It’s beyond frustrating when you find a puddle of urine in the middle of your bed, or a secret pile of feces behind the washing machine. Punishing your cat, either verbally or physically, will do absolutely nothing to solve the problem of inappropriate elimination. If you have been scrupulous in keeping the cat box clean, providing multiple boxes for your multi-cat home, and have placed the box properly, another approach might just work to get your kitty using the litter box again rather than the rug or furniture.
Be sure to have your vet check your cat before starting an aversion program to rule out bladder infection, stones, or other health problems.
Getting Your Cat Back on Track
It will probably take a bit of time and effort on your part to get your cat back to using the litter box, but most cats will return to the box if the places they have been soiling inappropriately become undesirable.
Sometimes, simply closing off the room where the cat has misbehaved or blocking off an area of the house will herald in normal behavior.
A water pistol that gives a squirt when the cat is heading for the wrong spot can be effective since most cats hate getting wet.
Double-sided tape applied on the floor leading to the ‘new bathroom’ can discourage your cat from using the area.
Traps made of a pile of empty soda cans, with a few coins in the top one will startle a cat when he or she bumps into it and teach them to avoid the area.
Your cat’s feet are very sensitive, so a plastic or rubber mat covered with nubs or rounded points will keep your cat away.
Another booby trap that can work involves setting a mouse trap, placing in ‘face down’ on the floor in the target area, and covering it with a sheet of newspaper. When your cat steps on it, the trap will go off harmlessly, but will provide noise and movement to frighten your cat away.
Put your cat’s food and water near the place that has been sullied – cats do not like to eat and drink near their toilet.
An important factor to this aversion training is to remove all traces of urine or feces odor, which will otherwise attract the cat back to the area. Enzyme cleaners work best at removing these smells.