Why Isn’t My Cat Using the Litter Box?

One out of every 10 cats will experience a litter-box aversion at one point or another. If your cat has seemingly shunned her bathroom, you’ll need to find out why and put a stop to it. Below, your Temecula, CA veterinarian offers some help.

Box Location

Your cat’s litter box location is very important. Don’t place it too close to your cat’s food and water dishes—cats have been known to shun either their box or their food if the two are in close proximity. Also make sure the box is located in a quiet, low-traffic zone. Just like us, cats don’t like doing their business in a crowded, noisy spot. Last but not least, make sure your cat’s box is accessible at all times; if a screen door or other obstacle prevents your cat from reaching her bathroom, she’ll be forced to go elsewhere!

Litter Preference

Cats can be picky when it comes to their exact litter type. Most cats are fine with clumping litter, but some may prefer non-clumping. Scented litters are another option. Try experimenting with different sorts of litter types, consistencies, and scents to find out what your cat seems to like. Feel free to ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.

Negative Conditioning

If your cat was frightened early on in life while using the litter box, she may be negatively conditioned against them now. This may require a professional’s help to correct—contact your vet’s office to find out how to go about reversing your cat’s conditioning.

Other Cats

Do you keep multiple cats in the household? Not all cats are keen on sharing the bathroom. It’s possible that your cat isn’t using the litter box simply because another cat is. Experts recommend having separate litter boxes for each cat if at all possible; this reduces territorial behavior and makes it more likely that your cats will work in harmony to use their respective bathrooms.

Medical Issues

Still can’t get your cat to use her litter box properly? Set up an appointment at your veterinarian’s office. It’s possible that medical issues or injury could be preventing your cat from using the litter box. You’ll want to have your feline friend examined to make sure she’s in full health.

Do you have further questions about your cat’s litter box preferences? Want a recommendation on a particular box or litter? Call your Temecula, CA veterinarian’s office today.

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