1. Why is my cat going potty outside the litter box?
There are a wide number of reasons why your cat may be going potty outside their litter box. It is one of the most frustrating things a cat owner can experience, but many of the solutions to the problem are easy to fix. It is most important that cat owners realize that urinating outside the litter box is one of the key signs of a urinary tract infection. Urination becomes painful, and the cat begins to associate the litter box with the pain of urination and begins to avoid going potty there in the hopes that going potty somewhere else will be less painful. Pay attention to your cat, are they crying when they go? Do they strain? Is the urine bloody? All of these are signs that your cat may need a quick trip to the vet.
Try changing your cats litter. Sometimes cats simply dislike the litter that has been put in their box and they refuse to step on it. It’s a quick and simple solution.
Cats find cleanliness next to godliness. If your cat doesn’t appear to be ill, step up your cleaning. Clean twice a day instead of once a day and see if that helps. Some breeds like the box to be cleaned out after every use. Remember! If you have a multi-pet household you will need to have one litter box per cat plus an extra one so that each cat has their own territory, and these will all need to be kept clean.
The location of the litter box is also important. If it is too near food or water, or in a place where the cat feels as though they are closed in, they will avoid it. If they have had a bad experience, being pounced on by another cat, dog or child while using their box and could not get away, you may need to move it to a different location where they feel they can escape if necessary. Size is also critically important. A big cat will not be able to successfully use a little box. Your cat should be able to turn around comfortably in their litter box.
2. How can I get rid of odors in my litter box?
Keeping your litter box clean is the number one way to reduce odor. If you use a clumping litter, take clumps out whole instead of breaking them up. Scoop litter at least once a day, and wash the litter box out weekly with dish soap and water. Cleaners such as bleach as not recommended as cats often find the smell off putting and may avoid the litter box. Scented litters are also an option, but buy a small bag and try it out. Some cats dislike the smells and will avoid the litter box if these types of litters are used.
3. How can I keep litter off my floors and in the box?
Litter that is tracked from the box to the floor is one of the top complaints of cat owners. Sweeping and vacuuming are certainly choices, but if the thought of hauling the vacuum out of the closet four or five times a day is too much, consider some other options. Placing a mat or paper outside the box for your cat to walk on is a good way to catch the little bits of litter that are stuck to your cats paws. When the cat walks on a carpet, the fibers encourage any little litter bits to come off there, rather than everywhere else. Some owners have also found success in litter containment by adding a lid to their litter box. Be careful, however, as some cats do not appreciate being contained in their litter box and may avoid it.
4. How can I keep my cat from marking or “spraying”?
Marking or spraying is a way for your cat to mark their territory. The number one way to decrease or resolve marking problems is to spay or neuter your cat. This generally resolves the problem in females. Males may still mark but it will happen far less frequently. The earlier you spay and neuter the better.
5. How can I keep my dog from having a “snack” from my cats litter box?
Many owners find this particular trait of dogs to be particularly disgusting. It is, however, relatively easy to fix. Use a child gate to block off the litter box; a cat can jump over the gate, but a dog cannot. If blocking the box off from the dog isn’t an option, go for something they don’t like. Get a motion detector that sprays water at the dog, but be careful that it doesn’t spray your cat when they’re attempting to use the box as this will cause your cat to avoid the litter box.
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