Whether your cat is old or young, male or female, anxious or mellow, he or she can get the idea that peeing anywhere but the litterbox is a good thing. Many frustrated humans in the past and present have tried nearly everything to figure out why the cat does this - and, of course, to solve the problem.
Here are the first things that you should do when your cat insists on stinking up your house. You'll have to be patient while you work your way through this list, but soon your kitty will be back to doing his or her business in an appropriate place.
- Your cat needs a full health checkup. In many cases, cats pee right in front of you when they're sick. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common health problems, which your vet can treat. Even if that's not what's wrong with your kitty, your vet can track down, and solve, the problem.
- Cats who are older or who have health problems (joint pains, for example), can't get in and out of the litterbox like they could when they were younger. Make the litterbox more accessible so that your kitty can get in and out.
- The litterbox itself might be a problem. If you have more than one cat, you might need to put out additional litterboxes. The type of litter and how much of it you use can be problems. You should also change the cat litter and thoroughly scrub the litterbox. The plastic tends to absorb urine smells, which can turn off housecats.
- Sometimes cats will act out by peeing all over your favorite things. This can be a sign that they're unhappy about something. Try giving your cat more (positive) attention. Extra playtime with his favorite toy can cure the behavioral issue. You can also ask your vet about a product that will help soothe your kitty: Feliway is one example.
- Tomcats often spray anything that they wish to mark as their own territory. Sterilization can improve this problem.
- Elderly kitties can suffer from feline dementia. They honestly don't realize that they're doing something wrong when they pee all over your clean laundry. Buy housebreaking pads - the disposable kind that people use with puppies - and put them down where your kitty pees the most often. This won't convince her to use the litterbox, but cleanup will be much easier compared to what you're doing now.
You should do a few things when your kitty decides to mark something in your house.
- Never hit the cat or rub her nose in the mess. Cats aren't like human children: they don't understand that what they do is wrong. You can deter behavior as the cat is doing it, but trying to teach the cat after the fact doesn't work very well. Instead of scolding kitty afterward, catch her in the act and spritz her with tap water from a spray bottle.
- Completely clean the marked territory. Even if you can't smell the cat pee, the cat will. That's her sign to continue peeing there. Visit the pet store for a product that removes all of the pet odors.
- Give your cat plenty of positive attention. Despite the stereotypes that surround felines, cats do bond with their humans. They want our attention and will go to great lengths to get it from us.
Don't worry: you'll track down and solve the problem soon enough. In the meantime, be as patient as possible. Your solution will come and you can resume the carefree relationship
Copyright © 2008, Ian White housesitting.com
Author Ian White is founder of housecarers Housesitting directory