Solving Cat Litter Box Problems (cont.)
Multiple cats and litter box problems
If you have several cats and can't figure out which isn't using the litter box, you can ask your veterinarian for fluorescein, a harmless dye that makes urine glow blue under ultraviolet light for 24 hours. You'll need a UV light to shine into the litter box to see which cat is using the box. The dye must be given (usually in food) to each cat, one at a time.
An easier way to determine which cat isn't using the box is to temporarily confine your cats, one at a time, with a box nearby. Do this only for a few days, and try to use a room without carpet or a laundry pile. If you're using the bathroom, block off the bathtub or keep an inch of water in it to discourage kitty from using it to eliminate.
Surface or location preference and litter box problems
If your cat has developed a preference for eliminating on another surface or location, make that area less appealing. You can add bright lights or motion sensors to the area, or place tin foil, upside-down carpet runners, or double-sided sticky tape on the preferred surface to repel your cat.
What not to do if your cat has a litter box problem
Getting kitty to eliminate in the box is about patience, not punishment. Here are a few no-nos in retraining your cat: