Solutions to Cat Behavioral Problems

Some cats seem to premeditate their poops. They listen for the garage door to go up, hear the car pull out, then trot straight into the living room to drop their biggest poop. The other household cats may then smell the scent and follow suit. This causes big, undue stress to many cat owners who just don’t understand.

After reading articles and talking to a local veterinarian, I’ve found some interesting possible reasons as to why cats act this way. There’s also a few suggestions that cat owners can follow to help bring relief to all-or so we hope.

One reason for bad cat behavior may be the most obvious. It is found in the litter box itself. Many vets and cat owners suggest that each cat have their own litter box if they are in a multi-cat household. Then set aside an additional box from the regular cat boxes. This helps if you can’t get to the box every day to clean it. The suggested cleaning is at least every day or every other day for clumpable, scoopable litter and at least once a week for clay litter-throwing out all of the old litter and replacing with fresh. Cats like to keep themselves and their environments clean. Also, avoid scented litter which can irritate cats since their sense of smell is much greater than ours.

Cat boxes hold smells long after they have been cleaned. It is a good idea to clean the plastic litter box after the old litter has been dumped or simply replace the box every few months. This is because plastic holds smells that may not be evident to humans, but will certain reach the nostrils of your unassuming feline friend. Also check to make sure that you have placed the litter box in a nice, clean environment away from loud noises. Many cats are afraid of laundry machines, for example. Some cats may also be afraid of dehumidifiers in the basement. Keep these devices and other noise makers away from the cat box.

Look for anything out of the ordinary. If you own a cat you know they do not like change. Has another animal been brought into the home? Think back as to when the cat(s) began behaving badly by missing their cat box or skipping it altogether. Once they start marking their territory, it will be hard for them to stop. Sprays work to keep cats away from furniture and carpet (specially formulated for pets), but they are only temporary solutions and can irritate human sinuses.

A local vet suggested a more extreme measure for unresolved bad habits. He said to buy a large cage, one big enough for a single cat. Put his food at one end and their litter box at the other. Leave a place for him to sleep and keep him locked up for two full weeks. The vet claims that this should break the cat of his bad habit. I haven’t found a cat owner yet who is willing to lock up their pet for that long. Compassion gets the best of them. But if you or someone you know are constantly scolding kitty for his misplaced poops, then you can actually harm him psychologically. The same vet explains that this is instinct for them, so cats really do not understand human punishment, such as spanking. It is best to talk to your vet and apply what he or she tells you.

Make sure cats do not have fleas bothering them. This can also change their behavior if they become stressed. If you have fleas in your house, call a professional exterminator. But they will have to come back two weeks later and spray again to rid the house of the flea eggs. Be sure to use a flea collar and have your pet(s) vaccinated each year. Even people bring in fleas from their clothes, so some household cats that are strictly prohibited from going outdoors may get fleas from their owners.

If the problem of misplaced pooping persists, keep a close eye on kitty and lock him up with a litter box in sight at night or when you leave the house for long periods. Refusing the litter box is the leading cause of putting cats to sleep or giving them away. Keep you and your kitty happy by trying these suggestions and by trying to find the root of the problem. Write down all you can remember from when kitty started to use your carpet for a litter box. You may find some clues that you can take with you to the vet.

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