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What should you do if your cat stops using his litter box

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-toiletThere are times that your cat may stop using his litter box. You’ll find that he’ll go right outside the box or in another room. What causes this? There are several things to consider. Did you change the brand of litter recently? ¬†Cats are sensitive and if they don’t like the new litter, they may not want to go in it. If they stop using their box, something is bothering them. In my case, my younger cat stopped using her box because my older, dominant cat would block her and swat her if she went near the box. The solution was to get a second litter box and put it in another room. This worked, now both of my cats are back using their litter boxes.

If your cat is straining in the litter box, or visiting the litter box repeatedly without producing anything or producing tiny drops, there is a good chance that he/she has a urinary tract infection and needs to be seen by a vet. Otherwise, try making the following adjustments:

  • Try a different brand of litter. Cats have very sensitive noses and ofter dislike any perfume or chemical odors.
  • Get a larger box and more of them. Sometimes the box is too small. More boxes is better than having poop or pee on the floor.
  • Try moving the box to a more private yet accessible area.
  • Put the box in the area where he’s peeing or pooping.
  • Take out any plastic liners and remove any covering.
  • Spray feliway where they are going.¬†This is a cat pheromone you can find in many pet stores, and online. It calms cats and keeps them from marking. Spray where they tend to go pee.
  • Keep their box very clean and scoop every day and clean it out once per week.
  • Don’t yell at him or punish him if you find that he’s not using his box. There is a reason for it, you just have to figure out what it is.

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