One of the most challenging parts of owning a cat is controlling peeing outside the litter box. As much as we struggle with this vice, it is mostly behavioral in kittens rather than medical. However, this does not mean that your kitten is not at risk of contracting an infection leading to this behavior. New kittens are particularly likely to exhibit this behavior because of various reasons and factors.
Factors contributing to new kitten peeing outside the litter box
Cats are quite sensitive and aware of their surroundings. This makes them vulnerable to emotional and even environmental factors. These factors will definitely lead to a reaction from the cat, which is usually a negative reaction. One of the most common reactions to changes in various aspects of life is peeing outside the litter box. Below are some of the factors that contribute to this behavior:
Change of environment
Like humans, cats also have difficulties adjusting to any changes in their surroundings. This means that if you recently moved, your kitten may start peeing outside the litter box. Furthermore, new kittens are prone to peeing outside the litter box mainly because they are not yet conversant with their environment
For this reason, it is important to pay attention to a new kitten peeing outside the litter box. Whether you recently moved or adopted a new kitten, this is a problem you should expect. Other cats will engage in this behavior because they have been separated from their families. For instance, if your friend gave you one of his cat’s kittens, you will have to train and sometimes introduce the litter box to her. We shall look at some of the ways you can reinforce training for your kitten.
Dirty Litter Box
This is universal for all cats. Cats are clean beings and thus are repelled against dirty litter boxes. In fact, your cat will go over to the litter box and turn back if it is dirty. Not only should you be concerned with emptying your kitten’s litter box but also getting rid of the smell. Otherwise, your kitten is going to avoid the litter box for as long as he can. This will, of course, lead to peeing outside the box.
This being said, it is, therefore, important to make sure that the litter box is clean and free of bad odor. To clean the litter box, not only should you pick your cat’s waste. You should also scoop the soiled part and add more litter to the box. This will encourage your kitten to use the box instead of inappropriate elimination. You should clean the used litter box every day to keep it clean.
Stress and anxiety
This is probably the most common factor promoting peeing out of the litter box. Just as cats are affectionate, they get stressed quickly, and especially for new kittens. If you recently brought a new kitten to your house, it means that she has changed residence. As much as you are comfortable in your own home, it is important to keep in mind that your cat is not.
If you have a bigger cat at home prior to introducing the new kitten, you will need to pay more attention to the kitten. This way, she will feel accepted and adapt to the new home quickly. The anxiety and stress will not last long.
New kitten peeing outside the litter box
The introduction of a new family member or even guests can also cause anxiety in kittens. This is because they are not used to the new company and probably do not know what to feel. For this reason, you may realize that your kitten is peeing outside the litter box.
A new kitten will also experience anxiety and stress due to a change in routine. At this point, it is important to remember that your cat just moved in and has no idea of how things are done. You can probably ask her previous guardian about her routine. This way, you will be able to adjust the routine to fit her needs for the first few days.
Separation from her family is a major cause of stress in cats. For instance, you may adopt a new kitten who is used to living with her family. This will come about with a lot of anxiety due to the separation. For this reason, your new kitten may pee outside the litter box.
To be able to understand how to minimize stress and anxiety, you will need to understand the emotions of your cat. The best thing about cats is that they are ready and unashamed of their emotions. They are affectionate, calming, and comforting. However, sometimes stress can take a toll on their lives leading to aggression and boredom.
Let us look at some of the emotions you can receive from your kitten:
Cats and emotions
Usually, cats are welcoming and quite loving. However, due to stress and anxiety imposed on them, you may find that your cat is unhappy. Generally, your cat will display emotions through vocalization, facial expressions, and mainly body language.
When your cat is calm, she may lie on his belly, tucking her feet under her body. Her ears will be up and slightly bent forward and she may purr occasionally. This means that your cat is calm and happy. On the other hand, a cat with her ears bending all the way back may suggest stress. You may also notice that her eyes are wide open with dilated pupils. Due to anxiety, your cat’s hair may be raided on the back all the way to her tail. Some kittens will also show signs of aggression as a result of stress and anxiety.
The age and gender of your cat is also major determinant when it comes to your cat’s emotions. The truth is, older cats will be less enthusiastic about literally everything. On the other hand, young kittens are vibrant and happy at most times. Male cats are also happier and playful compared to female cats.
It is therefore important to make sure that your cat is stress-free. You can set aside quality time to spend with your new kitten to make her relax in the new environment. We are going to look at some of the ways you can use to reduce stress in kittens.
The ways to eliminate stress in cats
As mentioned above, cats are some of the most sensitive pets there are. This makes them affectionate but at the same time, it exposes your kitten to stress and anxiety. New kittens are more prone to anxiety than other cats. Below are some of the ways you can reduce stress in your new kitten;
Understand the cause of stress
Like any other behavioral issue in cats, it is important to monitor your cat and figure out the reason why she is stressed. It may be a little difficult to determine the exact cause of stress in new kittens. This is because of their vulnerability.
Your kitten may be stressing generally because she is in a new home with a new family. For this reason, there is only too little that you can do but it will go away with time.
However, you should set aside some play and exercise time for both of you. This way, you will get to relate to your cat’s behaviors and she is definitely going to love you. Once completely settled in, you will not have any more problems associated with stress.
The bigger cat
For some reason, some people cannot get enough of cats and thus keep several instead. A new kitten is definitely going to feel challenged when you bring her home. You may actually realize that he refuses to use the litter box especially if the bigger cat tends to threaten her.
If you have a bigger cat, you may want to separate her from your new kitten until she is used to the idea of sharing with you. Not only do cats get stressed but also jealous.
