Understanding Your Cat’s Litter Box Habits

Understanding Your Cat’s Litter Box Habits

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    Cats don’t need to be house trained like a dog; they already have the natural inclination to seek out soil in which to bury their feces and urine. Training your cat to use the litter box isn’t an issue, but understanding the behavior of your cat in relation to the litter box and maintenance is essential for having a healthy and sane cat.

    Litter Box and Territorial Claims

    A lot of the habits your cat will exhibit in and around the litter box are territory related. Cat urine and feces are a way to mark a territory, especially for male cats. When a cat is uncertain of their pecking order, they will bury their feces and urine to hide their presence. Cats that nervously bury urine and feces tend to be very uncomfortable with their surroundings and very uncertain as to whether or not they hold any rank or leverage in the home.

    If you have a cat that refuses to bury its feces or urine, your cat either is an alpha cat with an inclination to promote its dominance in the household or your cat is elderly and simply lazy or too sore/arthritic to put as much attention into burying feces and urine in the litter box.

    Urinating Outside the Litter Box

    If you notice your cat is urinating or pooping outside the litter box, it can be a sign of multiple issues, but the most common include a dirty litter box or urinary/intestine issues.

    Clean the litter box: Cats are very clean animals and can be very finicky about their surrounding being clean as well. Your cat’s litter box if filled too much with urine and feces can make the cat think twice about using the litter box and instead seek other locations to defecate and urinate. Your cat might also urinate and defecate in other locations if you introduce a new cat and your older cat wishes to protest or claim dominance over the household.

    Have your cat tested for UTI or intestinal issues: If your cat experiences pain when urinating or defecating, they will associate the litter box with the pain sometimes and decide to potty elsewhere. A cat that has frequent urination trouble or complains while using the litter box likely has an infection or even crystals/stones in the bladder that can cause serious health issues if left untreated.

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