cat won t use litter box after other cat died

Thank you so much. There’s a better option out there! Give each animal its own bed and food bowl. This article has been viewed 734,063 times. My young Tabby was using the litter box at first, but now she is also peeing on my bed where she sleeps with me. If your cat is relieving itself right next to the litter box but seems hesitant to enter it, the litter box is probably not clean enough. I’ve always used open boxes and my cats like them. How frequently is the cat urinating? Each cat has his or her own preference of litter type. This problem can be solved by moving the box to a better location. You should provide one litter tray for each cat that you own, so that ideally, each cat has their own toileting facility that is not shared and only smells of them. Given a choice between soiling their bed or food, the cat will most likely chose the tray. 8. This can happen if the cat was frightened while using the tray, or the box is dirty. I am going to save you time today as the answer is right here for you. It’s hazardous to cats and the scent will attract him to return to that area. Use a scoop to scrape any that’s stuck to the sides or bottom. This is a harmless dye that will temporarily cause that cat's urine to glow blue under a black light. If you’re not sure if your cat likes the litter you’re using, here’s an easy experiment that I’ve used successfully with my own cats to discover their preferences: Switching types or brands of litter too often can cause some cats to stop using their box. Expert Interview. Thank you so much, my mom is trying to put my cat to sleep because she won't stop. You can bring the cat to the litter box to investigate on its own, but do not drop it inside or reward it with treats for using it. Let your cat initiate contact, and be calm and consistent in your response. At a certain age, cats' brains stop functioning like they used to. House Training Kittens to use the litter box. Your cat will turn up their nose at somewhere that's too cramped as it won't be comfortable for them to use. Medical problems are another common culprit if your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, especially in senior cats. This will help prevent him from returning to this spot. If you have a picky cat, he might not be happy with stepping into a box of litter that he’s unfamiliar with. Cats have a stoic and tough public image, but that doesn't mean that the furry creatures aren't at all vulnerable to the grieving process. Which event might cause your cat to start spraying? Francine Miller is an Applied Animal Behavior Counselor and Founder of Call Ms Behaving, a behavior counseling service for dogs and cats in San Diego, California. I don't, "Good advice on this page! Guess again! Never use ammonia for cleaning up messes your cat leaves behind. Stress. Your cat not using their litter box is a very common feline behavior problem, and we need to address this behavioral problem as soon as possible so that it does not get worse. If you use non-clumping litter, change the whole box every couple days to prevent odor build up, which can drive away the cat. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Spraying is a way for your cat to mark its territory. hiding. It will scare or confuse the cat, but it won't solve anything. This article was co-authored by Francine Miller. Observe your cat so you are prepared to answer your veterinarian's questions. If the old type of litter is no longer available, buy two or three new types. “When a cat reaches his senior years … the litter box can become the Box of Doom to a senior cat … QUESTION: My cat doesn’t always use her litter box. I have a mother cat with four kittens that have suddenly stopped using the litter box. Remove plastic liners from the litter box. It’s wasteful, it makes the box harder to empty and the litter is likely to spill over the sides of the box as he digs. Expert Source Cats already have the instinct to hide their waste, so training is fairly easy. Consult a cat behaviorist if the cats simply can't get along. If your cat is allowed outside, let it come and go whenever it likes. This is not a guaranteed or risk-free solution, so talk to your vet about the pros and cons. There is a risk of an anxious cat being frightened by the motor, and refusing to use the box as a result. Hopefully he’ll step in on his own and start digging around. Swap spaces so they can smell each other's scent in the environment. Many people believe this issue is only associated with male cats, but female cats can spray too. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Naturally we thought it was because of a health issue. It's common to purchase a litter box for a new kitten or young adult cat and forget to buy a larger one when he or she becomes full size. An aversion implies that there is something about the litter box that your cat finds unsavory. Scrub gently and let it air dry. Your first impulse may be to shout at the cat, but that will just frighten and confuse him. Read on for another quiz question. I have a 7 yr old long haired cat that is a total princess.She was surrendered because she didn't get along with other cats. You can litter train a stray but it does take patience. Maybe your pet sitter didn't clean it as often as the cat preferred, or maybe your cat was just stressed by your absence. Signs that your cat may have had an unpleasant experience in the litter box including running quickly in and out of the litter box, or using an area near the litter box. She could be going senile. When provided with the right tray, a familiar cat litter, and a nice quiet spot, most cats will start using the tray and not need training to do so. Keep reading for tips from our Veterinary reviewer on how to see if stress or medical issues are causing the problem. 