Most cats have an easy time using their litter box. A good bunch of the younger ones also enjoy taking bathroom breaks. The problem in using a litter box develops when senior cats revert to the instincts of burying their bodily emissions among other conditions. A suffering cat owner will clean soiled seat cushions and bed linen more frequently than they empty the litter box. Some cats will go as far as using the laundry basket full of clean clothes or lying next to you in silent guilt as they soil the bed.
Unraveling this weird cat behavior will require that you view the world through the cat’s eyes to gain more understanding. Adult cats who understand the rules of the house may opt to forfeit them to align with their feline practices. It is not impossible to solve and reverse the reasons causing your cat to have improper elimination options. This is the most common problem for owners of senior cats.
What causes cats to avoid the litter box?
A dirty litter box
Did you know a significant portion of cats’ predatory sense is their sense of smell? They can sniff out prey from the ceiling and hence make great companions in a house with a tendency of mice infestation. Humans have 5 million sensitive cells in their noses while cats have 200 million. If you can smell the funky smell from the litter, then the cat is probably experiencing a dragon breath up their nostrils. If the pet keeps running her nose upwards, there is a high likelihood that it is not a sign of contempt and disrespect. They are probably having a nightmare trying to find a portion of fresh air around the box.
A change in the litter box
This situation has to be one of the most straightforward diagnoses of your cat’s change in behavior. Switching the old box for a bigger or new one may repel a cat that has grown a liking to their old spot. Our cats have a persona just like human beings. They, therefore, have a taste for specific appeals, especially with items that provide them with a cocooning location.
Cats will turn away from items that have a different smell, texture, size, or color. Perfuming the litter box to counteract the elimination is entirely a human trait, devoid of the innate feline instinct that would have used a sandy scent and texture. Cats hold animal awards for domesticating themselves from desert creatures.
Cats are sensitive to their environment and may take a long time to adjust to a new home. Sometimes it does not require a change as drastic as moving house to trigger the cat’s anxiety. Cats will act differently when the family has a newborn, spouse, or the most obvious inclusion, another pet. Cats can become anxious if you choose to leave your day job for longer homestays, or going home for work after an extended stay.
Marking their boundaries
Lions mark their kingdoms by urinating around their homely establishments. Cats have a hierarchical system of operation that is highly loyal to their family niche. You have the assurance of having fun watching your cats operate along the lines of feline family structures, and probably help you in not yelling at the cat as much as you would wish.
Cats mark boundaries when they have interference by a specific human. They will discard their bodily waste around their favorite cartoon or blanket to ward off an unwelcomed intruder. Sometimes they do it to warn visiting cats of the preexisting dominance.
You may notice that your cat has a new urinating session at the kitchen window. Perhaps your cat sees that the neighbor’s cat is becoming too familiar with their territory and wish to enforce firm boundaries. Encroaching cats will be reluctant to frequent the newfound lands in the future.
We are all aware that cats are not as fussy and tender as we would prefer to know them. They are the epitome of antisocial primates. They enjoy neither their species’ company nor that of humans for long periods. Multi-cat homes are bound to have regular cases of litter box avoidance.
Cats marking their territories dispose of their urine different than they would when they are avoiding the litter box. Territorial marks are usually by spraying while normal urination is by usual squatting. The urine will also tend to be in a straight line, either horizontally or vertically on the wall.
Do you like the idea of having your bathroom adjacent to the kitchen? I bet you do not. Architectural designs will place the toilets beside the bedroom for easier access and obvious hygiene reasons. Cats have meticulous hygiene mannerisms unless of course, they had an unfortunate life stage as some hard-knock street punks. Cats will gracefully soil your carpet instead of braving to eat next to their waste.
While cats have instinctive predatory senses, they will stay away from stressors like a running tap, a noisy juice or dryer. Some cats brave poking and irritating the dog only to run away after the first bark. These gentle pets are like new moms who love their quiet time in the bathroom for the five seconds of silence from the house’s chaos.
Signs that the cat has issues outside the litter box
Ten percent of cats develop a disgust of the litter box during their lifetime. This statistic applies to cats who habitually miss the box. Our pets loose mobility and cognitive abilities due to age, illnesses, or injury, affecting all areas of their life. These signs will help you choose to take your car for farther veterinary treatment
- A pattern of eliminating in the same spot outside the box
- Urine marks on entranceways such as the door, walls, and windows.
- Making sounds while using the litter box
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Thinning fur
- Frequent use of the litter box
Understanding bodily issues that affect the elimination
Urinary Tract Infection
Cats have immense social intelligence but lack medical awareness to explain or show you their body pains. A UTI will cause gross pain that makes the cat assume a problem with the litter box. They will use any other spot as an alternative to the discomfort.
