There is probably nothing more frustrating than litter box accidents. In fact, habitual litter box accidents are the number one reason why cat owners rehome their cats. When your cat refuses to use the litter box, there is usually an underlying reason. Before you become exasperated by your cat’s inability to make it to the litter box, here are some common causes for this problem.
LITTER BOX WOES One of the main reasons why a cat begins to refuse to use the litter box is because it is dirty. Many cats are extremely fussy about the condition of their litter box, while others will use it no matter how full it looks. If your cat has a litter box accident, the first place you should check is the litter box. Some pets prefer their litter box cleaned out after each use. While this is time consuming for you, it may be a simple fix to this problem. You should start a daily routine of cleaning out your cat box and you may find that this solves your problem.
If you have multiple cats needing to use a litter tray then be sure to have more than one. For example, if you have four cats in your home, then you should have at least one litter box per cat. Cats like to have their own space, and this is especially true when it comes to their litter box. In fact, some veterinarians recommend that even if you have only one cat, you should have at least two litter boxes.
Another thing to take into consideration is the type of litter you are using and the size and shape of the litter box. If you have a tray litter box without a lid, maybe your cat would feel more secure in a closed box. If you have an older cat, or a young kitten, your feline may be having a difficult time getting in and out of a closed top box. Watch your cat carefully when they use the litter box. If you find they are having a difficult time getting in and out of the litter box then consider getting a different box. Also, your cat may be extremely fussy about the smell or texture of the litter.
HEALTH ISSUES Your cat may be refusing to use the litter box because of health related issues. If you have tried all the above tips and nothing seems to be working then it is time to visit your veterinarian. Cats that have bladder problems, urinary tract infections, kidney failure or diabetes are more prone to litter box accidents than healthy cats. You need to take your cat to the vet and have a thorough health exam performed to find out if your cat has a medical issue. If this is the case, your veterinarian can prescribe medication to help your cat.
HABIT AND YOUR CAT’S TERRITORY If your cat has been ill or stopped using the litter box for any reason, you may find they refuse to use the litter box again. If your cat has an accident it is important to clean the area thoroughly to get rid of any odours that may remain. In addition, it may be your cat has not stopped using the litter box but is marking his territory. This is especially common in multi-cat households or when you bring a new pet home. This is also more common in males than females. Even male cats that are neutered can mark their territory by spraying urine.