The cat stopped going to the litter box. why and what to do?
If the cat has stopped going to the litter box, not many owners know what to do. Some are simply in a hurry to get rid of the animal, so as not to wipe the puddles behind it and not clean up the excrement throughout the apartment. To solve the problem, you must first establish the cause, and then look for ways to solve it.
Almost all animals have an instinct to preserve territory. In domestic cats and cats, this instinct is usually not manifested, but there are exceptions. Almost always, animals begin to mark their territory and leave puddles in all corners, urinate behind sofas and even on bed if another cat appears in the house. So they defend the right to their territory and make it clear to the opponent so that he does not meddle on his possessions.
If the cat starts urinating in the wrong place, the reason may be as follows:
- Atony is a phenomenon that is accompanied by atrophy of the walls of the bladder. The animal cannot control the process of urination. Most often, the pathology develops in older animals, less often the reason lies in inflammatory processes and other pathologies of the urinary system.
- Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder that is accompanied by severe pain. Because of the spasms, the animal cannot urinate. Sometimes he manages to do this on a soft blanket or in a secluded place.
- Urolithiasis is a pathology in which blockage of the urinary tract can occur. In addition, the pet is in severe pain.
- Pyelonephritis, urocystitis, and other diseases of the urinary system can cause urinary incontinence.
Does Your Cat Hate the Litter Box?
Important! If you suspect that the animal has pathologies of the genitourinary system or the cat has stopped urinating altogether, immediately consult a doctor and undergo the necessary examination.
A cat may stop going to the litter box in a big way if it has diarrhea or constipation. In the first case, she may simply not have time to reach the toilet, and therefore leaves “traces” all over the house. In both cases, the reason may lie in improper nutrition, the use of low-quality products, or the development of diseases of the digestive system for other reasons.
Often well-bred pets begin to shit in the corners of the house when hormonal changes. This usually occurs during periods of puberty or sexual activity. This is how the animal marks its territory. This behavior is especially typical for cats.
It is pointless to scold a pet for this, since such behavior is inherent in the body by nature. He really doesn‘t understand that he is doing something bad, so it will be difficult to retrain him. If you do not plan to use the cat for breeding, then it would be wiser to send him for neutering. Some people use hormonal drugs to suppress sexual desire, but this method can lead to the development of cancer and other health problems.
If the cat is properly raised, and then abruptly refuses to correct the need in the right place, the reason may lie in the toilet. The following factors can cause problems:
- Dimensions and shape of the tray. When choosing a toilet for a cat, consider its size and character. If a tray with low sides is well suited for a kitten, then for an adult animal it is better to choose a roomy toilet in which you can dig. Some pets like to retire, so it is worth choosing a closed structure for them.
- Change of toilet. If you decide to please your pet with a new litter box, he may not approve of your impulses, even if the size and color completely match the previous litter box. In protest, he will shit in the corners.
- Tray location. Place the litter box so that the cat has easy access to it, but at the same time choose a secluded and impassable place.
- Filler. If a cat is used to a certain type of litter, changing it can have dire consequences. Sometimes, on the contrary, the animal does not like the filler, so you will have to experiment with different species until the best option is found.
- Cleaning the tray. Often cats refuse to go to the toilet if it is dirty. The smell of detergent or fragrance can also repel them.
Important! If the reason is related to the tray, there is no universal solution to the problem, since all animals are individual.
Behavioral and psychological factors
Common reasons cats stop going to the litter box include:
- Revenge. If the pet’s feelings are affected, for example, a child or another animal has appeared in the house, or he has been offended in another way (carrying out unpleasant procedures, etc.), he may shit in the wrong place out of spite.
- Stress. After the experienced shocks, the behavior of the cat can change dramatically. This is especially often observed when moving to a new place of residence, but other stressful situations can also provoke problems: the arrival of guests, repair work and excessive noise, visiting an exhibition, etc.
- Shyness. And although this behavior is not typical for all cats, some representatives can relieve themselves only in a secluded place so that no one can see them.
Features of the body and health problems
Seeing that the animal relieves in the wrong place, some owners rush to re-educate him. This approach is fundamentally wrong, because first you need to find out why the cat stopped going to the litter box. Sometimes the reason lies in behavior changes caused by natural factors or a health problem.
Where a cat can shit instead of a litter box?
