My name is Sally Chamberlain. I am a force-free Animal Behaviourist specialising in cats. My cat behaviour consultations are available remotely in the UK and in-person within 25 miles of Swadlincote, Derbyshire. I also offer cat sitting within three miles along with animal communication and Reiki for animals.
When it comes to cats soiling around the home, this can be very stressful and also cause damage. It's vital not to punish this behaviour, especially as anxiety and discomfort are often involved. If you catch your cat 'in the act', simply don't react, clean up the mess then carry out the suggestions in this blog. The first port of call should always be a veterinary check-up to rule out medical problems. The vet will need to check for a UTI (urinary tract infection), bladder crystals, cystitis, diabetes, kidney problems (these last two will require a blood test), pain, discomfort, digestive/bowel issues (for poo problems) and test for anything else they deem appropriate. Next, a thorough clean-up is required using an enzymatic cleaner to remove the smell. In a household with two or more cats, there should be one litter tray per cat plus one extra. Most cats tend to prefer a large, open litter trays without liners in which they can fully turn around. The litter trays should be in different rooms in the home and scooped at least twice a day then cleaned out once a week using hot water and a very mild detergent and be left to dry naturally. Cats like some of their own scent to remain in there. Spare trays will be needed so there are always trays available when the others are being cleaned out. You could try encouraging use by adding a little of the cat's own urine/faeces to each one and using 'cat attract' litter might also help. Placing a tray in frequently soiled areas may also encourage use. One to two inches of litter may be required so they can bury their urine/faeces. If your cat’s toileting targets are items such as clothes, blankets, mats or rugs, prevention and management are essential and give you a good reason to be extra-tidy by putting everything away neatly and/or preventing access. In the case of mats or rugs, it’s best to remove these completely to set your cat up for success by preventing the unwanted behaviour. Cats who behave in this way are likely to be trying to mingle their scent with that of the humans in the household in an attempt to feel more secure. They are not being mean or spiteful as some folks seem to believe. Increasing resources and enrichment with also help, including a few play sessions before meals. If you live in the UK and would like some personalised help with this issue, please get in touch at www.karmapaws.co.uk.