To those of us whose bond to our cats is sacred, we do not give up when their behavior is not all we would expect it to be
- Vet Visit First Priority
We first take the cat to our veterinary clinic for a thorough examination, including a urinalysis and other tests, to determine if an FLUTD (Feline Urinary Tract Disorder) caused by Cystitis or a UTI could be the cause. We know that pain during urination can cause cats to avoid the litter box, and that if there is a blockage, it is considered a veterinary emergency.
- Next: Check Litter Box Cleanliness
We then make sure that all the litter boxes in the home are scrupulously clean. If not, we clean them, because a "kiss and a promise" simply won't work. No one wants to use a dirty toilet, and cats' sense of smell is far superior to ours.
- Is Your Cat's Box Avoidance Fear-Based
If there is an hierarchy issue, another cat may be intimidating this one, making him afraid to use the box. Or, if the box is too close to a noise source (such as in a laundry room), the noise may also keep him away. Litter Box Placement is important.
- Is Age a Factor?
Arthritis can make it painful for the cat to get in and out of the box. And sadly, some cats become senile to the point that they forget to use the box. My beloved kitty, Shannon, pictured here became senile in his last year of life.
If everything has been calm on the home front, take a look outside. A strange cat within view from a window, or marking the front door with urine, is a challenge to the cats inside. They may very well want to cause serious damage to the outsider, but since he is not available, a cat will savagely turn on the cat who used to be his buddy. It's called redirected aggression, and once you've seen its results, you'll be on the lookout for strays in your yard from that day forward.