What To Do When Elderly Cats Urinate Outside Litter Box – Guide to Stopping Your Cat From Spraying (For Good!)
What To Do When Elderly Cats Urinate Outside Litter Box
What To Do When Elderly Cats Urinate Outside Litter Box The most common reason why cats wind up sitting in a cage at an animal shelter is because they refuse to use the litter box. Cat urine has a very strong odor, and getting it out of fabric or even removing the smell entirely from hard surfaces can be difficult. And, cats have been known not only to defecate behind furniture to hide the deed, but also often on the worst places possible, such as your bed.
If you’ve been frustrated in trying to get your cat to use the litter box, you may be surprised to learn that the answer to the problem could be very easy to solve. Please note that any cat who is not using the litter box should be checked out by a veterinarian, just to rule out hidden illness.
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What You Need to Know About Cats
Rather than getting angry at your wayward cat, it may be time to examine a critical element in the problem – the litter box itself. Cats are very clean animals, and one thing that can drive a cat from his or her litter box is a box that is filthy. Put yourself in your pet’s place and imagine how you would like to use an overflowing toilet; you wouldn’t, so why should your cat. Today’s busy world often leaves us trying to do too much in too little time, but the litter box cannot be neglected.
- Clumping litter is probably the best choice for the litter box. Not only does this kind of material make it easier to remove feces, but it also makes it simple to remove urine. You should use a scoop to take out the clumps at least twice a day, and if you are home most of the time, scoop the box as soon as your cat is finished. Remember to add a bit of new litter to compensate for what was removed.
- The entire box should be changed once a week if you have only one cat using it and at least twice if you have several cats all using the same box. It’s best to provide a box for each cat, however, to prevent one cat from dominating.
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Although you may have read that soap and water or baking soda will remove cat urine odor, they will not. Some of the compounds in cat urine are not water soluble and require an enzyme cleaner to remove the smell completely. You may need to repeat the process several times until all the odor is gone. Your nose will tell you when the job is done.
The Initial Causes What To Do When Elderly Cats Urinate Outside Litter Box
Most kittens and cats are eager and happy to use the litter box. When we had a litter of Siamese kittens years ago, we put down the top of a shoebox filled with litter for them to use, and those little guys went right into it to do their business at about four weeks of age. However, things do not always go as smoothly as this, and when your kitten or cat is avoiding the box, it’s time to take a close look at what the problem might be.
In a natural state, cats seek out dry, loose sand or soil in which to urinate and defecate. Avoiding litter box and inappropriate elimination shouldn’t be too hard for cats of any age.
- In a natural state, cats look for dry, loose sand or soil in which to urinate and defecate. If you provide a litter that mimics this, you will have a good chance of having your cat use the box without problem. Many cats do not like scented litter, so stick with an unscented brand at least until your cat is used to the box.
- Keep the box clean. Remove soiled litter every day, and the sooner the better. The litter in the box should be changed completely once a week and the litter pan washed.
- If you have more than one cat, provide a litter box for each one of them. Most cats aren’t fond of sharing the box with another.
- Choose a spot that the cat likes to use for elimination, preferably away from where the cat eats and drinks. Most cats like a bit of privacy, too, so placing the box in a more out-of-the-way spot can encourage use.
- Should your cat be resisting using the box, you can try confining the cat in a small room with the box available. In most cases, the cat will get the idea and start using the box.
- Kittens, especially, can be easily trained by using an attractant in the box until they become accustomed to using it.
The above suggestions refer to getting a cat or kitten to use the box to begin with. However, if you have a cat that has been using the litter box reliably and suddenly stops, there could be a medical problem involved and you should schedule a visit to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
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Cats tend to be alert, somewhat nervous animals who can react with fear to a number of situations, and this can result in inappropriate. Being ‘fraidy cats’ has helped cats to survive in the sometimes hostile natural world where they might make a tempting meal for a larger animal. Although living with humans has undoubtedly softened some of the cat’s natural skittishness, they still depend upon instinct to keep them safe, and often appear to us to overreact. What To Do When Elderly Cats Urinate Outside Litter Box
There are a number of reasons why a cat might be avoiding the litter box, such as an infection, or a dirty box. However, fear can also be responsible for litter box avoidance and in soiling inappropriately, and this could well be the case with your cat.
