Sunday, December 23, 2012

Questions: Litterbox Issues

In our series of questions, we received a second cat-related question.

My 13+ year old male cat will no longer go in the litter box. I've had him checked at the vet, and no physical reason. Why does he torture me so?

Generally, when I hear about cats and litter box issues, the first thing I think is UTI or some other bladder issue.  Since you've had the vet look at him, though, let's assume that he's a physically healthy pet.

At 13, one thing that comes to mind is a simple case of senility.  Your cat may be suffering from the same thing countless elderly people suffer from.  He may, in fact, be forgetting where his litter box is, or it may be that he knows where it is, but his bladder isn't what it used to be, and he just can't make it.  Make life easier for him by providing another litter box, or by monitoring him a little closer.  Help to remind him where he's supposed to potty.

The next thing that comes to mind is that he's acting out.  Just like dogs, when cats don't have enough stimulation, they can act out in many different ways.  One common way is urination (particularly in male cats).   Make sure your cat gets lots of attention and lots of play throughout the day.  Make sure he's getting what he needs.

Lastly, make sure his litter box is extremely clean.  Most cats don't like to use a dirty litter box and will often choose your furniture or laundry if their litter box is not clean.  Make sure the litter is fairly fresh, all the clumps are scooped out, and the box is cleaned on a regular basis.

Trying all these things may help, but you will also want to make sure you remove the odor from all of his accidents, so he's no longer encouraged to use those same locations.  There are a lot of pet odor removing products on the market, but for simple issues, try using a 50/50 water/vinegar solution.  It helps remove odor, and the vinegar acts as a simple deterrent.

Good luck!

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1 comment:

  1. Not a 100% sure if this is how I'm supposed to ask a question but I need some serious advice ASAP!! I have a 3 year old Pomeranian, Sasha, that my sister gave to me for Christmas. We are having issues potty training. She was supposedly house broken when I got her but in the last month she has tended to pee on the floor in my kitchen. I take her out in the morning (between 8 and 9), when I get home from school (between 3&5) and ALWAYS before bed (between 10&11) sometimes more if I'm home that night just depends. She is in her crate all day but stays out all night if someone else is home. We were doing good until today. She has peed four times in the house today. First this morning when I was about to take her out (no punishment), and then right before I took her out when I was going to leave for school (punishment), when I got home and went to take her out (small spanking because she did it right in front of me) and then after I took her out she ran up to my bed and peed a little bit (she was spanked and then put in her crate). I need serious hel