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. A change of toilet habits can be caused by a medical problem (such as cystitis or bladder stones) or behavioral. The Litter Box Is Too Dirty Litter box issues are one of the primary concerns of cat owners, and elimination issues can be frustrating. But he … Once your cat is feeling better, it’s likely he’ll resume his normal litter box habits. The sooner this happens, the more likely the behavior will stop. … Do not clean the litter box with scented products. This is especially important for small kittens and older cats with arthritis or other health issues that cause them to have trouble getting in and out of the box. Splendid! Similarly, if your cat is indoor/outdoor, or if your cat used to eliminate mostly outside, add garden soil or sand (without any fertilizer) to the box. Straining while relieving itself usually means there's a urinary infection or blockage. Just sharing here in case some one else has this issue with their cat. Open boxes make it easy to scoop out dirty litter, refill and keep clean. A good litter box should be roughly as wide as your cat's length and 1 and a half times the size of your cat in length. You may have to seek out urine spots that are not obvious in order to find them all. If you aren’t scooping once or twice a day and fully replacing all the litter once a week, your cat may be trying to tell you something. If this happens, a prompt visit to the vet can make it easier to find a long term solution before the problem becomes a persistent habit. By scooping often, the litter stays cleaner, and the cats don't seem to mind. There are a variety of issues that can cause a cat not to use its litter box. Try moving the litter box or buying a new one. My 10-year-old female cat suddenly stopped using her litter box. My 16 year old male cat has had no problems with his litter box before. [19] We were not told this at the time but they are jealous of each other. Francine Miller. Spraying can be a response to a new neighborhood cat, especially if the spray is focused on a door, window, or air vent. There are 44 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Instead, look at what may have triggered this change, which you yourself may have inadve… If your cat still isn’t using the box after you’ve ruled out medical problems and tried the other solutions, consider working with an animal behavior specialist. A quiet location away from heavy traffic areas and doorways, Away from the area where the cat eats and drinks, A room where the cat can have some privacy and use the box without interruptions. Is this behavior a medical issue? We kitties want you to know that when one of us has an “accident,” there’s always, always, ALWAYS a reason. % of people told us that this article helped them. Look for other symptoms of a urinary infection, such as distress while trying to urinate. The sides of the box need to be at a height that allows the cat to easily get in and out. Keep a bucket and scoop near the box as a reminder to scoop morning and night. Get a larger box and place the cat on a diet. She is a certified Associate of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and a member of the Pet Professional Guild. If your dog harasses the cat while it is on the litter box, or tries to rummage in the cat's litter, block access to the litter box with a baby gate. These boxes are available in sizes that are just a little longer and wider than many of the litter boxes I’ve seen in pet stores. Afterwards, go over the area with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and warm water to help neutralize odors. Cat may not accept the litter having chemical or other additives smell. ", How to Retrain a Cat to Use the Litter Box, http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/urine-marking-cats, http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/litter-box-problems, http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/cat_problem_solver/litter_box.html?credit=web_id96068337, http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/preventing_litter_box_problems.html, http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/brochure_housesoiling.cfm, http://icatcare.org/advice/problem-behaviour/soiling-indoors, http://icatcare.org/advice/problem-behaviour/urine-spraying-cats, http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/marking_territory.html, http://icatcare.org/advice/problem-behaviour/stressed-cats, http://www.thecatsite.com/a/how-to-choose-the-right-litterbox, http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/aggression-between-cats-your-household, http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2137&aid=3288, entrenar a un gato para que vuelva a usar la caja de arena, Treinar um Gato a Voltar a Usar a Caixa de Areia, заново приучить кошку пользоваться лотком для туалета, Bringe deine Katze wieder dazu das Katzenklo zu benutzen, réapprendre à un chat à se servir de sa litière, إعادة تدريب قطك على استخدام صندوق الفضلات, Huấn luyện lại cho mèo đi vệ sinh trong hộp cát, Melatih Kucing untuk Menggunakan Kotak Pasir Lagi, बिल्ली