By Peter Coleshaw
Weeing or pooing in places other than the litter tray is a very common problem.
But your cat is not being naughty or mean – this is a clear indication something is wrong from your cat’s perspective. However, the cause is not always easy to determine and professional help may be required.
Toileting issues should not be confused with marking, where the cat sprays urine on vertical surfaces, tail held up, quivering, rather than squatting in a tray.
However just to confuse things, toileting on the bed may sometimes be triggered by anxiety.
First step with this problem is to look at the cat’s toilet – the litter tray. Some cats are really fussy, so much so that as soon as a tray is soiled they will refuse to use it – so if there is only one tray and that’s soiled, they have to find somewhere else! General rule is one tray per cat and then one more – as a minimum.
The type of litter can be crucial too – ever tried walking on wood pellets? – it can be painful. Most cats prefer a fine-grain litter. There is an excellent page on toileting on the catinfo.org website.
It is important to clean soiled areas thoroughly – but don’t use scented products, and no need for anything fancy or expensive – a solution of biological washing powder does the trick by digesting away the organic odours.
Most importantly, don’t ignore the issue and hope it will go away – once the urine gets to the underlay, the only solution is a new carpet, and things will usually get worse –so, seek advice sooner rather than later.
Jaffa’s Health Centre for Cats – http://www.jaffavets.com/
52 St Francis Road,
Salisbury, SP1 3QS