Ask Seth: Cat Litter Box Issue

We have an aging cat (15+ years old) who "forgets" where the litter box is and this cat eliminates inappropriately in two or three spots in the living room and dining room.  We've put pads down and that helps a little bit, but our floors are taking a beating.  What do we do? Liat Novek

I would first start having your cat seem by your veterinarian because this is a relatively new behavior.  Sometimes this is the cat’s way of telling us something is not right.  Cats in general are prone to urinary infections and kidney disease that becomes more prevalent with age.  This could also be due to other environmental stresses like new furniture, new pets and such.  Your veterinarian will rule out physical causes to this new behavior.  If that is the case, your vet may recommend that you increase the frequency you change the litter box or place a litter box in that room to allow another area that is okay to use for elimination.  You can even feed her where she urinates and this can discourage elimination in that area.   Cats are finicky.  I remember one case where an owner was at her wits end with a cat that vet has cleared of any medical issues.   After talking with her about what it could be she said that she was using a new type of litter that she bought in bulk and that is when the cat’s behavior began.   When she switched back, the cat stopped the urinating outside the litter box.  There are also cat urine eliminators that reduce or remove the odor of the urine.  I remember owners talking about a product nature’s miracle, urine off, or any other enzymatic cleaner should help bring your flooring back.

Do you have experience with cat litter box issues? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comment section below!

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1 Response

  1. Victoria says:

    I have several aging cats(the oldest 21 plus human years) and after making sure they had a clean bill of health from the Vet I set up a crate in the accommodating size for a litter box( using softer Litter as they age their joints hurt and they cannot scoop the heavier litter and I mixed what they were use to and decreased each week till they now use the lightest litter and I also lowered the type of Litter pan so they could get in and out easier) and put a indoor/outdoor capret and then the diaper pads on top which gave them the feel for their paws. The door to the crate stays blocked open and I used treats on the edge of the cage to teach them to go in. I did this in each room as needed. Now that they are doing well with the litter box I have covered the top and partial back and sides with a light weight fabric and added a pillow on top of each crate plus a scratch pole so they can get on top to sleep or watch the young cats play.

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