Cat Toileting Issues
Understanding cat toileting issues
Urinating and defecating are natural to the animal kingdom and a necessary part of life. These behaviours rid the body of unwanted waste products. Cats also use spraying to deposit their scent around their environment. Spraying signals their status to other cats and having their scent surrounding them makes many cats feel safe and secure.
Cats tend to follow a typical sequence of behaviour when toileting. This normally includes sniffing the substrate (litter, soil, sand), scratching the surface, turning in a circle, squatting, urinating, turning and sniffing, scratching litter and burying waste.
Faeces are generally covered up immediately by the cat, leaving little scent and requiring minimal cleaning. In the wild this keeps the cats’ environment clean but also hides their presence from potential predators or enemies who might otherwise be attracted. The exceptions to this cover-it-up rule are those cats who wish to signal their presence and actually leave visible piles of poo around the boundaries of their territory, a process known as middening.
Most cats are happy to toilet outdoors given the chance. Some prefer particular substrates underfoot, with soil or sand being a common preference. Most cats will generally get used to whatever has been provided for them while young; generally soil when outdoors and indoors they are happy to use litter. Occasionally a cat will prefer not to use a loose material to toilet and will favour smooth surfaces such as concrete, tiled areas or bathtubs. A few may enjoy using carpet!
Your cat may toilet inappropriately due to urinary tract or other physiological conditions. If your cat is straining, passing blood or is in discomfort, please see your vet as soon as possible." Dr Jo
Causes of inappropriate toileting
There are many reasons why cats that are normally clean will begin to toilet inappropriately. Some of these are 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.
Reason to toilet: Illness
The following are common causes of feline toileting issues:
Reason to toilet: 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.
Reason to toilet: Anxiety
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.
Reason to toilet: Multi-cat households
Due to the reasons above (litter box issues and anxiety) inappropriate toileting is more common n multi-cat households.
Cat Litter Types explained
Some cats prefer one litter type over another. Some humans do too. Here's a quick guide to the different types of litter available.
Now it's time to find a solution...
Learn what you need to do to help your cat toilet in the correct spot...
Cleaning up toileting accidents'
Learn the best way to clean up cat and dog pee and poo so they are not attracted back to the same area to toilet...