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Why Do Cats Not Use The Litter Box

Immediately Clean Up Any Further Accidents

Pet Care : Why Your Cat Won’t Use the Litter Box

It may take a little time to get your kitty back to using the litter box so dont be disappointed if there are further accidents. If there is a hiccup then thoroughly clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner. If a cat can still smell their scent they will think it is OK to go there again! These type of cleaners remove all the scent completely.;

Angry Orange Odor Eliminator is certainly a product we would recommend.

What Causes Explosive Diarrhea In Cats

The cat may have parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, or food sensitivities.

;If your cat has been having explosive diarrhea and not acting like herself, you should get her to the vet for an exam immediately.

Your veterinarian will take a stool sample and do blood work to diagnose whats going on with your cat.

Reasons Your Cat Is Peeing Outside The Litter Box

If your typically fastidious cat is ditching the litter box and peeing just about everywhere else in the house, it can easily become a problem for pet parents. Between the constant cleaning and the strong smell, a cat that is not using the litter box properly can be a source of frustration. But why do cats pee outside of the box and what can you do about it? Here are some common causes of litter box problems.

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Changing The Way Your Cat Feels

If your cat associates her litter box with unpleasant things, you can work to help her develop new and pleasant associations. Cats cant be forced to enjoy something, and trying to show your cat that her litter box is safe by placing her in the box will likely backfire and increase her dislike of the box. Its usually not a good idea to try to train your cat to use her litter box by offering her treats like you would a dog, because many cats do not like attention while theyre eliminating. However, a professional animal behavior consultant, such as a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist may be able to help you design a successful retraining or counterconditioning program. Please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help, for information about locating an applied animal behavior professional.

Sometimes retraining to overcome litter-box fears or aversions may not be necessary. Here are some steps that you can try to help your cat learn new pleasant associations:

Treatment for Household Stress

Treatment for Multi-Cat Household Conflict


Always consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist before giving your cat any type of medication for a behavior problem.

Keep A Pleasant Environment

5 Reasons Why Your Cat Will Not Use The Litterbox

Because senior cats are easily stressed, changes in their environment should be kept to a minimum and incorporated gradually, Martin says. Managing your senior cats environment effectively will help you maintain your lifelong bond with him.

Giving your cat a quiet, darker place to retreat toa base campis important, Galaxy says. He also suggests considering soothing supplements. A probiotic like VetriScience Probiotic Everyday Gastrointestinal Health Cat Chews can help balance cats digestive and immune systems, while an herbal solution like Jackson Galaxy Solutions Stress Stopper can have a calming effect on your cat.

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How To Help Your Cat Use The Litter Box Properly

Contrary to what you might think, your cat is not trying to spite you by soiling outside of her litter box. Punishing her for the act will only make her fearful and exacerbate the problem. You should instead identify the reason shes doing it and address it.

First, make sure that you scoop and change her litter box every day. Rinse the box with baking soda or unscented soap once a week. Add litter boxes to different areas of the house, being sure to place them in a quiet but accessible location; they should not be placed in areas that are too remote or overly trafficked. Remove hoods and liners from the litter box. Keep food bowls and bedding away from her litter box. Close doors to certain parts of your house when your cat will be home alone. If she tends to favor a certain spot, try to make that spot less appealing to her by placing a litter box, food bowl, bed, or treats there.

Also, make sure to effectively clean areas of your house where your cat has urinated outside of the litter box. This is not only for your benefit of eliminating urination odors and preserving your carpet and furniture, but it also helps reduce confusion for your cat. If she continues to smell areas where she has eliminated outside of the litter box, she might not understand that this isnt acceptable behavior. Read our article about cat spraying for more information about cleaning up cat urine.

How A Vet Can Help

The longer the problem of your cat not using the litterbox goes on, the harder it is to find the trigger, and break the cycle. The solution may involve drawing a plan of your house, and working out where stress points might be.

The other thing you can do is to use pheromone sprays or plug-ins. The spray or plug-in is the pheromone thats released from their cheeks when theyre rubbing on you and feeling relaxed and happy. The idea of that is to make the cat feel more secure in the environment.

Its possible your cat might need medication.

But in general, its not something you can work out at home. We would do a clinical examination to check for arthritis, and blood and urine test to check for all these diseases. Well do that even if we think its an emotional causewe have to rule out other factors as well.

