Of all possible cat problems, urinating is among the most frustrating. Scratching on furniture, jumping on counters, and even aggression are annoying, but at least they don’t leave that nasty odor that seems almost impossible to get rid of. And if the cat’s using just one corner of the living room carpet as an “alternative litter box,” it’s bad, but not as bas as when they start going everywhere. The good news is that there’s always a reason cats urinate outside the box and almost all these reasons have simple, practical solutions.
Health problems are one of the less common causes of litter box avoidance, but they merit mention first because some require immediate veterinary treatment. Among the more serious issues are a blocked urethra (this can be fatal within days) and urinary tract infections (UTI). Other medical causes of improper urination may be less urgent, but they still require prompt veterinary care. These include worms, food allergies, diabetes and thyroid disorder. If your cat’s suddenly started wetting all over the house, you notice her straining to go, or you see blood in her urine, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Unappealing Litter Box
Cats are picky creatures. They won’t eat “just anything,” they won’t sleep just anywhere and they won’t pee just anywhere, either. Most cats put up with less than ideal litter box conditions simply because the habit of using the litter box is so ingrained. Sometimes, though, either the cat is extra picky or there’s something significantly wrong with the litter box as far as that cat is concerned. And different cats have different preferences and needs, too. Generally speaking, though, things that can be wrong with the litter box fall into four categories:
* Covered versus uncovered box,
* Height of the box’s sides,
* Litter type, and
* The box’s location
So, your cat may be happy with the type of box and litter, but if the box is in the wrong spot, he may opt to piddle on the carpet in a location of his choice. Once you’re aware of the things you can change about the litter box, it’s a simple matter of experimenting with different options until you hit on a combo your cat likes. The spots your cat prefers to go give you clues to how you can make the box more attractive. For example, if your kitty’s been generously watering your potted plants, you may find swapping litter for dirt or mixing dirt in the litter gets your cat using the box again.
Stress and Anxiety
Many cat problems, urinating everywhere in the house included, can be traced to stress. Cat’s prefer predictability and are sensitive to change, so any change in the cat’s environment or daily routine can stress the cat. As with people, tolerance for change varies. Some cats can go with the flow even in the busiest of homes, while others freak out when someone puts a new chair in the living room. Major changes like bringing the cat into a new home, the death of another pet, a person moving in or out, or sudden burst of activity in the home are among the more obvious causes of stress and definitely can cause inappropriate urination.
But the same thing can also happen due to more subtle changes like neighbors starting a noisy remodeling work, a new cat in the neighborhood your cat has seen or smelled through the window, or even rearranging the furniture. If your cat’s stressed out, you’ll probably notice other signs like aggression, lethargy or lack of appetite. Not all the signs are obvious, though. Did you know vertical scratching (on the walls and sides of furniture, rather than the carpets) is a sign of stress?
Lots of Problems, Lots of Solutions
These are by no means the only causes of litter box avoidance, though. While many of the other causes are common to all cats, some causes are specific to declawed cats, long-haired and tailless breeds, and multiple-cat households. The thought of trying to pinpoint exactly what’s causing your cat’s litter box problems might sound overwhelming, but once you look through a comprehensive guide to the causes and solutions, you’ll find it’s not too hard to pick out the causes that may apply to your cat and get started correcting the problem.
Stopping your cat from piddling all over the house may be easier than you think. Discover why cats avoid the litter box, how to you can get your cat using the box again and how you can totally eliminate cat urine stains and odors from your home at Cat Urine Problems Eliminated.