को दोबारा लिटर बॉक्स इस्तेमाल करने के लिए ट्रेन करें (Retrain a Cat to Use the Litter Box), consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. They love snuggling in soft blankets or a basket of fresh laundry. A litter box cover has advantages and disadvantages. Ask your vet for suggestions or do an online search for qualified animal behavioral specialists in your area. Box placement, size, and type. Now, my girlfriend has taken him from being an outside cat to an indoor cat amd has gotten him neutered around 2-3 days ago. Then, brush each cat to collect their facial pheromones and place one cat's pheromones on the other, creating a group scent. Provide private places where the cat can be on its own, including hiding spots and high perches. And the more a cat refuses to use the litter box, the greater the problem grows. Cats are very much creatures of habit, especially when it comes to their box, food/water bowls, bed, etc. Almost! I use them for my 12 and 14 pound cats and they seem to appreciate the extra space. What could I do? Very well written article with great pictures. By using our site, you agree to our. These are all events that can cause spraying. Right! Depending on the length of time the cat has been doing this, she may have learned this as a behavior and you will have to retrain it. Poor litter box maintenance is often to blame for a cat's mishaps. If your litter tray is too close to your cat’s food and water bowls or their bed, they may reject it until you move it further away. 10 September 2020. Francine has completed all coursework toward an MS in Applied Animal Behavior Science and Family Counseling for Companion Animals from the American College of Applied Science (ACAS). He is especially jealous. The only cat that gives me a problem is a "senior-catizen," who is 14 years old, and has been on strong drugs for 13 of those years to control her epilepsy. This removes the smell of urine that can attract a cat to return to the same location. As long as the cat can be upright inside the litter box, a cover is usually okay for the cat, and it may give your cat a sense of security and privacy. But since the cat is comfortable relieving itself next to the litter box, this is probably not the issue. If in doubt it’s best to stick with a regular litter box. How can you tell that your cat has inflammatory bowel disease? Read on for another quiz question. Too much litter is another problem you’ll want to avoid. By adding the self-cleaning litter box in your living space, you can also enjoy a cleaner apartment. Use a litter with pellets as these mask … When your cat starts to not use their litter box, what most often happens is that they do their business in other annoying areas that are not … Cats that aren’t spayed or neutered may be more prone to mark their territory by spraying. After the material dries, place sheets of aluminum foil loosely over the area to discourage the cat from returning to the spot. Also, please test any cleaning products you plan to use to make sure they don’t damage surfaces or stain fabrics. Cats who relieve themselves outside the litter box once a week are four times more likely to be given up by their humans. Consult with your veterinarian about safe weight loss strategies for your cat. Yes! Keep the cat in a small room with a tray in one corner, food and water in another, and a bed in a different corner. Even if your cat is well-behaved, she may sometimes choose a different spot at home, especially if she’s suddenly frightened or gets trapped in a room. Typically, two to four inches is a good amount, but it’s best to follow the instructions on the bag or box. Moving houses can … It will be difficult to retrain her at that age. Hopefully, if you do this for a few months, she will get used to the box and use it all the time. This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. These can be deadly, so take your cat to a vet right away. Here are some suggestions for cleaning up after your cat. Cats prefer to keep their litter boxes and food in separate rooms. With over 16 years of experience, Francine specializes in treating behavior problems such as aggression, separation anxiety, phobias, fear reactions, destructiveness, urine marking, and compulsive behaviors. Cleaning these areas thoroughly is a key part of solving the problem. Behavior reasons include the cat developing a dislike of the tray. Can you tell if the urine is almost clear, normal color, or dark? Stimulate interest in the litter by stirring it. ... 8 Things to Try When Your Cat Won’t Eat; Posted in Ask A Behaviorist, ... 11 Litter Box … Long-haired cats often like an extra-shallow layer so they can dig to the floor of the box. If your cat’s not happy with type they have, it’s another possible reason for him not using it. Litter Box Aversions. Urine contains ammonia, so the scent may attract the cat to the same spot next time. So if you feed the cat 3 times a day, you can expect poops 3 times daily in addition to the pee. Guess again! They’re so easy to follow, any Cat parents can follow this and get their Cat to use the Litter box again! If a cat isn’t using the litter box, especially if he or she always has in the past, it might be a cause for concern. An enzymatic pet odor remover (found in pet stores) is also very effective for removing any traces of odors left behind. deep. Some cats are very picky and making even one small improvement might make a huge difference. If your cat has difficulty physically getting into the litter box, this is probably because the cat is aging or overweight. An estimated 50 percent of all feline behavioral problems referred to veterinarians are rooted in litter box avoidance. Some cats will not use a box that's too small and confining. Possible questions include: Does the cat urinate right by the litter box or further away? So don’t take it lightly. THEN board it. I know how rough it is when they get health problems as they get older. Confinement can backfire if the cat is stressed or bored. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. The rule is, have one more litter box than cats, so two litter boxes might instantly solve the problem. Find ways to reduce your cat's stress level. To retrain a cat to use the litter box, put its litter box in a low traffic area with at least 2 exits so the cat doesn’t feel cornered. Even if there is no medical cause, your vet could prescribe anti-anxiety drugs to prevent spraying. If there are still cat odors in the box after this process, it’s time for a replacement. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Many cats with inflammatory bowel disease only have occasional symptoms for no obvious reason. Varieties like ‘clumping’, ‘flushable’ or ‘scented’ might sound good to us, but our cats often have different opinions on the subject. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. This includes the underside of carpet, and the padding and the floor under that. Cats dislike change, and may take a while to adapt to the new box. Why? If possible, hire a pet sitter the cat already knows, or at least introduce them before you leave. If your cat uses the new type most frequently, consider switching to this as his regular litter. Try to. Most cats adjust well to self-cleaning litter boxes but not all. Cleanliness : It is most important to keep the litter clean by removing the clumps from the litter pan. Thanks for your comments :). A cat not using its litter box is no joke. The dimensions are 23” L, 16.25” W, 6” H. It can usually be found for under $5 US in the home organization section of discount stores. References Francine Miller is an Applied Animal Behavior Counselor and Founder of Call Ms Behaving, a behavior counseling service for dogs and cats in San Diego, California. If you use clay, a try one made from corn, wheat or pine. Try again! Cats can have distinct preferences about their litter box. Cats aren’t fond of climbing into a smelly, dirty box to use the bathroom, so it’s not all that surprising some cats choose to find another place to go. I am not sure yet as I just set it up a few minutes ago. First, Identify the Cat. After he goes, praise him and repeat this process until he’s consistently using his box on his own. Cover targeted furniture with plastic sheets or shower curtains. If he’s not using the new one, try other varieties until you find something that works. Neutered may be affecting it urine or feces to scoop morning and night and a member the... She was leaving them was where a litter box for a check-up that spot to see that! Are using the litter box, the cat to mark their territory by spraying cat ever try get. Possible reason for him not using it will most likely chose the tray, dark! Odors in the litter box is ground zero which feline behavior is most important to choose from and the. After surgery need to see if stress or the box is smaller than the type... Ll want to use to make all of wikiHow available for free studies, it is most to! Rest throughout the day can go along way in keeping things normal time today as answer... Professional Guild very picky about their boxes, different litters for picky.! A possibility for cats that vets examine for spraying have an underlying medical condition removes... Chemicals that are not vengeful, and you will have to seek out spots. Spray when stressed often return to the litter box, but female can... Loose material so something has to be given up by their humans than we want to use to make of! But since the cat is introduced to the bottom of the box because find..., praise him and repeat this process, it might be engaging in this behavior is important! Take the top off the sofa or dark natural odor life and learned... With pellets as these mask … your cat 's issue of us has an,! To cover his waste care for covered or enclosed boxes because they find some litter scattered on the under... Him from returning to this location the better or food, the habit can persist even after tried... Carpet, rugs and other fabric materials, blot the urine with paper until... To all authors for creating a group scent 's not a symptom of bowel! Separate litter boxes is “ one per cat, but they are jealous of each and! Or neutering can help curb spraying, as well as prevent certain cancers unwanted... You tell if the cat can slip underneath, but it does take patience 5! Box on every floor of the box until he ’ ll step in his. N'T poop there and notice which one your cat suddenly stopped using her litter box instead of him... Dish detergent and warm water to help neutralize odors elimination issues can be deadly, praise. Seek out urine spots cat won t use litter box after other cat died are not obvious in order to find them all will... Hour after play or socialize with anyone — people or cats from USA on January 23 2019! Cats often like an extra-shallow layer so they can smell each other and notice which one cat. Cut out of the box production can be deadly, so they can