Is your cat no longer using the litter box? Well, there are a variety of reasons that prompt the cat to avoid the litter box. Cats are very choosy animals which are depicted in their habits in the litter box. If your cat stops using the litter box, then most probably there are several underlying reasons to make the pet avoid it. However, before you try some of the strategies to get it back to the box, you must have the cat examined by a veterinarian to rule out any medical condition.
Being a cat parent, you might brag about how your cat has been able to train itself and adopted to using the litter box. However, sometime later the cat might stop using it without any explained reason. This becomes very frustrating as some can be very discouraging. They might defecate whichever area they want. Therefore, as earlier stated, you should be able to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to rule out any medical condition.
There are various reasons to make the cat avoid and stop using the litter box. Some of them are medical while others are environmental and the surrounding factors.
An unclean litter box
The general cleanliness of the litter box should be paramount. It should be up to standard so that the cat may feel comfortable whenever using the litter box. If the litter box is not clean, it can introduce infections. A dirty litter box may lead to kidney stones, urinary tract diseases among others. Moreover, we as human beings cannot use an unflushed toilet as it is unhygienic. The same applies to cats. Cats being very choosy they may start avoiding the litter box to find a better and cleaner place to settle. Moreover, these UTIs are not symptomatic to cats and therefore it may take you a long time to realize it which is very fatal.
Changes in the household routine
It is important to note that cats always know the scent of their litter box. Thus if you have replaced his regular litter box with a new one, it may not accept the change of brand. Therefore, you must maintain the same litter box by keeping it clean rather than replacing it.
Addition of a new cat.
If you have recently acquired a new cat, it is important you also get its litter box. This is because cats may not fancy the idea of sharing their litter with a newcomer. This may also prove that the cat no longer enjoys its freedom and privacy if it starts sharing the litter box hence it will avoid it at all cost.
A change in the environment
We’re always looking for a place to settle or moving out of a city or town due to a change in job or new places for new beginnings. If you have recently moved out and settled somewhere else, this may be another cause as to why the cats are no longer comfortable using the litter box. A move to a new home will make the cat more ineffective and therefore may not be appreciative of the new environment. An additional of a person coming into the same house and settling in will make the cat see one a stranger and therefore may have its reserved reasons thus avoiding the litterbox. This is because this upsets the cat as it feels that their privacy is being intruded upon.
Cat is very sensitive and does not appreciate noisy environments. These include door bangs, loud laughs, and loud music. These lead to the cat triggering some hormones in the brain hence making it get some stressful behaviors. This may lead the cat to consistently leaving the litter box thus opting to stay outside. Thus it is essential to make sure there is minimal noise around and near the litter box. This makes the cat comfortable and may use the litter box at ease. Thus make the cat comfy by creating an environment that has no traffic and will let the cat go about its business comfortably.
Location of the litter box
Being creatures of habit, cats are very unique. If you have to move the litter box, then it has to be gradual and not instant. This is because the cat has already registered the previous location as permanent. When moving the litter box from an established location, do it gradually. This makes the cat adjust as well as not to realize if the movement is even going on. Moreover, the cat litter box should be placed preferably in private areas that are free of blockages, human traffic, and intrusion from other animals or pets around.
Size of the litter box
Always take to account the size and age of your cat. Is it the same age as you bought it? If you acquired it as a kitten, then the litter box may unsuitable for the cat at an advanced stage. Moreover, the cat may have added some weight hence unable to fit on the same. This might also be a good reason as to why the cat may stop using the litter box since the confinement area might not be enough for its business.
A different litter box
Cats develop a liking to certain litter boxes that they prefer. Once you switch the litter box then they develop a dislike for the new one making them stop using the box. Moreover, it should be noted that cats do not like hooded litter boxes. This is because they seem risky and cats being instinctive may think that they have no escape route in case of any danger. Therefore, they might not like the usage of the litter box. Thus the cat may not advisable to change it but gradually to make sure the cat does not avoid the litter box,
How to ensure the cat uses the litter box
The behavior of the cat not using the litter box can be very frustrating. It can well be resolved easily and on time. To ensure that your cat fully utilizes the litter box you should ensure the following are adhered to and taken into account regularly.
