The most common behavior problem with cats is “house soiling.” In fact, it is the top reason cats are surrendered to shelters. A study in 1996, found that 23 percent of surrendered cats were due to the cats soiling their homes one or more times per week.
This soiling of the house is called “elimination disorder.” There are three reasons our furry little friends exhibit this behavior. The first is a medical reason such as a urinary tract infection. The second reason is due to communication like your cat is stressed over something. The third reason is bathroom-related.
The cat might not like a new litter, a new cat, a new scent, a new person around the litterbox, temperature change around the litterbox, a new location, and more. Cats are very finicky about where they need to eliminate.
Determining the Elimination Problem
The first step in determining the elimination problem is figuring out a pattern. The next step is a trip to the veterinarian. And, the third step is examining your house, or more importantly, the litterbox.
Here are seven litterbox habits for highly efficient cat owners to follow:
The location of the box is crucial to successful execution. Cats are known to control territories. It helps to spread out the boxes. You can even hide them. Also, boxes near clear doors or windows might be problematic.
It is important to stay on top of your cat’s litterbox cleanliness. If you are barely keeping up with the box, she will likely stray from her litterbox should more stress come her way.
Daily cleaning is typically indicated if your cat has a litterbox issue. That does not mean just scooping, but real cleaning.
- Your Litterbox Count and Multi-cat Stats
For every two cats, there should be at least 1.5 litterboxes. Some households can use less but with three cats you’re risking your household’s aromatic integrity. Remember, more boxes are better.
- Size Matters
When it comes to litterboxes, yes, bigger is better. Not only do the cats feel free and comfy, but they also feel less threatened.
- Do Not Go Changing
Pick a litter you can enjoy and stick with it. I understand that the ones on sale look tempting, but your cat will have to keep readjusting for every change you make.
- Litter characteristics
Studies have proven that cats prefer the litter that clumps. Also, an odor neutralizer can stretch out the life of a somewhat dirty litterbox which is vital when your cat is very finicky with cleanliness. All litterbox deodorizers do is mask the odor. The cat litter odor neutralizer makes the room where your litterbox is in smell like fresh air.
- Take the Lid Off
Close quarters and lids can be unsettling for cats who have to compete over territory. This is why clear, large, litterboxes, sans lids, can be great. Consider purchasing a clear, large Rubbermaid-style litterbox with a cat-sized opening and no lid.
It is important to always be aware of your cat’s needs. It can make a huge difference between an unhealthy, stressed kitty and a happy, healthy cat.
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