Three reasons cats soil indoors, from The Vet Whetstone
August 21, 2018
Cats soiling around the home can be a very unpleasant experience. Not only is it a hygiene challenge, but you may also worry that your cat is unwell or upset in some way.
If you’re struggling with this situation, please don’t hesitate to discuss it with our approachable veterinary professionals. An initial chat with Justina or another of our nursing team may set your mind at rest – or we can refer you to a vet if we feel that deeper investigation is needed.
Why cats soil indoors
As cats are usually very clean animals, preferring to use a litter tray or the garden to hide their urine and faeces, it’s disconcerting to find evidence of their toilet habits elsewhere in your home. It could be a sign that they’re unwell – but may also be due to one of the following three reasons.
- In some cases, your cat will be spraying to create a scent signal to mark their identity and help them feel more at home. If you see your pet spray urine backwards onto a wall, it’s likely that this is what they are doing.
- Alternatively, if you see your cat deposit a volume of urine downwards onto carpet, furniture or bedding, this is relieving their bladder – but unfortunately in the wrong place. Along with defecation indoors, they may be responding to the scent of previous toileting deposits (thus thinking it’s the right place to go).
- Other potential causes include fear of going in the garden, or a dislike of the litter tray. You’d be surprised how many cats in North London are simply not keen on the ‘correct’ toilet arrangements!
How to stop your cat toileting in the home
- If the problem is spraying, your cat may be responding to the presence of a stranger or new person in the home, or another sudden source of stress. It may stop when the issue settles down – but you can also purchase pheromone products to help your cat relax.
- However, if the problem is simply repeated soiling, it may be necessary to keep your cat away from problem areas and deep-clean them with an enzymatic or biological product. This should remove all traces, so your cat isn’t encouraged to do it again.
- If you suspect the issue is the garden, you should investigate and eliminate any potential threats. Plus, make sure the litter tray isn’t too dirty and doesn’t smell strongly of cleaning products, either. You can also try different locations, types of litter and even types of tray.
If you need advice with any of these solutions, or you fear that your cat is suffering from illness or age-related problems, please contact us so that we can help. You can also pop into the practice to ask one of our vet nurses – we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions!