Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. You do not mention an age but an increased appetite and thirst in cats would often be indicative of a hormonal disease such as diabetes or thyroid disease. You do not say whether she is unable to urinate/defecate or unwilling to use the tray but I would be concerned of an underlying pain or discomfort preventing this and also making her in need of more reassurance. Anxiety from bullying by stray cats can also cause behavior and training issues

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Cats stop using their litter boxes for a variety of reasons, including issues with the box or litter, dissatisfaction with the placement or number of boxes, changes in the environment inside or outside the house (e.g., a new pet in the house, feral cats prowling around outside), and undiagnosed medical conditions.
Diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism are common causes of increased thirst and urination in cats. Increased thirst and urination are symptoms of a number of common diseases, especially in cats over 10 years of age.
A long-term complication with overeating can have dangerous effects on your cat`s health and wellbeing. Polyphagia is a term used to describe a substantial increase in appetite and food consumption. There are few diseases known to increase your cat`s appetite, so the range of possible diagnoses is relatively small.
Primary causes of polyphagia can be behavioral or psychogenic. Reduction of stress, associating food with pleasure, simply liking a particularly palatable food — all might initiate eating too much. Failure to regulate the appetite centers because of a brain disorder is less common, but also possible.
What Is Pica in Cats? Pica is defined as the consistent chewing, sucking, or consumption of inappropriate and inedible materials, most commonly seen with cardboard, fabric, paper, plants, plastic, rubber, soil, and wood.
Three of the more common causes of excessive urination and excessive drinking in cats are diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism.
Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the body cannot properly produce or respond to the hormone insulin. This results in elevated levels of the sugar glucose in the blood, which is the main source of energy for the body. Like the human body, the cells in a cat`s body need sugar in the form of glucose for energy.
One of the lesser-known symptoms of diabetes in cats is increased appetite. This might manifest itself as your cat seeming hungrier than usual or even eating more than they usually would. Polyphagia is an increased appetite and is one of the important symptoms of cats with diabetes.
Many diabetic cats have a ravenous appetite, often pestering their owners for more food after clearing out their bowls. Many owners may not immediately realize, especially if their cat has long fur, that despite their cat`s limitless appetite, they are actually losing weight.
Cats who regularly try to gobble these or other items may have “pica,” a condition in which cats compulsively eat things that are not edible. Cats do sometimes eat inedible things for reasons other than pica, including boredom or anxiety. But if your cat noshes on anything unusual,check in with your vet.
Treatment of Polyphagia in Cats

