P, outside the box…
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Cynthia: One of the most pressing questions I get about cats is, “How do I stop my cat from urinating outside the box?”
This is usually conveyed in a desperate, almost hysterical manner by the cat parent. And it’s usually asked at the point when the cat mom or dad is about to seriously consider giving up their cat.
penelope kitten (gasping): squeak!
Cynthia: I get it. It’s awful. Horribly terrifyingly awful. Cat pee reeks and infiltrates not only one’s nostrils, but the entire house, clothes, carpet, furniture, walls, and eventually leads to panic, depression, and hopelessness. For the person.
Really. I am not exaggerating.
Below are the five tips to try to get your kitty using the litter box again. How do I know about these tips? Well, because all four kittens from Penelope’s litter (P included) have had “peeing outside the box” issues at some stage in their 5 years on this planet. The tips below are what cured every one of them from the habit.
penelope kitten (squeaking): sorry about that.
Cynthia: Ah, it’s okay P. Tell everyone how we helped you.
Penelope Kitten grabs her notes and addresses her readers.
penelope kitten: ahem ahem. hi hi. Let’s talk –
1. p tip: take your kitty to the vet to rule out a medical issue such as diabetes or urinary crystals (common in male cats).
2. p tip: change litter. try unscented (us cats hate perfumed litter). try Cat Attract brand litter. try a wheat based litter if the first two don’t work (it’s soft on our pads, some cats like it/some don’t).
3. p tip: add more litterboxes (the Jackson Galaxy rule of one box per cat plus one) and put them in places you will hate – like next to your couch or the middle of your bedroom. (don’t worry once the problem is solved you can move them to a less conspicuous area).
4. p tip: get a purple Calming Collar for all the cats in the household. (it’s possible your kitty is reacting to another household cat’s aggression, bullying, or territorial behavior, and you may not have picked up on it). please be sure to read the instructions and watch for any kind of allergic reaction to the collar.
5. p tip: play with your cats. a lot. happy cats are cats that get lots of stimulation and hunting practice.
p tip plus: if these 5 tips don’t work, pretty please go back to your vet and ask about kitty medications such as Prozac.
Cynthia: Thank you, Penelope. Wow. Cats sure are sensitive and emotional creatures.
penelope kitten (agreeing): so sensitive.
Cynthia: They pick up on the slightest change in the household and sometimes their stress is reflected in their behavior about the box.
Marcy (chiming in): So stupid. That’s too much money to spend on stupid cats with bad etiquette and mental health problems.
Cynthia (sighing): Marcy. C’mon now…
penelope kitten (squeaking mad): hey hey. be nice. (whap) we all have feelings.
Marcy: Feelings are stupid.