Why Your Cat Has Stopped Using The Kitty Box And Fixes
Cats are amazing creatures. We all love them for their gentleness and antique around the house. You will be all good with your cat, and suddenly it launches a demonstration on the litter box with a banner reading, Say no to the litter box.
When a cat stops using a litter box, it sends some signals that something is not right in the litter box. Take some time and investigate the cause of it. In this article, I will answer your questions on why your cat will avoid using the litter box and offer the best solutions to counter that.
What To Do When Your Cat Refuses To Use The Litter Box
If your cat refuses to use the litter box, dont ignore it. The longer this goes on, the more established it becomes. Heres what to do.
Help! My cat wont use the litter box and is going on my floor!
Such simple words, but such a complex problem.
If your cat refuses to use the litter box, this is something you should not ignore. For the cat, inappropriate urination or defecation is a cry for help. For you, its a frustrating inconvenience. And the longer the problem goes on, the more established it becomes.
So when this happens, you need to act quickly but in the right way. Its important to know that punishing your cat only makes things much worse.
This article aims to help you understand the whys and wherefores of the litter box blues, including:
- What to do when your cat wont use the litter box
- Medical reasons for tray avoidance
- Behavioral reasons for shunning the litter box
- First-aid actions to take
- How to create an enticing and appealing litter box
Cat Not Using Litter Box: Causes And Solutions
Is your cat not using the litter box? Cats stop using their litter boxes for a variety of reasons, including issues with the box or litter, dissatisfaction with the placement or number of boxes, changes in the environment inside or outside the house, and undiagnosed medical conditions. You may have to investigate several possibilities before you understand what your cat is trying to tell you, but most issues are easy to remedy.
Try to keep in mind that cats don’t eliminate outside their litter box to purposefully annoy you. Punishment won’t stop or correct the behavior. Since most cases of litter box avoidance are stress-related, punishment only increases the stress and makes it harder to identify the real cause.
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Time To Consider Physical Problems With Kitty
He could also have feline constipation or diarrhea. Both these lead to desperate behavior. Your cat will just go anywhere at the time to get relief. You should keep an eye out and observe for a short period of time.
Do you see your cat straining when he goes? Do you notice him going a lot longer in between using the litter box than usual? These are all more signs that something could be very wrong.
You dont want to wait too long to book an appointment with your vet for your kitty. Even something like a urinary infection in a male cat can turn into crystals. It could then lead to death if not treated quickly. You dont want to chance your cats health and life. Its better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your cats health.
If a veterinary appointment is needed, there are Veterinary Care on a Budget options. Hopefully, catching the issue early will lead to less cost involved in the long-term. Your cat offers you unconditional love and deserves no less than the best to get back to their regular kitty self!
Choose The Right Size Litter Box
Picking the right litter box will save you a lot of headache and litter box drama. Most boxes are too small for your cat to feel comfortable when shes doing her business. The ideal size of your next litter box can be measured from the length from your cats nose to the tip of her tail, plus another fifty percent.
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Why Do Some Cats Eliminate Outside The Litter Box
Litter-Box Management Problems
If your cat isnt comfortable with her litter box or cant easily access it, she probably wont use it. The following common litter-box problems might cause her to eliminate outside of her box:
- You havent cleaned your cats litter box often or thoroughly enough.
- You havent provided enough litter boxes for your household. Be sure to have a litter box for each of your cats, as well as one extra.
- Your cats litter box is too small for her.
- Your cat cant easily get to her litter box at all times.
- Your cats litter box has a hood or liner that makes her uncomfortable.
- The litter in your cats box is too deep. Cats usually prefer one to two inches of litter.
Some cats develop preferences for eliminating on certain surfaces or textures like carpet, potting soil or bedding.
Litter Preference or Aversion
As predators who hunt at night, cats have sensitive senses of smell and touch to help them navigate through their environment. These sensitivities can also influence a cats reaction to her litter. Cats who have grown accustomed to a certain litter might decide that they dislike the smell or feel of a different litter.
Location Preference or Aversion
Like people and dogs, cats develop preferences for where they like to eliminate and may avoid locations they dont like. This means they might avoid their litter box if its in a location they dislike.
Inability to Use the Litter Box
Negative Litter-Box Association
Do Cats Prevent Other Cats From Using The Litter Box
Do you have cat litter box problems? Specifically, do your litter box problems stem from one cat preventing other cats from using the litter boxes ?
