Urinating Outside The Litter Box: What To Do When Its Behavioral
Nothing is more frustrating for owners than inappropriate urination, and its the leading cause of feline surrenders. Once youve diagnostically ruled out medical reasons for inappropriate urination with your veterinarian, the next step is to isolate what environmental elements are causing your cats unwanted behavior. With owner dedication, behavioral inappropriate elimination can be rehabilitated helping you and your cat to have a better quality of life.
What are the behavioral causes of inappropriate urination?Behavioral disorders that result in urinating outside the litterbox generally fall into one of two categories: dislike of or aversion to the litterbox and new sources of stress.
Why would your cat start disliking the litterbox?A number of different things might make your cat reluctant to use its litterbox. Inaccessibility is one obvious reason why a kitty might start going elsewhere. Other causes could include the following:
- The litterbox has not been cleaned frequently enough for the cats taste.
- There are not enough litterboxes for all the cats in the household.
- The kittys litterbox is too small, making it more difficult to use.
- The box has a hood or a liner that bothers the cat in some way.
- The owners are trying a new brand of litter, and the feline simply does not like it.
- The cat prefers other surfaces, such as carpets, potting soil or bedding, over the litterbox.
Make sure you never:
Train Your Cat To Use A Litter Box
One of the many important things to do to overcome this problem is to train your cat to pee in its litter box. This problem will forever haunt you if your cat isnt trained to poop or pee at the right spot. Heres how to train your cat to use cat sand:
- First, familiarise your cat with the litter box. Give your cat space to get used to the smell of the cat sand. Never move the little box to a new spot as your cat will be confused.
- Watch your cats behaviour. Immediately take it to the litter tray if it shows signs such as sniffing and digging the ground.
- Give your cat a compliment or reward every time it successfully uses the litter box. Your cat might fail for the first few tries but dont be mad as punishment will only make the cat fearful and stressed.
How Can I Tell What My Cat Would Prefer
To determine the most suitable litter for your cat, first determine what type of litter your cat seems to be avoiding and what type of surface your cat prefers to use. Then set up two or more boxes that are identical and fill the boxes with two different types of litter . Some cats may prefer a clumping litter, cedar shavings, recycled newspaper, or plastic pearls. For cats that prefer solid or hard surfaces, an empty litter box, or one with minimal litter might do. A carpeted ledge around the box, artificial turf or some discarded or shredded carpet might help to increase the appeal for cats that prefer to eliminate on carpets, while some potting soil or a mixture of sand and soil, may be preferable for cats that eliminate in plants or soil. Making a good choice may require a little imagination and should be based on the type of surfaces in the home on which the cat is eliminating. If you prefer scented brands of litters, make sure this is also acceptable to your cat by comparing to an unscented brand. In your preference testing, if you find one litter type that is a clear favorite, discard the second type and continue your testing with other products. There are also commercial litter box attractants that might be useful.
“Making a good choice may require a little imagination and should be based on the type of surfaces in the home on which the cat is eliminating.”
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Homemade Products To Stop Your Cat From Peeing There
These are my homemade recipes for cleaning and repelling cat urine. I usually use a vinegar solution and a citrus spray. I like vinegar because it’s better for the environment and better for me. If you have anyone in your home with breathing problems, harsh cleaning products can make things worse.
First, clean up the urine on the floor. Use paper towels or anything else you are willing to throw away. Then use either of these two solutions:
Automatic Litter Boxes With Sweeping Function
If you prefer the hands-off approach, you can also try a sweeping option such as the ScoopFree original automatic litter box. The automatic raking system sweeps waste into a covered compartment 20 minutes after your cat has used the box. It also has safety sensors to detect if your cat returns to the box, and it will automatically reset.
This automatic litter box system uses ScoopFree premium blue crystal cat litter trays that are intended to last approximately 30 days. The trays use dye-free silicon crystal cat litter that absorbs urine and dries solid waste.
Blass likes the ScoopFree system because of its ability to keep litter scatter to a minimum. She calls this a good choice for a single-cat home but notes that the crystal litter does not clump, so its up to the pad underneath the litter to deodorize the urine. The litter tray must be changed often, or else the box may smell after less than a week, and cats may look for somewhere else to eliminate.
Another raking-style box is the Pet Zone Smart Scoop automatic cat litter box, which rakes the litter, collecting clumps and depositing them into a waste compartment with a carbon filter that neutralizes odors. The system uses any clumping or crystal litter. Blass says that while the rake does not always grab all the litter clumps, it is sturdy and comes apart smoothly for cleaning. She also likes the units quieter motor.
