Surprisingly, about one in every ten cats will experience a litter-box aversion at one point or another, choosing to eliminate outside of their litter box and creating a mess on your carpets and floors. There are many reasons why a cat might decide to do this. Below, your Dunn, NC veterinarian fills you in on what might be going on.
Cats can be picky about where their box is located. Like you, your cat doesn’t like to do her business in a crowded area with a lot of hustle and bustle. That’s why it’s best to place the box in a quiet, out-of-the-way part of the home, like a basement or laundry room. Your cat will be able to use the bathroom without being disturbed by human family members or other pets in the house.
If you have multiple cats in the home, here’s the rule of thumb to follow: keep one litter box per cat. Cats can learn to share, but having one box per cat is a good way to avoid any territorial behavior from the get-go.
Nobody likes using a dirty bathroom. Your cat feels the same way! If a litter box isn’t cleaned often enough, Fluffy may decide to stop using it entirely. We recommend scooping out your cat’s waste on a daily basis, adding a bit of fresh litter to replace that which you’ve removed. Change out the litter entirely about once a week or so to make sure things stay smelling their absolute best.
Did you know that different cats like different kinds of litter? Some cats prefer clumping litter, while some will like non-clumping better. Many cats are thrown off by scented litters. There is a wide variety of granule sizes, base materials, etc. that litters are made with, so you might have to try a few types before finding something that your cat seems to like using.
It’s also possible that a cat is eliminating outside of her litter box because of a medical condition. Urinary tract infections are particularly common amongst cats, and typically cause inappropriate elimination. An injury is also possible; your cat might not be able to get into the box itself because of pain.
Learn more about your cat’s litter box behavior by calling your Dunn, NC veterinary clinic. We’re always here to help!