We’ll talk about them a bit later. In the meantime, believe me. seeing cat excrement next to the tray is far from the worst option.
For their business, your pet may choose a secluded corner, for example, under the bathroom or behind an armchair. And you will have to search for the source of the unpleasant smell for a while.
The emergence of new odors can induce the cat
Some cats prefer to arrange a toilet in the closet, on the belongings of the owners, or in the hallway they will shit in their favorite slippers or shoes. The pinnacle of “meanness” would seem to you the habit of a cat to sit on a pile of clean, freshly ironed linen and lift its tail. What would you do with a cat that jumps on the TV and defecates on the newspaper with the program lying there??
Truly, the feline fantasy is limitless! But one thing is clear. you have a problem. To solve it, you need to answer two questions. Why does the cat do this? How to wean him from it?
The cat can change its habits and walk past the litter box and in a state of severe stress.
A noisy feast, repairs in the apartment, the appearance of a baby at the owners’ place. and a disoriented animal will arrange a toilet for itself in the first place that seems suitable for him.
Tray as the main reason
The tray may be cramped. Or litter can reject the cat
One of the most common causes of animal misbehavior is the litter box.
- It may be too small or too tight. and the animal feels uncomfortable when it sits down to relieve itself. The cat may not like the litter. If you’ve always bought one type of it, and then brought home another, your cat may refuse to use it.
- A cleanliness will also not sit in the tray if it is dirty. But there is also another side of the coin. If you yourself are a champion of cleanliness, and you wash the cat litter box, for example, with bleach, its pungent smell will scare your pet away.
- Another option. the tray is installed in the wrong place. “Not a toilet, but a courtyard,”. the cat, of course, will not be able to formulate this idea, but will go to look for a more modest place. And you will clean up after it.
Why did the cat start shitting not in the tray, but on the floor: what to do?
Do you know what answer you will hear from most owners? “On purpose. In spite. Out of harm, ”they will tell you. And they will be wrong. The cat does not know how to take revenge, she does not want to deliberately give you unpleasant moments. She has her own reasons, and they are worth listening to.
We use special preparations
After you have cleaned up the cat, you need to treat this place. Chunks of garlic are ideal!
The cat litter box can only be washed with plain water. Cleaning agents are not recommended.
But the tray, on the contrary. never wash with aromatic substances. Make sure to change the contents in time, no matter what serves as a cat litter: special filler, sand or just newspaper.
If the animal develops warning symptoms, a veterinarian will help you. In the course of treatment, you will defeat not only the disease, but also an unpleasant habit.
Maybe these are labels?
Most likely, the instincts of an adult cat are registered in the memory. Even after castration, the cat can continue to tag, only this time with urine.
If the litter box is okay, take a closer look at your cat. Maybe he doesn‘t shit, but marks the territory. This happens when a cat or cat is in a state of sexual heat. Cats are overly affectionate, crave attention, meow, as if calling someone, raise their tails, arch their backs. Cats are excited and playful. Animals mark their territory even if several individuals live in the apartment, and each is fighting for leadership. But the smell is unpleasant, to be sure.
A more serious cause of untidiness is illness. This may be the last thing that comes to your mind.
But, if a cat, for example, has cystitis, urolithiasis or constipation, any attempt to “go to the potty” will hurt her.
Take a closer look at your bowel movements. Their unusual nature. hard feces, urine and bloody diarrhea. will be a reason to visit a veterinarian. An additional clue will be the behavior of the animal: you will notice that he is uncomfortable.
Finally, a bored kitty may simply seek contact with you. If the punishment is limited to shouts like: “Ugly cat! Now I am you! “. the pet is able to regard it as a game: he hides or flies away, and you are looking for or catching up. Here is the owner’s attention.
What to do if your cat stops going to the litter box?
. The smartest cat, and suddenly this!
. The kitten used to always go to the place, but here!
. This is definitely revenge!
What to do if the cat stops going to the litter box?
First of all, you need to pull yourself together and face the truth: a cat is not a person and it makes no sense to look for human motives in her actions. The reason why the cat suddenly stopped using the litter box is most likely specific and has nothing to do with the cat’s moral qualities. Therefore, it is useless to appeal to the cat’s prudence, and poking your face into a pile or puddle, and even more so to spank with a slipper and shout, is cruel and harmful.
