The number one reason owners surrender their cats to shelters is inappropriate litterbox use and/or house-soiling. Unfortunately, statistics show that nationwide, approximately 2 out of every 3 cats are euthanized in shelters. The members of CRAFT feel it's important to help people find solutions to problems like this, rather than 'giving up' their family member. Here are some common reasons for inappropriate house-soiling:
- Urinary tract problems or other health issues. Urinary tract problems are very common and very serious, especially in male cats. If a cat's urethra become fully or partially blocked, they can die within hours. Signs of a blockage include straining to urinate, frequent urination, producing little or no urine, urinating in unusual places, licking genitals and crying in pain. If your cat is showing any of these symptoms, take him/her to a veterinarian immediately. More information.
- Has not yet been spayed/neutered.
- Cruelty, teasing or bullying by a family member or another pet.
- Scent of other cats brought in on hands, clothing, used cat furniture, etc.
Stress/anxiety from routine:
- New work schedule
- Recent move or remodel, changes to the home
- Upset by seeing cats, other animals outside
- Addition of new pets, roommates or guests
- Your absence, lack of attention/affection
- Not kept properly cleaned
- Not enough litterboxes in home
- Size is too small, too shallow, too confining if hooded
- Location is too noisy, too much traffic, is moved from former location, is inaccessible
- Is washed with harsh products/chemicals
- Scented litter (perfumed) is unappealing
- The type of litter is uncomfortable to cat's paws, especially to declawed cats (most cats prefer sand-like clumping)
Pay close attention to the cat's behavior - once the reason is pinpointed, the problem can be remedied with patience, understanding, some creativity and perhaps trial and error ... however, inappropriate punishment can exacerbate the problem.