A kidney obstruction gives the feeling of a full bladder every so frequently. The cat will soon learn that the tight bowel feeling does not always equate to a real urge to urinate. They will be disposable to excreting far away from the litter box.
A cat litter problem may not always involve number two or one. An upset stomach or parasite infection will trigger vomiting on other unconventional spots. Accompanying symptoms include abdominal pain and drastic weight loss.
An excessive release of the thyroid hormone will cause the cat to drink more, hence pee more. They may not always be close enough to answer nature’s call appropriately.
Unfortunately, cats have a common affliction of a sugar rush. These consecutively increases thirst and urination frequency. They are also prone to bacterial infections that weaken their muscle control and nerve activity. The good news is that treating diabetes is one of the most straightforward solutions of all feline diseases.
Cat parents have a growing tolerance to scratching, biting, incessant meowing, and possible chaos. A reeking house is impossible to ignore. Extreme misuse of the litter box may be the deal breaker that lands the cat in a shelter.
The road to recovery
Cleanliness is next to godly health
You may have to come to a diplomatic agreement with your cat when it comes to the frequency of cleaning. Chances are your fulsome cat enjoys as much cleaning as you do of your bathroom. If you spend a lot of time at home, try to scoop it out after every use.
Give it soapy water cleaning at the end of the day. A more accessible alternative would be to place a disposable plastic bag on the tray. Pan liners will ease the cleaning of spillage and extend the box’s life.
Solve the scramble of your house
Assign different litter boxes to cats. Depending on the population of cats in the home, you will soon learn that there is absolute safety in numbers. New toilet facilities will give you and the cats peace of mind at the end of the day.
Find an agreeable location
The underlying rationale behind this reasoning would be to keep the litter box away from the noise, the cat’s feeding area or frequent intrusion by either humans or fellow cats.
Most of us have most likely seen the insane house constructions with more than ten bathrooms. Some of these bathrooms have infused technology to help the residing members have a supposed pleasurable moment during use. Litter boxes are inexpensive tools that you could stack up without experiencing any real financial repercussions. Try out different textures, colors, and sizes to avoid catching the cat’s snout of disgust or stink eye. Another indicator that your cat is preparing to leave the nest is visible scratch marks around the plastic or the liner.
A box with high walls will strain senior and ill cats. Perhaps a shallow box will allow the cat to have a smooth toilet session. Additionally, a more covered style will trap in odors and tiny waste residues. Your cat will inevitably find a more beautiful and more tranquil spot, possibly within your house! You could also try to rump up their entrance by placing a steady surface to support their climb.
Customize the litter box
Cats enjoy defecating in the open ground to have an opportunity to bury their secret pleasure. Pour some dirt in the box to imitate their natural purging environment. Choosing a litter box should, however, be a team effort. The cat may dismiss earth dirt and prefer wood pickings, fresh plant cuttings, or raw paper.
Fix the environment
How do you feel when your only company at an evening party walks off to mingle with acquaintances? The conservative bunch of us will try hard not to be hot on their heels due to the discomfort. Your cat probably finds it hard to have to reacquaint with an addition to the family or the space of a new home. Reassure your cat of comfort in a new home by giving them physical pleasure. They will soon resume their routine, inclusive of toilet usage.
The territorial range of the home goes beyond the walls. A cat will mark the front door as part of the fence extension from the garden. Install playful spots within the environment to increase the hideouts and possible territories. Some of these include kitty condominiums, perches on the window, patios, tiny cat tents, and tree houses.
A bored cat will resort to destructive habits like disturbing the peace of the home. Luckily, there are endless options for entertaining the cat without stepping out of your home to get some toys at the local store. You will be on the lucky side if your cat has a tech-savvy quality and enjoys watching serial videos of other cats on YouTube. Honestly, it would not hurt weaning them into the human side, inclusive of training their potty habits.
Seek medical help
If your cat checks off the list of having a possible health defect, you will need to check in with a vet as soon as possible. It is ill-advised to diagnose the pet no matter the lack of severity. Furthermore, your cat may have unforeseeable complications such as swallowing a foreign object within or without the home. The vet will give you medical assist as well as behavioral advice to tame an acquired misappropriation of the box.
How do you get rid of the funk?
For beginners, it is senseless to use ammonia-based cleaners for urine deposits. If the surface area has a tough exterior, you will have a better bet of removing the stink by using harsh but tolerable chemicals. Traces of urine will remind the cat of their old spot while a slight smell of soap will probably charge them away. Do you have experience with reversing your cat’s bad behavior? Let us know how you did it through the comments.
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