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Few things erode the bond between human and cat more quickly than the stench of cat urine seeping into the rug. Inappropriate elimination, which is the term used whenever a cat eliminates outside of the proper area, is one of the leading causes of cats being relinquished to shelters.
If you make the unpleasant discovery that your cat is using the house for a litter box, the first step is to take a trip to the vet to eliminate any possible medical causes of inappropriate elimination. Diabetes, urinary tract disease and gastrointestinal disease are just some of the problems that may make it difficult for your cat to reach the litter box in time.
For healthy cats, make sure the soiled areas are cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner. Place orange-scented candles or oils in the areas to deter the cat from coming back.
Make the litter box as appealing as possible by keeping it very clean. I recommend using an unscented, low-dust litter, but you should experiment to find the litter your cat prefers. Finally, have at least one litter box per cat in the house, plus one extra.
Dr. Jessica Vogelsang is a small-animal veterinarian from San Diego. When she's not at work or with her family of two and her four-legged creatures, you can find her blogging about life with pets at PawCurious.com. Dr. Vogelsang's blogs have previously appeared on The Daily Cat.