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Medical Conditions - The Number One Reason Your Cat is Avoiding His Litter Box!
Ok, ok, calm down. I know it is disturbing when your cat all of a sudden starts pooping in your favorite pair of shoes; however, there is a reason (or reasons) for his sudden change in bathroom behavior. The trick, my friends, is figuring out what is wrong. Since Fluffy can't sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with you, it is up to you to put on your detective hat and get to work. More often than not, the reason for his sudden naughty bathroom behavior is easy to figure out. So relax and read on!
There are many reasons why your cat may all of a sudden start to avoid his litter box. First of all, did you know that at some point in their lives, approximately 10% of all cats occasionally urinate or defecate outside of their litter box? In fact, inappropriate elimination (that is the technical term for "pooping outside the box") is one of the top complaints heard by veterinarians. Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone! Persian cats, for some reason, are especially prone to this behavior (sorry Persian cat owners!).
First and foremost, it is very important that you rule out any possible medical issues. Make an appointment with your veterinarian and be sure to write down all of the questions you wish to ask before you take your kitty in for his visit. It is also important that you remember to tell the vet all of the symptoms that you have noticed, as well as changes in your cats behavior (I am very forgetful, that is why I write everything down!).
Possible medical reasons as to why your cat is avoiding his litter box are (but not limited to) bladder stones, constipation, and urinary tract infections. When your cat suffers from one of these medical issues, it is not uncommon for him to associate the discomfort and or pain he is feeling with his litter box. Hence the reason he begins to avoid it. Signs of an underlying medical problem include bloody urine, licking at the genital area, and straining to urinate. If you notice any of these signs, it is time to get out your veterinary pet health insurance card and take your cat to the vet!
Though it may be gross, it is important that you occasionally check your cat's litter box to make sure everything looks ok. Look for blood in the box and unusual looking stools. I know, I know, doesn't sound like fun, however, it is important that you stay on top of your cats health. Occasionally checking their poop and pee is one of the best ways to do this. If possible (and I know this may be difficult to do) watch your cat use his box. Many cats are very private when it comes time to "do their business" however, if you think he is having "bathroom problems" you need to find out! Sneak up on your cat (without him knowing) and check to see if he is straining or making strange noises when he "goes." If he is straining, there is a problem and time to call the vet!
Medical reasons are one of the main reasons your cat will start eliminating out of the box, therefore, it is important to get to the root of the problem as soon as possible. If you take your cat to the veterinarian and he or she receives a "clean bill of kitty health" then obviously, kitty is mad for an entirely different reason (please read my HUB Page, Help! My Cat is Avoiding His Litter Box – Possible NON-MEDICAL reasons why). Caring for your kitten or cat doesn't have to be difficult! The more you know and the more observant you are when it comes to your cat's bathroom habits…the better! Good Luck! Meow!