My Cat Has Started Urinating Outside The Litter Box In The Same Location Every Time
I have a 6 month old female I have raised since she was 2 weeks old. Her mother deserted her.
I nursed her on a bottle until she was old enough to eat on her own. She has grown up using litter.
Our first problem happened when we left her in the care of my son, who was staying temporarily at our home, while we were on vacation.
She started using the carpet and would do this openly in front of him.
This problem stopped upon our return home. That was in November.
In recent weeks, she has started urinating on my living room carpet, all in the same area. I have moved her litter box to that area. She will defecate in the litter box, but urinates on the floor.
Nothing seems to help. My husband is as patient with her behavior as I am, as I love her. But I am deeply concerned about what to do, as eventually he will make me get rid of her if the behavior does not stop.
She seems healthy, although has a nervous deposition. She receives plenty of attention and love - I have no idea why this behavior has started. Any ideas?
My first thought is always medical, since no amount of behavior mod will help if there's a physical problem. If the vet can't find anything wrong, then you have to assume it's a behavior problem.
Keep in mind that it might have been a temporary physical problem even if the vet signs off on her, so she may just need retraining.
If you've changed litters or there have been big changes or any traumatic
experiences lately, then look to that as a possible cause. Sometimes there are events that our cats are aware of, but we are not.
That having been said, preference for texture and location can change at any time, and maybe your cat just changed her mind about things.
Once it changes, the smell will reinforce the use of the "bad" area. At this point, the box is unattractive (for purposes of urination) and the bad area is attractive.
So you have to do the usual thing you do with cats. Make the box(es) more attractive, and the other area less attractive while praising good behavior and ignoring bad behavior.
Clean the soiled area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner or Atmosklear
and then prevent your cat from going in that exact spot by using aluminum foil, double sided tape, or an upside down rug.
If she finds a different area to go in, then she's still not happy with the box for some reason. Sometimes putting the box near that area is helpful, other times not.
If it gets to the point where you may need to give her up, then she's an extreme case. Either way, you may want to just cut to the chase.
The fastest and most controlled way to do litter box training is to confine the cat to one room, far away from the soiled area. Once retraining is complete, you then reintroduce your cat to the rest of the house and slowly put things back the way they were.
Please read Nancy Wigal's article on how to do cat litter box retraining
I hope things work out well for you and your kitty cat.