Has Your Cat Stopped Using The Litter Box?
Has your cat stopped using the litter box? Your cat can stop using the litter box for many reasons.
It could be an issue with the litter box itself, dissatisfaction with the positioning of the litter boxes, an underlying medical condition, or environmental changes either indoors or outdoors.
Although most issues are easy to remedy, assess your cat to find out why it stopped using the litter box.
Note that your cat can’t stop using the litter box to intentionally annoy you or revenge for the last time you kicked it off your couch. They’re not so revengeful in nature.
So, before you shout at the cat or resort to giving it some punishment, find out why your cat isn’t using the litter box anymore.
After all, trying to correct the behavior or offer punishment might just worsen the situation. It can cause the cat more stress, making it even more difficult to find the root cause of the problem.
7 Reasons Why Your Cat Has Stopped Using It
1) Underlying Medical Problems
Visit a vet with your kitty for physical examination. Various medical issues can cause your cat to stop using the litter box. Therefore, it’s sensible to visit a vet and rule out the possibility of a medical problem.
Note that many medical issues that can cause your cat to stop using the litter are often easy and inexpensive to treat. If your cat is licking its genital area, straining to urinate or urinating blood, there’s need to see a vet urgently.
It's helpful to monitor how much your cat is peeing in general. Take note of any changes as you look back and your cat's past behavior.
Check if your cat is neutered or spayed because if they’re not, they often tend to urinate inappropriately. Visit the SPAY USA website to find a cost-effective veterinarian or vet clinic that offers neuter/spay services near you.
2) Declawed Cats
Declawed cats exhibit unusual behaviors. For instance, they might stop using the litter box because their paws are painful and sensitive after the declawing surgery, which is why you should check out the best cat litter for declawed cats. They stop using the box to avoid scratching their paws into the box. Instead, they start eliminating all over the house.
Use pine wood or aspen shavings, or soft paper litter for your kitty’s litter box if you just had it declawed. Shredded paper is also a great alternative. Check out this Okocat litter review if you're looking for a wood-based cat litter.
After ascertaining that your cat is in perfect health, then the problem could be with the litter box itself. And, in most cases, it usually has something to do with a cat not using its litter box.
3) Insufficient Number of Litter Boxes Available
Each cat needs its own litter box. However, sometimes cats like to urinate in one box and defecate in another. So, even if you’re owning just one cat, make sure there’s always an extra litter box in the house. If you don’t provide enough litter boxes, your kitty might stop using the only one that’s available.
4) Your Kitty Prefers A Different Type Of Litter
Cats often have particular preferences for certain litter. So, if you recently changed litter in your kitty’s litter box, it could be the reason it has stopped using the box. Cats have sensitive noses and don’t like scented or perfumed litter, or those with chemicals. If you're looking for something more natural, you can check out this natural litter brand for an optimal choice.
According to various studies, cats prefer litter with no scent and as fine as sand like the litter from Skoon. If possible, set up different litter boxes with shredded paper, clay, wood pellets, sawdust, dirt or sand. Your cat can choose what it likes from the different litter options.
Alternatively, change litter progressively to the new material until your cat adjusts to its scent and feel.
5) Your Feline Prefers A Different Type Of Litter Box
Adult cats can’t fit in most commercial litter boxes. Instead, use a large plastic storage box that can easily fit underneath beds. Does the extra room in the litter box make a difference? Overweight and old cats also can’t climb up into high-walled litter boxes. If covered, a litter box might seem to confine a cat under stress.
Remove the litter box covers for ease of access, especially if your cat is stressed or shy. Use plastic liners for added convenience. However, cats usually dislike them.
6) Location Of The Litter Box In The House
Cats are animals with all sorts of habits. That means, your litter box shouldn’t move suddenly. If there’s need to move a box, do it gradually, a few times a day, to ensure your best friend has enough time it needs to adjust to the new changes.
Place the boxes in quiet places around the house for added privacy. It’s also important to ensure that it’s placed away from your pet’s water and food area. Avoid areas with high traffic and lots of noise such as the laundry room to offer your kitty a private place to poo and pee. Use pet doors or baby gates to prevent animal or human intrusions.
Don’t place the boxes in a tight location or closet because that’ll make your cat feel vulnerable with no route for escaping from danger. Place the boxes in different locations until you find the most suitable place for your cat.
7) Dirty Litter Boxes
Cats are generally clean animals, making them perfect pets for cat lovers. Therefore, it becomes necessary to clean and keep your cat’s litter boxes clean. A clean litter box is appealing to use. Scoop the cat’s poo daily to ensure the litter boxes are clean. This is more so true if you keep many cats.
Use mild soap and water to clean the boxes at least once a week, especially if yours is a popular box. Avoid using bleach or ammonia-based products. Use diluted vinegar to soak the boxes and remove stubborn stains or bad odor.
Consider a litter box that automatically cleans itself to help auto clean your litter box and keep your kitty happy. It's a worthwhile investment for both you and your precious kitty!
Jackie Johnston is the founder of Cat Word – a community of cat enthusiasts with a mission to spread as much knowledge as they can throughout the world on every aspect of raising and nurturing cats! In her spare time, Jackie loves reading and spending time with her two sons Logan and Christopher, and of course with their furry felines Simba and Max.