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How Often Do I Need To Clean The Litter Box

Most cats are by nature fastidious. Cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves, and naturally prefer a tidy bathroom as well. Consider a human going into a public restroom: if someone before you fails to flush, do you proceed and use the toilet? Doing our best to keep the litter clean and appealing to cats is one of the most important factors in maintaining good elimination habits in our pets.

Every Day: Scoop all clumps. Some cats prefer the litter to be scooped even more frequently.

Every Week: Empty all litter and any residue from;the box, refill with clean litter.

Every Month: Empty all litter and thoroughly scrub the box with hot water and mild soap;before refilling. Some cats prefer this to be done weekly.

Every Year: Completely replace the litter box.

Add More Litter Boxes In Different Locations

Why Won’t an Old Cat Use the Litter Box? : Cats as Pets

If a cat’s not covering his poop, it might be because the litter box is in a location your cat doesn’t like. Or maybe you don’t have enough boxes. It’s a good rule of thumb to provide at least one litter box per cat.

Put the litter boxes in different locations. Make sure that some are away from loud noises like washing machines or heavy foot traffic. A cat who gets distracted by noise might forget to cover his poop.

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Q: Why Do Cats Use Litter Trays But Dogs Do Not

Dogs are very different from cats. They are not instinctively inclined to use a litter tray because they do not have the same behaviours as a cat.

It is possible to train a dog to do this but it would take a lot of time and dedication because this is not a natural thing for them.

Cats do this instinctively because it is part of their nature. And, as we discussed previously, they have a very specific reason why they want to do this, which is hiding their scent.

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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What Your Veterinarian May Ask For

1.;;;;; Details about the color, consistency, and odor of the stool. A photo of the poop will go a thousand miles in helping your vet give a proper diagnosis and food and treatment plan.

2.;;;;; The frequency of the bowel movements, the volume of the stool, if your cat is straining while passing the stool, and whether the stool has any fresh red blood or mucus.

3.;;;;; When booking your appointment with the vet, ask if they would like a stool sample and request specific directions on how they would like this collection, the quantity, and stored in advance of the appointment. Some vets may require to do some blood work to help determine the problem. This will simplify the diagnostic process and lead to a targeted treatment for your cats diarrhea.

4.;;;;; While at it, ask if your cat needs to fast in advance of the appointment since the vet may need to do some blood work.

5.;;;;; When was the onset and how long has the diarrhea been going on? If the stool is bloody, contact your veterinarian immediately.

6.;;;;; How many times per day does your cat have diarrhea?

7.;;;;; Do you notice an increased urgency, stool accidents outside the litterbox, or straining to poop?

8.;;;;; Have you seen blood or mucus in the feces? Examine the litterbox to identify these problems.

9.;;;;; What is your cats dietary history, including recent food changes and treats?

10.; What treatments, if any, has the cat been given, and how did they work?

11.; Are there any other signs of illness, including vomiting, lethargy, or appetite loss?

What You Can Do

13 Reasons Why a Cat Is Not Using the Litter Box (With ...
  • If your cat is eliminating in response to a new resident in your home , have the new resident make friends with your cat by feeding, grooming, and playing with your cat. Also make sure good things happen to your cat when the new baby is around .
  • Resolve conflicts between animals in your home .
  • Restrict your cats access to doors and windows through which they can observe animals outside. If this isnt possible, discourage the presence of other animals near your house .
  • Reduce your cats stress using stress reducing techniques like clicker training and play therapy .

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Do Cats Prefer Open Or Closed Litter Boxes

Most cats prefer a clear view of their surroundings, so its best to opt for an open-style litter box. And since closed lids can trap smells, it may also make for an unpleasant environment for your pet. We like the open Natures Miracle High Sided Litter Box because its cheap, it has a low entryway but high sides that contain messes, and theres a smooth, easy-to-clean interior. If your picky kitty does prefer an enclosed litter box, get them the Modkat Flip Litter Box. It looks nice in the corner of a room, the doorway is big enough for cats to get in and out comfortably, and the hinged top flap is easy to open for cleaning.

Your Cat Doesn’t Like Its Litter

Cats are picky when it comes to litter. If you switch your cat’s litter on them suddenly, that gives them a very good reason to poop outside of the litter box. Your cat’s dislike may have to do with one or some of the following:

  • texture
  • quantity
  • quality

Make sure you stick to the same brand of litter. Even switching one clay litter for another, for example, is enough to upset your cat. They can tell that the texture and scent has changed. In addition, many cats don’t like odor coverups . They may not like the quantity, quality, or feel of the litter also. Too much litter can be just as problematic as not enough litter.

