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/ Prevention and treatment litter problems
Prevention and treatment of litter behavior problems
Here are some tips to ensure proper litter training with your cat:
The number of available litter boxes should be one more than the number of cats.
The litter box should be placed in a calm place, is easily accessible and is far from where the animal eats. If there is more than one litter box, it is advised to place them in different rooms and on different levels of the house.
The litter box size is important to ensure that your cat feels comfortable. Choose a litter box that is 1.5 times the length of your cats so that he is able to easily turn around. If your cat is quite large, choose a litter box made for small dogs or even a storage box (ex: plastic storage box for sweaters).
The type of litter is also important. Generally, unscented clumping litter is the most common. Fill the litter box with a minimum of 5cm in height of litter. Some cats prefer a lined litter and others may refuse to use it. The same goes for covered litters with doors. If you decide to use a cover for the litter box, odors will be more concentrated so, frequent cleaning will be necessary.
Cats are very clean animals so they may refuse to use the litter box if they think their litter is too dirty. For their comfort and the protection of your furniture and carpets (you don’t want them to start using them to relieve themselves), remove urine and feces once to twice a day. The litter box should be washed with a mild soap weekly.
Some cats may smell and bury their urine or feces. Some may not. Both behaviors are considered normal.
If your cat urinates or defecates outside his litter box, it is recommended to examine your cat and have a urine analysis done to eliminate any possible medical problems. The earlier the problem is solved, better the chances will be that your cat will return to using his litter box.
If your cat relieved himself elsewhere than the litter box, here are some tips to properly eliminate all traces of urine and therefore preventing your cat from returning to this same spot.
Clean the floors with a mix of vinegar and water. Dry and spray an enzymatic cleaner such as A.O.E.
Sponge the affected area as soon as you notice the spot. Saturate the area with water and some dishwashing soap and let it sit for 1 to 2 hours. Sponge and rinse. Repeat these steps if necessary. Pour some “club soda” on the affected area and let it sit for 10 minutes. Sponge the wetness and let it dry. The next day, spray the affected area with an enzymatic cleaner such as A.O.E. or Feline Elimin-Odor.
Do not use products containing ammonia since this may attract the cat.
If the problem persists, do not hesitate to contact us.
Dr. Nadine Desautels D.M.V.
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