litter box

Good Housekeeping Promotes Etiquette

Question:
My female cat pees like a lady when outside, but inside she stands and sprays the wall. I have had to buy an enclosed litter box to protect the walls. I tried new litter but it did not help.

Dr. Nichol:
You tried new litter? I thought this was about your cat. It’s OK. Rather than urine marking your girl’s habit of voiding while standing in her litter pan is suggestive of an aversion to the contents of the pan. If her toilet resembles a septic tank she may be reluctant to bring her derriere that close to the sewer. Changing her unladylike indoor postures may be as simple as making her restroom less like one in a neglected gas station and improving it to the level of a 1 star motel.

Switch to a premium brand of clumping litter, like Fresh Step with activated carbon, and scoop it at least twice daily. An extra pan will go a long way in giving your girl a clean bathroom in case the housekeeping staff (you) hasn’t had a chance to scoop the other one. Make the pans more appealing by adding a product called Cat Attract.

Size matters with litter boxes; studies have shown that bigger pans are more likely to get used. For many cats the best are big plastic containers sold as sweater boxes at stores like Target. Lose the lid and, using a utility knife, cut down a portion of one side for easy access. If your girl continues standing to urinate it may be because she’s watching too much football. The tall sides will make clean-up easier. At least she’s not spitting and telling dirty jokes.

Finally, litter pans with liners or lids are shunned by many fussy kitties, causing some of them to select beds or upholstered furniture for elimination. For everybody’s quality of life, self-cleaning litter pans are worth consideration. Dumping the tray in these high tech gadgets is easy. Your cat will always have a pristine place for those private moments, believing that she lives in the lap of latrine luxury.

Each week Dr. Jeff Nichol makes a short video, blog, or podcast to help bring out the best in pets. Sign up at no charge at drjeffnichol.com. Dr. Nichol treats behavior disorders at the Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Centers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe (505-792-5131). You can post pet behavioral or physical questions at facebook.com/drjeffnichol or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.