Here’s Why Your Cat Isn’t Using Their Litter Box

Litter box! Why is my cat not using it?

You are probably going to be a bit frustrated when your cat refuses to use the litter box. After all, that means you’ll have to clean up after your rebellious feline, and you may be left wondering why your cat won’t just use the litter box like they’re supposed to.

Let’s look at the reasons behind this problem, so that you can get a better understanding of your cat.
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The location of the litter box could be a problem

Where you have the litter box situated is a key part of making your cat want to use it. If the litter box is near an unfriendly animal, like your pet dog, then your cat will probably shy away. If you have situated the litter box in a hard-to-reach place or out of the cat’s normal pathways, then you may find yourself cleaning up after your cat more often than you would like. It’s not a bad idea to rearrange the litter box to a better location if you see that your cat doesn’t go where it is very often.

Your cat could be stressed out

If your cat is feeling aggressive, stressed, depressed or fearful, then they may not want to use the litter box. Defecating and urinating are naturally vulnerable activities, and if your cat is feeling threatened in any way, then he will probably want to find a safe pace to do his business. The litter box might simply not be set up in place where your cat feels comfortable when he is going through a moody phase. You may need to move the box or address your cat’s emotional state.

If there is something that is stressing or depressing your cat, then you may simply need to move it out of the environment, even if that something is a pet dog or another cat. It’s okay to give your animals some space from one another, especially if one of them is unwell. That space and alone time can help to calm the nerves and help your cat get through his emotional phase much faster.
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Your cat may be suffering from a medical problem

There are bunches of different medical issues that could lead to your cat refusing to use the litter box. You’ll especially want to look out for changes in your cat’s behavior that are accompanied by physical symptoms of unwellness.
Here are a few medical reasons why your cat may not be using the litter box or may have trouble using litter:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urinary crystals
  • Kidney failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes

You may not know whether your cat has any of the symptoms of these medical problems, but you can start to look for them. Pay attention to abnormal behaviors or physical traits that seem off to you, besides just the litter box issue.
Cats that are overweight may be suffering from diabetes, which can result in litter clumps being left outside the box or urination spots near the litter box. If you are unsure if your cat is suffering from symptoms but something seems off about his health or behavior, then you should take him to see the vet. If you notice that your cat’s poop is an unusual small, his or her diet could be to blame. We’re About Pets explain more about that here.
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Your cat may not like how the litter feels

Some litter isn’t going to be very comfortable and comforting for your cat. If the litter is tracked all over the house, then your cat probably won’t like it very much. Your cat cleans himself regularly and likes to keep himself neat and orderly. Litter that sticks to his feet and leaves a trail may not be something he wants to deal with. You should invest in non-tracking cat litter, if you think that might be a problem.
Pay close attention to how your cat uses the litter box and what aspects of the litter he likes or dislikes, then you can make changes based on what you observed.

Final thoughts…

If you are still having trouble trying to figure out why your cat refuses to use the litter box, then you’ll want to talk to his veterinarian and get some professional advice. There is a solution, and you simply have to realize what the root issue is in order to fix it.