Solving Litter Box Problems

Cats are very fastidious creatures and nowhere is that more evident than in their litter box.  When your cat won't use the litter box the cause could be anything from an unclean box to an illness.

Before you try some easy strategies to get themback in the litter box, have them checked out by a veterinarian to rule out health problems.

Reasons Cats Won't Use the Litter Box

Environmental - 
~ A change in the kind of litter you use
~ Adding new animals or family members to the household
~ An uncomfortable location of the box that doesn't allow for privacy and multiple escape routes
~ Negative associations - your cat may have been upset while using the box or may associate the box with painful elimination, even if their health is normal

Medical - 
~ Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - If your cat frequently enters the litter box but only produces small amounts of urine, they may have a UTI.  The urine may also have a "pink" color to it.
~ Bladder Stones or Blockage - Your cat may frequently enter the litter box, but also experience pain and meow or cry when trying to eliminate and their abdomen may be tender to the touch.  This is very common in male cats who eat mainly dry food.

Tips & Suggestions to Help Get Your Cat Using the Litter Box

If your veterinarian has ruled out a health problem, try these suggestions - 

~ Scoop & change your cat's litter at least once a day
~ Move the litter box to a quiet location where your cat can see anyone approching and quickly escape.
~ Go back to using their old litter if you've recently switched their litter.
~ Don't use box liners.
~ Use a larger litter box.
~ Use less litter.  Cats like a shallow bed of litter no more than 2 inches deep.
~ Try adding Cat Attract

What NOT To Do If Your Cat Has a Litter Box Problem

Getting a cat to eliminate in the litter box is about patience, not punishment. 

~ Do not rub their nose in urine or feces.
~ Do not scold them and carry or drag them to the litter box.
~ Do not place the litter box near where pets eat or drink.
~ Do not give them food or treats when in the litter box.  Cats don't want to be disturbed when eliminating.