Most Common Cat Potty Problems Solved

One of the many virtues of owning cats is that taking care of their waste is relatively easy. Unlike dogs, they can go on their own schedule, and there are no walks required. But when Kitty stops using the box or sprays all over your furniture, well, it's easy to forget all those positives. Thankfully, we have ideas to help resolve the most common cat potty problems.

Help End Your Cat's Inappropriate Bathroom Habits

Cat standing outside litterbox

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Problem: Your cat pees outside the litterbox.
Solution:
Don't assume your cat is going outside the box for behavioral reasons or out of spite. He may have a medical issue, so take him to the vet before doing anything else. If a health problem isn't the cause, then the litterbox may not be up to par for your kitty. It could be too small or too dirty. Trainer Mikkel Becker reveals the litterbox conditions most felines prefer

Cat staring up at counter

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Problem: Your cat is spraying on furniture or other inappropriate places in your home.
Solution: Cats — typically male, unneutered ones — tend to spray on vertical surfaces. If your cat hasn't been fixed, then that's your first step toward ending the behavior. Another reason cats spray is out of stress. Mikkel Becker shares six more ways to help stop spraying behavior.

Two cats roughhousing

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Problem: Your multiple cats won't use the litterbox.
Solution: You may have a litterbox bully on your hands. One of your cats might be intimidating your other cat into staying in a limited territory that doesn't include the litterbox. First off, make sure you have enough litterboxes: Veterinary behaviorists recommend having one box per cat, plus one additional box. If that doesn't work, here are some other tactics to try

Kitten in a litterbox

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Problem: Your kitten isn't litterbox trained.
Solution: Thankfully, training a kitten to use a litterbox usually isn't that difficult, since felines prefer to bury their waste. If your new kitten isn't making it to the box, try confining him in a room with clean water, fresh food and a clean litterbox until he seems comfortable using the litterbox. You'll also want to make sure the box works for your feline's size and preferences: The sides may be too high, or the litter could be scented. And many cats prefer a box without a cover. The way you clean up after him could be a factor, too. Here's how you should clean up his accidents.   

Cat in litterbox

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Problem: You're constantly sweeping up the litter your cat kicks out of his box.
Solution: Though this isn't the worst cat potty problem to have, getting the broom out every time Kitty goes to the bathroom can certainly be annoying. Thankfully, this can be easy to fix: Consider getting a litterbox with higher sides. Follow these steps to help him transition from his old to his new box.  

Cat leaving litterbox

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Problem: Your cat won't cover his poop.
Solution: Compared to some other cat potty problems, this is another one that isn’t so bad. But if you want your kitty to cover up his poop, start by ruling out any medical issues, such as tender paws or painful elimination. Next, try different types of cat litter to see if that will encourage him to conceal his waste. If you have multiple cats, then doing this may help.

Portrait of cat in bathroom

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Problem: Your cat won't urinate or is having trouble urinating.
Solution:
This can be a medical emergency. If he's having problems urinating, take him to the veterinarian immediately since deadly toxins can build up in his body. Male cats are especially susceptible to urethral obstruction; here's what you can do to help reduce the risk.

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