Why Won’t My Cat Use Its Litter Box?

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It is no secret that cats are very independent animals. If you don’t care much for slobber and long walks then it is probably safe to say that you fall into the “cat person” category. Though extremely independent cats do require maintenance. Though not as demanding as their four-legged counter-part, the dog, proper kitten care is required to keep your feline healthy and happy.

Related: Why Does My Cat Bite Her Nails?

One of the most common complaints among cat owners is inappropriate urination or inappropriate elimination. To make sure that you completely understand what I am referring to, please allow me to explain. Inappropriate urination is when Felix decides to pee in your favorite pair of shoes rather than his litter box, and inappropriate elimination is well, you know when he poops anywhere other than his litter box. Both can be annoying, not to mention expensive!

There are many reasons why your cat may suddenly start using your closet as his personal toilet. Let’s start with the easy to fix, obvious reasons first. Cats are naturally clean animals. If their litter boxes are not cleaned and scooped on a regular basis they may rebel and eliminate outside of their box. This is their way of telling you that it’s time to clean the kitty toilet. Clean your cat’s litter box frequently. In fact, it is a good idea if you “scoop the poop” at least once per day. Once a month, you should give your kitty’s box a good cleaning. Use a mild soap and avoid cleansers that have strong fragrances or ammonia.

As they say in real estate, location is everything! This goes for your cat’s litter box as well. If you move the location of your cat’s box and he begins to leave you unwanted presents in your pile of laundry, well, he could be saying that he does not like the new location of his toilet. Cats are not called finicky for nothing! Changing litters can also upset your pretty puss. Many cats don’t like change, especially when it comes to their litter box. If you need to change litter, introduce the new litter slowly. Mix in a small amount of the new litter with the old. This will allow your cat to adjust. Eventually, if all goes well, you can wean out the old litter altogether. Many cats don’t like litters that smell of un-natural, strong fragrances. Though these fragrances may smell nice to you, the kitty might not be so happy. There are many different types of cat litters on the market. Once you find a litter that your cat likes, it is a good idea to stick with it for as long as possible.

If you have tried everything possible and your cat is still eliminating outside of his litter box then it is a good time for a trip to the veterinarian. Many cats will avoid their litter box when they have an underlying medical condition. Certain medical conditions such as bladder stones, constipation, and urinary tract infections are just a few conditions that often cause cats to shun their boxes. Cats that are having medical issues often associate the pain and discomfort they are feeling with their litterbox, hence the reason they avoid it. If you see blood in your cat’s urine or if he is straining when he goes to the bathroom, then you should take him to the vet as soon as possible. The vet will treat your cat’s medical condition which in turn will probably solve your litterbox problems.

Overall, cats are easy to care for. If you keep your cat’s litter box clean and your cat healthy, you should have very few problems with inappropriate urination and elimination. Cleaning your cat’s box may not be your favorite thing to do, however, both your cat and your shoes with thank you in the long run! And that my friend, is the scoop on the poop in your cat’s litter box.

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