Posts Tagged: inappropriate elimination in cats

Five Tips To Prevent Inappropriate Elimination In Cats

inappropriate elimination in cats

The last few weeks, I’ve seen several cases of inappropriate elimination in cats.  Spraying or avoiding the litter box is the number one sited reason cats are surrendered to animal shelters.  Hopefully, the knowledge you gain from this article can reduce the chance of litter box problems.

The most common reason a cat will use the bathroom outside of its litter box is that it’s not clean.  Let’s face it- when we go to a public restroom and find a dirty toilet, we go to the next stall; if it stinks, we will find another bathroom somewhere else.  Why do you think it’s any different for your cat?

How to prevent inappropriate elimination in cats:

  1. Use unscented litter. 
  2. Scoop the litter box every day
  3. Clean the litter box once a week with mild soap and water
  4. Don’t use ammonia or citrus scents
  5. If the box begins to smell like urine, use an odor neutralizer or replace the box with a new one.

The number of litter boxes needed depends on the number of cats in your household.  The general rule of thumb to follow is the number of cats you have in your household plus one (example: 2 cats = 3 litter boxes).  I would also recommend providing different types of litter box and varying the size of each of the boxes.  We have similar choices: home vs. public restroom, inside vs. outside, and handicap vs. regular stall. It’s nice to have a choice.

If you have inappropriate elimination in cats and you have tried the above suggestions, your cat may have a medical or behavioral condition.  Contact your veterinarian for an exam and diagnostics in order to resolve the issue early. Never punish your cat for going outside the litter box, as this may cause other behavioral problems.  Some individuals think the cat is trying to be vindictive, when in fact, there is a legitimate reason why the cat is not using the litter box. Try thinking about the problem from your cat’s point of view. Ask yourself if you were presented with the same problem, what would you do?

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