While cats can be entertaining and affectionate indoor companions, sometimes problem behaviours emerge. One such problem occurs when female cats urinate in inappropriate places in the home. The root cause for this behaviour may be physical, psychological or instinctual. You will need to determine the cause for your cat's behaviour, which can help you determine which strategies can correct it.
Clean your cat's litter box out every day and place it in an accessible spot away from noise and objects she may be afraid of. Show her the new place for the litter box if you move it.
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Take your cat to the veterinarian for a checkup. Ask your vet to check for any health problems that may be causing the incontinence; illnesses, such as bladder infections and serious diseases, can cause incontinence in cats.
Ask yourself a series of questions to find the trigger for your cat's behaviour: Does she urinate in the same places over and over? Are there certain times of the day when she exhibits this behaviour? Can you identify an event that triggers the behaviour? If you find an event or object that is causing the behaviour, remove the event or object if it is possible.
Eliminate the urine odour that is attracting your cat back to the same spots by using a fluorescent black light to find the urine stains. Clean the areas with a cleaner made especially for pet odours, and use a cat deterrent in the areas your cat has been urinating.
Train your cat to stop the inappropriate behaviour by creating an unpleasant consequence that your cat will associate with urinating in inappropriate places. Place 1/2 cup of coins or rocks in a metal can and shake the can when you catch your cat urinating in an undesirable place. Then place her in front of her litter box. Be consistent with this method for at least several days.
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Reward your cat for using her litter box. Offer her a treat and plenty of affection when you see her coming out of the box.
- Fluorescent black lights and cat deterrent can be purchased at most pet stores.
- If your cat likes urinating on soft surfaces, you can try using shredded newspaper or pine shavings in her litter box instead of traditional cat litter.
- If your cat likes urinating on smooth surfaces, try leaving the litter box empty except for a thin layer of litter at one end of the box.
- Do not let your cat see you shaking the can because she needs to associate the noise with her behaviour and not with you.
- Never hit, kick or scold your cat, as this will only cause her to be afraid of you.
- Do not clean urine spots with ammonia or any other strong-smelling household cleaners, as this can actually attract the cat to that spot.