When you have a cat that has been litter box trained for awhile, it can be quite disconcerting when that cat begins to have problems using their litter box. Whether your cat starts to miss their litter box and go around the sides or the edge or they begin leaving you surprises around the house, there are a myriad of reasons that could be causing their problem behavior. Get to know some of the reasons your cat may be having litter box issues so that you can be sure that you are taking the best possible care of your cat now and in the future.
A Urinary Tract Infection
One thing that cats and humans have in common is that both can develop urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections can also be referred to as feline lower urinary tract disease. This disease can cause numerous health issues including partial or full blockage in the urethra, bladder infections, kidney stones, bleeding of unknown origin in the urine, and several other issues.
A urinary tract infection can become extremely dangerous to your cat's health, as it can eventually cause severe kidney infections and issues. Treatment with antibiotics is often effective at eradicating a feline urinary tract infection and can get your cat back to using their litter box in no time. Specialty soft cat foods may also be recommended by your veterinarian to help hydrate your cat and flush out their system.
Stress or Major Change
Many cats are highly sensitive to changes in their environment and stress. Because of this, they may act out in seemingly strange ways in response to situations. If you have new people either living or staying in your house for any prolonged period of time, your cat may get territorial and begin marking to claim an area of the home as their own. They may also specifically target your guests' possessions.
Additionally, changes around your home like rearranging the furniture, remodeling, and construction work, or even a move to a new home can result in your cat experiencing issues with their litter box. Often, your cat will readjust and get back to normal behavior. However, if this is not the case, your veterinarian may be able to help.
When a cat is showing signs of extreme stress and the behaviors that go along with it (like marking, attacking or being aggressive with people and other animals, or chewing patches of hair off), a veterinarian may prescribe anti-anxiety medications for your cat. You may need to administer this medication to your cat on a daily basis at home, or your vet can administer an injection that can be effective for several months.
Now that you know a few of the reasons your cat may be having litter box issues, you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to keep your cat happy and healthy in your home.