When I first got my cat, I remember teaching her everything in just a few weeks. She never had any issues with using the litter box; in fact, I could even say that it was her favorite time of day! However, over the past decade, her behavior did change a bit.
Years have passed since she was a wee kitten, and she matured into a grown cat who is still mostly obedient. Yet, the problem I faced a few months ago wasn’t something I was prepared for. Due to her age and resistance to using the litter box all of a sudden, I had to figure out how to stop my old cat from peeing everywhere.
Felines are somewhat sickly creatures; they could develop certain conditions over the years that can easily prevent them from peeing in the litter box. In the case of my cat, she developed arthritis, which meant that her joints just hurt too much when climbing into the box. Other cats, however, might be battling illnesses such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or cancer.
How to Stop My Old Cat From Peeing Everywhere
Because of that, I urge you to check with the vet why your cat is acting this way beforehand. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance your senior feline might need some medications.
In the meantime, though, aim to use some of the following ideas. While researching how to stop my old cat from peeing everywhere in the house, I discovered that even the smallest improvements could make the problem go away.
How to Stop My Old Cat From Peeing Everywhere: 5 Ideas to Try Today
1. Get a More Convenient litter box
More often than not, a senior cat won’t be able to get into its old litter box because the sides are too tall. What was once a kitten’s game has now turned into a huge ordeal — the cat simply cannot get its legs to work well enough for it to climb into the box.
Of course, the only solution here would be to get the feline a new litter box with low sides. Even though it may not like it at first, it’s imperative to change it soon; the longer the box is inconvenient, the more likely the cat will associate it with discomfort and avoid it.
2. Move the litter box Near the Cat
On the other hand, there’s a good chance your cat isn’t able to get to the litter box fast enough. Before researching how to stop my old cat from peeing everywhere, I never considered the placement of the box as a huge issue. My feline had always had the box upstairs, and up until then, going up hadn’t been an issue.
However, when she developed arthritis, her joints and wrists were just too painful to climb stairs. At one point, I had to take her to the box myself, foolishly failing to realize right then and there that it’s much easier to move it downstairs.
Some folks may oppose this, as they don’t want to have the litter box in their living room, for example. They may even think that it’s unnecessary since the cat spends most of its time upstairs.
Nevertheless, easy access to the litter box is indispensable here, so take one for the team and place the box in a hallway where the cat can have its privacy.
Just remember to show the cat where it is. Also, don’t remove the old one just yet; cats can get stressed if their litter box isn’t in its rightful place. Until it starts using the closer one as well, keep the old one so as not to disturb it.
Another idea would be to get multiple litter boxes to make the cat’s life even more comfortable. Since access may become an issue now or a bit later down the line, having a few boxes around the house should prevent inappropriate elimination, as the cat will have a range of “bathrooms” to choose from.
3. Consider Trying Other Types of Litter
As we age, we all get a bit too finicky and set in our own ways. The same thing can happen to a cat; at some point, its litter box may not be convenient anymore. In fact, it may dislike its litter so much that it starts peeing everywhere else to avoid it.
If you’ve changed its litter recently without taking into account how much the cat loved the previous one, I’d recommend just switching back. Going for another brand without “consulting the cat” first is a recipe for disaster. There’s a good chance it may not like how this new type of litter smells or feels underneath its paws. Consequently, it won’t want to go near it.
However, if you want to go for another brand, let the cat adjust to the new litter. Again, keep the old litter box with the old type of litter at the same place it always was. Place the new box with the new litter somewhere else and see how the cat reacts to it.
If it likes it, it will start using the new box. If not, keep trying with other types of litter until the texture and scent are just what the cat loves. Don’t worry — there are plenty of brands on the market, so one is bound to become your cat’s new favorite!
4. Review Your Cleaning Routine
It’s likely that your senior cat is now urinating a lot more than before. Whether that’s because it has been sick for a while or because it’s drinking more water (as it should), your job is to clean the litter box thoroughly and ensure it’s in top-notch condition.
Unfortunately, many cat owners fail to adjust to the senior cat’s needs on time. They don’t notice that their habits have changed. Consequently, they keep cleaning the litter boxes as much as they used to. That, in turn, repulses the cats and makes them “go” someplace else, such as the bedroom, because it just seems cleaner there.
Overall, most owners remove the waste once a day and give the box a proper clean every two or three weeks if they’re using clumping litter. However, if the cat’s peeing a lot more now, you have to improve your cleaning routine and refresh the box more often.
Aim to remove waste twice a day if you can and if you have just one litter box. If you have multiple ones, there may not be a need to do it too often; the cat will simply use a clean box each time. But since you might not be able to recognize the preferred one, remember to clean every single box well once or twice every two weeks.
5. Keep Stress At a Minimum
Finally, to make sure the cat is living its best life and using the litter box appropriately, it’s crucial to keep any sort of stress at a minimum. Senior cats are rather anxious if anything in their routine or environment changes. In fact, even younger cats may have an issue with that; they like to be in control of everything so that they know what to expect from each day.
Therefore, it’s best to introduce changes gradually or avoid them altogether if possible. Don’t change the litter if you don’t have to, don’t move the box if there’s no reason to. If you must do all of those things, do it slowly so that the cat has time to adjust.
A good way of making sure its stress levels are low is to let it have its own space. If there’s a corner in your home that you aren’t using right now, let it become its own hiding place. If something is seriously bothering the feline, it can easily just go there and relax for a bit. Just make sure it’s dark enough, and that other pets cannot access it.
But if that doesn’t help, I recommend talking to the vet about it. They may suggest giving it some anti-anxiety medications or calming supplements. Additionally, make sure its routine doesn’t change, and if possible, devote more time to the cat. The years may have made it more affectionate than before, so it might be only looking for more love on a daily basis.
Given how obedient my feline was in her younger days, I never thought I would have to research how to stop my old cat from peeing everywhere. But just like with humans, everyone’s needs change once they reach a certain age.
Today, I can honestly say that we’ve conquered her improper elimination issues with low-sided litter boxes (note the plural) and frequent visits to the vet to manage her arthritis. Hopefully, some of my tips will help you recognize what the core of the problem is and ensure that you don’t spend the majority of your day cleaning up urine ever again!