Cat Litter Box Problems


Most cats routinely use their litter boxes all the time and do not present any problems for their cat parent.

There are, however, a percentage of cats who develop a problem about using a litter box.

If the cat has been successfully using the litter box and then starts eliminating outside the box you need to figure out the cause and correct the problem.

It may be a medical problem for which you will need to consult a veterinarian.  It may be a result of some stress the cat is experiencing.  Things we may not think stressful such as a change in the family routine, the addition of a new pet or perhaps a household move all may be stressful for the cat.

Cats have definite ideas of the type litter they prefer.  If a cat is used to using a particular type litter and you make a change, this can cause the cat to avoid his box.

If your home has multiple cats you should have a litter box for each cat plus one extra.  You may find it necessary to use different types litter in various boxes if  individual cats have strong preferences as to litter types.

Some cats prefer litter boxes with higher sides and some prefer lower sides.  Some cats will not use a litter box which has a top.  If the litter box is too small the cat may prefer not to use it.

Cat in Litterbox

All cats like a clean litter box and if the box is not clean some cats will not use it.  The litter should be scooped every day and the box emptied and washed with non scented soap and refilled with clean litter each week.

Some cats like a small depth for their at litter – about one to two inches while other cats prefer around three inches.  Add litter to the box after you scoop the waste to keep the level about the same height.

Position the litter box in a quiet space where it is not enclosed with walls, but where the cat can easily escape if he feels threatened.  The cat likes to be able to see people, but does not want a lot of traffic while he is using his litter box.  Do not position the litter box near the cat’s food or water dishes.

Although there are liners available for litter boxes some cats do not like the liners and will avoid using a box that contains one.

There are mechanical self cleaning boxes, some cats will not use them because of the noise.  Others like them because the box is always clean.

When the cat is not using his litter box and is finding somewhere else in the home for his elimination you need to get to the root of the problem.  Try moving the litter box to a new location.  Try different types of litter and try different depths of litter in the box.  You can even try a box with either higher or lower sides.  If your home has multiple cats be sure one cat is not barring another cat from using the litter box,.

It can be difficult and very time consuming for you to find the cause of your cat’s problem with his litter box.  It will take patience to find and eliminate the cause of the litter box issue.