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Why your Cat won't use the Litter Box
Brought to your by: Alfred,
Senior Editor of the Cat Care Section
If a cat doesn't use the litter box like it is supposed to
it's a big problem for you and the cat. It's very hard to
make your cat do anything it doesn't want to do, and trying
to force the issue can make the problem worse. And the cat
eliminating where it's not supposed to go stinks and makes
more of a mess for you to clean up.
There are several reasons why your cat may be doing this.
One reason is that your cat may have a bladder infection. If
you watch your cat going to the
cat litter box and it flinches
and acts like it is in pain when it does urinate you should
take it to the veterinarian and get it checked for a bladder
infection. Some male cats have chronic bladder infections
and begin to associate the litter box as a bad place where it
Another reason may be that your cat is being bullied by
other cats in the house. A cat that is the "low man on the
totem pole" in a multiple cat household may be bullied by
the other cats when using the litter box. If you have
several cats and they all use the litter box fine, except
for one, try getting another litter box or even several and
putting them in different parts of the house so the cats
have a choice as to where to go.
Another cause might be that the cat may have scent-marked a
particular area in your house. If the cat keeps going in the
same spot over and over again no matter how many times
you've cleaned that spot then it has that spot scent-marked.
Here is what you should do: Get a bottle of pet scent
remover, preferably with a citrus smell, and clean the area
really well and let it dry. Then tape down some aluminum
foil or saran wrap over the spot. The cat won't like the
texture of aluminum foil or saran wrap, so it will be
disinclined to walk or scratch there. Then put the litter
box right next to that spot.
Cats are highly social animals and like to be where their
people are. After some time of the cat regularly using the
litter box you can slowly move it to another room, but for
now it needs to go there until your cat develops a habit of
using the litter box again.
If this doesn't work it is suggested that you get a water
pistol and every time you see the cat go near that spot
shoot it with water from the pistol. This way it associates
that spot with water and getting wet which most cats
Still another possible reason for a cat's stopping using the
litter box is that you aren't cleaning the litter box often
enough. Some cats will refuse to use a litter box that is
smelly and dirty and isn't changed as often as they would
like. If your cat uses the litter box after you clean it and
then in one week it decides it doesn't like that place, this
is most likely the reason.
Another reason could be that the cat doesn't like the litter
that you are buying. Some cats are highly particular about
the material you use in their litter box. Try changing
litters until you find one that your cat will use
consistently. If you are using a litter that is highly
perfumed try an unscented one. Cats want to smell their own
waste, it tells them that they have marked their territory
and that this is where they can do their toilet, and so
Editors note: Alfred has over 30 different articles on his
Cat Care site where you can discover just about anything
you ever wanted to know about cat litter, training cats to
use the litter box, types of litter and so forth. To get there
just select the Cats link found at the top of this page.
Whatever the reason your cat doesn't use the litter box; you
should take the cat to the veterinarian to be checked.
Sometimes it can be a health issue or an emotional problem.
In both cases the cat can get help and medicine to combat
the problem. Never allow your cat to just eliminate where it
pleases. This is harmful to the cat and makes it a very
unsuitable cat should you ever decide to give it up for
adoption. And it makes your home unsuitable for humans as
** Commercial Break **
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licking those chemicals off.
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