A stressed out cat is not a happy cat. And a happy cat can demonstrate his angst in a variety of ways – including litter box avoidance.
Experts agree that cats don’t just pee on things for no reason. There’s usually something wrong with their world and peeing outside the box is a symptom of an underlying issue. So pay attention if your cat is peeing outside the box….and try to figure out what’s upsetting him. Don’t just chalk it up to your cat just being a little jerk.
Of course, first and foremost, take your cat to the vet to make sure there isn’t a medical issue.
If he checks out okay at the vet, one culprit for the behavior could be stress. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what might cause a particular cat stress. All cats are different and stress comes in many forms. Even if your cat doesn’t seem upset, he may show it by peeing outside the box.
Here are just a few examples of events or things that might get your cat’s panties in a bunch:
-Moving to a new home
-Adding a pet to the household
-Illness or death of a beloved human
-Illness or death of another pet
-Construction work in the home
If your cat is suddenly peeing outside the box and you’ve ruled out medical issues, start thinking about changes or situations that may have occurred recently. Chances are, you may be able to pinpoint the issue. Depending on what’s upsetting your cat, you’ll have to address that individual issue.
One tactic that many experts advise trying is a synthetic pheromone called Feliway to help reduce your cat’s anxiety. Feliway is a synthetic “feel good” comforting facial pheromone that mimics the pheromone that cats use themselves to mark their territory as safe and secure. If cats sense the presence of this pheromone, it helps relax them.
Feliway comes in a couple of forms – a diffuser that you plug into the wall and refill every month or so or a spray that you can spray in various locations.
Over the years I have tried both the diffuser and the spray and they seem to help manage potentially stressful situations. We’ve moved quite a few times in the last few years and had a couple of kids so I use Feliway as a preventative measure to ensure everyone feels okay in their new surroundings and with new family members. So far, neither moving nor new babies have led to stress-related litter box issues so that’s good!
I have had quite a few people tell me that Feliway has helped reduce stress in their cats and helped get their kitties back in the box. This is not a guaranteed solution, mind you, as every cat is an individual and every situation is different, but it’s certainly worth a shot if you suspect your cat is having some stress or anxiety.
Feliway is available at many pet specialty stores and through your vet. EntirelyPets.com has great prices on both the spray and diffuser.
If you’re not familiar with EntirelyPets.com, it’s an online site that sells pet supplies and non-prescription pet medications. They focus on offering the best value possible and great customer service as well. And, they offer a $4.95 flat rate shipping and free shipping on orders of $85.00 or more. While they don’t sell cat litter (very heavy to ship!) they do have a big selection of cat products including odor and stain removers.
Now, EntirelyPets.com sent me some Feliway product and compensated me for featuring them here but I’ve used Feliway products for years and have been meaning to write about them so it was the perfect opportunity to do so!
Readers, have you had experience with Feliway? Tell us about it in the comments!