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Sort Out Their Litter Box
Cats can be funny creatures and even the slightest change or minor issue can be enough to have them forgoing their litter box in favor of certain spots around the home. If you think their litter box might be a problem, here are some things to consider:
Some simple changes to your cats litter box situation could be all thats needed to get them back to peeing where theyre meant to!
Changing Your Cats Behavior
When you have identified the reason your Cat is peeing in the house, you can then begin to change its behavior which will take time.
- If you have introduced a new cat in the house then give them separate litter box. Why? because sometimes Cat can show aggression through urinating. It is important to let them have their own territories until they are comfortable with each other
- If you Cat feels threatened due to a new baby that has come into the house or a new guest then give your time to adjust
- Moving houses will have a big impact in your Cats life because it will be new territory and also there might be scent left from the previous owners pet which may make your Cat react. Your will also be claiming and adjusting to this new territory. Its important to lovingly reassure your Cat and remove any odor previous cats may have left in order to stop your cat from marking their territory.
- Youll need to remove any traces of smell where your Cat is urinating or you can block it off completely. When cleaning the spot you should use enzymatic and cover the the area with foil or plastic and prevent access to this area for several weeks in order for the neutralizer enough time to work.
You should reassure your Cat and show that your Cat is an important part of the family. Give them extra attention, affection and always praise your Cat.
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Evaluate The Litter Box Location
Where are the litter boxes located? If you have multiple stories in your home, you’ll want at least one on each floor.
Think about it: if you were on the second floor of your house, would you want to run all the way downstairs to use the bathroom? Neither does your cat.
And when litter boxes are too tucked away, say inside cabinets or in the corner of a basement laundry room, cats may not bother to go find them. Making it convenient for your cat to use the litter box will often alleviate problems.
Keep litter boxes away from unpredictable areas such as near washing machines/dryers, loud pipes, or other areas that may scare your feline friend.
If your cat keeps peeing in the same spot, try placing a litter box over that area, and then slowly moving it to the spot where youre okay with having a litter box.
The placement and setup of litter boxes can make a real difference.
What Could The Problem Be If It Is Not Medical
Diagnostic possibilities for elimination problems in cats include litter, litter box, and location aversions, and substrate and location preferences. Frustration or stress might also influence feline elimination behavior.
“When frustration, stress, anxiety, or marking are suspected to be the cause, drug therapy and behavior-modification techniques may be effective.”
Keep in mind that the initiating cause of house soiling may have been medical or a change in the environment, and this initiating cause may still be present or may have already been resolved. However, once the cat has learned to eliminate somewhere other than the litter box, the problem may be maintained. When frustration, stress, anxiety, or marking are suspected to be the cause, drug therapy and behavior modification techniques may be effective .
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Cat Spraying In A New Or Redecorated Home
Redecorating and building work can change the smell of your home. And any noise or new people in your home might make your cat feel unsettled.
Redecorating or replacing furniture effectively removes all your cats subtle scent markings that have been carefully placed by rubbing and scratching. These will now be replaced by the strong smell of new carpets, paint or furniture.
Keep your cat away from the altered room until the smells are not quite so strong and have mingled with the other familiar scents in the house.
A cat might be less likely to spray if their scent is already there. You can also spread some of your cat’s scent yourself:
How To Stop A Cat From Peeing In The House
Cat pee anywhere in the house can make your entire home smell like a litter box. Cats’ urine contains strong-smelling proteins they use to mark their territory, a scent that is nearly impossible to eliminate. Cleaning it can often wet the crystallized proteins and reactivate the odor. It can be upsetting and very stressful.
The best way to get rid of the smell in your home is to prevent the cat from peeing there in the first place. Ignoring the problem or yelling at your cat will not make the problem go away. To prevent the inappropriate urination, the reason for your cat’s misbehavior must first be addressed.
The first step to solving the problem is figuring out its reason. By peeing in the house, your cat is trying to tell you something is wrong. He could be sick, anxious, or unhappy with his litter box, but it will take some sleuthing to discover the source of your cat’s behavior. Once you find the cause, you can begin to find a solution.
Here, you will find possible causes and solutions so you and your cat can live in harmony again.
