Why my cat is still not housetrained
As cat behaviour associated with urinating can be complex, housetraining can be a difficult subject. But why is it so problematic?
Firstly, how do you tell the difference between urine marking – sexual and territorial – from just being untrained? If your cat is standing up and sprays a small amount of urine on a vertical surface, then she is probably marking. But if she makes a relatively large pool of urine, then she is going to the toilet in the wrong place. Here we will cover the latter problem, as it is the more complex of the two.
There are numerous causes for urinating inside. Among the most common are illness (cystitis, urinary stones, osteoarthritis, diabetes) and stress related to environmental change (moving, arrival of someone new in the house, etc.). Lack of stimulation can be a cause, as well as not managing her litter properly, e.g. her litter tray has been moved to an unknown location.
Reducing her stress levels
If no medical cause has been found, the next step is to reduce any stress in her life. It is important to keep in mind that this behaviour is her way of telling you something is wrong. So punishing her if she urinates outside her litter tray could make things worse by increasing stress.
In all cases, start by improving her environment, limiting sources of stress and placing a litter tray near an area she has dirtied. It should be without a lid and already containing some of her urine to guide her. It is also recommended to consult a behaviourist to help you identify the causes and find an appropriate plan of action. The more you understand, the easier it will be to find a solution.