Regular changing and cleaning of the litter.
This is mandatory and should be at least weekly. This helps it avoid getting any stench. This is because the cats are often attracted to a sense of smell. If the litter box attracts any type of unpleasant smell, then the cat will not use the litter box. Therefore, measures such as general cleanliness of changing the litter box regularly will ensure your cat does its stuff peacefully and at ease. It is also important to keep the litterbox topped so that it does not seem too low. This is because the cats maybe not want to use something that will leave their stuff exposed as it might be put them off.
Regular retraining of your cat on how to use the litter box
If your cat has been avoiding using the litter box while you bring another cat that appreciates the litter box, then you have to reason out and train the cat on how to use the litter box. This can be achieved using the following steps below.
The first step one has to do while training the cat on litter box usage is first by introducing the litter box to the cat. You can accomplish this by showing the cat where the litter box is and placing the cat inside the litter box. This ensures that they learn what the box entails and the purpose of the same. Though they might not be enthusiastic about it in the first place, with time they can learn and appreciate the litter box.
If you find out that your cat is not using the litter box and keeps on going about its business everywhere, try by taking the litter box to where the cat prefers to do its business and encourage the cat to use it. Avoid punishing the cat as it may end up associating the litter box with negativity.
If your cat does not like doing it inside the house and instead prefers going about its business outside the house, then it is important for you to time it and follow it with the litter tray so that you signal it to use it.
Once the cat takes the hint and starts using the litter tray, start by helping build a positive connection with other litter boxes. Consequently, you should avoid the cat from doing its business outdoor for some time until it has mastered the use of the litter box. This is okay as within a short period you will be surprised that they are regularly using the litter box.
Why do cats suddenly stop using the litter box?
This can be a result of the problems associated with stress factors. They may include changing the litter box position, or being chased by the dogs’. Moreover, if the blinds around the cat are not properly closed, they might end up being disturbed by cats outside or even other distractions that may start putting them off regularly. Therefore, it is important to keep their bowls full and in the same place always to maintain a routine.
Why does my cat poop on the floor all of a sudden?
Three main reasons may cause a cat to poop all over the floor suddenly. This can be triggered by either a medical condition, dirty little box as well as stress. Therefore, one should first have a veterinarian examine the cat to rule out any medical condition. You should then try to unravel if there is anything significant that has taken place in the cat’s life over the few past days. These may include the entry of a new pet or even changing of the environment around the cat as well as a loss of a companion. These are some of the reasons that may lead to the pet avoiding the litter box.
How do I retrain my cat from using the litter box?
This can be achieved by converting her litter all over by sprinkling it on the carpet. If the cat does not object, then add more. If your cat likes eliminating on the smooth and sleek surface, you should try giving it the box to do its business. If it does not agree, then put a small chunk of its litter at the edge of the box. Have one edge bare and then leave the box on the hard floor. This will amazingly work to your advantage as the cat will eventually opt to use the litter box.
What should one do if the cat prefers eliminating inappropriate places?
You can thoroughly clean the area where you prefer using an enzyme cleaner to eliminate any odor in the area. It is important to note that the cats may not poop near food. Therefore, you can place a bowl near the area it wants to poop.
Additionally, you can block the place that is not suited for the cats pooping hence directing it to the preferred litter box. You can also place a small outdoor cattery where the cat may opt to poop. It should be spacious as the cat can be able to play around as well as poop within the same location. You can also make the wrong places undesirable by covering them with aluminium foils or plastic raps. This will eventually drive the cats away and they will not poop inappropriately
Cats are our companions and friends. When they start avoiding the litter box, it can be very upsetting to both the cat and the owner. It is also important to keep in touch with your vet in case of any medical checkup. If you don’t have enough time for this, try asking the community for any possible solutions. Once you have resolved the issues then the cat will resume the normal routine.