Inappropriate Elimination (Cats)
A dislike of the litter box and/or litter
Stress related misbehavior (including territory marking or spraying).
A new person (especially a baby) in the house
A person that has recently left the house (permanently or temporarily)
New pieces of furniture, new drapes, or new carpet
Rearrangement of the furniture or litter box
Moving to a new house
A new pet in the house
A pet that has recently left the house
A cat in heat in the neighborhood
A new dog or cat in the neighborhood that can be heard by the indoor cat
A litter box that is not being cleaned frequently enough
Some kind of incident that makes a covered box undesirable (cat is too large now, smell, stressed by surroundings or other animals while inside the box, etc)
The duration is less than one month when treatment begins
There only one or two locations in the house which the cat uses for inappropriate elimination
It is possible to identify and relieve the stress-causing situation
It is possible to neutralize the odor caused by the urine or stool
You have only one cat
A. A product to neutralize the odor of the urine or stool should be used in places where inappropriate urination or defecation has occurred. If the objectionable location is on carpet, it is necessary to treat the carpet and the pad below because most of the odor will be in the pad. This usually means soaking the carpet with the neutralizing product so it penetrates into the pad. Test an inconspicuous piece of carpet for staining before using any odor neutralizing product.
B. Cover the area(s) with aluminum foil and secure it to the carpet or furniture with masking tape. Aluminum foil is a suface on which most cats will not walk.
C. If the soil in potted plants is being used a few things can be tried to repel the cat:
Spray Bitter Apple around and on the pot.
Fill an un-penetratable object with moth balls. Poke holes in the container so the smell is apparant.
Place orange peels at the base of the plant.
Place a bowl of vinegar near the plant
Place larger pebbles on top of the soil in the pot. This will deter any digging by your cat.
A. Purchase a new litter box; even well-cleaned litter boxes have odor deep inside the plastic. It is important to remember that although we like our privacy, some cats find a hooded litter box undesirable.
B. Purchase non-scented clumping litter to start. If your cat has not been using this kind of litter, it will usually find it more desirable than the scented clay types. This increases the chances that the new litter box will be used. In the instance that your cat has a substrate aversion, there may be some trial and error in finding the substrate your cat will use. Fortunately, there are many types of litter to choose from: dirt, sand, pine pellets, newspaper pellets, shredded paper, crystal balls, non-clumping clay, clumping-clay, scented and non-scented of most types...and the list goes on. Once you find something that works- stick with it!
C. Place the new litter box near the area of inappropriate elimination until it is used for several days, then move it 2-3 feet per day back to the desired location.
D. Keep the existing litter box in the normal location in case the aversion therapy causes your cat to return
Anti-depressant and/or anti-anxiety medication (amitriptyline, buspirone)
Tranquilizers, including diazepam and phenobarbital
Hormones, including megesterol acetate and medroxyprogesterone acetate