One of the worst nightmares that all people who live with cats have to face is the possibility that their cat will either refuse to use the litter box or will stop using it for some unknown reason. When you cat starts urinating all over your house, it’s a big problem. This is one of the most difficult behavioral issues that cat parents face, because once a cat starts exhibiting this behavior, it is very difficult to get them to stop. But it’s not impossible. There are some ‘tricks of the trade’ that a cat owner can try if faced with this dilemma. Follow these tips on how to get stop your cat from peeing in the house.
1.Make Sure Your Cat is Healthy
The most common cause of a cat urinating outside the litter box is a urinary tract infection (UTI). Even more concerning is that your cat could have a serious kidney infection. So if he has always been good about using the box and suddenly stops, get to the vet right away and have him checked out.
2. Make Sure Litter Box(es) are Clean
An unclean litter box is going to lead to a very unhappy cat. That unhappy cat might decide he is going to find a cleaner place to urinate than that dirty box. Make sure to scoop the litter box daily, and to change the litter out a couple of times a week. Also try different locations for your litter box, as there might be something in the current location that she does not like.
3. Make Sure You Have Enough Litter Boxes
Yes, that’s right – you’ll need to have enough litter boxes placed around your house. If you only have one cat you might think you can skip this one but you can’t. You need one litter box per cat, plus one more litter box than you have cats. So, if you only have one cat you need two litter boxes. If you have five cats, you need six litter boxes. If your cat is going outside the litter box, try adding one or two more, in various locations.
4. Make Sure Your Cat is Not Opposed to The Kind of Litter You Use
Sometimes our cats hate that new “best ever” litter we are using. Use trial and error, but find a litter your cat likes and stick with it. Cats hate change, and changing the kind of litter they use is one of the things they hate the most, so once you’ve found one that works, stick with it.
5. Use “Cat Off” Types of Sprays
There are a variety of sprays (non-toxic) that can be used to keep your cat away from a place where they or another cat has urinated in the past. Never use ammonia to clean a cat urine spot, as it is a major component in your cat’s urine, and this will actually attract, rather than repel, your cat.
6. Tin Foil
If there is one spot that you know your cat is using, line the area with tin foil. Cats hate the feeling and the noise of walking on tin foil, and usually they won’t do it. This can stop the behavior in its tracks if you can catch it early enough.
Get a male cat neutered. A male cat might “spray” around the house if there are odors of a female cat anywhere within the reach of his noise.
If you follow the tips above, and none of them work, consider contacting an animal behaviorist, a trainer that specializes in cats, or a local cat adoption shelter (who has surely dealt with this issue themselves) to get other ideas on how to nip this behavior in the bud.
Photo: Courtesy of eviltomthai via Flickr (CC by 2.0)