Litter Box Issues

- Private group -
January 13, 2014

One of the most common behavior complaints from cat owners is house soiling. In most cases, if you seek help from a Veterinarian immediately this behavior is correctable.

Why do cats litter box habits change? There could be an underlying health problem; such as, urinary tract infection, bladder stones, or arthritis (making it painful to step into the litter box).

If your veterinarian gives your feline a clean bill of health there may be a psychological reason; such as, a change in family dynamics (a new addition-human or pet), dirty litter boxes, or a change in the type of litter you are using.

In some cases, a cat will use a box for years with a particular litter in it and then suddenly, for reasons that no one understands, the cat will try a new location. If the cat likes the new location, he or she may stop going to the litter box. This may require training your cat to return to the litter box with the help of a behaviorist.

So, what do you do?

Consult your veterinarian at the first sign of changes in litter box habits, because the longer you wait the more difficult it is to change the behavior.

-DON'T PUNISH your cat even if you catch them in the act. The cat may begin to avoid you when he or she has to go. This will make it much more difficult to know when and where your cat is soiling.

-Keeping a journal may help your veterinarian or behaviorist determine what is causing the behavior.

-Clean well with an enzymatic cleaner to remove the odor. Do not use a steam cleaner as this will basically bake the  odor into the surface. Avoid ammonia based cleaners as well as this can make the problem worse.

Avoid becoming angry. House soiling is a sign that something isn't right in your cat's world. It is up to you and your veterinarian to find out what