Indoor Toileting Problems In Cats

Having accidents in the house could be due to a variety of causes. Inappropriate toileting is different from indoor marking behaviour. Spraying urine against objects in the house is ‘marking’. If your cat is fully urinating or excreting faeces in places other than the litter box, it can cause understandable frustration. However, it may not be your pet’s fault.

Take your cat to the vet

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

Tips to prevent accidents

If successful, these common solutions will rule out underlying medical issues:

  • have one litter tray per cat. Many cats don’t like to share trays. Place these trays in separate areas
  • change the litter type. Cats prefer certain textures or may not like the smell of the one being used
  • regular cleaning of the litter
  • place the litter tray in a secure, quiet place. You can also cover the litter tray with an inverted cardboard box with a hole cut for entry and exit, or purchase an enclosed litter tray to provide more security
  • confine your cat to a small area with only litter tray and bedding, which will force the cat to use the litter tray. Gradually increase the distance between the bedding and the litter. Access to the rest of the house should be allowed one room at a time
  • all unwanted toileting areas should be thoroughly cleaned before you allow your cat access to the area again
  • it may help to place your cat in their litter box immediately after feeding.
  • never punish your cat. If caught in the act, pick them up and put them in the litter tray.
  • Clomicalm is an anti-anxiety drug used with particularly nervous cats. It can be prescribed in consultation with your veterinarian.

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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