Cat pee is really whiffy! It can be embarrassing, upsetting and smelly if you cat soils in your home. Prevention is better than cure so here are a list of ways to help your cat pee and poop where you’d like them to. I’ve categorised some ‘do’s and do not’s’ for you below in a handy checklist if you don’t quite have time to read the blog in full, I know your busy!
|Do use clumping litter||Don’t use deodorisers – they can smell horrid to your cat|
|Do scoop their tray twice a day and deep clean it once a week||Don’t use newspaper or polythene liners – they can be irritating on claws|
|Do go to your vet for a check up if your cat’s eliminating indoors or has stopped eliminating||Don’t buy a tray with a lid – it can mask smells which may make kitty avoid it|
|Do put their tray in a quiet location that they can access easily||Don’t put their tray next to the washing machine or window – it’s noisy and intrusive|
|Do buy an uncovered large tray – don’t have one that has a lid or flap||Don’t buy a small tray – bigger is better|
|Do have multiple trays if you have more than one cat||Don’t think your cat is trying to spite you – they are simply relieving themselves or may be unwell|
|Do enlist the help of a professional qualified certified animal behaviour counsellor||Don’t ever put flea spot on treatment or try giving your cat tablets while they’re in their tray|
Cat’s don’t soil inside the home or on your bed because ‘they know you’re going on holiday with Auntie Mary and they want to spite you’..cat’s can’t think like that. There may be a host of reasons why a cat eliminates indoors. Above all a cat’s health is the most important consideration before all else – the cat may have an upset stomach or suffer from cystitis, which means they need to pee all the time. Often you’re out so may not see when they’re peeing. More details about possible health conditions including Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) and Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC or Feline Idiopathic Lower Urinary Tract disease (iFLUTD)) can be read about from I cat care.
Make an appointment with your vet to get them checked out and rule out any health problems. It’s a good idea to have a chart to note your cat’s elimination habits if you’re concerned – it’s actually helpful to have even if you’re not concerned so you can spot any changes to their toilet habits.
Location, location, location
Put your cat’s litter tray in an undisturbed quiet location, which they can easily access.
Ask your self these 3 things:
- Is it away from household appliances like noisy washing machines (these can be off putting when they’re doing their business!) and is it away from their food bowl so it doesn’t contaminate their food and water?
- Is it away from the window and cat flap so other cats can’t look in or get in? This can be intimidating.
- Does the cat have to navigate an assault course to get to it? If so do leave the area free and clear so they can access it easily. Also if the pussycat has arthritis or is elderly they may find climbing in and out tricky and painful so an easily accessible tray with a low base is essential.
What’s inside the litter tray apart from pee and poop?
Polythene litter tray liners may get stuck to your cat’s claws so when they’re scratching to cover up their business this plastic gets stuck under their claws which can be irritating for them.
Commercially scented (post poop) deodorisers may be appealing for us but are nasty for cats! Cats have an incredible sense of smell so the smell of baby powder isn’t appealing for them.
Do you use newspaper to line the tray? If so the cat may not differentiate the newspaper in their tray to The Guardian that’s on the kitchen counter…
For litter – a clumping one is preferred as you can scoop it out easily in one hit and it soaks up the urine. Do purchase a scooper that doesn’t have holes in it otherwise if you have non – clumping litter half of it will fall back out in the tray.
The tray of dreams
A tray without a lid, that a cat can move around in 360 degrees in is ideal. Covered trays may mask smells but when your cat goes in it, it smells like V festival toilets (not good, I assure you). Cats feel safer in non-covered trays to as they can see what’s around them.
The tray should be scooped twice a day and once a week it should be deep cleaned with warm water and a mild detergent and dried off. Aswell as the warm water and detergent you’ll need some marigold gloves and some kitchen towel and some more litter.
A note about covered trays: if you do have one, make sure the lid clicks into place so the door swings open back and forth – it would be awful if your cat got stuck inside or couldn’t get into begin with.
Do you have more than one pussy cat?
If your cats have to share trays they may start being territorial over them – have one per cat plus one. I know this may seem like a lot of trays but it’s much better to have plenty of resources.
“My cat goes outside, they don’t need a tray..”
If the weather is bad and there’s wind and hail the noise can be horrible and scary.. not to mention wet! Your cat may be too scared to go outside and if they have no tray to go in, they may find a spot under your bed or on your bed to relieve themselves.
If your cat is unwell and has diarrhoea they may not have the energy to get outside in time, it’s always advisable to have a tray so they can choose themselves.
Halls, Vicky. Cat Confidential. Bantam Press, 2018.
Infographics: Chin, Lili via International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants