How Can I Solve Cat’s Litterbox Problems?
One of the most typical behavioral issues seen in cats is the act of soiling the house. It is not unusual for cats to have surface preferences as well as location preferences when it comes to where and on what they like to defecate. These normally harmless activities only become problematic when the object of choice is something undesirable, such as the laundry basket, the bed, or the Persian rug. It is possible, in most cases, to identify specific variables that have contributed to the litterbox issue by thorough investigation of the environment in which the cat lives.
MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS
The idea that cats don’t use the litterbox because they are mad or upset and are trying to exact revenge for something that “offended” or “angered” them is a myth. The correct explanation is that cats don’t use the litterbox for a variety of reasons, including the ones listed above. Since people behave in this way for these reasons, it is simple to imagine that cats do the same thing. It is not going to assist the situation if you offer your cat extra privileges and hope that he or she will start using the box again since cats do not behave out of spite or vengeance. Even though your cat’s claws have been removed, it is very unlikely that this was the source of the issue. Studies have shown that cats who have had their claws removed are not more likely to have issues with their litterboxes or to bite than cats that still have their claws. It is not normal for a cat to cease using its litterbox because of “stress,” which is a phrase that may refer to a number of different things. If stress is a factor, you should also notice other behavioral or physical changes, such as weight loss, scared behavior, or changes in eating or sleeping patterns. If stress is a factor, you should witness these changes. The use of punishment is not an appropriate method for addressing issues with the litterbox.
In the first place, talk to your animal doctor. Issues with one’s health might lead to issues with the litterbox. Even when they are unwell, cats do not always exhibit symptoms of illness. A trip to the veterinarian for a comprehensive physical exam, which may include a urinalysis, is the only way to definitively rule out the possibility of a medical issue.
Whether your cat’s health has been checked out by a veterinarian and he or she has given your cat a clean bill of health, the next step is to find out if your cat sprays or urinates outside of the litter box. Spraying, also known as urine marking, is an activity that cats engage in to demonstrate their control over their area. The presence of other cats is what sets off the marking behavior. It is possible for this to happen when cats from the neighborhood are “hanging around” outdoors or when cats in a home with many cats fight with one another. The behavior may also be brought on by the presence of people, odors, or items that are unfamiliar in the home. Spraying has absolutely nothing to do with how you use the litterbox. When a cat has to urinate, it will rise up, move its body so that it is pressed up against a vertical surface, and then spray its pee at “cat height” on things such as doors, walls, curtains, and furniture. During the spraying process, his or her tail can tremble, and the cat would sometimes elevate one or both of its rear feet. Cats of any gender, any age, and regardless of whether they have been spayed or neutered are all capable of spraying, but the activity is most prevalent in intact males.
Problems with spraying may be greatly decreased or even completely eliminated by the following:
- Have any cats in the home that have not been altered spayed or neutered
- Take steps to reduce the number of cats in the neighborhood You could try closing the windows where your cat may view other cats in the neighborhood. Use smells that are irritating to them to discourage their presence.
- Mediating disputes that arise amongst the household’s several cats. It is up to you to assist the family’s cats to get along better with one another if they are angry or fighting with one other. Make it such that each of them has positive outcomes while they are in the company of the other. It is conceivable that the situation will become much more problematic if the cats are punished. While you are working on the issue, you may find it necessary to temporarily separate them.
- Discuss with your veterinarian the possibility of a brief course of anti-anxiety medication treatment. 5. Using the strategies outlined in the next paragraphs, make the sprayed regions seem less appealing.
If you see puddles or excrement on the floor, this indicates that your cat is choosing not to eliminate in the litterbox when given the opportunity. Aversion to the litterbox itself, preferences regarding the surface of the litterbox, preferences regarding the position of the litterbox, or a combination of all three of these factors are the most typical reasons why cats cease using the litterbox. You are going to have to do some investigating if you want to find out the cause for the change in behavior of your cat.
