Cat messing in house

by Christina Arthur
(Edinburgh, Scotland)

Help! My male cat Dylan who is around 8-10 years old has suddenly begun to go to the toilet inside on the carpets instead of outside. We have had him for 5 years and have never really had this problem before. We got him from a cat rescue place and apart from a few injuries and being very shy and lazy there have never been any problems with him. When this first happened we where out so we tried shutting him in the kitchen with his basket which has a cleanable floor and access to outside and nothing happened. Then he began to do it while we were in the house. We have tried to keep him in the kitchen but it doesn't work. The only things we do when he does it are tell him off and put him outside. But then it happens again. It is snowy outside so that maybe the cause. And we also let a family member's dog into the house recently which also could have triggered it? We really don't know what to do.

Answer by Kate
I think you have hit the nail on the head. i think it is very likely that this has been triggered by the visit of the dog.
cats use their poop and urine as scent markers, not only to mark territory but also to reassure themselves i.e if the house smells of them then everything must be ok. It is called middening.

You will need to throughly clean the house and use neutralizers to get rid of any smell which the dog may have left and also give your cat a period of litter training too. the process for this is described on the page i have linked too.

Don't worry this should be only a temporary situation.

best wishes Kate

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