Close regulation of food intake, provision of a higher fiber diet and division of the daily food allotment into several small feedings per day may help in appetite control.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), characterized by exaggerated, repetitive behaviors, can also affect cats. Causes of OCD in cats aren`t really known, and as such it`s generally characterized as a mental disorder, although it can be initiated by stress, says PetMD.
What is Pica? A feline with a mild case of pica may suck or lick on inedible objects, but not actually consume said object. However, in severe cases of pica, the feline will consume the object entirely, posing a risk for intestinal blockage, tearing of the digestive tract, toxicity, and electrocution.
Think food puzzles to engage minds and bodies, vertical space for climbing and surveying their domain, scratching posts, safe outdoor access (like a catio), window perches and interactive play. “Play is an important part of relieving stress,” Delgado says. “It helps cats release those feel-good hormones.”
Place a new litterbox near where the inappropriate urination is occurring to encourage your kitty to use it. After several days, move it two to three feet closer to the original location every day until it is back where it belongs.
The typical cat with hyperthyroidism is middle-aged or older; the average age of affected cats is approximately 12 years. Only about 5% of hyperthyroid cats are younger than 10.
What is the prognosis for cats diagnosed with Feline Hyperthyroidism? If effectively managed, cats with hyperthyroidism can live for many years with a very good quality of life. If untreated, this disease will cause uncontrolled weight loss, severe heart disease and eventually death.
Overall, the median survival time of cats treated with methimazole alone has been reported as approximately 2 years, while those treated with methimazole followed by 131I had a median survival time of 5.3 years.
So how do indoor cats get infected with worms? Indoor cats will hunt just about anything in your home. Rodents, insects, and other household pests harbor worm eggs, which are passed on to your cat when he devours them. Mice and the common house fly are just two of the many critters that can carry roundworms eggs.
Because worms are parasites that feed on your cat`s nutrients and, in some cases their blood, cats can develop a host of health problems, such as anaemia. In severe cases of worm infestations, they can block the intestines, causing very serious health issues. In rare cases, worms can be fatal, especially for kittens.
Even though there are classic signs of diabetes in cats, other diseases can act the same way. Kidney disease, an overactive thyroid gland, liver disease and urinary tract infections can all have similar presenting signs and look the same outwardly to the veterinarian.
In cats with severe or uncontrolled diabetes, the breakdown in fat and muscle can lead to a further syndrome called ketoacidosis which, if left untreated, will progress from vomiting, diarrhoea and severe dehydration to coma and death.
A dangerous, sometimes fatal metabolic acidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) may develop. In untreated cats with diabetes, excessive ketones are produced, resulting in ketonuria and DKA accompanied by electrolyte imbalances. Ketoacidosis is a serious condition that can ultimately lead to an acidotic coma and death.
The most common changes are weight loss, poor hair quality, halitosis (bad breath), and variable appetite, which may be associated with mouth ulcers, lethargy, and depression. Less common signs include increased drinking or urinating, vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. I have a cat that defecates in the litter box but always urinates outside the box. It is very annoying.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his eliminating outside the box.

If medical issues are ruled out, take a look at other reasons. Has there been a lot of unusual activity? Has you cat been left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Is it big enough? Have you changed the type or brand of litter? Is there something attractive about the spot he uses? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out to express their dissatisfaction.

The general rule is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped daily, if not more often and changed completely weekly, washed with soap and water only. You can offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystals, it makes a hissing sound when wet that startles some cats and make them reluctant to use it again. The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure any other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litter box. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation. And, when cleaning up pet accidents, don’t use any cleaner containing ammonia. This leaves behind a scent similar to urine.

Q. My cat will not stop going to the toilet on my carpet, bed, washing pile etc.. Also uses its litter box occasionally? I don’t understand why this is?
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his eliminating outside the box.
If medical issues are ruled out, take a look at other reasons. Has there been a lot of unusual activity? Has you cat been left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Is it big enough? Have you changed the type or brand of litter? Is there something attractive about the spot he uses? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out to express their dissatisfaction.
The general rule is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped daily, if not more often and changed completely weekly, washed with soap and water only. You can offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystals, it makes a hissing sound when wet that startles some cats and make them reluctant to use it again. The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure any other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litter box. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation. And, when cleaning up pet accidents, don’t use any cleaner containing ammonia. This leaves behind a scent similar to urine.

Q. Our cat of six years has on two separate occasions has defecated on the living room rug and recently pee’d on the skirt of the Christmas tree.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his eliminating outside the box.

If medical issues are ruled out, take a look at other reasons. Has there been a lot of unusual activity? Has you cat been left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Is it big enough? Have you changed the type or brand of litter? Is there something attractive about the spot he uses? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out to express their dissatisfaction.

The general rule is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped daily, if not more often and changed completely weekly, washed with soap and water only. You can offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystals, it makes a hissing sound when wet that startles some cats and make them reluctant to use it again. The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure any other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litter box. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation. And, when cleaning up pet accidents, don’t use any cleaner containing ammonia. This leaves behind a scent similar to urine.

Q. My cat started to pee outside the litter box. What should I do?
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate bathroom use in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his defecating outside the box.

Once medical issues are ruled out, it’s time to take a look at other explanations. Has there been a lot of activity that wasn’t normal? Were you away and your cat was left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox located in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet, or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Have you changed the brand of litter or kind? Or is there something about the spot he has chosen to use that is attracting him in some way? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out as a way of expressing their dissatisfaction.

