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Correcting Elimination Problems in Felines
What people consider inappropriate elimination in felines
(cats) is when they do not eliminate where the owner expects
them to go. The cat will pee, spray or poop exactly where it
pleases, and no matter how many times you try to clean that
spot they always seem to know exactly where it is and they
go there again.
So what causes this?
There are three primary reasons why a cat doesn't use the
litter box properly. They are aversion to the box or the
litter used, illness, and the covering instinct.
Aversion to the Box or Litter
Don't buy scented litter. Cats use scent to identify where
they went last, and if you have a litter that completely
eliminates odor or has a thick cloying smell the cat may not
recognize the litter as a place to deposit waste.
This is especially true if you have the litter that is
scented with a thick cloying scent or a citrus odor. An odor
that offends your cat will make your cat avoid that spot. So
if your cat doesn't like the smell of the litter it won't
use it, whether the offensive odor is an added scent or
simply the smell of a dirty litter box.
Also, if the litter box is too small, especially if it is a
covered litter box, your cat may avoid it because it can't turn
around or do its business without stepping into feces or
bending its tail uncomfortably.
Another reason a cat may avoid using the litter box is if it
has a urinary tract infection or has had a lot of urinary
tract infections. If you think about it, if every time you
went to the bathroom it hurt, then you would start
associating it as a painful place.
Unfortunately, if this habit is developed there is often no
reversing it. You can help your cat by giving it cranberry
liquid tabs that will help to keep your cat from getting
urinary tract infections. You can also try a different type
of litter box. A different litter and location may get your
cat back into the habit of using the litter box again once
you have corrected the urinary tract infections.
If your cat doesn't have an instinct to cover its feces then
it may not have a problem eliminating wherever it pleases
because it doesn't need something to cover it up. Often the
more dominant a cat is, the more it will cover its feces. If
a cat has been totally subverted and there are other cats
that keep it the low cat on the totem pole it may not use
the litter box, especially if the other cats are
discouraging it by threatening or attacking it when it goes
near the box.
Sometimes when a cat is stressed it may exhibit abnormal
elimination in different areas of your house. This can be
because of any number of reasons such as a new person or pet
in the household or if you have moved to a new home. This
with time and patience can be corrected.
Last but not Least
If a male cat is unneutered it will spray, especially if it
scents a female in heat nearby. And "nearby" is relative,
since scent spores can travel for miles.
If you have a male that sprays and is unneutered you should
get it neutered by your veterinarian if you want to keep the
cat. An unneutered male will find a way get out if it scents
a female. All it takes is once for your beloved cat to be
lost or killed. Plus, you are much more likely to have to
deal with urinary and kidney infections in an intact male
cat than in a neutered one.