Feline Inappropriate Elimination
Feline inappropriate elimination is a frustrating and difficult problem for everyone in the household. Oftentimes, a cat may begin eliminating outside of the box due to medical reasons such as a urinary tract infection or orthopedic pain. Once your veterinarian has ruled out medical causes, the problem will be approached as a behavioral issue. There are several different things you can do at home to help stop behavioral inappropriate elimination. Please note that urine spraying (marking territory on a vertical surface) is a different issue and requires a different approach.
Make the inappropriate place unattractive to your cat.
- Treat soiled areas with an enzymatic cleaner to remove all odors.
- Place a vinyl carpet runner, spiky side up, on the inappropriate area.
- Use perfume or potpourri in the area.
- Remove the area if possible, such as when a cat has chosen clothing on the floor.
Make the appropriate place attractive to your cat.
- Litter Box:
- You need 1 litter box per cat in the household, plus 1 extra. (Example: 3 cats in a household would need 4 litter boxes.)
- Place at least 1 box on each floor of the house.
- The litter box should be large, without a cover, and without a liner.
- If using clumping litter, the box should be scooped daily and washed thoroughly weekly.
- If using non-clumping litter, the box should be washed daily.
- Wash the box with a mild dish soap that has little to no fragrance.
- Litter should be 1 to 2 inches deep, and preferably a very fine grain
- Litter Box Environment:
- Place the litter box in a low traffic area of the house.
- Do not place food near the box.
- The box should be easily accessible.
- Make sure that a cat coming out of the box cannot be ambushed by another cat or pet hiding behind furniture or just around the corner.
- The veterinarian will decide if medication is needed on a case by case basis.
- This will generally help if anxiety is part of the problem.
- It is usually used for a minimum of 6 months.