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How to Clean Your Cat’s Bed

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Want your feline friend to sleep on a clean, cozy bed that gives him all the comfort and hygiene he deserves? Then it’s time for you to read about how to clean your cat’s bed.

Would you like to sleep on a dirty bed with spots all over that has an awful odor? Imagine your feline beauty having to sleep on such an unclean area that can cause skin diseases to them and spread odor about the house.

So, how to clean your cat’s bed? Although it can be quite a task, we make it easy for you by suggesting some measures to clean your cat’s bed and make it ‘cozy as new’ for them.

How To Clean Your Cat’s Bed?

The best way to clean your cat’s bed is to eliminate all the hair and mess, disinfect the bed, wash it, and allow it to dry properly.

Before choosing to wash your cat’s bed and cover, read the manufacturer’s label carefully to know if your best cat bed is machine washable and detergent friendly.

How to clean your cat's bed ?

If your cat likes to snuggle in a blanket or linen, you can follow the same instructions we suggest below for giving your cat a clean and safe sleeping experience.

Clear The Mess

Mess on your cat’s bed may include hair, fur, food particles, their toys, etc. Gently tap the surface of the bed to loosen the hair and fur. You can also tap the bed with your fist to loosen all the stubborn or sticky hair on the cover.

Wear a glove and immediately remove all the loose hair from the top of the cover and dispose of them in the trash. Removing all the extra loose hair makes your vacuum cleaning easier.

Use a Vaccum Cleaner

Cleaning the hair from the nooks and corners of the bed is not easy. That’s when a vacuum cleaner makes it more effective. Folds and crevices of the bed cover can have hair and fur stuck into them.

A narrow nozzle vacuum cleaner can help you clear off the smaller dust particles. It barely takes a few minutes, making your task simpler.

Make sure to use it around the floor where the bed is kept. Vacuum cleaners also help you remove fleas and their eggs which can cause skin diseases to your pet. Be careful to not only clear them off the bed but dispose of them carefully.

TIP: Use baking soda to remove the odor off the bed. For a more effective vacuum cleaning, try wetting the bed and cleaning it manually. Allow the bed to dry before using the vacuum tool.

Use a Brush

This practice can be done on a daily basis to remove the extra fur off the bed in case you do not have a vacuum cleaning tool. Certain brushes come with a disposable sticky tape to make it simpler for you to dispose of the hair from the brush.

Using a lint roller or brush to clean your cat's bed

Alternatively, you can also use a brush with hard bristles or a lint roller to make the surface of the bed smooth while removing dust and fur. Make sure to not have any hair leftover on the bristles.

Wash the Cover

You can use a machine or even wash the cover with your hands. But what’s more effective and what steps can you take for washing? Read on to know.

Removing Marks and Stains

Removing Marks and Stains from Cat's Bed

Scan the bed cover carefully for stains or marks of urine, feces, food stains, or vomit. These stains are quite stubborn and a machine wash may not be too effective in eliminating them.

Applying some force with a cloth washing brush and additionally using a mild detergent may help you get rid of the stains and marks easily. If you do not have a detergent, baking soda or vinegar are also great alternatives for cleaning wet vomit and feces.

Using the Washing Machine

Carefully remove the cover from the cat bed and clean it in the washing machine using a non-toxic and safe stain treatment liquid or an unscented dye-free detergent.

Give it one or two cold cycles and wash it separately from other clothes of your household. Repeat one or two washing cycles if required for effective cleaning.

Using Hot Water

If you want to make the bed cover germ and flea free, consider soaking the cover in a bucket full of hot water. You can also consider washing it with white vinegar to kill the fleas or bacteria.

If you do not suspect any fleas, adding a mild amount or a cup of vinegar (240mL) always works to remove odors and bacteria on the cover.

Drying the Cover

If the cover is dryer safe, you can put it in the dryer on a low setting. Consider putting one or two dryer sheets with the cover to remove any extra hair.

Dryer for drying your cat's bed cover

If not safe in the dryer, air-dry the cover outdoors naturally. Cats somehow enjoy the natural scent from the outdoors once you use the cover after drying.

Clean the Mattress

After cleaning the mess from above the cover, the toughest part could be cleaning the bulky mattress. We show you how it is done.

  • Shake the Mattress

Some cat hair or fur may also stick on the mattress apart from the cover. You can consider using a vacuum to remove the finer hair or dust off the mattress simply to remove excess loose hair and fur. Try using a pair of rubber gloves to clean any large pieces of debris that you see.

  • Washing the Mattress

You can consider washing it with the cover in a washing machine if the mattress of your cat bed is small enough to fit in. If not, use warm water and detergent or soap solution (44.36 mL) in a tub and soak the mattress in it once it forms lather. Wash it gently and rub your hands over the mattress for a thorough cleaning.

  • Rinse

Once done washing in the tub, replace the soapy lather water with clean water in the tub, and put the mattress back in the tub. Squeeze it after soaking it several times in clean water to remove any soap, lather, or sticky dirt from the mattress.

  • Dry

If the sun is shining at its best outdoors, place the mattress on a safe dry towel and keep it for drying. If outdoors is not suitable, keeping it in an airy place in your house with a towel is also fine. Don’t let your cat hover around the mattress while drying it.

Lastly, make sure to check all the components of the cat bed that is, the cover and the mattress are dry enough or not before reassembling them for your cat to use it and relax.

How to Clean Stinky Cat Beds?

The ideal way to clean stinky cat beds is by using a mild detergent, enzymatic cleaner, or soap with warm water and a brush.

