Cat Toileting Tips

Cats need a large enough litter tray to be able to stand in it and to turn around.

If your cat is using their litter box as a bed or play area, they are unlikely to toilet there.

Cats dislike the sight of other cat pee in their tray. Keep it clean or provide several litter boxes.

Causes of toileting issues

Feline inappropriate elimination

There are many reasons why cats that are normally clean will begin to toilet inappropriately. Cat toileting issues may be simply mistakes, some have an underlying medical cause and others are purely behavioural. Sometimes the cat does not have a problem but the owner does. Here are common causes of cat toileting problems:
Common physiological causes of feline toileting issues include:
  • Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). See your vet immediately.
  • Gastrointestinal upsets can result in toileting ‘accidents’. 
  • As they age cats can become incontinent.

Litterbox issues
The size and location of the tray or litter box, the type of litter, the no. of trays available and the cleanliness of the tray can make a huge difference to some cats. Others do not care.

A change of household routine, another cat in the vicinity, loud noises and a whole host of other things can make cats anxious. One way to relieve anxiety is to put their scent around them by urinating or spraying.

Solutions for toileting issues

Understand the cause

Once you have worked out the cause of your cat's inappropriate urination, defecation or spraying, here are some common solutions...

Vet check
Have your cat checked by your vet. It is essential that physiological causes be treated or ruled out, prior to starting any behavioural therapy. If you see your cat straining to toilet, toileting often or passing blood in their urine or faeces, please get your cat to the vet as soon as possible.

Litter box analysis
Examine your litter box thoroughly! Not just the waste contents but also the style and position of the tray and the type of litter used. Changing litter trays, litter or the position of the box may be a simple solution to your issue. Keep food and litter separate.

Stress relief
Relocating your cat to a different area of your home may prevent their anxiety levels rising. For example, if your cat reacts to people entering your property, place them where they cannot encounter people. 
Calming agents such as lavender, Feliway (cat appeasing pheromone) and veterinary medication may provide relief for your cat's anxieties. Ask your vet.