Uncleanliness in cats is a common problem. Read here about the causes of uncleanliness in cats and how to get the problem under control.
A common cause of uncleanliness in cats is stress. Stress can be triggered by a wide variety of situations. There are other reasons why cats become unclean.
The Wrong Litter Box As a Reason For Uncleanliness
Some cat owners overlook very simple reasons for their cat’s uncleanliness. Because often the litter box itself is behind the uncleanliness. For example, if it is too small or in an unattractive place for the cat, this can cause stress in the cat and it may no longer use its toilet.
Litter boxes with a roof (and swinging door) are also unpopular with some cats and can be a trigger for uncleanliness. Changing the bedding can also be a reason.
Mental Causes of Uncleanliness
Uncleanliness in cats can also have other mental causes:
- Sofa: When the cat does her business in the keeper’s favorite spot, it’s usually a matter of priority, or the wet protest is meant as a request for more attention.
- In the door area: Are you rarely at home lately? Or did you accidentally lock the cat in or out?
Have you been in another apartment with the cat for a while? All this could explain uncleanliness in this area. Think about what has changed.
Many cats are very sensitive to change. Therefore, a move, a new household member, or any other change in the cat’s life can also lead to uncleanliness.
Diseases As a Cause of Uncleanliness in Cats
Uncleanliness is often caused by external disturbances, but illnesses can also be the reason for refusing to use the litter box. When a cat avoids the loo during/after a urinary tract illness or diarrhea, they associate it with the pain and hope that it hurts less elsewhere.
Getting a Handle on Uncleanliness in Cats
Caution: If it has gone wrong more than three or four times, the cat’s uncleanliness can become a “habit”. But that doesn’t change anything about the stressful situation. If you simply tolerate the uncleanliness, expect the problem to get worse. Unless you find the reason first. There is always a reason for cat uncleanliness!
- As a first step, you should therefore consult a veterinarian to rule out organic causes for the uncleanliness.
- The next step is to examine the litter box and see if there is anything about it that might be causing the cat stress. Also, consider whether there have been any recent changes that could cause stress in the cat.
- Once you find the cause, avoid it in the future.
When Cats Mark, it Doesn’t Mean They’re Unclean
Marking is often confused with being unclean. But these are two different things! Marking is part of a cat’s behavioral repertoire and is quite normal, while uncleanliness always has causes that must be recognized and avoided.
Marking is therefore not unclean! The cat does not mark because it wants to urinate, but because it wants to mark its territory or communicate with other cats, for example. This behavior can often be observed in cats that are ready to mate.
Uncleanliness in Old Cats
Older cats can sometimes forget where their toilet is or they can’t reach it in time because the bladder pressure “overwhelms” them while they sleep. It is best to place another toilet that is on the direct path to the other toilet.
For senior cats and kittens, you should choose a litter box with a low entry.
But don’t overdo it with the need for cleanliness: You shouldn’t stress the cat or even wait with the shovel until it’s done its job. Then she could get the idea that her excrements in the litter box are not wanted at all. So she goes somewhere else.