Bathroom Behavior Issues in Cats

Has your cat decided to leave the small confines of her designated bathroom and make the world her litter box? Cat behavioral problems in regard to litter box usage can have various causes. These causes can arise from an aversion to the location or type of litter, a preference for another surface (like your carpet), or even traumatic experiences she associates with her current litter box or possible medical related issues.

Surface Preferences

Your cat may decide the litter box is adequate for a quick pee but would rather poop somewhere else. Pooping outside of the litter box, particularly in places like your carpet or bed, can indicate that she has developed a preference for these types of softer surfaces. She may find the litter irritating and uncomfortable for her paws, so the first thing you should do is change the litter to a finer, clumping type of litter.

Do not allow your cat to go near her newly found “bathrooms” by blocking off access and clean the soiled areas with enzymatic cleaners like Odor Mute or Natures Miracle. It’s also worth spraying the affected area with strong perfumes to deter your cat from going to the bathroom there again.

Location Preferences

Your cat may up and decide she no longer likes the location of her current litter box, especially if you’ve recently moved it. It’s best to keep the litter box in the location she prefers, however, if that location is smack dab in the middle of the living room or some other inconvenient place, find a location that works best for both of you by making it as cat-friendly as possible. It should be an area with little to no noise, high visibility, and in a location not too isolated and scary, such as a basement.

Hostility with Other Cats

If you have multiple cats, one or more of them may be hogging access to the litter boxes while the excluded cat feels she can no longer go there. Sometimes a cat may have been harassed or threatened while using the litter box, and now has developed an aversion to it. To reduce these issues, make sure you have as many litter boxes in the house as there are cats (add one more for good measure), and put them in different locations. A cat will feel more comfortable using the litter box upstairs if she knows the other cat has his litter box downstairs.

Follow these tips, be willing to make compromises with the little fur ball, and she’ll be on her way to regularly using her litter box again. If you notice very little urination, painful urination, or blockage in your cat, this may indicate an underlying medical condition. Take her to the vet to rule out any issues, and while you’re there ask about anymore helpful advice for correcting bathroom behavioral issues.