My Cat Won't Use The Litter Box: Problems And Solutions

Andrea A.
3/11/2017

Cats are renowned for being extremely clean creatures who do their business tidily in their litter boxes. But every so often, we find cats that haven't quite gotten the hang of it, or just stop using their box out of the blue. There could be many reasons for this: A medical issue, discomfort, or even anxiety. Find out how to help your cat with litter training by following this advice!

1. Book an appointment with your vet

Source: Purina

This is definitely something you should keep in mind, especially if you notice that your cat is acting differently to normal. They could have an illness, such as cystitis, which requires urgent medical attention, or (less alarmingly) could just be having some digestive issues. Always remember that as your cat gets older, they could become incontinent.In any case, your veterinarian will be able to identify if there's anything seriously wrong and advise you on what to do if it's a behavioral problem. If your cat isn't using their litter box because they're stressed or anxious, a feline specialist may be able to figure out what's upsetting them.

2. Get more than one litter box

Source: ASPCA

Once you've eliminated any medical issues, if your cat is still not using their litter box, it's time to figure out more 'technical' issues. Do you have more than one cat? If yes, it's important that each of your pets gets its own litter box, as well as one extra. So, if you have 2 cats, you should get 3 litter boxes. Try to put them in different places too, if possible.

3. Make sure the box is big enough

Source: Pet MD

Your cat will turn up their nose at somewhere that's too cramped as it won't be comfortable for them to use. A good litter box should be roughly as wide as your cat's length and 1 and a half times the size of your cat in length. If you can't find one that's the right size, improvise by using a storage box or cleaning tray.

4. Clean the tray regularly

Source: Humane Society

You should clean the box at least once a day. No cat wants to do their business somewhere that's already filthy! Depending on the type of litter you use, you should also change the litter itself once or twice a week. Giving the box a good scrub every week is also a good idea, as it can sometimes retain bad smells that'll make your cat go elsewhere.

5. Make sure that the tray is in a good place

Source: The Spurce

Avoid putting your cat's litter box in busy or loud places, but also don't put it somewhere that's too isolated. Ideally, it should be somewhere easy for your cat to get to and escape from if they feel threatened.

6. Change the type of litter you're using

Source: Pet MD

Although it might be tempting, try not to buy scented litter.Cats have a very sensitive sense of smell, and are comforted by what's familiar to them - including their own smells. Scented litter can put them off because of this. The texture and type of the litter you buy (clumping, crystals, etc.) is also very important. If your cat isn't using their litter tray, it might be because they don't like the feeling or smell of what's inside it.

7. Take off the lid

Source: Pet Planet

Some cats don't like the feeling of being shut in a small space. If your furball is avoiding using their litter tray and it has a lid, take it off and see if that makes them feel better.

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