In the previous blog post, ‘Still A New Problem,’I discussed the new methods we’d employed to combat Hazel’s new habit of going to the toilet outside of her litter boxes.
Briefly, these involved removing door and litter mats (which had become targets) and cleaning/mopping soiled areas with water/washing powder followed by surgical spirit.
The intention was to destroy scents that would indicate to Hazel these areas were fine for her to do her business in.
The Outcome- Partial Success
There was certainly a reduction in frequency of the problem, and it was easier to clean up messes on a tiled floor than it was on textured mats.
But this didn’t stop the problem in its entirety.
What did seem to, however, was found partly by reading further about the problem and partly by chance.
How We Stopped Our Bengal Cat From Toileting Outside The Litter Box
Cats are considered ‘clean’ animals and can be fussy about their toilet and eating habits.
One rule they apparently try to adhere to is to not eat near to where they, let’s say, pass previous food or drink.
This means that in theory, any eating locations will not also be used by cats to pass waste in or on.
So we placed a food bowl in her ‘favourite corner’.
As discussed in the post ‘Escape To The Neighbour’s Garden‘, Hazel had limited access to the garden via the use of a leash and harness.
It dawned on us that maybe this was somehow linked to her (now not so new) toilet habits.
She certainly seemed to want more outside time- pawing at doors and windows etc (Dr Hattori said this would happen… )
Perhaps she enjoyed being out so much, that prolonged periods inside were causing her stress.
Or perhaps the outside world meant exposure to other cats and their scents, and this was simply her way of marking her territory to make herself feel secure.
We didn’t know if either, neither or both applied.
Anyway, we decided to give her more freedom- that is, we would let her out, leash-free when we were at home.
We hoped the new combination of scent removal, a food bowl in a urination spot and letting Hazel out more frequently would put an end to this problem.
And it did.
It’s been over a year now since this all took place and I’m happy to report there have been no further incidents.
We have introduced a new doormat but no litter mat- it’s still in the shed.
We still keep a food bowl in the corner in which we put a snack now and again.
There is now only one litter box in the house after having removed the one upstairs.
Hazel mainly goes to the toilet outside.
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Featured image by Vadim Artyukhin