Why Isn’t My Cat Using Her Litter Box?

One out of every 10 cats will develop an aversion to the litter box at one point in their lives. If your feline friend is shunning her bathroom, use these tips from your Lafayette, LA veterinarian to get things back on track.

Visit the Vet

Before doing anything, set up an appointment to have your cat examined by your veterinarian. There is the possibility that medical issues, from injury, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections to parasites and disease, could be the root cause of your cat’s box aversion. You’ll need to have any issues resolved before moving on to another solution.

Clean the Box

Would you enjoy doing your business in a dirty bathroom time after time? Neither does your cat! One of the most common reasons that cats shun their litter box is because of a lack of cleaning by the owner. If you’re not cleaning out your cat’s box daily, she may be avoiding it entirely. Be sure to add a bit of fresh litter when you clean the box in order to replace that which you’ve removed, and remove all litter and replace it with fresh once a week.

Switch Litter

Cats might have particular preferences when it comes to their litter. Most are fine with clumping litter, but some might prefer non-clumping. In addition, some cats might only like unscented litter and get turned off by a scented variety. You can also experiment with different base materials and other factors to see what your cat likes best.

Change the Box’s Location

Just like us, cats prefer to do their business in peace. If you’ve placed your cat’s litter box in a noisy, busily trafficked area where a lot of human family members and other pets spend time, it’s not likely that your cat will be too keen on using the bathroom there. Try putting the box in a quiet back room or in the basement, where your pet won’t be disturbed.

Professional Counter-Conditioning

Some cats harbor a negative conditioning toward their litter box from when they were a kitten; perhaps a loud noise startled them when they were first using a box, and they’ve developed a fear because of it. This may require professional counter-condition to rectify, so call your veterinarian to get started.

Want a recommendation on litter or a litter box type for your feline friend? Call your Lafayette, LA animal hospital today.

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