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The Answers to Your Cat Potty Problems - Dr. Elsey

Updated: Jul 28, 2019

Inappropriate elimination is the number one behavioral reason cats are abandoned or surrendered to shelters. Dr. Elsey’s goal is to help keep cats in loving homes by providing proven, veterinarian-formulated solutions. We know there are certain dilemmas cat owners run into from time to time that can be uncomfortable to ask about. We’ve compiled answers to all the potty problems you may face to keep your fussy feline happy, healthy, and coming back to the box.

Cleaning Up Cat Urine

If you discover a dreaded urine stain on your duvet or seat cushion, don’t fret! First, machine-wash your laundry using a cup of white vinegar and no detergent. When the laundry cycle finishes, add detergent and wash regularly. White vinegar is a great product for cleaning laundry and hard surfaces like linoleum and tile. If you do not remove all the urine odor, there will be a tendency for your cat to continue to urinate in those same areas over and over again. Cleaning up old urine odors is essential for getting a cat to go back to their litter box again.

For stains on the carpet, we recommend a three-step program beginning with cleaning the area with a mixture of mild dish detergent and water. Saturate the area with this solution and let it sit for an hour or two before blotting the area with tap water to rinse. Do not rub your carpet as to preserve the natural carpet texture. Next, soak the area with club soda for ten minutes and then blot the club soda with fresh paper towels over the area. Weigh down the paper towels with a heavy object and let dry overnight. The next day apply Dr. Elsey’s Urine Removal Program. Mix the Urine Removal Program one part solution to seven parts distilled water. Saturate the area with the mixture and allow the solution to remain in the carpet to dry.

Long-Haired Cat Problems

Cat owners find themselves in some hairy situations from time to time. Litter can stick to a long-haired cat’s rear area, and as a result, they will not use the litter box to defecate. As one could imagine, long-haired cats do not like litter and feces adhering to their rear area so they may decide to go elsewhere to defecate than in the box. We recommend that you have a hygiene clip done around the rear area of your cat. If your cat has long hair in-between the digits of its toes, then it is also a good idea to trim that hair as well. By trimming these areas, your long-haired cat will be free of the hair that may be an issue with using the litter box. Our Long Haired Litter will not adhere to the cat’s long fur, and it will not color the coat.

Territorial Marking

Territorial marking, or marking with urine, is different behavior than sitting to urinate. With territorial marking, you will see small amounts of urine on walls, furniture, against baseboards, and even on the owner’s clothes or bedding. After the cat has marked, it will simply walk away and not sniff and paw at the area as is the case with sitting to urinate in litter.

Often cats will mark with urine if they are under stress from other cats in the household or neighborhood that may be invading what the cat perceives as its territory. If this is the case, it is important to try to keep stray cats away from your house. For the cats inside it is a good idea to zone the litter boxes and food bowls, so each cat has their own space. Giving cats their own zone will help with any territory issues that may arise between cats in the household. Also, make sure that your cats have several elevated perches to hide from other cats if the need arises.

Comfort Zone® Calming Diffusers can help reduce stress response behaviors like destructive scratching and urine marking. They release calming pheromones that mimic cats’ natural, calming pheromones for up to 30 days, signaling to your cat that he or she is in a safe and familiar place.

Maintaining a Healthy Litter Box

We recommend replacing litter boxes every 6 to 12 months to promote a healthy habit for your cat. Litter boxes can become scratched and permeated with urine odor, even when washing them with mild soap and hot water, so it is good to change out boxes on a regular basis. Here are some helpful tips for a happy and hygienic box:

Litter boxes should be at least one and a half the size of the cat.Large clear storage boxes make excellent cat litter boxes. If you cut a doorway in the middle of the box, leaving around an inch and a half on each side to provide stability and a lip of about three and a half inches to hold in the litter, you can create a large box for your cat to use.Your cat should be able to step in and out of the box with ease and be able to turn around.Senior cats can have litter box issues simply because it is difficult for them to step in and out if the sides of the box are too high.Location of the litter box is important as well – don’t place your cat’s litter box in a loud laundry room or cold basement. Setting the box in a warm, dry, and quiet place is key.Make sure you have a dedicated box for each cat in your household to use and avoid placing the boxes side by side.When it comes to clean up, removing feces and urine clumps daily from the litter box, washing the box with mild soap and water, and replacing the litter once a month will keep your cat happy and your home odor-free.Stay away from using any harsh chemicals to clean out your box – cats do not like the smell and this may discourage them from using the box.

Not sure which litter is right for your cat? Explore all of Dr. Elsey’s litter products here to find the right solution for your home!

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