About one out of every 10 cats is going to experience an elimination problem that will cause them to change their litter-box habits. There are also many cats that don't want to start using a litter-box in the first place. It can be a frustrating problem but not one without a solution. Here are some possible solutions to consider.
The first and most important thing to check is if the cat has a medical problem that needs attention. If they suddenly change their habits, including the way they use the litter box, it is often a symptom of an underlying illness. A veterinarian should be consulted to rule out this possibility.
Some of the more common health-related issues could include a urinary tract infection (UTI), bladder stones or feline cystitis. Anything that leads to discomfort could cause your cat to stop using the litter-box and to begin favoring other areas of the home, such as the carpet, bedding or the sofa.
Cats may also be finicky when you introduce a new feline member to the household. They don't often play well together, especially at first and it could manifest itself as a problem in the litter-box department. If this is the case, it is necessary to make the litter-box as cat-friendly as possible. You might also need to add some additional litter-boxes to the area, depending on how many cats are using them.
Those are two of the more common problems you may experience. There are also many other issues that could cause your cat to change their habits, including the following:
- Changing the brand or type of litter
- Changing the location of the litter-box
- Not cleaning the litter-box frequently enough
- Having too much/little litter in the box
- Using a small or large of a litter-box
- Moving into a new home
What If Your Cat Won't Start Using The Litter Box
Some people mistakenly think that a cat will automatically start using the litter box from the moment it is in place. This can lead to frustration but all that may be necessary is to properly introduce the cat to it.
Begin by putting the box in an area where the pet traffic is high and filling it with only an inch or two of fine-grain litter. That is the type that is preferred by most cats.
Do not cover the box for the first week and put the cat into the box on occasion. It is especially important to introduce them to the litter-box when it is more likely that they will use it.
Above all, keep the box as clean as possible. No cat enjoys using a litter-box that is dirty, especially if they haven't quite got the hang of it. Clean it every time they use it if needed.
Dealing with a cat that isn't using their litter box can be a frustrating experience but it doesn't need to be the end of the world. With a little planning and some work on your part, you will likely find that the experience quickly becomes a distant memory.