You have a big problem: suddenly, your cat starts urinating at home . You do not know what to do. As a cat owner, I can understand it: it drives you crazy and confuses you.
My cat Nina had a season peeing in a bathtub. Luckily the problem was fixed.
Always remember, your cat does not like to pee anywhere. Cats are very clean animals. If your cat has been urinating outside the litter box, on the couch, on your clothes, in bed for a long time, what happens is that he tries to tell you that something is wrong.
First, you should avoid, as far as possible, deterrents (water pistol, citrus fruits, tinfoil), with this you will only make the cat have more anxiety and do it in other areas of the house and delay the true understanding of this disorder.
Second, the cat is not trying to get revenge or “make things clear to you” ; something is wrong with your world and it will take a good investigative job on our part to get the situation under control.
First, you need to know if the cat urinates or sprays
Cats can use urine as a scent signal or as a “mark” for themselves or other cats. Urinating to “dial” and urinating to empty a full bladder are very different behaviors. Step to establish the differences.
We must learn to distinguish well when the cat is urinating or when it is spraying , since the solutions will be different.
The cat urinates when it bends down and deposits a certain amount of pee on a horizontal surface: sometimes, but not always, it scratches around as if it were cleaning. Typical places for inappropriate urination are rugs, sofas, duvets, bathtubs, or sinks.
To spray, the cat stands up, usually taking small steps with its hind legs, vibrates its tail and sprays a small amount of urine on a vertical surface (for example, a wall), leaving a particular and very intense smell . The chosen places to spray are doors, windows, curtains, electrical outlets, shopping bags or garbage.
Once we have established which of the two situations we find ourselves in (spraying or urinating), we must move forward to correct this incorrect behavior.
The cat urinates out of the litter box: medical causes
In many cases, the cat urinates at home because it has a medical problem . If you notice this behavior in your cat, take him to the vet.
I NFECTION of the urinary tract
It is a very common problem. The infection causes pain to the cat, which consequently will refuse to use the litter box . You will try to urinate, but little or nothing will come out. If not cured, a urinary tract infection can cause scarring inside the bladder. Scars take up a lot of space in the bladder, leaving less room for urine.
It is a bacterial infection that can cause a feeling of discomfort with frequent urination of small amounts of urine .
It’s another likely cause, and it could be fatal if left untreated . If the cat is unusually thirsty and runs to the litter tray, but can’t make it in time, this could be the problem.
Incontinence in older cats
Middle-aged or older cats can suffer from incontinence . If your cat is overweight, this could also be the cause.
If your cat is sick or in pain for any reason (an example is the practice of “declawing,” that is, removing the first phalanx of all cats’ fingers), you may avoid using the litter box.
The cat urinates at home: behavioral causes
First of all, health problems must be excluded. Once your vet has ruled out physical issues , the following behavioral issues will be considered :
Litter box related issues
Litter box placed in the wrong place, inappropriate sand, inadequate cleaning …
Often owners place the litter box where it suits them, without thinking about the cat. The box should be placed in a quiet place, away from passageways and loud noises, and accessible to the cat.
For cleaning, feces must be removed immediately, cats flee from dirt. In nature, when the chosen area is dirty, the cat moves to another place
The change of sand or binder should be done at least 2 times a week.
The marking of the cat
Not only uncastrated cats, but neutered cats can mark territory as well. Perhaps there are cats outside the home and they feel the need to strengthen dominance in their territory, perhaps the introduction of a new dog, cat or child will push you to want to leave their scent everywhere in the house.
Usually the cat smells, then urinates and leaves after covering everything (more or less). If the cat marks too often and does not follow this process, urinates without sniffing and then runs away, it means that it is suffering from anxiety for some reason. In this case, the punishments usually carried out by the owners only worsens the state of anxiety.
The cat is depressed
Sometimes it happens that cats become apathetic, they do not want to interact although their health is good, but they become apathetic. It could be depression after trauma, severe stress, change of environment, change of people in the home … A particular form is involution depression that affects older cats .
The cat is afraid
If the cat was scared once it is in the litter box (because the washing machine makes more noise than usual, it hears a loud noise coming from outside, because it was attacked by other cats at that time etc.). In this case, he will associate the litter box with a place that frightens him, so he will look for quieter places to relieve himself.
The cat has anxiety
The causes of anxiety can be different, and it is up to the behavioral vet to understand what the problem is. Among the most common: cats that live in environments that are too small, cats with few or too many stimuli, cats with anxious owners, that live with many cats in small rooms, changes of home, changes of people in the home …
Stray cats or cats removed too early from the mother, it may happen that they do not know how to use the litter box.
What you should not do with this problem
You have to be very patient when there are problems of this kind. These are the things you should never do:
- Don’t force the catto smell urine or feces.
- Never scold the catand don’t drag it firmly into the litter box.
- Keeping the litter boxtoo far from where the cat eats and drinks .
What to do when your cat urinates out of his litter box
Once the reason is located, you can begin to implement a solution . However, it will take a while.
- If the cat urinates where it shouldn’t, you’ll need to eliminate the odor and block access to the area. Clean with an enzymatic detergent rather than one based on ammonia. Cover with aluminum foil and give the detergent time to act.
- If there is a new cat in the house, put a separate litter box. At least until they gain trust with each other.
- If your cat is feeling threatenedby a baby, a guest, or some other change, give him time to adjust.
- Moving to a new home is a big changefor the cat. Not only do you have to adjust to new territory, but you may also have to deal with the smell of the animal from previous tenants. You will have to calm the cat and completely eliminate the smell of any other animal so that it does not feel the need to continually mark the territory.
- You can also try placing a litter tray where the cat has been urinating, as they may have gotten used to urinating in that particular area. If the cat uses the tray in that location, the tray should be left there for at least a week. The tray can then be moved slowly (a little each day) to a new location. This should be done very carefully to ensure that your cat follows the tray and continues to use it as it moves.
- Sometimes cats have a hard time using certain litter trays– for example, an elderly cat with arthritis may have a hard time crawling into a tray with high sides. An open, bare tray, or one with lower sides, would be much easier for an old cat to access.
- For some cats, it is necessary to keep the litter tray scrupulously clean. This may mean changing the litter in the box daily or a few times a day.
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