All right folks, I’ve been hassled about this forever. We’re going to talk about litter boxes. As cats are all little individual snowflakes, they all come from the same place, from that big cat cloud, right And like any other cloud, a little bit of pee must fall, or dingleberries, or let’s get catified. All right, folks, we’re going to break this down in a very fast fashion because there’s a lot of information to cover in a very short amount of time. Now here’s the first thing. If your cat is peeing or pooping outside the box, number one,.
Go to the vet. Rule things out. Get a urinalysis done. Get a full blood panel done. Make sure that your cat’s not acting out from a very simple physical place. You got to know. I’ve had cases in the past where a cat has actually been acting out this was in the shelter environment. The cat was within a day of being euthanized because of this behavior problem. And a friend of mine who’s a fantastic vet had the presence of mind to check the cat’s mouth. And sure enough, that cat had an abscessed tooth.
And that’s why the cat was acting out, not using a litter box. And that abscessed tooth almost cost that cat her life. So let’s think about this. Again, rule number one, go to the vet. Now here’s the next really important chunk. You have to know the tools of the trade here. You’ve got to know what you’re going to need in order to solve the problem. You know I’ve talked to you about this before. It’s the power of journaling. This helps you in a number of different ways.
Why Does My Cat Pee Outside The Litter Box
You step away from the pee. You step away from the poop. It’s not all about you and it’s not all about the fact that you’re angry because your cat peed. You’re looking for the whats, the wheres, the hows, the whens, the whys. Now if this wasn’t happening a week ago and now it’s starting to happen regularly, what changed in my home All about observation, not interpretation. Also use blue tape. Now I’ve talked about this as well. You have paper tape that painter’s use and every time your cat pees, you.
Put an x down on the ground. The anti treasure map is what I call this guy, right You’re going to look at that after a week of cleaning up and put that x down, you’ll know exactly what’s going on. The thing that you called random, not so random anymore. You know that there’s a pattern. Also a black light, really important. If you want to discover what’s going on in your house, I’m telling you, take a deep breath. It’s not something you’re going to like but it will give you the tools.
Clean it up. Put your anti treasure map X marks the spot down there and you are going to have a glimpse into what’s making your cat insecure. I believe that almost all litter box problems come down to two things. It’s either a physical problem or it revolves around territorial insecurity slash anxiety. Really important. You got to know the difference between peeing and marking, spraying. Is your cat backing up to a wall and spraying that wall, spraying the vertical world there, the walls And then it comes down and drips onto the ground.
If they’re squatting on the floor, it’s probably something a little different although it still can be a very insecure statement on their part. But take a look at where your cat is marking. Now a lot of times marking is going to happen by the front door, by the back door, under the windows. I call that perimeter marking. Now you’ve got to take a look at what is causing your cat to go, there are barbarians at the gate. We have got to keep the Alamo safe here. It’s the Alamo effect, right.
What’s going on outside that window Chances are, you’ve got cats in your neighborhood. What can you do about cats outside your house We’ll get into that in later episodes. Right now, this is all about diagnosing, not just quick fixes. We’ve got another one that I see a lot of. If your cat’s going right outside the litter box, in my experience anyway, here’s what’s going on. Your cat wants to go in that litter box. They are they know that this is the place I’m supposed to go. But they can’t do it.
Why is that Because something I believe, almost always, when it’s right outside that box, they’re telling us something. Now, could it be territorial insecurity Are they marking right outside that box to send a message to somebody else in the home Possibly. But here’s the great thing, if you’re doing your journaling, if you’re doing your cat detective work, you’ll know, is this a one off thing, that they’re going in this one spot right outside the litter box Or are they creating a semicircle around that box to protect that box.
From what From a dog, from a kid. A lot of this is rational thinking after the fact. And if you notice, there’s no room in here for emotional reactions. That’s what causes cats to lose their homes. You think I’m kidding here but I’ve been working in this business for 20 years. I have accepted more cats into my shelter because they peed on the floor, they peed on the pool table, they were pooping in a bed. And we had no idea why they were doing it and emotionally we could not handle that.
And that’s what cost these cats their homes and a lot of times their lives. Please step back. Start looking at things like a detective, like a journalist. You’re going to get where you need to go. All right, folks, until next time, don’t forget you can find me on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook and Google Plus and YouTube, all these fun places. Watch the Animalist Network. There’s all kinds of fun stuff happening on Animalist. And catch me soon, we’ll be doing another live Google Hangout. Lots more fun stuff, giveaways aplenty are all coming.