Your Kitty vs. the Litterbox

Your Kitty vs. the Litterbox

Our feline companions, as we know, are usually the rulers of the household (or so they think!), watching us from up high perches, demanding us to get up early for feeding, only allowing petting when it is permitted, and having the pickiest of bathroom standards.Timothy1

The last point about bathroom standards are one of the things that pet owners need to be more cautious of with their felines. One of the top veterinary visits for cats is about urinary issues.

And the top complaint that the owner has is:

  • Inappropriately urinating around the house (in the laundry, on the bed, ect)

We have come up with some suggestions, recommendations, and preventatives to try to keep your picky feline happy with their urinary habits:

  • Have the litterbox in a quiet, easily accessible, and safe area of your house
    • Most owners want the litterbox in an area away from common areas of the house, and litterboxes are placed usually in the laundry room, utility room, or the basement.
      • As cats get older, the stairs can be hard on achy hips and joints
      • Sudden sounds such as scraping from the dryer, or clunking of the heater kicking in can startle and scare your cat while using the litterbox
      • Try to place it in an area where sneaky canines cannot disturb them!
      • If a cat at any one time gets scared or disturbed while using their litterbox, this one time can discourage them from using it
  • Have as many litterboxes as cats in your house, in different areas of the house
    • It may seem excessive having that many litterboxes, but some cats will guard the litterbox and prevent another from using it, creating unnecessary stress
      • Imagine having someone not let you use the bathroom, or picking on you while you are trying to use the bathroom!
    • Litterboxes get filled up fast, and with many cats means lots of pees and poops!
      • Some cats like a pristine litterbox, and will go outside the litterbox in protest
  • Keep the litterbox clean with litter that your cat likes using
    • As said in the previous bullet, most cats like a clean litterbox, just like us humans like a clean toilet to use
    • Sometimes fragranced litter can be off putting to some cats, and they will avoid using it. As well some cats prefer certain kind of litter compared to others.
    • If a cat has been declawed, in some circumstances, their feet can be more sensitive and they will avoid the litterbox if the litter is too hard on their feet. Trying a softer litter like Yesterday’s News or a corn/wheat based litter may help.

Spoon1

  •  If there is going to be a new change in the household (new baby or new pet), slow introduction with smells of the new addition, or an appeasing pheromone (Feliway) can help in stressful situations.
    • Some cats show stress in different ways such as hiding, hissing, not eating, and urinating inappropriately.
    • Preparing your cat slowly can help them adjust. Providing them with a room that is just theirs (with the food and a litterbox) as a “safe haven” that they can go to when they are feeling overwhelmed with the new addition can help them slowly adjust on their own time.
    • Starting Feliway in the household in their favorite resting area can help them adjust with the new added stress.  http://www.feliway.com/ca_en/Cat-behaviour/How-do-I-stop-my-cat-urine-spraying
  • Make sure your cat is getting enough water/moisture in their diet
    • A lack of moisture in a cat’s diet can make their urine more concentrated, which can make for an environment favorable for urinary crystals to form.
    • Cat’s that go outdoors especially need that extra moisture, as they are too busy outside to find a drink of water!
    • Incorporating canned food into your cat’s diet helps give that extra moisture
    • Some cats prefer certain drinking bowls or prefer running water. There are many cat friendly bowls and water drinking fountains that your cat may like better and will be more encouraged to drink from them.

As we know, every cat is different. Some are pickier than others and show it in different ways. We may not realize it, but our felines become very easily stressed over new situations (even changing the furniture around in the house!).

If your kitty is starting to have urinary issues, please have them examined by your Veterinarian. Even if the issue is behavioral, the stress can cause a urinary tract inflammation to form which in return is painful to your cat. The unusual urinary habit can also be due to an internal issue such as diabetes or kidney disease, for example. Urinary issues in cats should always be taken seriously, as your kitty is going through something and you are their advocate for help!

If you ever see your cat straining to urinate/defecate in the litterbox, this can be a true emergency (especially in male cats!) and your Veterinarian should be called immediately.

If you have any questions about your kitty’s potty habits, we are always here to help!

Comments are closed.