Whether is from day one or sometime down the line; some cats have problems using their litter boxes. This is very frustrating for a cat owner who has to clean up after their messy kitty. There are several reasons why your cat may have an issue with using his box from behavioral to medical and even environmental. Cats are very much creatures of habit and association habits can take shape and stay prevalent for a long time. To avoid chronic litter box avoidance, cat owners must make the litter box experience as friendly as possible. Here are some common issues and management solutions to help your kitty use the box.
- You are not keeping the litter box clean. Cats will avoid a messy box and find a new place to eliminate waste, like on your favorite chair or the carpet only feet away from the hard tile floors. Your cat is not purposefully doing this to upset you, but he's telling you that box is unacceptable to use, please clean it.
- You're cleaning the box with cat-repellant. Trash all the old litter when you clean your cat's litter box and clean the box with hot water or a garden hose and high-velocity sprayer, like me. If you choose option two, stand back. Don't use scent soaps or chemical cleaners, including anything lemon scented. Cats have much stronger noses than we do and an unpleasant smell in their litter box will keep them away from it.
- Your cat can't get to the box or can't find it. Sometimes, we move the box and forget to tell the cat. Or we've blocked the door to our cat's sanctuary. If your cat can't get to the box, he might choose to go elsewhere. Try to keep the litter box 100% accessible at all times.
Other reasons for your cat's sudden dislike of the litter box may be a change in litter type that doesn't feel good or you put too much litter in the box in the first place. Cat's don't like it too deep. Your cat may also be experiencing a medically-related issue. You know your cat best. Watch him and try to understand why he suddenly stopped using the box.