The fear your cat might be showing as avoiding the litter box could stem from his or her fear of the box itself, or of the place where the box is situated. If your cat associates a certain spot in the house with an unpleasant or traumatic experience, it could cause your cat to mess outside the litter box. Cats have good memories and will associate the litter box with the incident long after the ‘danger’ is gone. If simply moving the box is not an option, there are ways to help your cat overcome his or her fears.
- Use positive reinforcement, such as treats and petting to help your cat relax in the room where the litter box is located.
- There are attractants that will help lure your cat to the litter box that can are useful in overcoming the cat’s fears.
- If you have recently gotten a new litter box, there could be something about the box that is frightening him or her.
- Make sure that while the box is in a place that grants your cat some privacy, the area is also well-lit and warm.
- Accompanying your cat partway to the litter box can help your friend to feel more secure. The need for this will diminish as the cat’s confidence grows.
Most cats who develop a fear their litter box because of past trouble in the area can be helped to overcome this with patience and kindness. Never punish your cat for messing on the rug or behind a chair, it will only make the animal more nervous and less likely to use the litter box in the future. Stress can actually cause a physical condition, interstitial cystitis, to occur in your cat. Although this illness is not completely understood, it appears to affect the nerves connected to the bladder and can cause your cat to lose control. Once other medical conditions have been ruled out, it will be time to help your cat relax once again.
Finding the Best Spot for the Litter Box
Although some cats will use the litter box regardless of where you place it, just so that they can somehow reach it, other cats will balk at using an inappropriately positioned box. Choosing a good place for the litter box means that there will be less chance that you will find wet spots on the rug or ‘worse’ behind the sofa. Cats are clean animals and will use their box if it is convenient and accessible.
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Think Like a Cat
Cats not only need a litter box filled with dry, clean, loose litter to dig in, they also need a place where they feel comfortable. The placement of the litter box should be for your cat’s convenience, not necessarily yours. And, ultimately, a litter box that is used consistently by your cat will be the most convenient for you, regardless of where it’s located.
- Do not position your cat’s litter box next to his or her food and water dishes. Nobody enjoys eating in a toilet.
- Cats, like people, enjoy a bit of privacy when going to the bathroom. Don’t place the litter box so far from the center of activities that it will be difficult to use, but do put it a bit off the beaten path.
- The litter box should be in a lighted area so that the cat feels safer using it. Don’t put the box in a dark basement filled with clutter; the cat will be afraid that it might be attacked when using the box.
- Make sure that use of the litter box doesn’t require you to open a door for the cat – there should be free access to the box at all times.
- Once you and your cat have found the right place for the litter box, leave it there. If you find that it must be moved, do this gradually by shifting the position of the box a little each day.
- Multi-cat households should also provide multiple litter boxes. It’s also a good idea to keep the boxes separated from one another. There should also be an extra box in case one of the regular ones is soiled or otherwise inaccessible.
- If you have a house with several stories, it’s a good idea to have a litter box available on each floor. There will be less chance of an accident if your cat doesn’t have to travel a long distance to use the box.
While we may think that stress only affects humans, the fact is that cats can easily become stressed and show this by inappropriate elimination. The intelligence and sensitivity of cats makes them susceptible to stress, and when you begin to find puddles on furniture or rugs, it could well be the result of an upset and fearful cat.
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Spraying, or peeing, around the house is a big no-no, for obvious reasons; and sometimes, cats that regularly use their litter box turn to other areas of the house to urinate or spray. As a result, owners tend to focus on the issue of the mistargeted urination, rather than on why the behavior is occurring – the key element to Cat Spraying No More.
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The smell of ordinary cat urine is strong enough, but when a cat spray marks, the odor will be even more overpowering and unpleasant. Unlike urination, which does leave a message for other cats to an extent, spray marking is more like a billboard with lights. The whole reason for marking is to inform other cats of a particular cat’s presence. And, while urine is simply the waste that has been filtered out by the kidneys, marking includes other bodily chemicals with information about sex, health, and undoubtedly other important cat messages.
Unlike normal urination, which is made by the cat squatting down, spray marking is done when the cat is standing and the deposit will be made on a vertical surface such as a door frame or the front of a sofa or chair. The cat will back up to the chosen area, and wiggle its tail as it delivers the spray behind it. The volume of the spray is much less than is produced when the cat urinates. What To Do When Elderly Cats Urinate Outside Litter Box