Pet Care : Why Your Cat Won’t Use the Litter Box
What are the reasons for the unscrupulous behavior of a cat and how can the situation be corrected??
One of the most common reasons that already an adult cat or a cat unexpectedly chose not their usual litter box, but a secluded corner, an old rug, or even a soft and warm master’s bed as a place for “thinking about the eternal”. this is pain. Numerous diseases can cause the so-called “pain syndrome”, which leads to changes in the behavior of animals. Its mechanism is as follows: the cat, peeing in the tray, feels pain and associates it with the tray. Subsequently, this kitty will look for another place to urinate, sometimes choosing something soft and cozy, where she feels completely safe.
Therefore, the first actions of any responsible owner should be aimed at excluding a possible disease: contact a veterinarian, do the necessary tests and studies (as a rule, if the cat pisses in the wrong place, the doctors of the Zoovet veterinary center recommend passing urine tests, possibly blood and do an ultrasound of the abdominal cavity to exclude the inflammatory process of the genitourinary system).
If the cat’s health does not cause concern, the next thing to exclude is sex tags. If a young animal reaches sexual maturity (1-1, 5 years or earlier) and at the same time begins to mark, then castration will become the main method of correcting behavior. Distinctive features of territory marking: cats mark with a “jet”, while furniture, vertical surfaces, and owner’s things suffer. Cats mark with a small amount of urine in different places, sometimes also with a stream (as a rule, marking the territory in cats coincides with the period of “sexual hunting”).
A third possible reason for ignoring the litter box may be intense stress associated with the arrival of a new family member (person or animal), moving, renovating, buying new furniture, or when the cat is scared when she decides to use her litter box. This stress can be overwhelming for the cat and often leads to the cat choosing to defecate in a more secluded and protected place than the previous place in the litter box. In this case, it is necessary to stop or minimize the effect of the factor that frightens the cat as soon as possible and create conditions so that she can use the litter box without fear (it is highly advisable to use light sedatives: Feliway (diffuser) or herbal drops: Phytex or “Cat Baiyun”). It would be best to place in each room where there were “cat surprises” on the tray with the cat’s usual and pleasant filler, and when she begins to use them regularly, she will need to slowly begin to clean them, but no faster than one a day.
If the objective reason for such an unpleasant change in the cat’s behavior cannot be identified, then it is possible that the size of the tray (too large or small in the cat’s opinion), filler (you need to try to use several types of fillers in order to choose the one that the cat will like.. cats choose a smaller and free-flowing litter, like Catsan, in which you can first dig). Also, the cat may not like the place where the tray is located (noisy, located on the aisle, open, unprotected place).
Put several trays in the cat’s favorite places, of different sizes and with different heights of the sides, if the cat continues to ignore the trays, change the filler and choose the one that the cat prefers. Carefully monitor the cat during this period. if you notice that she began to scratch the floor, meow suspiciously, fuss in one place. you need to immediately carefully put her on the tray, gently saying what a wonderful clever she is.
In no case should we forget that it is the smell that signals the cat where its toilet is! Any of the above methods of correcting the problematic behavior of the cat must be supported by the complete destruction of the smell of cat urine and excrement in unwanted places. To do this, thoroughly wash the areas where the cat has urinated or defecated with a chlorine-free product (chlorine will only increase the smell of urine). You can use bio-labeled laundry detergents and cat urine odor removers, which are now commercially available in sufficient quantities. To consolidate the result, it is better to treat these places with a strong-smelling agent that is unpleasant for the cat: Star ointment, a special deterrent, or spread lemon or orange peels.
The ideal option is to make the place that you don’t want to give your cat to the toilet inaccessible and / or unpleasant for her. To do this, narrow manholes and passages can be barricaded with plastic bottles and cardboard boxes (they can also be sprayed on top with a deterrent spray) so that the cat cannot get through there. If the cat prefers a bed to the tray, then cover it with polyethylene, on which double-sided tape should be glued on top. The cat, jumping on the bed, will stick, get upset, and realize that this place is not so pleasant and cozy, and in general, the litter box is much more convenient for the toilet! It will be possible to remove bottles, boxes and polyethylene in about 2 months, when the cat completely forgets that it once dreamed of a cozy corner under the bed.
And most importantly, remember that the cat, of course, will not be able to resist human patience, generosity and perseverance, and the joy of aiming to hit the tray will reward all the effort!