The general rule of thumb is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped at least daily, if not more often and changed completely on a weekly basis, and washed with soap and water.

You can also offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystal kind, since it makes a hissing sound when wet that can startle some cats and make them reluctant to use it again.

The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litterbox. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation.

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. My cat is pooping outside of the litter bix. He is 2 1/2. He did this as a kitten. It stopped then started about 3 months ago. Litterbox is clean.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination or house soiling can be a frustrating problem but with a bit of detective work on your part, there is hope. First, before deciding that this is a behavioral issue, any medical problems (diarrhea, constipation, fecal incontinence, pain on defecation, etc.) need to be ruled out and/or treated. If your cat receives a clean bill of health from your vet but is still eliminating outside the litterbox, then we need to consider that something about the box itself might be aversive to your cat. Cats can be quite finicky about their litterbox and toileting habits. Below I have listed common recommendations and cat preferences for litterbox use. Review the list and make any changes that could account for your cat’s aversion to defecating in the litterbox:
* Soft, fine-grained clumping litter (vs, coarse-grained, non-clumping litter)
* Unscented
* 1 – 1 1/2 inch depth (especially older cats or cats with hip problems)
* Larger pans (especially for large cats) – want to get whole body inside – poop just outside the box might mean the box is too small
* Open, non-hooded
* At least one shallow side to get in and out easily
* Easy to get to – not hidden away, preferably in areas they spend time in or near – and not near appliances that make scary, unpredictable noises (washers, dryers, refrigerators)
* Scoop minimum 1X/day – preferably 2
* Clean the litterbox with soap and water and put in fresh scoopable litter at least once/month (instead of just continuously adding)
* Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in a separate box, so you may need 2 boxes even if you just have 1 cat. Multi-cat households should have 1 box/cat plus 1 extra.

Q. My cat seems to have lost control of her bowels and no longer uses her litter box even to urinate. She is 5 or 6 yrs and is in good health otherwise
ANSWER : A. If your cat has had a sudden change in litter box habits, it is always a good idea to rule out any underlying issues with a wellness check from your vet. Bringing in a urine and stool sample if possible can also help as tests can be run on these samples to check for common infections or parasites. If these are present, treating them usually helps resolve the problem of not using the box.

Loss of bowel control usually results in dribbling of feces or urine rather than complete accidents. If you are seeing this, it is possible that an injury to the hind end or problem with the nerves or muscles is happening and should be looked at by your vet.

If the accidents are complete (full amount of stool, big puddle of urine) your cat may be choosing not to use the litter box due to illness, a too-dirty litter, litter pans that are too tall (which may make older cats have a harder time getting in and out), or a litter substrate that was changed too suddenly. Sometimes, changing the environment your cat’s litter box is in by lowering the sides, moving food and water dishes away and returning back to a previously liked litter can help.

In any area of an accident, an enzymatic cleaner should be used. These break down urine and stool particles, making it so that your cat is less likely to be attracted to going there again. Moving stools to the litter box can also entice your cat to start going there again.

Q. Cat is deficating on rugs, not litter box. Has never done this until this year. We drove from NY to FL, could there be a connection?
ANSWER : A. Sudden changes in bowel or litter box behavior can be caused by both behavioral or medical reasons. Scheduling a wellness exam with your local vet to rule out any problems (and also to bring in a stool sample) is the best first step. Problems such as digestive upset, constipation, diarrhea or even arthritis in older cats making it harder to get into the box can all cause this problem.

If your cat checks out healthy, it is possible that stress such as another person or pet in the home, age, or environment are causing the problem. Make sure that the litter used is the same, and if it needs to be changed that it is done gradually- cats are very picky about what they like as litter. Making sure bedding, food and water are not too close to the litter can also help as cats do not like to potty near these objects usually. For arthritic cats, a step or lowered box can make getting in and out easier to allow for proper use of the box. Keeping the box clean is also a must for cats.

As for cleaning up accidents, using a product such as an enzymatic cleaner may be helpful. These products break down urine and stool particles left in the accident area, and may deter your cat from using the spot as a bathroom again.