You’ve come home to an unwanted “surprise” – but this time the culprit is the cat.
Why isn’t he using the litterbox? It could be a number of reasons. And unlike a dog, punishing a cat by rubbing his face in the mess is not the answer.
21cats.org shared an article on this very problem with Pet360. Here are some behavioral reasons to consider:
- Litterbox is too dirty to use. Cats are very clean and if the box is dirty they will find another place to go.
- Litterbox is in too high traffic of a place. Cats won’t go to the bathroom in a place that is loud or congested, so keep your box somewhere that is quiet and calm.
- Litterbox is too small/large. Your cat’s box should be large enough (not too large) for your cat to stand in and move around and the litter should be no more than a few inches deep.
- The litter itself isn’t of your cat’s liking. Yes cats can have litter preferences and some of these start when the cat is young. When you get your pet check what the pet store, or shelter is using as litter and continue using that type. Also don’t get into the practice of continually switching brands and types of litter, this may throw off your cat’s routine and confuse your cat as to where to go to the bathroom.
- Your cat has recently been declawed. A newly declawed cat will not like the feeling of litter on his/her paws and may thus avoid the litterbox altogether.
- Litterbox is too close to food or water. Cats will not eat and go to the bathroom in the same place, so keep these two areas separate.
- Litterbox doesn’t have 2 easy escape routes. Cats like to be able to see two clear directions of escape while in the litterbox, this is an instinctual feeling stemming from not wanting to be ‘snuck up on’ at an inopportune time.
- Other cats also use this litterbox (in a multiple cat home) and your cat wants his own box. As a general rule you should have at least one box for each cat in your home.
- Your cat is marking to exhibit his/her dominance in the home. This can happen when a new cat is brought into the house or your cat is being treated against the natural cat hierarchy in the house.
- A stressful situation has occurred in your cat’s life such as a move to a new home or a new child or cat being brought into the home. In this case you may also need to retrain your cat to go to the box.
There are several other things to consider when it comes to this issue. You can read more by clicking here.