If the answer is yes, read on.
Cats are territorial by nature. Their behavior is often guided by a hierarchy-that is, who’s in charge over whom. Disputes can arise over, among other things, litter box usage. Cats will mark their territory by urinating or leave their feces uncovered. This is a very clear way to say to other cats “Hey, this is my place â this territory is taken!” You might have noticed this if your cat is angry or upset by being left alone and goes to the bathroom on carpet, clothing, or beds.
Bathroom habits, it seems, are serious business when it comes to cat society. Dominant cats will often show their power through their bathroom behavior. Two things often happen with dominant cats.
1. Some cats will sense another cat’s dominance and be reluctant to use that box without the other cat doing anything. They will try to find other places to go that aren’t already “claimed,” which can be a problem if you don’t have other boxes in the house.
KEY POINT: Make sure you have enough litter boxes for your home!
To minimize these types of territorial or dominance issues, you need to have enough litter boxes in locations appealing to your different cats.
I hope this information helps you understand how cats interact and how minimize territorial cat litter box issues.
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Start Using The Play Approach
Whenever you are playing with your cat, start including the litter robot as a toy, I know, it sounds not essential but it is fellow paw-rents, start pointing to the robot and tell them how to use it.
This will instill a vague notion in their minds and will make them want to include it in their daily schedule.
Reasons Why A Cat Is Not Using The Litter Box
I’ve been a cat owner for most of my life and have learned many tips and tricks for keeping cats happy and healthy.
Figuring out why is a cat is not using the litter box is the first step to solving the problem.
Cats are naturally clean animals. They love snuggling in soft blankets or a basket of fresh laundry. If your cat is not using the litter box, we need to figure out why before we can find a solution to this frustrating problem.
Whether it’s an undiagnosed medical issue or just a case of a dirty litter box, this article will discuss many of the common possible reasons for a cat not using the litter box and offer ideas and advice for solving each one.
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Privacy Issues: Dont Look At Me While I Pee And Poop
Where is your cats toilet located?
Some cats dont like to feel exposed while theyre attempting to do their business. Placing your cats bathroom zone in rooms like the living room and other areas that see a lot of people passing through can stop your cat from using the potty. Your cat might not be thrilled about the location of the kitty bathroom zone and is protesting by peeing around the house.
Solution: Put the litter box in a quiet, private place with low traffic
- Try the guest room, or if you dont have a large apartment, bathroom might be a good choice.
- Another option to consider is hiding the litter box in a closet in the hallway.
- If you have trouble finding a good place for the litter box in a small apartment, you can use a curtain or some kind of cover to make it more private.
- The potty must always be easily accessible to your cat, so dont put it somewhere too complicated for your cat to get to.
The Litter Box Smells
The reason why your cat stopped using the litter box may be right under their cute, little nose: It stinks! Cats like a clean litter box and will have no problem opting for a potted plant if their designated space is not up to their standards.
The pan should be scooped out every single day, and then washed out and refilled with fresh litter at least once a week, Dr. Barrack says.
You also can try a cat litter with strong odor-eliminating attributes. Frisco Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter, for example, is formulated to effectively eliminate any odors your cat leaves behind. For an extra odor-eliminating boost, try Arm & Hammers Cat Litter Deodorizer Powder.
Diagnosing Your Cats Litter Box Problems
If your cat continues to eliminate outside of her litter box, take her to the vet to identify the cause and how to manage the problem. Your vet should give your cat a complete physical examination, complete blood count, blood chemistry panel, and urinalysis. After she receives treatment for medical conditions, litter box training may be necessary to return her to normal patterns. Be sure to give her praise every time she uses her litter box properly.
Place The Litter Box In A Different Place
Cats are creatures of habit, so dont move the litter box drastically ordo itovernight. If you must move the litter box, do it gradually. If possible, move it only a few inches a day, so your pet has plenty of time to adjust.
However, you can also show your feline the new location youve decided on for the litter box. Their instincts will allow them to remember this item as the place where they should now relieve themselves.
In addition, its important to place litter boxes in quiet places that offer a little privacy and are far away from your pets food and water stations. On the other hand, avoid high-traffic and noisy areas.
