Cats are finicky little pets, and they are very peculiar in regards to their situations. They love to be clean, they don’t love to share, they crave attention (but only on their terms), and they have very odd habits when it comes to eating and using the litter box. If conditions aren’t perfect, or if there’s a slight change in routine, your cat could run amuck and soil whatever’s accessible in retaliation. With new cats, this is especially a risk, so here’s how to prevent litter box problems with cats who are new to your home.
Introduce Them Slowly
Whether it’s a young cat being adopted for the first time or a cat who’s lived in another environment before, cats will take a while to adapt to their environment. You want to keep their stress levels down while you allow them to explore and get to know their new area in a controlled environment. The best way to do this is to allow them to get accustomed to one room before you introduce them to any others – this room will be their haven when they’re scared; having a haven to escape to will alleviate anxiety and decrease the chances of the cat soiling carpet or furniture out of stress or frustration.
Give Them Their Own Litter Box, And Keep it Clean
Cats are very territorial and oddly obsessed with being clean. When they use the bathroom, they cover their poop and pee. They groom excessively. They groom each other. Especially if you have more than one cat, you should give them each their own litter box. This will keep them feeling in charge since they don’t have to share, and it will keep you from having to clean a litter box more than once a day. Cats will not use the litter box if it’s too dirty for them, so you must keep it clean!
Make Sure They Know Where Their Litter Box Is
The litter box is completely worthless if you keep it behind closed doors or if you move it around a lot. Put it in one space, and keep it there so that your cat can always find it and use it. Once you do find a great spot for it, physically pick up your cat and put it down in the litter; watch as it digs and sniffs around, and then allow it to walk away, knowing it knows all it needs to know about finding the litter box.
Make Sure They’re Adjusting Well
If you have more than one cat in the house, you’ll want to make sure your new cat isn’t being bullied, as this will cause soiling issues faster than any other problem. Make sure each cat has their own food, water, toys and litter boxes, and give them their own spaces to retreat to if need be.
Once a cat is familiar with their new environment and has their own clean litter box, the chances of them soiling in the house are significantly less.