Your feline is the best thing that has happened in your life and we totally understand that. But are you aware that the relationships that your tabby has in your house with different family members has direct correlation to their litter usage? It has generally been observed that if your tabby does not have a healthy relationship with other pets, adults or children in your house, then it can lead to stress in him which can lead to eliminating outside the litter box.
It is extremely important for you as a cat owner to first of all ensure that your feline has a good relationship with other cats, dogs and human beings in the house. If your cat has to deal with regular fights with another feline or has to deal with frightening chase from your doggie it can result in eliminating on the sofas, beds or other areas.
When we, human beings go to the bathroom it is because we want to relieve ourselves from the pressure of excreting the waste. But in cats it is not that simple because apart from the biological needs like urinating and excreting there are certain social nuances that can guide you where they are going to eliminate and when.
Let us now look at the three key reasons for cats to eliminate outside their litter box along with the solution to resolve this litter box problem:
To escape from animals that they do not feel safe around
Your feline will do whatever it takes to get away from animals that can do harm to him. Stress as a result of a trivial quarrel or a major fight can result in the cat to find spots that are safe for him to eliminate so that they do not feel threatened or cornered or attacked suddenly. It is for this reason that anxious felines look for areas that are safe enough for them to view things clearly and easy to escape.
It has generally been observed that areas in the house like: sofas, floors in the middle of the living rooms and beds fit the bill perfectly for them. They find these places safer than the covered litter box or the ones that are tucked in the closets and cabinets. If litter boxes are kept in these areas, then it can result in a trap which your cat is very afraid of.
Not only are other quarrelsome felines in the house the major threat to your cat, but even barking dogs and dogs that chase your feline can lead to a life threatening situation for your tabby. Hence, cats try to find spots where there are no dogs so that they can eliminate peacefully.
Apart from these four-legged friends, even certain human beings try to invade the private space of your kitty. One of the prime examples of that are children who are unaware of the fact that not being gentle to the feline can cause anxiety in cats which can result in your feline trying to find a safe place to eliminate.
Solution to resolve this problem
It is very important for you as a cat owner to ensure that if you have multiple cats in the household the newly adopted cat needs to be introduced gradually to the resident cats. This will take a couple of weeks to maximum month, but eventually the objective is that all the cats need to be at peace in the house. If you have a dog ensure that they do not chase at your tabby or bark at them. This will take some training and time, but eventually both can be at peace in the same house. Ensure that you are properly supervising the pets while trying to get them together.
If you have children in the house, teach them that it is not good to chase and corner the felines. Have tall cat trees in the house so that your feline feels safe when he is out of reach of dogs and other scary people. Have large uncovered litter boxes in different rooms. If you have multiple cats in the household have minimum one litter box per cat. Keep them at places where the feline can have a great view and is away from any threat from other people or pets.
As a sign of marking territories and get information across in the cat world
It has been observed that cats are excellent communicators and they are also good at searching for objects, head bunting, body language and vocalizing. Cats can use their urine and feces to communicate their message to other cats and to mark their territories. Urine marking also attracts male cats and assists in getting them familiar with their family and friends.
Although intact cats are known to spray, even spayed and neutered cats mark their urine. They spray and urinate to show that they are feeling threatened. If there is a fight between your cat and neighborhood cat it can result in this smelly behavior. There are certain cats that mark their territory through feces. These cats are generally of outdoor nature.
Solution to resolve this problem
The very first thing that you can possibly do is to spay and neuter your feline. If your cat is fixed there are fewer chances of them marking the territory with their urine. You can even use a natural cleaner to eliminate the smell of the urine and clean up the targeted area. Have scratching posts in your house so that your feline gets rid of this unpleasant habit.
If your cat is marking their urine to reduce their stress as a result of conflict between them and the other cat; you can get some toys, scratchers and other stuff and keep the two cats separate in different rooms and serve them food in different places. You should also keep the litter boxes of the two felines separate in such a way that both the cats do not ambush each other. It is recommended that you separate both the cats for some time and then reintroduce them after some time. This will ease off the tension between them and get rid of the urine marking habit.
To blend the scent of their favorite people
There are certain cats that intermingle their scents with their favorite people. So they may urinate in places where their favorite person sits or sleeps like chairs, beds, and pillows. They feel safe when they blend their scent with their favorite people. The inception of this habit happens when a new pet arrives in the house or when there are major changes happening in the house. When you are tensed your feline gets an idea that there is something to worry about; and so they start feeling anxious and stressed. There are certain cats that are dealing with separation anxiety urinate in places where you sit and sleep as a means to remember you while you are away from him for some time.
Solution to resolve this problem
Relax your kitty by having a consistent schedule. Always conduct activities as regular like playing, training, and grooming at the same time. If he responds by cuddling you, take out some quality time from your busy schedule and be with your feline. Also ensure that your kitty bonds with other family members in the house. If you are going away for a few days, arrange for a pet sitter or ask someone from your family to take care of your furry friend like feeding, playing and interacting with him; so that he does not miss his regular chores.
If your feline is feeling alone get him another cat. Although it all depends on how your cat reacts to another cat in the house. There are times when it can lead to jealously; so consider this too while getting a companion for your kitty.
The last thing that you can ever do is to punish your furry friend for not using his litter box. Remember, your feline is not bad; it is just that he is finding it difficult to adjust to the environment in your house. If you punish him it will only escalate the issue which will also hamper your relationship with your kitty.
Keep in mind, cats associate punishment with the punisher and so it can even break your bond with them. Hence, instead of taking any negative steps, try to find out the trigger point and address the issue promptly. If you are still concerned, get the help of your veterinarian who would suggest you some anxiety tablets that would ease up the stress in your feline. In the end, do take good care of your kitty by providing them regular cat supplies that will keep him happy and fit.