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Quick Ways To Ensure Your Cat’s Litter Box Problem Will Never Resolve

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Cat urine is a substance all its own. Even the most devoted cat lover would prefer it to stay in the litter box. If your cat is not using his box, there are certainly some common and easy ways to guarantee that he will never again have good habits and will always be able to surprise you with inconveniently wet and smelly socks.

Decide that your cat is trying to spite or punish you.

Clients sometimes tell me that their cat is acting out of spite by urinating outside his litter box. At times the act seems like a personal message because the cat chooses items that have significance to their owner to urinate on. Often the affront is noticed later and the owner deduces that the behavior is related to an action on the part of the owner, like being away. Even worse is when clients DON’T tell me because they are already certain the inappropriate urination is a behavior issue for the cat. If you write the behavior off as a choice, your cat never gets help and your frustration grows.

Blow off Medical Causes of the behavior.

If your cat has a medical reason for inappropriate urination, like urinary tract disease, diabetes or orthopedic pain, these must be investigated and managed initially or all efforts to modify your cat’s behavior will fail. And even worse, an untreated medical problem can become a behavior problem that lingers long after the inciting cause if not promptly identified and managed.

Urinating outside the litter box is a frustrating problem. Many cats are surrendered to animal shelters or destroyed because of this problem. If your cat is eliminating in places other than the litter box, medical causes must be ruled before behavioral issues can even be considered.

Animals are just too honest to practice malice. They can barely understand punishment for their own actions, much less understand and coordinate a punishment system for yours.

After you have explored and addressed any underlying medical issue, the problem might become just a memory. If it doesn’t, there are certainly things you can do to retrain your cat to make elimination choices that you can live with, but do not be too quick to write it off as spite or anger. Remember, animals usually have a reason for their actions and it is often much more pure than human motivations. If you decide that you know why your cat is doing this and never seek help, it is a sure fire way to cement the behavior permanently.

Written by Dr. Kathryn Primm

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