If you’re a cat owner, then no doubt you have a litter box for your kitty. Unfortunately, some cats do need encouragement to use the litter box, and some owners end up wondering why they are not doing so.
First and foremost, if you’re having problems with your cat peeing outside the litter box; take your cat to the vet to have them examined to make certain that it’s not a medical condition causing the problem. If your cat checks out okay, then let’s take a look at some ways to encourage kitty to use the litter box:
Location, location, location…the first thing you’ll need to consider is the location of the litter box. Cats like their privacy, so if you have a basement or laundry room that is quiet, this can be an ideal place; it’s private and will keep odors away from the living areas of your home. If you don’t have a basement, laundry room or a suitable closet, try putting the litter tray under a table, preferably in a tiled or non-carpeted room for easy cleaning.
If you have more than one cat, make sure to give each cat their own litter box. It is recommended that you have one litter box per cat, with one additional. For example, if you have two cats, I would suggest having three litter boxes.
If your cat was using the litter box, but suddenly stopped, it may be a change you’ve made in the environment to cause the problem. For example, have you recently moved the box to a less private, higher traffic area? Or perhaps the box needs cleaning more regularly, or you’ve changed to a different brand of kitty litter which is highly scented?
Other possible causes could be that your cat has simply outgrown their litter box and a bigger one is needed, or perhaps the litter isn’t deep enough for them to be able to dig and bury their business.
Cats are by nature very clean creatures, so make sure you keep their food area separate from their toilet area. This is actually a good trick if your cat has started using a particular room that is off limits to do their business – either keep the door closed, or if that’s not practical, put their food in that room to discourage its use as a toilet.
Cats are creatures of habit, so any change in their environment or their routine can make them anxious until they adapt to the changes. Always be patient if your cat is new to your family because it takes time for them to settle into their environment. Likewise if you’ve recently moved, the cat has to get used to its new home all over again. This can take anywhere from three weeks up to eight weeks to fully settle in.
A new home can be disturbing for your cat if they can smell that the previous owner had pets, especially if there is a lingering smell of the other cat’s urine. It goes without saying that you should never physically punish your cat for doing something you don’t like. Rubbing your cat’s nose in the urine if they’ve peed where you didn’t want them to will not make them use the litter tray because the smell isn’t pungent to them like it is to humans. Additionally, they won’t understand why you are punishing them – they will only know that you’ve hurt them and this can only make matters worse.
In conclusion, if your cat is peeing outside the litter box, always remember to be patient with your cat while you try the tips suggested above and you should soon have a well trained cat using their litter box as second nature.
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