Animal Update: Litterbox Problems

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(AP)

Jeff Bell20100908_KCBS_0122r Jeff Bell
A Bay Area native, Jeff is thrilled to be at KCBS, a station he...
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(KCBS) – Based on the calls received at the SPCA litterbox issues are the number ONE feline behavior problem, according to Dr. Jack Aldridge Director of Veterinary Services at the San Francisco SPCA. KCBS’ Jeff Bell talks to Dr. Jack Aldridge about litterbox problems.

There are several causes to this problem. It might be something medical, such as a bladder infection. So see your veterinarian first, and mention every detail of your cat’s behavior and patterns, even if it doesn’t seem relevant. Behavioral reasons include not liking the box, the litter choice, the location, or the stress of a change in household routine

If it is behavioral, there are several things the owner can do. Make sure you have enough boxes. You should have 1 for each cat in your home plus one extra. Keep the boxes in a quiet, private place, not near anything that makes jarring noises, like a washing machine. And above all, keep them clean. Most cats hate a dirty litter box!

Scoop the litter daily. And wash the box every few days, or when it’s soiled. Most cats prefer the texture of sand-like scooping litters. But experiment with different types and buy the one your cats like best.

Litterbox liners are irritating to some cats. And others don’t like covered litterboxes. Finally, never punish your cat for house soiling mistakes. It won’t help and if your cat’s problem is anxiety-related, it will make the situation worse.

Animal Update airs on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM on Sundays at 1:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m., and 9:21 p.m.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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