Litter-ary Mistakes - How to Solve Hit-or-Miss Potty Behavior

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cat litter picture Just chaos, Flickr

"Going" outside the litter box is the top cat-behavior complaint of cat owners. Litter-box problems lose cats their homes and lives. But cats use urine and feces to "talk" to owners, even if humans misunderstand the stinky message.

Cats have logical reasons for inappropriate behavior. Understanding the reasons they snub the box often reveals easy fixes that will keep your cat's aim on target. Here are five common reasons cats miss the box, and how to improve their aim.

"I'm Sick!"
Cats faithful to their box who suddenly miss the mark need a vet check. Cystitis, diabetes, kidney problems and thyroid issues can make them "go" more often. Squatting in front of you on the floor is a blatant cry for help.

Arthritis can make it hard for the cat to climb into the box or up stairs to reach the facilities. A cat may also blame the box itself for painful elimination, leading it to look for a new place. Providing a brand new box in a different spot that has no bad associations could make all the difference.

"I Miss You!"
Separation anxiety and other emotional upsets prompt cats to void on important landmarks--like your bed. Spreading its own scent on your S.O.'s belongings can help calm your upset cat's feelings, even though it raises your blood pressure.

"I'm Scared!"
A startling buzz from the clothes dryer may make your cat look for a quieter spot. Getting cornered by the dog or another cat while poised in the box makes even the best facilities unattractive.

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