5 Tips On How To Get Your Cat To Use The Litter Box, by Penelope Kitten …
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Cynthia: One of the most pressing questions I get about cats is, “How do I stop my cat from urinating outside the box?”
This is usually conveyed in a desperate, almost hysterical manner by the cat parent. And it’s usually asked at the point when the cat mom or dad is about to seriously consider giving up their cat.
penelope kitten (gasping): squeak!
Cynthia: I get it. It’s awful. Horribly terrifyingly awful. Cat pee reeks and infiltrates not only one’s nostrils, but the entire house, clothes, carpet, furniture, walls, and eventually leads to panic, depression, and hopelessness. For the person.
Really. I am not exaggerating.
Below are the five tips to try to get your kitty using the litter box again. How do I know about these tips? Well, because Penelope and all four of her litter mates have had “peeing outside the box” issues at some stage in their 5 years on this planet. The tips below are what cured every one of them from the habit.
penelope kitten (squeaking): sorry about that.
Cynthia: Ah, it’s okay P. Tell everyone how we helped you.
Penelope Kitten grabs her notes and addresses her readers.
penelope kitten (squeaking): ahem ahem.
Let’s talk –
1. take your kitty to the vet to rule out a medical issue such as diabetes or urinary crystals (common in male cats).
2. change litter.
- try unscented (us cats hate perfumed litter).
- try Cat Attract brand litter.
- try a wheat based litter if the first two don’t work (it’s soft on our pads, some cats like it/some don’t).
3. add more litterboxes (the Jackson Galaxy rule of one box per cat plus one) and put them in places you will hate – like next to your couch or the middle of your bedroom. (don’t worry – once the problem is solved you can move them to a less conspicuous area).
4. get a purple Calming Collar for all the cats in the household. (it’s possible your kitty is reacting to another household cat’s aggression, bullying, or territorial behavior, and you may not have picked up on it). please be sure to read the instructions and watch for any kind of allergic reaction to the collar.
5. play with your cats. a lot. happy cats are cats that get lots of stimulation and hunting practice.
p tip plus: if these 5 p tips don’t work, pretty please go back to your vet and ask about kitty medications such as prozac.
Cynthia: Thank you, Penelope. Wow. Cats sure are sensitive and emotional creatures.
penelope kitten (agreeing): so sensitive.
Cynthia: They pick up on the slightest change in the household and sometimes their stress is reflected in their behavior about the box.
Marcy (chiming in): So stupid. That’s too much money spent on stupid cats with bad etiquette and mental health problems.
Cynthia (sighing): Marcy. C’mon now…
penelope kitten (squeaking mad): hey hey. be nice. (whap) we all have feelings.
Marcy: Feelings are stupid.
p.s. from penelope
forgot to say.
don’t forget to scoop the litter once a day.
here’s a cute reminder magnet.
Thanks, Penelope. Very brave of you to share this embarrassing problem. You’ve no doubt helped kitties and families everywhere with your practical solutions.
Now, what advice do you have for men who miss the mark?
tnr – trap neuter release
squeak, penelope kitten
Cynthia, good tips!
Penelope, is your potty prob, how you got the nickname of P ? 🙂
Marcy, sounds like you need a Calming Collar. Just sayin.
no no. that happened before my p prob. thank goodness.
squeak, penelope kitten
Thank you, VIK! I got the idea to post it at my last event. So many people ask me about this issue and I realized that I get pretty excited about the topic. lol
ps – I’m trying out my new Penelope and Marcy comments on you!! Marcy’s is coming up as soon! 😀
i’m very calm. can’t you tell from my new profile pic?
P-Kitty is the Sarah Silverman of the feline world! Thanks for the tips. This will definitely save a kitty from ending up in rescue!
These are great tips and relevant to dogs too. Georgie had soooooo many accidents when we first got her. We think it was a combination of anxiety and adjusting to us and feeling afraid. We worked hard to make sure she felt safe, stimulated, and loved, and the problem slowly went away. Then when it started back up suddenly months later, we took her to the vet, and it was a UTI. Had we not consulted the vet, it would have just continued. I think a lot of finding a solution is observing your animal’s behavior and experimenting with different strategies and solutions, and you’ve compiled a great resource here.
Thank you, Liz! I was cat sitting for a cat who suddenly started peeing outside the box and the owner would not let me take him to the vet – nor would he take him the vet after he got back from vacation- bragging that his cat was just mad. It was of course, entirely possible that the kitty was just acting out but the fact is – this happens when animals have UTI’s or crystals and it must be checked. Sigh… UTI’s are awful for humans and I can only imagine what it is like for a poor animal who has one and can’t get treated for it because the pet parent thinks the animal is being bad. Arggghhhh!!