Litterbox and Urine Marking/Spraying Problems
If your cat is soiling the house, it could be
caused by one of several problems. It could be the result
of a medical problem. Your first step should be to consult
with your veterinarian to treat or rule out any medical
condition. It is also possible that he doesn’t like
using his litterbox, or that he is spraying. It’s
rare for a cat to stop using the litterbox altogether.
Your cat may have developed preferences, other than her
litterbox, for where and on what she likes to relieve herself.
Litterbox problems are generally resolvable. Start by purchasing
our booklet Cats Come Clean
which is full of information about creating a cat friendly
litterbox. These tips will solve many problems. Litterbox
problems can be a symptom of other behavior problems, such
as your cats not getting along together or fear-related problems.
Spraying is a marking behavior in which a cat backs up
to a wall, furniture or other vertical surface, raises
her tail, and deposits a small amount of urine. Both males
and females can spray. If your male cat isn’t neutered,
it is unlikely you will be able to control his spraying
behavior. Have him neutered now - there are no behavioral
reasons not to.
Cats urine-mark in response to anything they feel is
a threat to their territory, including visitors, odors,
or other cats. Cats may also spray when they are anxious
Depositing their own familiar odor seems to have a calming
effect on cats. For some great ideas get our new programs Helping
Kitties Co-Exist and Helping
Kitty Be Good, both available as DVDs or
Urine-marking problems may require both behavior modification
and short-term medication prescribed by your veterinarian.
Rest assured your cat is not doing this because he is
mad at you, is trying to tell you something, or is trying
to get back at you. Do not punish your
cat, and especially do not show her the “mess” and
then put her in the box. This will not solve the problem,
will significantly damage your relationship with your cat,
and can cause her to dislike the litterbox even more.
PRODUCTS THAT WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND, PREVENT AND RESOLVE CAT ELIMINATION PROBLEMS
To understand what cats need to eliminate in the
right places, see our booklet Cats
Inside you’ll find
50 tips about how to construct and place a litterbox your
cat will like and use! You’ll also gain an understanding
of cat bathroom habits and the best ways to prevent elimination
If you think your problem may be caused by conflicts
between your cats, get our DVD Helping
learn what causes conflicts that can lead to elimination
problems, how to get your cats to live peaceably together
and how to improve their quality of life.
To learn how to prevent elimination and destructive scratching
problems with your cat, get our DVD Helping
Kitty Be Good. Here you’ll
learn what cats want and need to be healthy and happy in