It’s time to retrain your cat to use the litter box
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The Litter Box Is Not Up To Your Cats Exacting Standards
If the litter box is dirty, your cat will likely not use it. Cats prefer freshly flushed litter boxes similar to how people like to use restroom stalls that have been flushed by the previous user, says Dr. Ashley Barnes, medical director at Louisville Family Animal Hospital in Louisville, Colorado.
A cat might also hesitate to use a litter box thats too small and cramped, is hard to climb in and out of, is uncovered , is in a noisy location, or contains off-putting litter.
Keep Your Cat From Urinating In That Spot In The Future
Once youve cleaned a particular area, prevent a recurrence by changing the significance of that area to your cat. In other words, since cats prefer to eat and eliminate in separate areas, place food bowls and treats in previously soiled areas, or play with your cat in that space and leave toys there.
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Rule Out Any Medical Issues
If your cat pees everywhere but the litter box, the first step is to consult with a veterinarian. This can include a physical exam, urinalysis, imaging of the bladder or joints, and/or blood testing, says Barnes. Treatment will depend on the diagnosis. This can include antibiotics for UTIs, pain medication for FIC, bladder stones and/or arthritis, prescription diet for stones and/or FIC, Barnes adds.
Why Cats Urinate Outside Of The Litter Box
There are a number of reasons why a cat may start peeing outside the litter box. While some owners may think that their cat does it as a way of getting even for something, cats lack the sophisticated cognitive abilities needed to concoct that type of revenge strategy.
Despite popular belief, cats do not urinate outside the box to ‘get back’ at the owner for something, said Dr. Laura George, DVM at Cats Exclusive Veterinary Center in Shoreline, Washington.
If your cats not using the litter box, its likely that he or she is trying to tell you something important.
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Cat Spraying Vs Peeing
First, identify if your cat is spraying or urinating. Youll be able to tell by the posture your feline takes when marking. Cats urinate by squatting onto horizontal surfaces and leaving a larger pool of urine. If your cat is spraying, they will stand up, lift their tail, and project towards a surface youll also notice their tail quivering.
For those times you dont catch your cat in the act, know that in general cats spray on vertical surfaces, like the wall, and urinate on horizontal surfaces, like the floor.
How To Stop Cats From Peeing On Furniture
So youâve just had your new kitty for a few months now and everything is going well, until suddenly you notice a strange smellâ¦
Itâs not coming from the litter tray, and itâs certainly not the trash. So what could is it?
After some inspecting around the house, you find itâs coming from your furniture, what the!?
Unless your furniture usually smells of pee, itâs likely your cat has been up to no good. Known as spraying or marking, sometimes cats like to leave their scent around the house by peeing.
If your cat has just started peeing on furniture then donât worry, itâs not a permanent thing. With the right guidance and training, you can stop your cat from peeing and leaving a foul stench.
But before we look at ways to stop your cat from peeing everywhere, why exactly do they do it in the first place?
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Cat Peeing On Furniture In The House
I can imagine how frustrated you can get when you come home to a wet couch. However, do not consider punishing the cat at any cost. Instead, look for the reasons why she feels motivated to do so. In most cases, your cat may pee on your furniture especially when it is new. She probably wants to feel like she knows about it.
Understand that having new furniture in the house is a possible reason for your cat to pee on them. Usually, cats want to live in a place whereby she feels secure. This is only assured when she can feel her scent all over your house. To reassure herself that nothing strange is going on, she will peen on the new piece in furniture.
Your cat may also pee on your furniture, for instance, your favorite spot on your couch. This can be triggered by your kittys separation anxiety. Usually, when you are traveling for longer than usual, you will want to have someone check on your kitty every now and then.
This exposes your cat to anxiety in that you will be missing in action for some time. Additionally, he is definitely going to have some issues while interacting with the new person.
However, a cat with litter box issues should not be ignored at any cost. This is because it could lead to a chronic habit. Let us look into this the causes of litter box issues among the feline family.
Health Issues Can Cause Inappropriate Urination
The first thing you need to do is rule out a medical problem, says Dr. Bruce Kornreich, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, and associate director of the Cornell Feline Health Center.
Medical issues related to inappropriate urination can include urinary tract infections, kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and feline lower urinary tract disease. These can cause a cat to urinate outside the litter box, particularly if they associate the litter box with pain.
If you believe your cat is suffering from any of these conditions, or is exhibiting additional symptoms, bring them to your veterinarian immediately. Untreated conditions such as urinary tract infections can become serious.
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