In the never-ending battle of dogs vs. cats, pet owners have taken a strong stand for their favorites. Dog lovers claim that canines are far more affectionate and loyal, while cat lovers stress that felines are more independent and better behaved. There is, of course, no clear victor of which species is better, since all animals are different and, let’s face it, absolutely adorable.
One thing we can say for certain, however, is that cats are easier to house train than dogs. Puppies generally have to be confined to a small space with newspapers on the floor in order to learn that it’s not okay to go indoors. But most kittens urinate and defecate in their litter boxes from the outset but, of course, there are the exceptions. 10% of felines relieve themselves outside of their litter boxes, which can be quite frustrating and baffling for owners. Take comfort in knowing that this is not a signal of stupidity; in fact, you can argue it means quite the opposite!
If your furry friend is refusing to use its litter box, it may be because the contraption simply does not live up to your cat’s standards. Perhaps it is too large or small, or simply smells quite right. Experiment with size by giving your cat diverse options and seeing which one he or she is drawn to. Stiff joints might be preventing from your cat comfortably climbing into or using the designated space, so make sure to provide selections with varying heights as well. If this does not work, freshen the scent with products like Litter Magnet and you might be pleasantly surprised by how swiftly your genteel feline responds.
We think of felines as graceful and sly, and yet a shrewd hunter rests beneath your companion’s lustrous coat. Unlike their canine counterparts, many house cats will even pursue their own food! Feral or wild cats mark their territory with urine so, when your domesticated pet sprays about the house, he or she is simply trying to communicate and feel at home. Want to lessen this nuisance? You can diminish your cat’s territorial instincts by having your pet spayed or neutered. However, if surgery is an option you don’t want to consider, lessen your friend’s exposure to other animals by simply closing the window blinds. Additionally, Feliway is a synthetic cat pheromone that has been proven to relieve stress in cats, making them far less likely to mark their territory. It must be applied directly to the areas that your cat has marked soon after the incident occurs. Urine-Away Stain and Odor Eliminator will help diminish the smell and, therefore, lessen your cat’s desire to return to the same spot.
If the urination outside the litter box persists, it is important to inform your vet, especially if it comes in the form of puddles on the ground rather than elevated sprays. This could be a symptom of a plethora of possible medical conditions, including bacterial infections, hyperthyroidism, arthritis and cognitive difficulties. A full physical examination will help rule out many of these ailments so you can breathe easy knowing that your feline friend is plenty healthy, if not a wee bit mischievous.