AVERSION TO LITTERBOX:
Aversion to the litterbox indicates that your cat has come to the conclusion that the litterbox is an uncomfortable environment in which to spend time. It is possible that the box is not clean enough for him, that he was startled by a noise while using the box, that he experienced painful urination or defecation in the box, that he was startled by the noise, or that he was “ambushed” while in the box by either another cat, a child, a dog, or even by you if you were attempting to catch him for some reason. Because of this sort of aversion, it’s possible that you’ll need to entirely change the litterbox so that it doesn’t bring up any memories of traumatic events for your cat. It’s possible that the litter box, its current placement, and the kind of litter you’re using all need to be changed. Remember to maintain the litter box clean by removing solid waste and urine on a daily basis, washing the litter box, and replacing all of the litter anywhere from once every seven days to once every three days. There is a possibility that some cats like newspaper over litter. Simply prepare the litter box by covering the bottom with newspaper. If the cat does not seem to like the newspaper in its flat position, the paper should be shredded. Additionally, some cats dislike being confined by a covered litterbox and would rather use an open litterbox instead. In addition to this, you should make sure that the litterbox is located at the very least on the other side of the room from the cat’s food and drink bowls. We try to avoid eating in the toilet for the same reason that cats prefer not to have their litterboxes too near to where they eat.
PREFERENCES FOR SURFACE:
Every species of animal develops a predilection for the surface on which it is most comfortable to defecate and urinate. These preferences could be formed at an early age, but they might just as easily change overnight for a variety of reasons that aren’t necessarily clear to us. It’s possible that your cat may start using the carpet instead of the litterbox if he has a habit of reaching out and scratching the carpet just after he uses the box. Some cats seem to acquire a desire for slick surfaces, such as the bathtub or the kitchen sink, while others may develop a predilection for soft surfaces, such as heaps of clothing or the bed. Many cats appear to develop a preference for either soft or slick surfaces. Cats that have spent their lives outdoors may have a preference for the soil or grass. It is necessary to improve the appeal of the material used in the litterbox in order to tackle the issue of cats preferring certain surfaces. Try one of the new fine-grained clumping litters, for instance, if you like a litter with a softer surface. If you’ve noticed that your cat has been using the bathtub instead of the litterbox, create a smooth surface for him in the litterbox by using very little, if any, litter. If your cat was formerly an outdoor cat, you may try potting soil in the litter box instead of plain old dirt.
Your cat may come to the conclusion that there is a certain spot in the house where he finds it most comfortable to defecate. It’s possible that he likes to hide in a secluded, secure area, such behind a bookcase or at the back of the closet. It’s possible that he prefers to relieve himself in the spot where the litterbox was once situated, or maybe he’s drawn to a certain smell there. Dealing with preferences regarding location can be accomplished by moving the litter box to the preferred location, keeping it there until your cat uses it consistently for several weeks, and then VERY GRADUALLY (one or two inches per day) moving it back to where you want it to be. If your cat has a preference regarding the location of the box, you can move it to the desired location. If your cat does not use the box even after you relocate it to a different area, the issue is not one of site preference.
CLEAN SOILED AREAS:
Soiled places may be made less appealing by washing them with an enzymatic agent such as Feline Odor Neutralizer. This will make the soiled areas less appealing to cats (F.O.N. is sold only through veterinarians). Nature’s Miracle and Simple Solutions are other effective options, and you can get them at most reputable pet supply shops. Sprays used to repel insects are mostly ineffective. Covering the filthy surfaces with double-sided tape, plastic, or a vinyl carpet runner with the point side up will make them less appealing to the eye. Place cotton balls that have been soaked with strong fragrances or muscle massages about the region in order to give it an unpleasant odor. Place toys or food bowls in these spots so that your cat will have something else to do (other than urinate) in these areas rather than urinate.
It’s possible that the original cause of the litterbox issue is not the same as the reason it persists now. For instance, it’s possible that your cat stopped using the litter box because it wasn’t clean enough, and as a result, he has acquired a taste for carpet as a surface, as well as a preference for the bedroom closet as a place. In order to remedy this issue, you are going to have to deal with all three of these contributing elements.