Dr. Stephanie Janeczko, D.V.M., is the Medical Director for Animal Care and Control in New York City.
Although we often believe that the cat using the litter box we provide for them, it is arguably more surprising that they are usually so eager. Feral cats do not seek for dark, often stinking dungeons where they can barely squeeze in to do their business – yet this is frequently what we want of our domestic feline companions!
Have two reasons for cat stop using the litter box:
- They associate the litter box with something unsavory.
- Something about their litter box irritates them.
These may appear to be two different ways of saying the same thing at first glance, yet there is a distinction here. The first reason is discomfort while urinating or defecating, or being trapped in the litter box by a bully cat, which teaches the cat to link the kitty litter box with anything unpleasant. The second reason is self-evident, but it is elaborated on afterwards.
Some cats are entirely content with their litter box, while others may avoid using it owing to conflict with other animals. This is a regular problem in families with multiple cats, and once placed in an environment where he or she is the only cat, the unhappy, stressed cat will usually return to utilizing his litter box. Even if there is no social conflict, a cat may utilize an other location if the single litter box in the house is currently in use when the cat needs to go!
Other cats want to use their litter box, but they have an underlying medical condition that causes them to go elsewhere in your home. If your cat is urinating or defecating outside of the litter box, see your veterinarian to rule out any medical issues.
Wondering about Why Does My Cat Scratch Everything? Check it out on our latest post!