Cat Litter Box Issues
A cat litter box issues is one of the most frustrating behavioral problems seen in cats.
A cat not using the litter box is enough to drive even the most devoted cat lover crazy.
Why isn't my cat using the litter box? More importantly, how do I change this behavior?
Common Reasons for Cat Litter Box Issues
Litter box issues, why isn't your cat using the litter box?
The most common reasons a cat will refuse to use their litter box include:
- A medical issue
- the litter box is dirty
- not enough litter boxes
- wrong kind of litter box used
- bad location of box
- too small of a litter box
- wrong type of litter is being used
Your cat's behavioral issue is also a communication issue between you and the cat. The cat is letting you know something is not right and now you just have to figure out what that something is.
How to Change the Behavior
If your cat is not using a litter box, first rule out any possible underlying medical issues. A visit to the cat vet may be in order. Cats with UTIs will often let you know they don't feel well by urinating outside of their box.
Cats are fastidious creatures. Litter boxes need to be cleaned regularly, if the cleanliness is not to a feline's standard they may not use it.
Believe it or not, a cat may prefer a covered litter box or you may have a cat that prefers an open litter box. Make sure the box is large enough for the cat to properly use. Providing one that makes them uncomfortable is a sure way to encourage them to avoid the box altogether.
Make sure you have enough litter boxes for the number of cats in your home. The general rule is to provide one litter box for every cat.
Litter box location is important as well, especially for kittens or older cats. For example, if the cat box is located upstairs but a kitten spends most of his day downstairs he may not make it to the second floor.
Another common reason for litter box issues is the type of litter used. Some cats are very picky and will not use a box if they don't like the type of litter. Not using the litter box can be a sign of protest. One of our cats refuses to use any litter except for the clumping type.
If your cat is not using the litter box this can be very frustrating, but a little detective work and some easy changes may correct this behavioral issue.