Why Won’t My Cat Use the Litter Box? Causes and Solutions
Has your cat recently stopped using the litter box?
Cats don't use their litter boxes for a variety of reasons, whether it's a poor choice of litter box or cat litter, whether the cat is dissatisfied with the location of the litter box or feels there are too few litter boxes, whether it's due to changes in the environment inside or outside the house, or whether the cat has a hidden medical condition.
You may need to investigate these possible causes before you know the exact cause, and most problems are actually pretty easy to fix.
Keep in mind that when your cat messes up the room outside the litter box, try not to punish your cat because the behavior is not deliberately annoying you, but is more likely due to some objective cause of stress.
Instead of getting your cat to correct its behavior, punishment can add even more stress (for both you and your cat) and make it harder to figure out the real cause.
Why doesn't your cat use the litter box?
To figure out why, the first step is to take your cat to a veterinarian for a thorough checkup. After you've ruled out a medical condition that might be causing your cat not to use the litter box, look at other potential causes.
Litter boxes are often the number one reason cats don't use them.
Here are some common reasons a cat might stop using the litter box:
- You don't have enough litter boxes;
- Your cat doesn't like the litter you buy;
- Your cat doesn't like the litter box you buy;
- Your cat doesn't like the position of the litter box;
- The cat litter box isn't cleaned out.
The number of litter boxes: Each cat should have at least one litter box, preferably N+1 (N= number of cats). Some cats prefer to urinate and defecate in two separate litter boxes, so it is best to have the litter boxes more than the number of all cats.
Litter options: If you've recently gotten new litter, there's a good chance that's why.
Cats have very sensitive noses, and many cats have a fixed preference for litter, and they don't like the pungent scent of perfume.
Research shows that for most cats, the best type of litter is odorless bentonite litter that cakes quickly.
If you do have to replace litter, it is best to add it gradually in small amounts and many times with each change until your cat is used to it.
Litter box options: Most of the litter boxes sold on the market are small in volume and cannot freely accommodate adult cats.
So if you have a small litter box, try using a large storage box.
In addition, the inside of the litter box should not be too deep, because for some young or old cats, it is difficult to flexibly step into the high threshold of the litter box, please try to choose a lower litter box.
Location of the litter box: Do not move the litter box suddenly when the cat is used to using it in a certain location.
If you must change the position, it is best to move it gradually, just as you would change the litter, in small amounts and many times, so that your kitty gets used to the change.
Place the litter box in a quiet place, away from high-traffic areas or noisy areas such as near the washing machine, to give your cat a little privacy.
Also, keep the litter box away from the feeders and water fountains. No one likes to eat near the toilet, and neither do cats.
Clean the litter box as soon as possible: Cats are very clean creatures, and some cats may be reluctant to use the litter box if it is not cleaned, so clean the litter box as often as possible to encourage them to use it.
If you're having a hard time cleaning your cat's litter, try Litter Genie's litter pail. It's easy to use and cheap. The only fly in the ointment is that the filling bags are expensive, you can choose to use Lionpapa's replacement, which effectively locks in litter smells and bacteria. The 14-foot length also saves you a lot of time and effort by storing a large amount of litter at once.