Animal House: When Your No. 1 Problem Is No. 2 | WGLT

Animal House: When Your No. 1 Problem Is No. 2

Aug 29, 2017

Sometimes cats can display behavior that can be best described as downright kooky. And when that involves litter box habits, pet parents can get frustrated and confused.

Dr. Matt Fraker from the Prairie Oak Veterinary Center has some advice.

  • Stress can be a major cause for a cat choosing to not use the litter box. There's a hierarchy to your cat household, and if the dominant cat is a litter box bully, the cat lower down in the pecking order may chose to eliminate elsewhere.
  • In a multiple cat household, you can help your cat by giving her a room of her own and a litter box of her own. No other cat should be allowed in so your submissive kitty can feel comfortable using the box.
  • An easy in, easy out box in a safe place will reduce litter box anxiety.
  • Another problem to look for is any health issue related to defecation. For example, cats eat a lot of hair. And sometimes that can form a hard mass that's hard to pass. The discomfort of passing can make the cat associate pain with the litter box, so she'll try and go elsewhere—like the bathroom rug or a pile of laundry. A cat laxative will help soften the stool.
  • Check your cat's anal glands to see if they're causing trouble and pain. Expressing the glands could be the answer. And yes, this is a job for your vet.

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