You may also consider the idea of providing different litter boxes and assigning them to your cats respectively. This way, they will not have to share a litter box and your new kitten will feel more comfortable in the new household.
Every cat owner understands how proud and untouchable cats can be. On the other hand, these creatures are also quite prone to boredom. This means that you have to find the line between stimulation and boredom. This is because your cat will get irritated if she feels overstimulated.
New cat owners need to understand that loud music or even TV is going to stress the kitten. However, you will need to be very keen in order to examine your cat so that you can be able to tell when she is under stress. This means that you should pay attention to her body language as it is the purest form of communication for your cat.
It is therefore important to avoid noisy neighborhoods as well as loud music in the house.
Block the window view
Some cats will get stressed from seeing a person or another pet outside the window. This is especially common in new kittens that are yet to get used to the new environment. For instance, your new kitten may show signs of anxiety and stress whenever he sees another strange cat outside.
Therefore, it is essential to close the curtains especially if she appears to be bothered by the happenings outside. This way, you will have removed the stress stimuli.
Develop a routine
Cats, like other pets, need to get used to a routine. This makes them adjust to their daily activities at a certain time and in a certain order. Failure to follow this routine may lead to a stressed kitten. In addition, cats always feel comfortable when they are on familiar grounds.
You should, therefore, come up with a routine based on feeding time, playtime, and even the time you leave your house. This way, your cat is also going to develop a certain sense of direction in her life. This will also help her settle in faster without much struggle.
New kitten peeing outside the litter box. Medical Causes
We cannot emphasize enough how the urinary tract is common among cats. In fact, peeing outside the litter box is one of the earliest signs of medical issues in cats. Below, we are going to discuss some of the illnesses that are indicated by the cat urinating outside the litter box.
The leading medical condition leading to kitten peeing outside the litter box include:
Even though rare in young cats it there is a possibility that your kitten contracting a urinary tract infection. However, you will have to be seen in order to determine whether your new kitten is peeing outside the litter box because she has a UTI.
Some of the signs and symptoms to look out for when examining a UTI include frequent urination. Due to the infection, you may notice your kitten peeing more frequently than normal. In addition, you may also witness your cat licking her genitals as a result of irritation of her urethra.
Kittens with UTI will also tend to drink more water but also experience difficulty in passing urine. It is important to take your cat to the vet if you suspect the discussed symptoms and signs of an infection. Your vet will be able to deliver a conclusive diagnosis as well as commence treatment.
It is therefore important to make sure that your cat’s litter box is clean at all times in an effort to prevent the infection.
Unlike other urinary tract infections, this is quite common and sadly the cause is now well known. However, stress and an unhygienic environment may lead to the disease. At this point, it is important to understand that this is not a usual simple bladder infection.
Feline idiopathic cystitis causes inflammation of your kitten’s bladder. Symptoms of this disease include frequent urination, drinking more water than usual as well as exercise intolerance. Some of the contributing factors to this illness may include lack of exercise and confinement. Not drinking enough water is also a factor that could lead to idiopathic cystitis in cats.
Therefore, it is essential for cat owners to provide enough physical activities. Not only will this reduce boredom in cats but also stress that may lead to this infection. Your vet is going to examine your cat and advice about the methods of treatment.
This is a more serious illness that will need immediate medical intervention. Bladder stones in kittens are characterized by the settling of crystals from minerals in your cat’s bladder. In some cases, these stones will remain small while they can get bigger. Once this happens, these crystals rub against the kitten’s bladder walls. This leads to the inflammation of the bladder which is painful as well as life-threatening.
In severe scenarios, the crystals may actually block your kitten’s urethra, making it difficult and painful to pass urine. As a matter of fact, this should be the first thing you should look for if you suspect she has bladder stones.
Other symptoms that may accompany painful urination include the following;
- Bloody urine
- Recurring urinary tract infections
- Peeing outside the litter box
- Blockage of urethra
As mentioned, bladder stones may require immediate medical attention.
Now that we have discussed some of the reasons that lead to a new kitten peeing outside the litter box, we can look at some of the ways you can deal with it.
How to stop a new kitten from peeing outside the litter box
Truth be told, it is super annoying to have a house smelling of cat pee. In fact, inappropriate urination is one of the major reasons why cat parents surrender them to shelters. However, there are some tips you may use to curb this behavior. These include:
Just like you would feel out of place in a new household, it is also the same case with pets. Your new kitten may be peeing outside the litter box because of the stress and anxiety that come with changing homes. Therefore, it is important to ease stress for her to adjust faster and easier.
You can be able to do this by creating a daily routine to follow. This will make your new kitten develop a sense of belonging in the new home. It will also eliminate any surprises that may bring about anxiety for your kitten. You should also include exercise and playtime in this routine.
Train your kitten
Your kitten may also start peeing outside the litter box because she does not know how to use it. This is especially common in newborn kittens and you will have to do all the training before she can adjust. Training your kitten should not be hard, especially if reinforced by rewards and praises.
Once you have fully trained your kitten, you should then place multiple litter boxes in your house. This way, your cat will always remember to use it as it slowly becomes a habit.
Thoroughly clean the litter box
Your kitten is not going to use the litter box if it is smelly or dirty. It is thereby important to empty the litter box as often as possible, preferably on a daily basis. This will encourage your kitten to use the litter box and refrain from peeing elsewhere.
To conclude, it is important that you understand the health of your cat. However, refrain from too many vet visits as it will also stress out your kitten. Instead, you can spend time making your cat feel more at ease in her new home.