Solving Litter Box Issues For Our Cats
2 August, 2016
Most cats are happy to use a litter box because their instinct is to be alone and hide or bury their discards. But when their burying preferences start to include everywhere but the litter box, there is a problem.
There’s always a reason they stop using their box and it’s not to make you mad or get revenge. Usually, it is either something changed in the actual littler box or your cat has a medical condition and can’t control his or her elimination.
Older cats or cats with physical limitations may have a difficult time using certain types of litter boxes such as top-entry boxes, or litter boxes with high sides.
Negative Litter Box Association
There are many reasons why a cat who has reliably used her litter box in the past starts to eliminate outside of the box. One common reason is that something happened to upset her while she was using the litter box. If this is the case with your cat, you might notice that she seems hesitant to return to the box. She may enter the box, but then leave very quickly—sometimes before even using the box.
Stress can cause litter box issues
Stress can cause litter-box problems. Cats can be stressed by events that their owners may not think of as traumatic. Changes in things that even indirectly affect the cat, like moving, adding new animals or family members to your household—even changing your daily routine—can make your cat feel anxious.
Multi-Cat Household Conflict
Sometimes one or more cats in a household will control access to litter boxes and prevent the other cats from using them. Even if one of the cats isn’t actually confronting the other cats in the litter box, any conflict between cats in a household can create enough stress to cause litter-box problems.
Below are some medical conditions that can cause inappropriate elimination:
Urinary Tract Infection
If your cat frequently enters her litter box and seems to produce only small amounts of urine, she may have a urinary tract infection. Make sure to see a veterinarian to rule out this possible medical problem.
Feline Interstitial Cystitis
Feline interstitial cystitis is a neurological disease that affects a cat’s bladder. Cats with cystitis will attempt to urinate frequently and may look as if they are straining, but with little success. They may lick themselves where they urinate, and they may have blood in their urine. Feline interstitial cystitis can cause a cat to eliminate outside of her box, but this is only because of the increased urgency to urinate and because there is pain involved in urination. Feline interstitial cystitis is very serious and can be life-threatening to the cat. It must be treated immediately by a veterinarian.
If your cat has kidney stones or a blockage, she may frequently enter her litter box. She may also experience pain and meow or cry when she tries to eliminate. Her abdomen may be tender to the touch.
If your cat is peeing in the sink or somewhere else undesirable, make sure to read our article, How to Stop Your Cat From Peeing in the Sink?