Did your cat stop using the litter box? Is kitty turning your apartment into a giant bathroom? Or maybe they are always peeing in one dedicated place which, unfortunately, is not the Princess’ potty?
There are many reasons why this sudden change in behavior can happen. Luckily, most of them are pretty easy to solve once you know what your cat wants when it comes to a kitty toilet.
Here are 7 potential reasons why your cat is no longer using the litter box as intended and solutions for each of them. Stick around, and I’ll give you 3 additional tips for motivating your cat to use the kitty toilet.
Table of Contents
- Potential reasons why your cat stopped using the litter box plus a few solutions
- Other possible solutions and tricks to get your kitty to use the litter box
Potential reasons why your cat stopped using the litter box plus a few solutions
Urinating in various places can be a symptom of health problems including:
- bladder infection
- urinary tract infection
- kidney issues
- crystals in the penis
Solution: Check with the vet first
If your cat has started this behavior recently, after being completely litter-trained, it is best to check with the vet to make sure your cat is healthy.
If you see any blood in your cat’s pee, rush to the vet as soon as you can because it is obviously something serious.
Territorial issues: “No one can pee where I pee!”
Cats can get pretty territorial with their toilets! Some cats don’t like to share their litter box with other cats because they want to mark their own territory where no cat has peed before.
Solution: Have more boxes than kitties
The solution for this is quite easy. Simply add another litter box so that each cat can have their own. Or even better, and this is recommended by vets, have 1 litter box more than the number of cats in the house. So, if you have 2 cats, you should have 3 litter boxes.
The litter is not cat-approved
Your cat might not approve of the litter you’re using for their kitty toilet.
- Is the litter dusty?
- Are the granules too large and uncomfortable under your cat’s feet?
- Is the litter sticking to your cat’s paws?
All of these are reasons why your cat might start avoiding the litter box. If you recently changed the litter brand, your cat might not like it.
If your cat is declawed, then the type of litter you use may be hurting them. Declawed cats suffer from paw problems because of damage from this kind of surgery.
Solution: Try different litter types and brands
Try a different type of litter. Most cats like soft litter so it might be the best option for your cat. Look for non-dusty litter that doesn’t stick to your cat’s paws. Try different products, and hopefully one of those will be kitty-approved.
I know that many people have had good experience with Dr. Elsey’s Cat Litter so it might be worth a shot.
The type or the size of the litter box is not right
The litter box that you’re using might be too small so you cat is having a hard time using it. Or, perhaps, the entrance of the box may be difficult for the cat to use. This is especially true of felines that suffer from arthritis or hip issues, which makes it harder to enter and exit the litter box.
Solution: Try another box
If this is the case with your cat, there is no other solution than to try using a different litter box.
So, make sure the new box:
- has an easy entrance
- is big enough for your cat
And make sure to place the box away from the food bowls. Hygiene is very important to cats and they don’t want their waste near their food, just like humans.
Hygiene is not up to kitty’s high standards
How often do you scoop the litter box?
How often do you change the litter?
Your cat might not be satisfied with the level of cleanliness when it comes to their kitty toilet and they will show you that by not using it.
Which products do you use to clean the box?
If you use bleach or a cleaning agent with a citrus smell, you’ll have to wash it off really well so the smell completely disappears. Remember, your cat has a much better sense of smell than you do. Just because you don’t smell a particular odor doesn’t mean that scent doesn’t bother them.
Solution: Scoop more, clean more
You might be scooping once a day, but if your cat doesn’t feel it’s enough, you’ll have to do it more often. If you can, try scooping as soon as the cat uses the box or at least twice a day.
Regularly change the litter, though the time will vary depending on the litter you’re using.
If the box is scratched, it can start smelling bad to cats because scratches trap odors. In this case, get a new litter box.
When you’re washing the Princess’ potty, use a mild odorless cleaning agent that won’t annoy your cat.
Privacy issues: “Don’t look at me while I pee and poop!”
Where is your cat’s toilet located?
Some cats don’t like to feel exposed while they’re attempting to ‘do their business.’ Placing your cat’s bathroom zone in rooms like the living room and other areas that see a lot of people passing through can stop your cat from using the potty. Your cat might not be thrilled about the location of the kitty bathroom zone and is protesting by peeing around the house.
Solution: Put the litter box in a quiet, private place with low traffic
- Try the guest room, or if you don’t have a large apartment, bathroom might be a good choice.
- Another option to consider is hiding the litter box in a closet in the hallway.
- If you have trouble finding a good place for the litter box in a small apartment, you can use a curtain or some kind of cover to make it more private.
- The potty must always be easily accessible to your cat, so don’t put it somewhere too complicated for your cat to get to.
It can be hard to detect when your cat is stressed. Even if they don’t seem different than usual, they might be under a lot of stress. Sometimes, that anxiety will manifest by peeing all over the place.
- Have you made any bigger changes that might have affected your cat?
- Have you moved the furniture?
- Did you get another cat?
- Is your cat being bullied by another cat?
- Did someone move in with you?
- Any other change that might be minor to you but stressful for your cat?
Solution: Extra attention, cuddles, and entertainment
Other possible solutions and tricks to get your kitty to use the litter box
If your cat is peeing in only one place in the house instead of a box, put the potty in that exact location. Your feline might simply like that location, for whatever reason. At least now, they’ll continue peeing there, though hopefully, they’ll do so in the kitty litter instead of the floor.
Mix vinegar with water and spray it in the places where your cat pees. Cats don’t like vinegar which makes this solution an effective way to keep your cat from peeing there.
Add some Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract mixture to the litter to motivate the cat to use the feline restroom. Many cat owners have had a positive experience with this product.
I hope these tips will help you tackle this problem and that your cat will start using the box in no time!
Let me know how it goes in the comments section!