Dear Miss Behavin’: I just brought home my new kitten and she is very sweet but still very shy and she doesn’t pee in her litterbox! Sometimes she’ll pee on my bed or on a pile of clothes on the ground. What should I do?

Since she is a new cat, she is more than likely nervous in her new home. Cats react to stress by eliminating outside of their box. Scale it back and set her up in a small room where she can start acclimating to her new environment slowly. Set up a quiet room (like a bathroom) that’s just for her with her litterbox, food, water, toys, and places to sleep. Keep her confined to her small room until she becomes more confident and begins to use the litterbox correctly all the time. Cats want to do their business in a clean spot. If her litterbox is dirty, she might look to do her business elsewhere. If there are multiple cats in the house, it’s very important to have multiple litterboxes. Make sure there is at least 11/2 inches of clean litter in the box and that it is cleaned every day. Reward her when she uses the box correctly with praise and treats. Play with her near the box to show her it’s a fun place to be! Set up a play and feeding schedule. Cats will usually do their business within a half hour of eating or exercising. If her food is on a schedule, her potty time will most likely be too! I would recommend giving your vet a call as well to rule out any medical issues, as litterbox misuse can also be a sign of illness.


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