Aren’t cats always full of surprises…like wet spots on the carpet? Usually, cats naturally choose one area to do their “business” and use only that area, but a variety of things can disrupt their habit. Even the calmest, best mannered house cat can start avoiding the litter box or start using the house as a spare. And if you’ve adopted a cat with a traumatic past, health problems, or a former outdoor cat, you may be in for a challenging time. No matter what the reason for the problem, though, there’s always a solution.
Understand the Behavior
A cat doesn’t wake up one morning and decide he’d rather relieve himself on the sofa instead of the litter box just for a little variety. There is always a reason a cat “goes” outside the box. Sometimes a health problem is to blame. This could be something as serious as a blocked urethra, an emergency requiring immediate medical treatment, to a food allergy, which won’t kill the cat, but still requires a change in diet.
More often, though, the problem is something in the cat’s environment. A cat may start urinating in the house due to stress. Common causes of stress include new people, animals or even new furniture in the house, increased activity like spring cleaning, and boredom from lack of attention and play time. Poor training methods can also stress a cat. If you can’t eliminate the source of stress, a feline pheromone product can help your cat calm down and adjust. So can providing kitty with her own little private den in an always-open closet or on top of a cupboard where she can hide out and relax.
In multiple-cat households, sometimes one cat will bully another and not let her use the litter box, so she’s forced to go elsewhere. Other times, one cat just decides he’d rather not use the communal box and opts for his own private piddle place behind the sofa or somewhere. In this case, you may need one litter box for each cat.
Just remember there’s always a reason a cat wets in the house, which means there’s always a solution to the problem. In general, a cat who’s suddenly started peeing in the house needs a vet check up. If your cat checks out as healthy, a comprehensive list of causes and solutions for litter box problems can help you pinpoint the problem and correct it.
Make the Litter Box Attractive
Regardless of why your cat’s started avoiding the litter box or showing preference for other surfaces, making the litter box as attractive as possible helps get kitty back into the box-only habit. For most cats, a large-size, uncovered litter box filled with…