Why Your Cat Won’t Use The Litter Box and What to Do to Fix It

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You know, I noticed something strange about my own cat.

It wasn’t his eating habits.

It wasn’t his sleeping habits.

It wasn’t his playing habits.

It wasn’t his walking habits (yes, I have trained my cat to walk on a leash!).

In fact, it was none of those things.

None of those things set off any alarms.

If I was going to judge my cat’s health and well being off of the aforementioned criteria, it would have been fine.

There was something else wrong.

As I soon discovered, it was his bathroom habits.

he had his own litter box for his bathroom needs.

But for some very odd reason or reasons, he stopped using it.

This had me very worried.

And I’m guessing you may be going through the same thing, which is why you’re reading this article right now.

So without further ado, let’s get into why your cat stopped using its litter box and what you should do.

Note: This article is for people who have cats who already used a litter box then stopped using it. If you are trying to train a new kitten or cat then see this article on how to litter train your new kitten or cat.

7 Reasons Your Cat Stopped Using the Litter Box and What You Should Do

See a veterinarian.

A cat could stop using its litter box for many reasons, some of which could be life-threatening and that could spell trouble.

You want to rule out all possibilities of diseases and serious health conditions and make sure your cat’s health or life isn’t in any danger.

Never try to speculate or self-diagnose the issue for your cat… see the vet first!

Clean the litter box.

Even if your cat is ruled out for any disease or serious health conditions, you still want to make sure its litter box is healthy. Scoop it out at least once or twice a day and throw any soiled litter away.

I personally recommend using paper-based litter. Purina’s Yesterday’s News Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter is a great choice.

Move food and water stations away from the litter box.

You don’t want anything that will compromise the cleanliness of the litter box. Put food and water stations in another part of the house where the litter box is not located.

Make sure the litter box is in a quiet place.

You don’t want to put the litter box is a noisy place.

Your cat will be much less likely to go to the bathroom if it’s in a noisy place.

Clean the box once a week.

Just like with scooping out the litter box once or twice a day, add on to your cleaning efforts by using mild soap and water. You don’t want to take any chances with harsh chemicals that your cat may be extra sensitive to.

I particularly like these Litter Box Scrubbing Wipes by Nature’s Miracle which are plant-based and won’t aggravate your cat.

 Replace all the litter at least once a week.

Just like with scooping out and washing out the litter box with mild soap and water, replacing the litter with fresh, clean litter will ensure that your cat is going to your bathroom in a clean place.

Don’t use harsh chemicals.

Just like having a smelly litter box can keep a cat out of the box, harsh chemicals can have the same effect and drive your cat away. Just stick to mild soap and water.

When it comes to removing stains and odor from urine I really like Rocco and Roxie’s enyme-powered odor and stain remover available on Amazon.com. It’s a #1 bestseller with over 8,000 reviews.

Video: Why a Cat Stops Using Its Litter Box

If you still don’t know what to do or if you’re still confused, don’t worry! I have you covered. Just check out the video below and you should be good to go!

Key Things To Remember if Your Cat Stops Using the Litter Box

  • Always see a veterinarian.
  • Always keep your cat’s litter box clean.
  • Monitor your cat for other warning signs of strange behavior.
  • It’s your responsibility as an owner to make sure your cat is happy and healthy.

Final Thoughts On Why Your Cat Stopped Using a Litter Box

A cat not using its litter box is no joke. So don’t take it lightly.

Don’t brush it off as your cat being bored with using the litter box or wanting to go use the bathroom somewhere else in another part of the house where it’s not supposed to go.

Always check with your veterinarian.

He or she will tell you the best course of action and of course, if your cat gets cleared, you can always follow the steps above.

Remember, a healthier cat is a happier cat.

cat stopped litter box