Cats may be « low maintenance pets, » but they aren’t necessarily easy to understand. A lot of what cats do may seem strange to us, but to cats, feline behavior is pretty reasonable and understandable. That includes urination behavior. It may seem like it at times, but your cat’s not peeing on the carpet just annoy you or retaliate for something. By getting to the root cause of your cat’s behavior issues, you can solve your cat urine problems for good.
Health problems can contribute to litter box avoidance in a variety of ways. A condition like diabetes can cause frequent urination and urinary urgency, meaning the cat may simply not be able to make it to the litter box in time. A urinary tract infection can cause painful urination, which the cat associates with the litter box. She may look for a softer place to pee, such as the carpet or bed, in hopes of avoiding the pain. Cats with limited mobility or balance problems may not be able to get into the litter box. The very fact of being sick or having recently had medical treatment can also stress a cat enough to put her off her litter box. Which brings us to another source of problems…
The Effects of Stress
Kitties may seem–or actually be–pretty lazy, but in many ways they’re quite high-strung. Cats are creatures of habit and any change can stress a cat, which may cause her to wet around the house in attempt to spread her scent, establishing her ownership of the territory so she feels more secure. While some cats do this by spraying, others may use ordinary urination.
The cause of a cat’s stress may be something you hadn’t even thought of like the neighbors getting a new cat or dog, which your cat can hear or smell; noisy road work near your house, or even a new sofa in your house. If your cat’s also scratching on vertical surfaces like the walls and side of the sofa, you can be fairly certain she’s stressed.
Another member of the household may also be causing the stress. A small child who’s figured out that kitty’s easy to catch when she’s in her litter box may be causing the cat to seek out safer « bathroom » alternatives. Same with another cat who’s bullying the cat away from box, as sometimes happens. Bad training techniques, like rubbing a cat’s nose in the soiled area, can also confuse and stress a cat. Keep in mind that dog training techniques do not work with cats.
Problematic Litter Box
Very often a cat avoids his litter box because there’s something about it he just doesn’t like. Most cats dislike small boxes and covered boxes, and won’t use a box in a busy area. Some cats hate rough litter, while others prefer it. Some dislike litter box liners, others don’t care either way. Still other cats won’t use the box unless it’s sitting on a scratchable surface like carpet. On top of that, long-haired, tail-less and declawed cats often have special litter box needs. There’s a litany of things that can be off-putting about a litter box and while they’re all easy to correct, you have to know what they are in order to correct them.
Because cats are drawn to urinate in any area where they smell cat urine, you may find yours re-offending in one spot. This is something to consider when you move into a new place where the previous residents had cats. You might not be have seen stains or smelled cat pee, but your kitty may have detected a lingering odor in a corner somewhere and decided that was an appropriate litter box area. To finally stop your cat from urinating in the house, you’ll need to address the cause of the behavior and clean up with an effective pet urine odor remover. Both store-bought or homemade cleaners can work, as long as the formula is right.