If Your Cat is NOT Using The Litter Box - Do THIS! Part 8...
If you share your life with a cat or cats, I don’t need to tell you that they can be highly strung creatures at times. Just like us humans, cats can get stressed or anxious during periods of uncertainty or change. When they are feeling out of sorts, sometimes they take matters into their own hands to feel calm again and one of the ways they do this is to wee or poo all over your stuff. Now while this may seem like misbehavior I always urge my pet parents to consider things from their kitty’s perspective first. Going outside the litter box in this way is their attempt to make things smell familiar and therefore calm them.
Here’s an example - imagine you’re packing to go on holiday or you’re moving house. Your room is upside down, clothes and toiletries are everywhere and there is a massive suitcase in the room that is unfamiliar to your cat. You go into the next room to get some things and when you return, your precious feline has added his own “stuff” to the packing. This is your cat’s way of trying to bring order to the disorder - they could be feeling nervous and anxious seeing all your luggage out and stuff all over the room. Cats are driven by scent and when there is no familiar scent, they will add their own - this helps them to feel calm again.
The best way to avoid this is by a little trick called scent swapping. Go into your cat’s mouth with a cotton pad or a small cloth and take their saliva and then wipe it all over the area you are going to be packing in, on the suitcase, and even on the walls. Wipe it all over the room if you have to - this will help to put your cat’s scent in the room in an acceptable way so they don’t feel they have to with their urine or feces!
Be sure not to miss the previous 7 installments of litter box solutions if you are having issues with getting your kitty to “go” in the box - we have explored so much already from the type of litter box you need to the right amount to have as well as the best litter to use and where to put them in your home. We have looked at the best ways to clean up after a potty mishap and the importance of keeping your litter box clean. For all my pet parents who have multiple kitties, we have even explored litter box aggression.
Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!
April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H