that they have other areas located within their territory that are suitable for such a task. Of course, if this ends up being outside in the garden, there isn’t too much of a problem. However, when it occurs inside, but not in the designated litter tray, but rather as on prized pieces of furniture like bean bag chairs and beds, it can be a real problem.
It is also important to remember that cats are both predators and prey animals. Therefore, when toileting, they are likely to feel vulnerable. Something that means they will deliberately seek out a safe, quiet location in which to go.
Cats also have a reasonably specific routine they go through when toileting as well. This includes sniffing the area and digging to make a hole in which to pee or poop. Then they will squat and pee (or poop), and after that, they will bury their waste in litter or soil. Although it is worth noting that not all cats will do every action every time. Therefore there is no need to panic if your cat isn’t doing this but has otherwise healthy toileting behaviours.
Of course, what this demonstrates is the material in which a cat’s toilet such as soil or litter is a vital part of the process. A point we will come back to in more detail later on.
Section 2: Reasons why cats pee on your bean bag chair cover
Now we know a little more about cat toileting behaviour; let’s look at the specific problem of cats peeing on furniture, including bean bag chairs and their covers in more depth. In fact, there are two possible explanations at work here. The first is that there are underlying problems such as:
There could be a specific problem that your cat is experiencing that is causing this behaviour. In fact, while many people interpret cat peeing on furniture as poor behaviour, that is never the intention behind it. That is why it is so important that we do not punish cats when they are peeing in the wrong place. Instead, it is our responsibility to look into the problem and solve it, which should also put an end to such behaviour.
One of the most common problems that can lead to cats peeing on all types of furniture, including bean bag chairs is that they have a medical problem. Such as diabetes, urinary tract infections, and arthritis. The latter causing an issue because your cat may not be able to squat in their usual position. Something that means they end up going elsewhere.
Litter box issues
Often proving just a single litter box is not enough to keep your cat happy. Something that can result in them urinating in other areas of the home. In fact, if you have a house with four cats, you will need a whopping 5 litter boxes dotted through the residence. That is one per cat plus an additional one.
Of course, it’s not enough that you have these litter boxes, but they are clean and hygienic as well. In fact, cats stand to be very clean animals and therefore don’t want to use a dirty litter box. This being something that can cause them to pee or poop elsewhere, including on furniture in the home.
If you think about a big cat like a leopard or tiger in the jungle, you will remember that they spend a lot of time climbing trees. The reason for this is that high places have excellent visibility for animals that are both prey and predator.
Of course, while your moggy may be a little smaller than a jungle cat, they do have similar instincts even after thousands of years of domestication. Something that means where possible they will choose a higher place for all sorts of things from napping, to urination. Unfortunately, that does put at least some of your furniture at risk. Especially things like tables, chairs and shelves that are higher!
It very well may break your heart to spend time away from your kitten or cat. However, separation anxiety is no joke. In fact, it can cause all sorts of behaviour problems, including peeing on furniture such as bean bag chairs.
They do this because it blends their own scent with that of the person they are missing. Something that can help to relieve the anxiety for them.
Fortunately, even if your cat is showing anxious attachment issues, there are some actions you can take to prevent inappropriate soiling. The first is to ensure you have someone like a family member or pet sitter come over to keep your cat company while you are away.
Also leaving clothes with your scent on can help. Especially if you place them in their basket and get whoever is taking care of your cats while you aren’t there to replace them every few days. Then your scent will stay strong, and it will help to keep your cats as calm and happy as possible. Something that should stop them from peeing where they shouldn’t.
Just like people, felines can be sensitive to the others that share their space. In fact, whether it’s another cat, a dog or any other type of animal, if they feel threatened, your cat may choose to pee in a safe place. One that she can run from quickly if the need arises.
Unfortunately, this can be one of the more complicated things that cause an issue with cat toileting. The reason being that it can take some significant changes to rectify.
The good news is that all is not lost here. In fact, if this is the issue, you can add more vertical spaces that will make your cats feel safer and even scratching posts can help because this is how they can mark their territory. Something that should help them to feel claimed and ensure healthy toileting behaviours.
None of the above?
On the other hand, there is also another reason why your cat may choose to pee on your bean bag specifically. In fact, it may be that they are not experiencing any of the problems listed above at all.
The reason for this is that bean bag filling can sound and feel a lot like cat litter, something that can be a bit confusing to your cat. In fact, you can see this is the case, as there are plenty of people with the same problem all over the internet!
The good news is that you can tell these issues apart because if your cat is peeing in other places as well as on your bean bag, then it’s likely that there is an underlying problem. However, if it’s just the bean bag they have taken a liking too, it may just be this second issue that needs solving. Something you can find out more about in the section below.
Section 3: What to do if your cat pees on your bean bag chair cover?
Soon we get to the part about how we can stop unwanted, inappropriate cat urination. However, before we do it is also useful to look at what to do if you already have experienced this issue.
Rescuing peed-on furniture items
For example, if you have bedding or a bean bag chair cover that a cat has peed on, you can wash it. Just be sure to use an enzymatic detergent. The reason being that the enzymes will work to break down the smell of cat pee. Something that is not only important if you want to use the item again in your home, but will also stop the cat doing the same thing again.
Of course, the actual beans from your chair doesn’t do so well in the washer. Although there are tales of people on the internet using a vinegar solution to remove cat pee and save the entire item!
Additionally, if all else fails, you can always replace your bedding or bean bag chair covers if you need to. In fact, it could be a great excuse to change up your colour scheme or go for a different type of pattern altogether. Just as long as it doesn’t happen all the time, that is!
However, removing stains and smells of cat pee off more permanent pieces of furniture can be more challenging. After all, you can throw a wooden chair or floor in the washer! Happily, there are still some tactics you can use. One of these is to use hydrogen peroxide on the stain. Although, you will need to do a patch test first because this can damage the finish on some woods and other furniture materials.
Stopping the behaviour happening again
Finally, you can help to prevent your cat from peeing on the furniture in your home. Whether it’s a bed, a bookshelf, or a bean bag chair.
With that in mind, there are several approaches you can take. The first is to solve the problems listed above, which should stop the issue if it’s not bean bag specific.
The second is to do your best to train your cat to not go near to your bean bag chair or other items of valued furniture. Something that you can use a feline scent repellent to do. Additionally, providing plenty of clean litter trays in safe spots in the home can help. While simple changes such as investing in a good quality bean bag chair cover to mask the sound and texture can be helpful as well. You may even wish to pack away your bean bags chairs, especially if they are outside overnight acne help to put a stop to this unwanted behaviour.
In summary, cats pee on furniture for a whole range of reasons. However, the reason that they are peeing on your bean bag chair is confusion over the texture and sound of the beans. With that in mind, using techniques such as cat repellent, a thicker bean bag chair cover, and providing plenty of clean, safe litter trays can make all the difference.
Also, remember that if your cat does exhibit this behaviour, that is a fairly common thing. Therefore do not punish your cat. Remember too that even if it’s not possible to salvage the bean bag chair cover, you can always invest in a new one. Then your bean bag will be clean, hygienic, and safe to use in the home again, in no time. Find out how to clean outdoor furniture here.