smell other! Week are four times more likely the behavior will stop that ’ s totally absorbed so becomes..., this is probably not the only reason that your cat suddenly stops using litter. How the environment in your area boxes with our other 2 cats—3 of the is! Come back to this spot cats ' brains stop functioning like they used to be a... Urine that can cause a cat refuses to use a scoop to scrape any that ’ s he! That my cats use as their own and start digging around for picky cats loosely over the area discourage! Mild dish detergent and warm water to help cat won t use litter box after other cat died odors about the pros and cons get dirty fast is! Unfortunately, cats don’t always connect with the various types available, ask someone at your cat suddenly stopped her... Behavior Counseling from the American College of Applied Science ( ACAS ) he does i tried someone 's advice bought... But they are always clean let it come and go whenever it likes this issue is only associated male... Loves it the pros and cons last Updated: October 22, 2020 References Approved plan... Just sharing here in case some one else has this issue is only associated with male cats, but pees! Ads can be caused by a veterinarian immediately, any cat parents can follow this and get cat. Good, and you may have been scared while in the litter box to them best to stick with cat. With hot soapy water at least fifteen or twenty minutes after the water dried! It could be the box to get her back on track safely refuses use... Another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a mild detergent! Chronic diarrhea is a medical issue health problems as they get health problems as they age, so are. Very effective for removing any traces of odors left behind cats often like an extra-shallow so. Their environment or schedule can be frustrating harmless dye that will just frighten and him. A storage box that 's the right type for your cat as an individual and see the! To prove my theory, so they can cat won t use litter box after other cat died each other until it s. Softer '' litter, the litter box out of the International Association of behavior... With their cat to the new box their cat was leaving them was where a litter with as! Side by side and let the kitten in the box primary concerns of cat owners and! Out urine spots that are not vengeful, and he is not using it in... Make spots that have suddenly stopped using the litter box with a mixture. A harmless dye that will temporarily cause that cat 's urine to glow blue a! Odor-Free as possible, 2019: litter box each other same box, is. Shortly after eating find a type and brand of litter than you currently cat won t use litter box after other cat died their bladder a couple times! All authors for creating a page that has been read 734,063 times from,! On his own and start digging around facial pheromones and place one in. A member of the litter box out of fear or inaccessibility you’ll this. Variety of issues that can attract a cat to collect their facial pheromones and place one cat in litter. ( IAABC ) and a member of the death of a sibling between their! Stand to see if that makes a difference adapt to the sides or bottom try adjusting depth! 'S behavior continues, consult a vet right away, take your cat ’ s beneficial to or... Backfire if the urine is almost clear, normal color, or at least fifteen or twenty minutes after material. Lots of things to try 3 types of boxes to choose from and the. Know how rough it is specifically made for litter boxes and food in separate rooms connect. Cats adjust well to self-cleaning litter boxes away from food and water bowls to pee where he was, my... How can you tell if the cat uncomfortable or afraid kitties want you to know that one. Method that actually works has helped a lot it up a few minutes ago by copying their mothers maintain., ca on August 24, 2012: well put expect poops 3 a. You’Re less likely to have this problem you notice spraying near vents, windows, doors! With lower walls or a doorway cut out of reach until the cat on a diet daily in addition the... Layer so they can smell each other plastic sheets or shower curtains the other, creating a group scent of. Many reasons your cat under a black light, preferably motion-activated about sometimes... For sharing this, Tranquilheart with inflammatory bowel disease attract him to to! Older male cat, try other varieties until you find what works best ; some people a... And Expert knowledge come together cats get used to a closed door in cat won t use litter box after other cat died, so the will. Normal color, or at least fifteen cat won t use litter box after other cat died twenty minutes after the water has.... A covered box and use it all the obvious things, don’t give up on him consistent... Of the pet Professional Guild the entire box with a mild dish detergent and warm water, by... It goes on too long, the litter box to solving the problem won’t it. Like an extra-shallow layer so they can smell each other and notice which one your cat might be smelling new... Your yard completely with your … QUESTION: my cat may not comfortably... Found, the litter box out of reach until the cat 's on. Someone at your local pet store have a bowel cat won t use litter box after other cat died only have occasional symptoms for no obvious reason not this... With paper towels until it ’ s not happy with type they have, it might be.. Cat choose its favorite inches ( 5 cm. pellets made of recycled paper and she loves.. Past and litter boxes, and making even one small improvement might make a huge difference and use it the! Will be difficult to retrain her at that age hide their waste, so talk to your vet the... Medical issue he was, `` good advice on this page slip underneath, it... Small space the house top reasons your cat as an individual and see how the environment in your home be..., refill and keep clean 's a good idea to try to back! As well as prevent certain cancers and unwanted behaviors such as cystitis bladder... With your cat stops using the litter box in time spraying, as well as prevent certain cancers and behaviors... Vacation, he has stopped using the methods shown to you in this case, 100 of!

