?

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. I would isolate them to a room until they begin using their litter. Pick up any bedding or items they would urinate on. Do not allow them access to the house until they are using their litter.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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

Your cat might pee on your bed because he`s really uncomfortable with his litter box. You need at least one litter box per household cat, plus one additional box. Put them in different locations throughout the house, including at least one spot in a private area away from noise and traffic.
Urinary tract infection, diabetes, and kidney disease are all common conditions in cats that can cause an inability to make it to the litter box or an aversion to using the box. If your cat urinates on your bed or anywhere else that isn`t the litter box, make an appointment with your veterinarian right away.
Common reasons for cats to stop using their litter boxes include urinary tract disease or other health issues, a litter box that isn`t cleaned often enough, or stress caused by a change in the household, such as a new pet or family member.
If your cat has left urine on your bedding, no need to panic—the stain and odor can be removed in a few simple steps. As soon as you spot the stain, remove the bedding and treat it with an enzyme-based stain remover formulated for pet stains or a dab of heavy-duty laundry detergent. Then, wash as recommended.
Cleaning the area thoroughly with vinegar first and then applying an enzyme treatment will break down and evaporate the uric acid and your home will be free of cat odors. Vinegar and enzyme cleaners work on all surfaces: hardwood floors, carpets, mattresses.
As a general rule, cats are sensitive when it comes to smells, but there are a few scents they hate that might just surprise you. They can`t stand citrus and as much as you might love the smell of fresh herbs, cats hate rosemary and thyme. Banana and mustard are a big no-no too, as well as lavender and eucalyptus.
But while it might be a biological problem, says Dr. Eatroff, cats usually pee on a bed due to an issue that is rooted in anxiety and stress, which can affect several hormonal and chemical balances in the body.
There are many behavioural reasons why cats may begin to urinate inappropriately. Frustration, stress, or anxiety can sometimes cause a cat to change their urinating habits. Any change in their routine, such as a new person in the household or moving house, can lead to changes in urination.
Cats with UTIs try to urinate very frequently, they may pass only small amounts of urine, they may strain to urinate, they may cry out or whine when urinating, and there may be blood visible in their urine. Urinating outside of the litterbox is also a red flag that something is wrong in the bladder.
Regular laundry detergent as well as other typical cleaning supplies, such as baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide, can make the smell go away, but this is temporary. Some people recommend adding baking soda or vinegar to the wash.
Scented litter

A thin layer of baking soda placed on the bottom of the box will help absorb odors without repelling your cat.

Baking soda has great properties that deodorize the smell of urine. Sodium bicarbonate is the substance baking soda is made of, and it`s amazing at soaking up odors. You can sprinkle it on the carpet or furniture after you`ve cleaned your cat`s urine, make sure the area is dry before doing so.
Texture: Sticky paper, aluminum foil, heavy plastic or a plastic carpet runner (knubby side up) can be placed in areas you want to be off limits. Cats hate walking on these surfaces.
Given that catnip can have a calming, soothing effect, it can be used to: help reduce a cat`s stress and anxiety when going to the vet, help reduce stress when traveling, help with urinary issues (note that stress is a major contributing factor to urinary obstruction in cats!).
Do not rub your cat`s nose in his urine. Do not throw things at your cat. Do not clean up accidents with an ammonia-based cleanser. Urine contains ammonia, so cleaning with ammonia can attract your cat that same spot to urinate again.
Cats will miss their owners when they are gone, but the response to a cat missing you may vary. Some kitties may express their sadness through purring, meowing, or following their owner around, while others may show no outward signs of sadness. Here are some common signs your cat missed you: Meowing and Crying.
Avoid loud noises and abrupt movements that might startle your cat. Refrain from looming over him, since it makes you appear larger and potentially threatening. Instead sit down on the floor to put yourself at his level. Try inviting your cat into your space instead of moving into his space.
If you think your cat is upset with you, give them some space to calm down and give it some time. The best thing you can do is back off and show them that you recognize that you`ve hurt them and that you`re going to stop doing what you were doing.
Although cats don`t instinctually work in partnership with humans, they can learn to follow commands and perform tricks just like dogs. Cat training can also provide positive mental and physical stimulation for cats, which can help reduce anxiety, aggression, or other destructive cat behaviors.
Eliminating outside the litter box is one way for your cat to mark their territory—and signals that they`re not feeling confident in their own home. According to Bell, cats might pee in unusual spots to mask an unfamiliar scent or pee on your favorite belongings because meshing your scent and theirs provides comfort.
Multiple things can cause your house to smell like cat urine, even if you don`t have a cat. Investigate if there is mold, leaking Freon, sewer gases, smelly plants, spoiled food, or even stains from previous pet owners.
Boxes should be cleaned on a regular basis, at least twice weekly, but sometimes daily changes are necessary. Unclean litter boxes can make cats more susceptible to developing urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Add ½ teaspoon of vinegar with 1 teaspoon chicken broth to your cat`s canned food each day. If your cat is currently suffering from UTI, the use of apple cider vinegar should alleviate their symptoms within a few days. If symptoms do not improve, consult a veterinarian.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

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. 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 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. 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. 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.

Q. We have a female cat that has started to pee in the floor. She has been fixed for years but refuses to use her box.
ANSWER : A. Sudden changes in litter box habits can be caused by a number of things. As with any sudden change in behavior, making sure your cat is healthy with a checkup from your vet is the first step. Common problems such as arthritis or even urinary tract infections may make a cat unable to use their box, or cause accidents to happen. Once the health issue has been addressed, you can also address the behavioral one. Cleaning with an enzymatic cleaner on accident spots will remove urine enzymes and deter cats from using the area again to go potty. For older cats with arthritis, using a box with lower sides or a ramp into it can help make getting in and out easier. If the litter has been changed recently to a different type, it may need to be switched back to the older litter and then gradually changed to the new as cats can be VERY picky about the litter type used. And lastly, making sure the box is clean and that food, water and bedding areas are not too close to the box can help encourage your cat to go appropriately.