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It’s a relatively common problem amongst cat owners—your feline friend decides to shun her litter box, choosing to eliminate instead on your carpets or floors. The question is, what could be the cause of this behavior, and how can you put a stop to it? Learn more below from your vet in Tipp City, OH.
Rule number one for making sure your cat continues to use her litter box regularly: clean it! Cats don’t like doing their business in a dirty bathroom, and if their box isn’t up to the proper feline standards, they may decide to stop using it. Scoop out your cat’s waste on a daily basis, and change the litter entirely about once a week or so to make sure things stay fresh.
If your cat is frequently disturbed when using the litterbox, perhaps by human traffic, loud noises, or other pets in the house, she may develop an aversion to it. This is why it’s always best to place your cat’s bathroom in a quiet, calm location where Fluffy won’t be disturbed while using the box. In most homes, a basement corner, laundry room nook, or upstairs bathroom works well.
Much like us, cats don’t like to use the bathroom in close proximity to where they eat their meals. Cats have been known to stop eating their food, or shun the litterbox, if the two are placed right next to each other! It’s a good idea to separate these areas so that your cat doesn’t develop any sort of aversion.
Although it sounds obvious, it’s important that you make sure your cat’s box is accessible to her at all times, including when you’re away at work or school for the day. It’s easy for a screen door, sliding door, or other physical obstacles to block your cat’s path to the bathroom! If this happens, Fluffy will be forced to eliminate elsewhere.
It’s possible that a behavioral issue is the root cause of your cat’s litter box aversion; perhaps she was startled in a litter box as a kitten and has been conditioned to be frightened of them. Medical issues could even play a role; this is a particular problem with our older feline companions.
Do you think your cat needs medical attention? Set up an appointment right away at your Tipp City, OH veterinary clinic.