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My Cat Isn’t Using the Litter Box – Help!

Has your cat seemingly shunned her litter box and started eliminating on your floors and carpets? There are many reasons why cats might give up on their bathrooms! Below, your Happy Valley, OR veterinarian tells you more.

Cleanliness

You wouldn’t like to do your business in a dirty bathroom, and neither would your cat. If you don’t scoop out Fluffy’s bathroom frequently enough, she will refuse to continue using it! Scoop out your cat’s used litter on a daily basis, adding a bit of fresh litter to make up for what you’ve taken out. Every week, dump the litter entirely and replace it with fresh litter. This will ensure that your cat’s bathroom stays in pristine shape.

Placement

Cats like to use the bathroom in private; we can’t blame them. Put your cat’s litter box in a quiet, out-of-the-way location like a basement, back bedroom, or bathroom where there isn’t a lot of noise or activity. This way, they’ll be completely comfortable using the litter box and won’t experience interruptions.

Litter Preference

Did you know that different cats like different types of litter? You might need to try out a few kinds of litter to see what your cat prefers. There are scented and non-scented litters, clumping and non-clumping litters, various granule sizes, different base materials, and much more! Ask your veterinarian for more information on the different kinds of litter that are out there.

Conditioning

If your cat has had a bad experience with the litter box in the past, it might still be affecting her in the present. Sometimes, a cat who was frightened while using the litter box as a kitten will develop an aversion to the box, meaning that they’re afraid to use it as an adult. This may require the help of a veterinary professional, animal behaviorist, or animal trainer to correct; ask your vet for help if you think this might be the case with your cat’s litter box problem.

See Your Vet

Injury, illness, and other medical issues could be to blame for your cat’s litter box aversion. If you’ve tried the above methods and still can’t get your cat to use her litter box properly, set up an appointment with your vet to have your cat examined. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

For more information on your cat’s health, behavior, and wellness needs, call your Happy Valley, OR animal hospital.

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