As the owner of a beautiful cat, you no doubt realize just how much they can be to be around. Once you get used to having a cat at home, though, you often need to get used to their rather peculiar nature. Cats are often quite hard to get settled in at home as they can find it easy to feel disgruntled or out of sync with the life they wish to lead. One of the most serious issues for a cat owner, though, stems from their toilet habits. Do you have a cat who is taking liberties and peeing/pooing/both wherever they wish?
Then you are not alone – this is a problem that many cat owners have had to deal with over the years. And believe us when we say that that it can become a nightmare to deal with when it comes to working with a cat. It can even compromise how happy you are to have them in the house.
Before you commit to anything drastic decisions, though, here are some excellent tips that could bring an end to this common problem!
Not every cat will respond in the same way – some get the message almost instantly. Some cats seem to take pleasure out of wilfully ignoring what you have to say.
That’s why, if you are serious about solving the issue, you could look to use some of the following tips. While not every cat is sure to respond in the way that you would have wanted, it should be possible to make some kind of progress by using the following tricks and techniques.
As a cat owner, you might find a combination of these tips can deliver a series of successful, lasting results.
- Check out the litter box
The first place to look for a problem for your cat would be the litter box or whatever your cat is supposed to go to the loo. Many times, their refusal to use the litter box will stem from their inability to use it, or something they have determined is a problem. For example, part of the box might have snapped off and left a sharp edge – that might leave your cat uncertain about using it.
By the same token, it could be damaged, it could be soaked, or it could simply be smelling bad. Cats are like humans in that they can’t just click their paws and go do the loo anywhere; they need to feel comfortable about the experience first and foremost.
So, with that in mind, you should look to investigate their litter box for any signs of damage.
- Temporary issues with their bowel/bladder
However, another thing to consider is that your cat might be going wherever it can because it cannot hold it in. Your cat could have incontinence issues, it could have constipation and/or diarrhoea, or it could have some kind of health issue relating to its bladder. With that being the case, you want to go out of the way to get their health checked out.
This is not so much a tip as a necessity – if nothing else works, then it is likely that your cat has some kind of health problem. As a pet owner, it is your duty to take them to a vet and have them checked out. It might be the only way to get rid of the problem, so don’t delay in acting and getting a solution put in place.
The sooner you can stop your kitty from worrying about this problem, the easier it is for you to get back to normal life together.
- Easing stress
While life as a cat might look pretty tip-top to a human who is busy working five days per week, cats have stressful lifestyle issues to overcome as well. It might come down to the fact that your cat is pretty stressed out – and at that point, you need to determine what you can do to ease the stress.
Sometimes, the best thing to do here would be to give your cat some help in moving on from the problem. For example, solving the issue obviously helps, but even something as simple as giving them a new toy/treat can be enough to give them a way to relieve some of that excess stress.
Stress can do funny things to our toilet habits, and cats are no different moving forward.
- Changing the location
Sometimes, the most effective solution to a cat going to do the loo wherever it wants is to change the location of its litter box. Some cats might simply not like where the litter box is sitting at this moment in time. Moving the litter box to an area that feels cleaner, more private, or generally more suited to their lifestyle is very useful.
Cats are private creatures, so try and put the litter box somewhere that the cat knows is low traffic and thus is unlikely to be bothered. You wouldn’t want someone walking in on you, would you? Well, cats are much the same in that respect – they value the privacy. So, do what you can to give them that added privacy.
By moving the box, you can often find that the problems your cat is having going to the toilet properly will begin to fade.
- New residents or household changes
One common reason for a cat to choose to act out stems from changes in the house. If you have introduced a change to the home thanks to the presence of a new resident or even some new décor, your cat might take some time to get used to the changes.
Often, this can come down to a cat trying to mark its territory out – other times, it is simply your cat trying to get used to the stressful changes in its life. You need to make a note of when the problems start, as your cat might only be making a temporary statement.
Any prolonged change in living circumstances, though, can lead to out of the ordinary behaviour that could make your cat more trouble than normal. If this is the case, try placating them with some treats to help normalise their day-to-day mood.
- Get a second litter box
An odd solution that many cat owners have found to work a treat is to try and add in a second litter box for your cat to use. A simple addition like this can go some way to making sure that your cat begins to calm down and generally starts to have options as to where it can do the toilet.
Sometimes, a little obstacle or blockage could stop them from getting to their normal litter box. By giving your cat the benefit of a second place to go, you practically remove all justifiable reasons for your cat to just decide to do its business wherever it has decided.
A second litter box is enough to get most cats to play ball, or to make it justifiable to try and find a compromise should your cat still continue to stop doing the toilet properly.
- Build some blocks
An effective way to get a cat to stop doing the loo where it shouldn’t is to build some kind of roadblock or issue to stop them from going elsewhere. If you notice your cat tends to go to one particular part of your home to get its message across, add some blockades – make it clear that this is off limits.
It is a good way to help make sure that your cat is going to start understanding what it is going wrong. Even something like a cat-friendly deterrent spray could go a long way to reducing issues. If nothing else, you want to make sure that you do everything you can to put your cat off returning to that part of the home to do its business.
From laying down clear markers to using sprays that put a cat off, you can do various things to get them to go elsewhere.
- Adjust the litter box
Another great idea revolving around the litter box is to recreate the atmosphere it likes. If your cat tends to go for the tiles in your kitchen, for example, adding in some tiles into the litter box can be enough to give it that sense of comfort that it is looking for.
That might seem odd and even counterproductive, but many cats tend to act quite positively to you making that choice. An adjustment of the litter box can go a long way to making sure you can see some positive changes in terms of how your cat feels about going to the toilet.
Try and line the bottom of the box with the surface(s) that it tends to enjoy using the most, and you might create a more positive experience in the back of your cats’ mind regarding using the litter box itself.
As such, your cat then begins to forget that they used that place as a ‘dumping ground’ in the past and thus are less likely to do so in the future. As soon as a cat notices that their scent has been left behind, they see it as proof that this is now their ‘turf’ and thus they can use it as they wish.
By using a stronger cleaning agent, though, you remove the risk of your cat getting such a needlessly bold idea in their head.
- Reward good behaviour
The simplest way to get your cat onside, though, is to simply play ball with your cat. Every time it does something good like going to the litter box, reward them in some way or another that you know your cat loves. This creates positive reinforcement and thus makes it much more likely that they will return in the near future for more.
It also creates a symbolic belief in your cats’ head that you are praising it and rewarding it for doing as you have asked. That might not seem like much, but it is essential in building a relationship that lets your cat know that, when it does as you ask, it will be rewarded.
Many times, our relationships with our pets can feel almost transactional in nature. By remembering that, you make it much easier to create a harmonious balance that gives you pet something back in return.
Getting your cat to play along
Now that you have a list of ten useful tips that you could try and put into place, you should find it a bit easier to get your cat to stop peeing and pooing wherever it wishes. It can be a real challenge to get most cats to play by the rules, but this mixture of encouragement and enforcement can go a very long way to solving those issues.
Getting a cat to play by the rules is never easy, but it does not have to be needlessly tough either. By using some of these tips, you do make it much more likely that your cat should – eventually – give up with ‘leaving its territory’ all over the wrong parts of your home.
By having in place some rules and regulations, your kitty should start to make some helpful changes that saves your home being stunk out from its toilet habits. Hey, the little blighter isn’t paying any rent or contributing towards the mortgage – the very least they could do is follow some very basic rules!
Using these above tips, then, you should hopefully be able to convince your cat to give up its freestyle toilet habits.
Best of luck!