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Answers to why my Cat won't use the Litter Box
Cat litter is a wonder of modern development for cat owners,
even still, man cats refuse to use their litter box.
Not only is keeping a cat convenient and helpful for the
pest control they can provide, but they are also a pleasure
for most owners, and now the major irritation of cat
ownership has been removed. You now can easily remove your
pet's waste without the smell or mess, even to the point of
buying electronic litter boxes which allow you to never even
see the feces.
But the modern wonder of cat litter is not always
appreciated by our feline companions. Some cats, even though
they are provided with a clean and convenient place to do
their toilet, still choose to deposit their waste wherever
it suits them, in places like on your carpets, your bed, in
your closet, etc. So it is important to watch your cat and
make sure that it is using the litter box as it is supposed
There are many reasons why a cat may turn up its nose at its
cat litter box and opt to use the floor instead. For one
thing, if you buy a cat litter box that is too small the cat
will be uncomfortable and will probably not use the box.
Cats need room to dig and turn and squat. They will not like
using a box that is only the size of their back end. The cat
litter box must be at least as long as they are in both
width and length.
Another reason may be the type of litter that you are using.
Cats are notorious for being finicky and they will not use
cat litter that doesn't feel right on their paws. When first
introducing a cat to cat litter buy a small bag and see if
your cat likes it. This saves you some money and gives you
an idea of what it will put up with. Also keep the litter
box clean; cats don't like the smell of their urine and
feces any more than you do.
The problem could also be the type cat litter box that you
are using. There are three general types of cat litter
boxes: an open box, closed box and an automatic cleaner.
Cats usually seem to enjoy the open cat litter box more than
a closed cat litter box because it provides plenty of room
to move around. But most owners prefer the other two because
they are convenient for the owner. The closed box will stop
the cat from throwing cat litter out of the box and stop
some of the smells from going through the house, especially
if the box has a filter as some do. The automatic cat litter
box cleans up waste as soon as it happens, making it
convenient and keeping the smell down, but the cat may not
like the noise that the automatic cat litter box makes upon
its leaving. Some automatic boxes are programmed to wait ten
or so minutes before running for that reason.
Remember that the animal is the one in control of his waste
disposal in this case. As stated above a cat will go on the
floor rather than use a cat litter box that it doesn't like.
It is recommended that you buy both an open and closed box
and see which one the cat prefers before deciding which it
You need to make your cat litter box attractive to the cat.
For this reason, when you set up the box and the cat litter
that the cat has chosen to use make sure that it is placed
in an out of the way place where there isn't much traffic or
other odors. The laundry room is not a good place, and
neither is the garage or bathroom for the same reason.
Chemical smells found in the laundry, garage or bathroom may
make your cat turn up its nose and go somewhere else. Your
cat litter box must be kept in some place that is accessible
to the cat and where the cat can spot it easily, but be sure
to put it where children and dogs don't have access.
Fill the cat litter box with enough cat litter to make it
easy for the cat to dig and bury its waste, so it can move
it around as it pleases. Put too little cat litter in the
box and the cat will not use the box. Digging is instinctual
and cats will almost always dig and use the box if you
provide them with enough to dig in.
If the cat has trouble finding the litter box it also won't
use it, so if you hide it behind furniture or in a cabinet
make sure the cat knows where it is and can easily find it.
Remember, if you can't see it neither can your cat. Some cat
litter makers tell you to put a cat litter box on all levels
of a multi-level house so that the cat can easily access the
cat litter box once it needs to go.
Do not put air fresheners or deodorizers in your cat litter
box even if it does smell bad. Chemical odors are a definite
turn off to cats and they will not stay where the odors
remain. Cats want the cat litter box to smell like them.
It's an instinctive way of marking their territory and they
may not use the litter box if it smells like chemicals and
flowers. If you choose you can use baking soda to absorb
some of the smell. Baking soda is neutral and gives off no
scent, while taking scent away.
Do not provide just one cat litter box for multiple cats.
Each cat should have its own cat litter box. This is again a
territorial instinct and some cats are very picky about
their territory. They don't like to share.
There is another reason your cat may be not using the cat
litter box and this could have to do with its health. If
your cat has contracted a disease, has a kidney or bladder
problem, or has a respiratory infection of some kind it may
start depositing waste willy-nilly about the house. See a
veterinarian quickly if you think that is what is wrong.
Many people have no problem training their pets to the
litter box because this method makes use of built-in
instinct. If you do continue to have trouble after bringing
a cat home consider giving the pet up to the shelter and let
them know that it has a problem with going outside the box.
They may be able to help the animal and train it to do
differently. Most people who own cats are away from home
much of the day on weekdays at least, and don't have the
time to train an animal to the extent that a cat needs in
order to break a habit such as going to the bathroom on the
The real key to training a cat to go to the cat litter box
is catching them while they are young and putting them into
the litter box regularly, so that they initially learn to go
in the box. If the habit to let them go where they will is
developed and not corrected until they are an adult,
sometimes it can't be corrected. But this is rare, since
most cats will go to the cat litter box naturally. Don't get
discouraged if your cat has accidents. Just follow the steps
above and keep trying to satisfy your cat. The likelihood is
that your cat is just temporarily confused and the problem
can be corrected.
Help your Feline Friend Live the Longest Life Possible