Cats are clean animals by nature and are quite fussy about where they toilet. One of the most common behavioural issues regarding cats is inappropriate toileting outside of the litter tray.

Try these tips

Desex your pet

Your cat is likely to be marking if it is mainly urinating outside of the litter tray, or if your cat is urinating or spraying on vertical surfaces or new objects. A cat that is not desexed is more likely to spray and mark its territory. Marking behaviours are more likely to occur in households with more than one animal, where there may be increased tension between pets. Desexing your cat as soon as possible will help reduce the level of spraying or urine marking. However, if the behaviour has been ongoing for a period of time, a pattern may already be in place. To reduce undesirable toileting behaviours in this instance, restrict your cat’s access to other animals and other rooms in the house. When cleaning soiled areas, use neutral agents not containing ammonia that will clean the area thoroughly. Ammonia based products can encourage the animal to re-visit and mark the area again. The National Desexing Network can also help you find local vets in your area offering services at discounted prices.


Problem with the litter tray

Cats are quite fussy about where they will toilet so it’s important that you keep their litter tray clean and free from odours. Cleaning in warm, soapy water is best. Some cats may not like the area you have chosen for the tray. If your cat is frequently going to the same area to toilet, it might be an idea to either change the significance of this area (place it’s bedding or food bowls there) or place a second tray for the cat to use in that area. Experimenting slowly with different types of litter or litter trays may also assist.


Speak to a veterinarian

Checking in with a professional with help you understand why your cat is having difficulty toileting. If the change is sudden, it’s especially important to rule out any potential medical issues.Your vet may refer you to a behavioural specialist for assessment and treatment. RSPCA NSW recommends that any behaviour specialist you consult should practise positive reinforcement training techniques as the basis of training. This simply means rewarding `good` behaviour and avoiding reinforcing `unwanted` behaviour. Your veterinarian can provide further advice. They may discuss for example, feline pheromone sprays or diffusers which can help stressed or anxious cats.

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