HEALTH & CARE ARTICLES

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      6/1/2012

      What to do if your cat avoids the litter tray?

      In rare cases, young cats may not learn how to use the cat toilet or at a later time in life, suddenly start to neglect the toilet routine. It is important in these situations to remain calm, because in most cases there is a reason for this behavior that can be remedied. It is worth remembering that for cats to use a cat toilet, it must be kept spotlessly clean with solids and clumps removed daily. In the first instance it is important to check that the cat's neglected toilet routine is not due to a medical cause, for instance cystitis. So it is always wise to consult a vet. Sometimes neglected toilet routine can also occur temporarily in certain situations or phases in life. For instance, young tomcats can show this behavior during puberty, but also stop just as fast again. Frequently stress is the cause for neglected toilet routine, e.g. following a move, holiday, a new baby or a second pet in the home. In this case, the change in behavior is a sign of protest or insecurity and fear. Give your cat lots of love and reassurance, but if the problem persists, a veterinarian or behavior therapist should be consulted for professional advise.If health reasons and protest spraying can be excluded, give the cat toilet a critical inspection. Possibly the cat toilet is not big enough, difficult to reach or not always freely accessible. Some cats avoid toilets that are filled to the top, others only want those and do not accept any with a cover and hinged door. Also if the toilet is in a busy place or close to feeding and sleeping areas, the cat may be disturbed. It can be helpful to have several cat toilets in different locations, so that the cat may select a preferred version. Another helpful option can be to replace the litter with a different variety as cats have individual preferences. For this purpose, the new litter can be added little by little to the old litter as a test, or you offer various toilets with different litter types for an interim period. Until the cause for the neglected toilet routine is found and remedied, soiled areas in the house should be thoroughly cleaned with an odourless, ammonia-free detergent. If a cat always soils in the same spot, try setting up a cat toilet in that spot and then slowly moving it little by little to the originally designated area. The vets also offers special sprays to treat these soiled areas. They contain a "natural feel-good scent" that keeps cats from soiling any sprayed areas.Luckily, a continuing toilet problem seldom happens because cats are clean animals by nature. But if the problem occurs, it is a very stressful situation for both pet and owner. Therefore, do not shy away from taking the initiative early on and contacting a vet or behavior therapist for advice, if applicable. Because quite often it is minor, practical measures that will help solve the problem before it can create serious disharmony between cat and owner.



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Mars Petcare UK
Freeby Lane
Waltham on the Wolds
Melton Mowbray
Leicesterhire LE14 4RS

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