Your cat's litter box problems can quickly turn into a problem for the entire family if your cat decides that your couch is the perfect place to do his business. You will need to figure out why your cat is avoiding the litter box and then retrain him to use the bathroom in socially acceptable locations.
Figuring Out Your Cat's Motive
Unless you have a very young cat or a cat who has never been litter box trained, there is probably a reason that your cat has stopped using the litter box in favor of urinating on your sofa. You need to figure out why your cat is behaving in this manner and eliminate the problem that is prompting this behavior.
- Take your cat to the veterinarian. A number of health problems can cause your cat to begin engaging in inappropriate litter box behavior. Discuss the problem with your veterinarian and see if he can find a medical explanation for your cat's behavior.
- Spay or neuter your cat if he is spraying. Spraying is a type of urine marking that occurs when a cat is trying to mark its territory or is looking for a mate. Fixing the animal will often stop this problem.
- If your cat is spraying due to conflict with other cats, animals or humans within the home, work with an animal behaviorist to resolve these conflicts and find a solution that makes everyone more comfortable at home.
- Clean your litter box more often or add more litter boxes to your home. Some cats will not use the litter box if it is too dirty or if there are too many other cats using it. You should have at least one litter box in your home per cat.
- Change the location of the litter box and see if that helps. Some cats dislike going to certain areas and the reason may not be clear to a human owner.
- Change the type of litter you are using. Some cats simply prefer one type of litter over another.
Once you have determined the reason your cat has been avoiding the litter box and corrected it, you can work on preventing him from urinating on your sofa.
Protecting Your Sofa
- Spray urine marks on your sofa with an enzyme cleaner that will neutralize cat odor. You can find these at pet stores. Follow the instructions that are given for the use of the product to make sure the product works as effectively as possible.
- Cover your sofa with a pet-deterrent product that will make it less appealing to your cat. These products are also normally found at pet stores.
- Cover the sofa with a vinyl, flannel backed table cloth. It will protect your couch from any additional stains and most cats will not find it very appealing.
If your cat has been using the bathroom on your sofa for a long period of time and the urine has soaked into the actual fabric of the sofa, you may have a very difficult time getting rid of the smell. Unfortunately, that smell may make your cat feel like the couch is the perfect litter box and attract your cat back to the spot. In this type of situation, you may need to replace the furniture itself to completely stop the problem.