Ask Dr Claire

My indoor cat has started to pee & poo outside the litter box in one spot in the lounge room. There have been other cats outside and I don’t know how to stop him doing it

Cat’s peeing and pooping outside the litter tray is a common problem. This change in behaviour can be understandably very frustrating and cause a disconnect between you and your beloved cat.
We need to understand why your fur baby is doing this so that we can address the problem.

Some of the underlying causes of this might be:

•Not wanting to go in an already used litter tray (litter trays need to be cleaned daily and straight after a poop)

•  Stress (a change in their environment i.e. cats coming into their territory and seeing them through the window)
•  Medical issue requiring treatment (such as a urinary tract infection or kidney issue)

A hands-on examination from your local vet would be a great place to start. They may even recommend a blood and urine test as a great way to assess your cat’s health.

If your cat is healthy, first steps are:
• Regularly clean the litter tray
• Thoroughly clean the area that is being pee’d on (the scent must be eliminated or your little angel will continue to return to the same spot. Their sense of smell is far more sensitive than ours and regular cleaning products won’t do- try a product such as Urine-Off).
• Relocate your fur baby to an area they are yet to christen.
• Identify any changes at home that may be a source of stress (home perfume, litter type, house guests etc.) and remove or address if possible.

It’s worth trying a stress reducing device such as Feliway (artificial feline pheromone which is calming to cats). This plugs into an outlet and is best used in the room she is spending most time. However, some extreme cases may require medications from your vet.

If you’d like to chat in person, you can book me on a live video call or start a chat to discuss in more detail, as soon as possible.

I’m here to help!

Chat soon,
Dr Claire

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