LITTER BOX PROBLEMS?
They aren't doing it to get back at you and punishment only increases the stress that they may have, that may be causing it. Before sticking your cat outside (where they aren't safe from the roads and other creatures) or surrendering to the Shelter (where they are at risk of euthanasia), please consider why there is a problem.
~ Medical issues ~ Critical if blood in urine, but quite often it may be painful to go. One sign is excessive licking. May have intestinal worms. Some conditions can be resolved with food changes, but a vet visit is recommended. Not spayed or neutered? They are more likely to not use the boxes.
~ Not enough litter boxes ~ A good rule of thumb is one box per cat, plus one more.
~ Don't like the type of litter ~ In particular, cats that are declawed quite often have paws that are sensitive or painful, so they avoid scratching litter. There is soft litter made with this condition in mind. Also some cats don't like the excessively perfumed litters, so try different types. Unscented clumping litter that's the consistency of fine sand seems to work best. Did you change brands all at once? Best to gradually add a bit of the new litter each day. as you clean the box, until they adapt.
~ Type of litter box ~ Consider the size as most litter boxes aren't big enough for the adult or big ones. Senior cats may have trouble climbing into those with high sides. Using plastic liners? Covered box? Try without.
~ Location ~ If moving the box, do it gradually, since they are creatures of habit. Move away from food and water. Don't put in tight spots (like a closet), as naturally cats want an escape route. Is there a spot that they are using regularly? Put a box there and once they start using that, gradually move it from the spot.
~ Cleanliness ~ Scoop daily, at least, for both your sake and the cats. Cat can be very fastidious. Don't use bleach or ammonia-based products to wash boxes, just dish soap, maybe some diluted vinegar upon occasion.
~ Break the Habit ~ If there is a special spot they use, clean with an enzyme cleaner to help eliminate the odor. If they still using the spot, make it unattractive. You can put a litter box there and gradually move it to a more appropriate place. You can block or you can cover (aluminum foil or plastic wrap or plastic carpet runners placed "teeth" side up). You can put a bowl of food there, since they don't like to go where they eat. Eventually, they will stop using the area for their business and you can go back to normal.
Cats can add so much to a home and once we have them, it is our responsibility to love and care for them to the best of our ability. So no matter how distasteful some things are, we know that in the long run, the inconvenience will outweigh the difficulties. They are so worth it and will give you unconditional love. Thanks for Caring!on. If so, please help!
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