Enzymatic Cleaner for cat bed

Cat urine contains ammonia, mercaptans, pathogenic bacteria which not only smell horrible but are dangerous for the household. Additionally, if your cat is not spayed or neutered, the urine smell can attract them to pee or poo at the same spot on their bed more often.

Here are a few tricks you can try to get rid of the smell and stains: 

  • Use an enzymatic solution, specifically made for cleaning pet urine.
  • If the stain and smell look too big, stubborn, and disgusting, you can consider using oxy-bleach or a non-toxic mild detergent to get rid of the odor and dirt.
  • Avoid using chlorine bleach.
  • After soaking in bleach or detergent, you can air-dry the mattress or cover. However, after drying, if the odor persists, check for stains that may have remained on the mattress and cover and repeat the same process as above on those specific areas.

Quick Home Remedies For Cleaning Your Cat’s Bed

Remember, these remedies may not be very effective like enzymatic cleaners or detergents that are specifically meant for cleaning urine, feces, or vomit marks and odor. But these methods can be used if there is nothing at dispense and before matters get worse.

White Vinegar can be used to clean your cat's bed
  • White Vinegar is a great alternative and works wonders as a fabric softener when using a washing machine. This can be used to remove stubborn stains and impart a good smell from the fabric.

Use it in a 1:3 ratio (1 part of vinegar and 3 parts of water) depending on the load of clothes in the machine.

  • Baking Soda is another alternative. You can mix it with slight amounts of water to form a paste and this can be used to pretreat stains before washing them in a machine. Let the baking soda remain on the stain for a good 30 minutes before washing.

Useful Tips

Before choosing to clean your feline friend’s bed, you may want to consider a few safety tips to handle and clean their bed carefully.

afety Tips for Cleaning Your Cat's Bed
  • Check for the manufacturer’s label on the cat bed mattress or cover and whether it is machine washable or not. Certain beds are made of delicate fabric that might be sensitive to machine or warm wash. You do not want to spoil your kitty’s bed in the cleaning process.
  • Always wear gloves while washing. While your cat is your beloved pet, you may not know the potential infections he might be carrying in his urine, feces, hair, etc. which may cause you allergies or infections. In order to avoid direct contact with these, wear a pair of gloves before you take charge of cleaning.
  • While using an enzymatic cleaner or detergent, avoid using fragrant washing solutions that can deter your cat away from its bed and he may not feel like using it until the smell goes. Therefore, Say No to fancy cleaning agents and use mild chemical cleaners.
  • Be careful of your plumbing and electronic appliances like taps, sinks, tubs, washing machines, dryers, etc as you do not want them to malfunction due to lint or hair being stuck in their filters. These may end up choking and clogging them. You can consider using hair traps and lint traps for taps, tubs, or washing machines.
  • After every wash, you can run a separate wash of the machine or dryer without any clothes for it to not have any fur or hair remaining during the second wash.

Do I Need to Visit A Vet?

If your cat is peeing or pooping on its bed in spite of having a separate litter box, then you should consider visiting the vet.

Cleaning your cat’s bed on a regular basis is sure a good habit. But the hassles of scrubbing and brushing their mattresses daily only because they pee or poo on their beds incessantly sure isn’t pleasant.

Visiting A Vet While Cat Care and Cleaning

Moreover, it is a matter of concern if your cat is doing so often as it may have some underlying medical conditions like an infection or inflammation in their bladder. Additionally, stress and anxiety also cause some hormonal imbalances which make them pee more often.

In such cases, you need to make sure your pet feels relaxed, keep their bed and belongings clean, and make a visit to the vet.

Also Read | Are Heated Beds Safe for Cats?


1. How often should you clean your cat’s bed?

Once in a week is advisable for washing your cat’s bed. This is because cat sheddings and dirt may contain pathogenic bacteria that can cause skin diseases to your pet and be harmful to the entire family.

Your cat may not want to use a dirty looking bed either. Hence, a weekly hand wash or a gentle machine wash cycle is recommended.

2. Are cat beds machine washable?

Yes! Cat Beds are machine washable. However, it is advisable to check the manufacturer’s label and read the washing instructions carefully. Bed covers can be easily washed in the machine whereas if the mattress is suitable for a machine wash, then your task is simpler.

You may require multiple washing cycles when using a washing machine to clean your cat’s bed in order to get rid of stubborn odor or stains.

3. How do I get the hair off my cat’s bed?

You can use a lint brush to clean the hair off from their bed manually or use a vacuum cleaner to get into the nooks and crevices of your cat’s bed.

To make your task is simpler, choose bed fabrics that are easy to wash and clean like microfiber cloth which does not leave much space to have cat hair stuck on their surface.

4. What is safe for cleaning my cat’s bed?

A scent-free or dye-free detergent or a pet-specific enzymatic cleaner are a few of the safest agents for cleaning your cat’s bed.

Run a few gentle cycles in the washing machine using a detergent. You can also scrub their covers and mattresses with a cloth washing brush and soap with warm water.

Read | How To Stop A Cat From Peeing On Bed?

Final Note

While felines are known to be absolutely neat freaks, they are not very particular when it comes to their pee and poo related activities. If your cat is not trained, it may end up using any space in the house, including its own bed for shedding activities.

While we can’t do much about our cat’s pee and poo blues, the disgusting and stinky smell along with huge stains on their bed covers and mattress certainly looks unpleasant. Moreover, you do not want to take the risk of spreading any pathogenic diseases through their beds and belongings.

We help you get over the dilemmas of cleaning your cat’s bed by listing a few tips and tricks on how to clean your cat’s bed and making it shining and spotless.

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