Check out some of these recommended products at our online store! Simply click on the picture to the right of the cat in Rome!
CLICK HERE TO SHOP FOR CAT CARE ITEMS
Inappropriate elimination is one of the top reasons cats are surrendered to shelters or euthanized. There is nothing more frustrating than coming home to find out your kitty has urinated on your bed or defecated on your sofa. While this can be a very difficult habit to break, there are ways to prevent and manage this behavior.
Spay or Neuter your cat- Intact cats, both male and female, are prone to marking their territory. Also, intact male cat urine has a much stronger odor.
Make sure you have plenty of clean litter boxes. There should be one litter box per cat plus one more. For example, a two cat household should have three litter boxes. Litter boxes should be scooped at least once a day and completely emptied and cleaned with a mild (non-citrus based) cleaner weekly.
Take your kitty to the vet. Before addressing any behavioral issue, we should first make sure your cat doesn’t have a medical problem. For example, urinary tract infections can cause kitties to urinate outside of the litter box. We recommend getting a urinalysis and fecal analysis run to rule out infection, and some routine blood work to make sure your kitty doesn’t have a metabolic problem.
Once your kitty gets a clean bill of health, you can start addressing his or her dislike of the litter box. Remember cats are very clean, particular animals with a very strong sense of smell. Litter box cleanliness and convenience is of utmost importance in preventing and treating inappropriate elimination problems!
Here are some simple steps you can take to encourage your kitty to use her litterbox.
Place your litter boxes in low traffic areas. Also you may want to spread them around the house, especially if one kitty picks on another one.
Don’t clean your litter box with a strong smelling cleaner, especially citrus cleaners. We recommend Odoban. The eucalyptus scented variety is mild, and ideal for deodorizing and cleaning litter boxes. Any enzymatic cleaner is good. Be sure to replace any old stained litter boxes.
Don’t use perfumed litters. If your cat is finicky about litter, offer several different kinds and textures until you determine your kitty's preference. Examples would be scoopable litter, non-scoopable clay litter, pine or recycled newspaper pellet litter, and crystal litters. Note: A sign that your cat might dislike a particular litter is if your cat is not covering his/her waste in the litter box.
Cat Attract is a litter that can be found at many stores. Blended with a natural herb attractant, Cat Attract’s herbal scent, ideal texture and particle size combine to help solve litter box problems. To learn more about Cat Attract, visit their website: http://www.preciouscat.com/product/cat-attract/.
Vary your kitty’s litter box options. Similar to the litter smorgasbord mentioned above, kitties can have preferences regarding the type of litter box they use. Behaviorists recommend that the litter box be as long as your cat from the tip of the nose to the tip of it's tail. The shallow plastic storage containers without the lids work great. Covered litter boxes are great to keep kitty elimination odors from reaching humans, but they trap them inside the covered box and make the box an unpleasant place for your cat. Older cats with possible arthritic issues will appreciate a low entrance to their litter box. You can even make a cut out so the cat to enter more easily.
Here are some more suggestions to encourage proper use of the litterbox
Try Feliway. Feliway is a product that releases imitation cat pheromones. While the scent is undetectable to humans, it can be very calming for our cats. Feliway comes as a spray and a diffuser. We prefer the diffuser to ensure consistent use. A diffuser should be placed in each room or for every 650 square feet. Check out their website for more information: http://www.feliway.com/us.
If one cat is picking on another cat, it’s a good idea to put a collar with a bell on the cat that is the bully. Make sure the collar is a cat safe collar that breaks away if caught, or a collar with an elastic release. This inter-cat intimidation can be very subtle, so watch for resource guarding and staring contests. These can be enough to cause a cat to avoid using the guarded litter box.
Cats will often mark territory more if they feel threatened by other cats, even outdoor cats. So, DO NOT feed any cats outside your house. Food will attract stray cats and potentially dangerous wildlife. There are feral cat spay/neuter trap and placement services in many communities. We recommend that you help these cats find forever homes versus taking their chances out in the wild.
When dealing with inappropriate elimination, the whole environment counts. Follow these simple steps for a happier, well-balanced cat.
Feed your kitties a measured amount of food twice a day. Don’t leave food down all day. Also, feed your kitties in separate areas. This makes sure your cat is getting a controlled, stress free meal time and helps you know exactly how much your kitty is eating.
Increase play time for your kitty. Find a toy that your cat likes to play fetch with. Buy interactive cat toys such as wands with feathers dangling from them, but only use these with parental supervision as kitties can get entangled in string toys, and even worse ingest the strings and cause an obstruction! If your kitty is not toy motivated, but is food motivated we recommend purchasing an interactive food releasing toy such as the Twist & Treat.
If all else fails, there are anti-anxiety medications for cats that can help. Available as an oral medication or even as a transdermal gel applied to the ear, these medications give your kitty some chemical encouragement. All of the behavioral and environmental modifications mentioned above should still be adhered to for the best chance at solving this unpleasant problem.