Indoor Toileting Problems In Cats

Having accidents in the house could be due to a variety of causes. Inappropriate toileting, that is toileting next to or near the litter tray is different from indoor marking behaviour. With the latter, spraying urine against or on objects in the house such as beds, shoes or handbags is ‘marking’. If your cat is urinating in places other than the litter box, it can cause understandable frustration for both you and your feline friend. However, it may not be your pet’s fault.

Take your cat to the vet

If your cat begins inappropriate toileting or marking, the first step is to take them to your vet. A full examination is required to rule out any potential underlying medical problems.

Tips to prevent accidents

Once medical problems have been ruled out, the following tips and tricks can assist

  • Have one more litter tray per cat. That is, one cat, two trays. Many cats don’t like to poo and pee in the same tray. Place these trays in separate areas
  • Change the litter type back to what it was before all this started. Cats prefer certain textures or may not like the smell of the one being used
  • Regular cleaning of the litter and tray, using gentle cleaners
  • Place the litter tray in a secure, quiet place. Cats like privacy. Some cats may prefer a cover over their tray, some do not. If your cat had a cover, now doesn’t and the urine issue have started, consider placing a cover. However, if they have not had a cover and you introduce one, this may contribute to problems too
  • All unwanted toileting areas should be thoroughly cleaned before you allow your cat access to the area again. Use an enzymatic cleaner to break down the urine proteins that contribute to the smell
  • It may help to place your cat in their litter box immediately after feeding
  • Never punish your cat. If caught in the act, the litter tray needs some TLC

Contact your local Greencross Vets for more advice. Your cat may have an underlying condition that is causing this behaviour. Older, less mobile pets could be having trouble getting to their litter box or the garden. Keep the possible causes in mind when treating your cat’s problem.


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