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Reduce Their Space And Restrict Favoured Areas

Depending on where they are pooping, a starting solution would be to block off the areas they are regularly using. Directing them into a small area where the litter box is located can help with their litter box habits.

Since cats are clean creatures they prefer to ‘go’ in appropriate areas. Blocking off inappropriate areas can help train your cat to ‘go’ in the desired area.

Consider A Jumbo Litter Box

Top Reasons For A Cat To Stop Using The Litter Box

There are a lot of larger litter tray designs on the market. These jumbo litter boxes are big enough for two cats to share comfortably. But make sure you keep on top of the cleaning.

Also keep in mind that cats will probably not use the litter box at the same time. So, even if you get a jumbo litter box, you should still have multiple options for a multi-cat household.

This will help them feel more comfortable and less stressed.

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Aggression Between Catslitter Box Logistics

There are several factors to consider, including the number and size of boxes, location, type, litter box filler,etc. Inappropriate elimination could be the result of having too few litter boxes,using the wrong size or type of box,placing the boxes in appropriate locations, or using the wrong litter box filler.

Please read our Litter Box Facts handout for detailed information on maintaining your cats litter boxes.

Your Cat Doesnt Like The Litter Box

Some cats really are this fussy. There are open, closed, and automatic litter boxes. Some cats will not be comfortable using closed boxes, they dont like feeling closed in.

Other cats will not use open boxes and they feel too exposed. So try both if youre having issues, it may just be the deciding factor.

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A Few Ideas To Keep In Mind:

  • Cats were originally desert animals, so think of your litter box as a small desert .
  • Cats have no concept of right or wrong. Instead, they think in terms of meeting their needs. When your cat is using the litter box, theyre never thinking, Im doing the right thing. And if your cat is not using the litter box, theyre never thinking, Im doing the wrong thing. If they are consistently using the litter box, its because it meets their needs. If theyre not using the litter box, its either because it doesnt meet their needs or there is another area in your home that better meets their elimination needs.

Your Cat Is/was Feral

Why Is Your Cat Not Using Its Litter Box?

Feral cats can certainly be habituated and rehabilitated and make wonderful companions, but you will notice that they aren’t quite like cats that are bred or come from generations of domestication.

Feral cats tend to have more energy, “wild” instincts, might be more active but still shy, and also revert to weird instincts like hoarding food , and burying their poop and pee . Generally, they will grow out of this once they realize that your house is safe and it’s also their permanent territory, but some might need some helpful deterrents to get them to stop. It often comes down to allowing them to feel secure and feel like the house is truly their safe space.

Medical issues can cause a cat to poop in the house.

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Why Is My Cat So Scared

Shy or fearful behavior is most often caused by negative associations made in early life. If a cat doesnt interact with people often or experiences abuse or trauma, later, he or she may be afraid to trust human caretakers and become a skittish kitty. Here are some common reasons why cats exhibit fearful behavior.

Chemicals Toxins And Poisoning:

Ingesting chemicals or toxins can cause diarrhea in cats. This diarrhea can be either chronic or acute, depending on what type of poisoning the cat is experiencing.

Acute Diarrhea will often occur when the cat ingests something poisonous, like a toxic houseplant.

Cats can be very curious creatures. If you have a cat, you must know which plants are poisonous and avoid bringing them into the house.

Even plants that arent specifically known to be poisonous can still do a substantial amount of damage to your cats stomach.

If your cats enjoy getting into your plants, consider purchasing wheatgrass , which is not only safe but also very nutritious.

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Add More Litter Boxes

If you switch to a low-sided litter box and your old cat is still doing their business elsewhere, try placing more litter boxes around your home. Galaxy suggests putting them in places where your cat has recently peed or pooped. You also can try placing one on each floor of your home. For many senior cats, he says, its a matter of convenience, and simply adding more litter boxes can help alleviate the problem.

Why Does My Cat Meow After Pooping & Peeing

Cat Care & Behavior : Why Cats Use Litter Boxes

If your cat meows loudly after using its litter box, it may seem strange. However, it is normal in cats and often nothing to worry about. In general, if your cat has always meowed after going to the bathroom, youve no cause for concern. But if their behavior has suddenly changed, you need to figure out why.

Their meowing could be their way of simply informing you of their actions, asking you to clean their tray, or requesting help. However, several medical conditions can make it painful for your cat to eliminate causing them to yowl and meow every time they go.

Heres a look at all of the possible explanations in more detail so you can find out why this strange behavior is happening.

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