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Error : Having Only One Litter Box
There is only one easy rule to remember: one bin more than the number of cats in your home! You have one cat? You need two litter boxes. You have two cats? You need three litter boxes and so on! There are several reasons for this, a main one being that some cats dont like to use a dirty litter box. Others prefer to use one box for pooping and another for peeing. Having that extra box could prevent elimination problems.
Should several cats share a litter box, one may guard it and keep the other cats from using it, the litter box being a resource. A cat could also be waiting for another to finish doing its business and tackle or chase it, causing the victim to either finish elsewhere in the house or stop using the litter box altogether.
Cats Not Using The Litter Box As A Sign Of Illness
Going outside the litter box can also be a sign that your cat is sick. In particular, frequent urination, especially outside of the litter box, can signal a urinary tract infection or feline interstitial cystitis . If your cat continues to go outside the litter box, especially if you see them urinating frequently, its time for a visit to the veterinarian.
To prevent urinary tract troubles, make sure your cat has plenty of water to drink at all times. Also, consider giving them wet food once a day. In the wild, cats get almost all of their needed moisture out of their prey, but todays kibbled dry food doesnt provide the same amount.
The good news is that litter box troubles are usually temporary. Once you discover the underlying issue, you will be able to get your cat back on track. Whether its changing to a new type of litter or litter box, moving the box to a new location, keeping it more clean for fastidious felines, or treating a urinary tract infection, youll soon be back to a routine with your kitty.
Your cat is telling you that something is wrong when they go outside the box. Once that trouble is addressed, itll be back to pets, purrs, and playtime, without worry about poop time.
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Cat Is Too Young Or Too Old
Keep in mind that your cats litter box needs may change throughout her life. Kittens tend to use the box more often than adult cats, meaning a young cats litter box may need more attention than a mature cats.
Likewise, when cats get older, their bathroom habits and frequency may change. A senior cat not using the litter box may be having trouble getting in or out of the box depending on size and location.
Cat Doesnt Like The Size Or Shape Of The Litter Box
Have you ever felt a little cramped in a bathroom stall? Cats can have a similar experience. If your cat doesnt has enough room inside the litter box, shes more likely to do her business outside of the litter box.
When selecting a litter box, consider the size of your cat. Its crucial that she has room to comfortably turn around. Litter box shape can also be an issue if the sides are too high, too low, angled too much, etc., your cat may feel uncomfortable in the box. There are many sizes and shapes available to try if you think your cat doesnt like the litter box youve provided.
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Too Much Or Too Little Litter In The Box
If theres not the right amount of litter in the box, it makes it more difficult for your cat to properly cover his urine and stool. The level of litter gets lower each time you scoop, so this can become a problem if its not replenished often enough.
Too much litter is another problem youll want to avoid. Its wasteful, it makes the box harder to empty and the litter is likely to spill over the sides of the box as he digs. Some cats will even go to the bathroom next to the box because they find some litter scattered on the floor.
Weekly Litter Box Cleaning
Its important to fully clean the litter box once a week to keep it as odor-free as possible. Ive found it helpful to set out a backup box in case the cat needs to use the bathroom before the cleaning is done.
Its easiest to clean the box outdoors, but if thats not possible, the wash tub in your laundry room is the next best place.
- Old towels or paper towels for clean-up and fresh litter
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Error 1: Concealing The Litter Box
Unfortunately, as humans, we often tend to hide litter boxes in very dark areas of the house, such as the cold laundry room, at the end of the dim, narrow hallway in the unfinished basement. However, what we consider appropriate doesnt suit the cat at all. Picture yourself having to use a backhouse in winter at -10 degrees in the middle of the night, and suddenly hearing a loud bang. Not very appealing, is it?
Litter boxes should be placed in rooms frequented by the family and cats, without being too busy . Avoid hiding the box behind a piece of furniture if a cats view of its surroundings is hindered, it may refuse to use the litter box. Food and water shouldnt be anywhere near litter boxes, as cats, like us, would rather not eat in the restroom. If you have a dog, litter boxes should be out of reach to keep the dog from disturbing the cat.
Multiple Cats And Litter Box Problems
If you have several cats and cant figure out which isnt 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. Youll need a UV light to shine into the litter box to see which cat is using the box. The dye must be given to each cat, one at a time.
An easier way to determine which cat isnt 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 youre using the bathroom, block off the bathtub or keep an inch of water in it to discourage kitty from using it to eliminate.
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