Litter Box Problems in Cats

Cats are known for being finicky thus they want their immediate environment to be as clean as possible. This attitude also makes them fastidious groomers. Even their litter box habits are certainly remarkable.

However, there are cases when cats develop elimination problems. These are litter-trained cats that suddenly start doing their thing somewhere else other than their litter box.

Here are some possible explanations why your cat suddenly stops using his litter box:

Health Problems

Bringing your kitty to the vet can help determine the underlying medical problem or rule out health issues. Some health problems associated with inappropriate elimination among cats include having a heavy parasite overload, arthritis and other joint problems, a nutritional disorder, disease of the digestive tract, or bacterial infection.

Behavioral Causes

A cat may avoid using the litter box because of various reasons—it is not clean enough; it is too cramped; it has a cover; a plastic liner; it does not like the litter being used; some cats don’t like a box with a self-cleaning motor.

Your kitty may also associate the litter box with a negative experience such as having been startled while using the box.

The location of the litter box is also an important factor to consider. It should be placed in an area with less household traffic. It should not be placed near the washing machine, dishwasher, or other household machines. Other potential reasons related to box location include placing near food or water bowls, or in an area which requires the cat to pass by other pets in order to get to the box.

Emotional Stress

Cats can easily suffer from stress overload. Most tend to shy away from their litter box when undergoing emotional stress that give rise to feelings of anxiety and frustration.

Some common triggers of emotional stress include:

  • A change in routine
  • Too much traffic going inside and outside of the house
  • Noise overload
  • Something new in the household (a pet, a baby, a visitor, furniture, etc.)
  • Boredom as a result of a lack of physical and mental stimulation

Solving Litter Box Problems

If your pet cat has been issued a clean bill of health by your veterinarian, you can try carrying out any of the following measures to deal with your cat’s litter box problems:

  • Clean the litter box thoroughly to remove all traces of feces and urine. Use a product specifically formulated for the purpose.
  • Transfer the litter box to a new location.
  • Spray some commercial pheromone preparation that mimics specific scents that a cat can associates with his body pheromones.
  • Get a new litter box.
  • Spot clean the litter twice a day and thoroughly clean the entire litter box at least once a week.
  • Switch to another type of litter.
  • Apply a thinner layer of litter or just line the litter box with newspapers.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope the information helps you out!

Sarah Walker
Sarah Walker