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Cat urine problems? Think outside the litter box

Unique feline resting spot
Unique feline resting spot

Cats are usually great at using a litter box. Little training is needed due to their ancestral instinct of eliminating in sand and covering it up. Of course, if a cat does urinate outside the litter box, it certainly gets our attention. Accidents are generally not tolerated. But the problem may not be with the litter box.

A veterinarian should examine your cat and a urine sample if abnormal litter box use occurs. However, bladder infections are not common in cats under age 10. Non-bacterial cystitis (inflammation) is more common and environment plays a key role with this disorder.

Make sure you are following best litter box practices, such as daily or twice daily scooping , having at least two separate locations for boxes in a multi-cat household, and using uncovered boxes with unscented, scoopable litter.

Focus on the rest of the cat’s environment as well:

  • Cats value vertical space. Do you have perches, ledges, cat trees, etc. accessible to your cats?
  • Cats are not social eaters. Do you have food bowls in different rooms, using food toys?
  • Cats are not patient. Do you have at least two areas to access water and litter boxes?

Be creative and ‘think outside the box’ when it comes to providing ample resources (food, water, litter box, resting place). Most cats tolerate living with other cats, but would prefer not to have to wait to use a resource or compete for that resource. Stress reduction in our indoor cats lessens disease and keeps our feline friends healthier. Read more about the Indoor Cat Initiative and visit the Indoor Pet Initiative website.


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