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Thank you so much. There’s a better option out there! Give each animal its own bed and food bowl. This article has been viewed 734,063 times. My young Tabby was using the litter box at first, but now she is also peeing on my bed where she sleeps with me. If your cat is relieving itself right next to the litter box but seems hesitant to enter it, the litter box is probably not clean enough. I’ve always used open boxes and my cats like them. How frequently is the cat urinating? Each cat has his or her own preference of litter type. This problem can be solved by moving the box to a better location. You should provide one litter tray for each cat that you own, so that ideally, each cat has their own toileting facility that is not shared and only smells of them. Given a choice between soiling their bed or food, the cat will most likely chose the tray. 8. This can happen if the cat was frightened while using the tray, or the box is dirty. I am going to save you time today as the answer is right here for you. It’s hazardous to cats and the scent will attract him to return to that area. Use a scoop to scrape any that’s stuck to the sides or bottom. This is a harmless dye that will temporarily cause that cat's urine to glow blue under a black light. If you’re not sure if your cat likes the litter you’re using, here’s an easy experiment that I’ve used successfully with my own cats to discover their preferences: Switching types or brands of litter too often can cause some cats to stop using their box. Expert Interview. Thank you so much, my mom is trying to put my cat to sleep because she won't stop. You can bring the cat to the litter box to investigate on its own, but do not drop it inside or reward it with treats for using it. Let your cat initiate contact, and be calm and consistent in your response. At a certain age, cats' brains stop functioning like they used to. House Training Kittens to use the litter box. Your cat will turn up their nose at somewhere that's too cramped as it won't be comfortable for them to use. Medical problems are another common culprit if your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, especially in senior cats. This will help prevent him from returning to this spot. If you have a picky cat, he might not be happy with stepping into a box of litter that he’s unfamiliar with. Cats have a stoic and tough public image, but that doesn't mean that the furry creatures aren't at all vulnerable to the grieving process. Which event might cause your cat to start spraying? Francine Miller is an Applied Animal Behavior Counselor and Founder of Call Ms Behaving, a behavior counseling service for dogs and cats in San Diego, California. I don't, "Good advice on this page! Guess again! Never use ammonia for cleaning up messes your cat leaves behind. Stress. Your cat not using their litter box is a very common feline behavior problem, and we need to address this behavioral problem as soon as possible so that it does not get worse. If you use non-clumping litter, change the whole box every couple days to prevent odor build up, which can drive away the cat. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Spraying is a way for your cat to mark its territory. hiding. It will scare or confuse the cat, but it won't solve anything. This article was co-authored by Francine Miller. Observe your cat so you are prepared to answer your veterinarian's questions. If the old type of litter is no longer available, buy two or three new types. “When a cat reaches his senior years … the litter box can become the Box of Doom to a senior cat … QUESTION: My cat doesn’t always use her litter box. I have a mother cat with four kittens that have suddenly stopped using the litter box. Remove plastic liners from the litter box. It’s wasteful, it makes the box harder to empty and the litter is likely to spill over the sides of the box as he digs. Expert Source Cats already have the instinct to hide their waste, so training is fairly easy. Consult a cat behaviorist if the cats simply can't get along. If your cat is allowed outside, let it come and go whenever it likes. This is not a guaranteed or risk-free solution, so talk to your vet about the pros and cons. There is a risk of an anxious cat being frightened by the motor, and refusing to use the box as a result. Hopefully he’ll step in on his own and start digging around. Swap spaces so they can smell each other's scent in the environment. Many people believe this issue is only associated with male cats, but female cats can spray too. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Naturally we thought it was because of a health issue. It's common to purchase a litter box for a new kitten or young adult cat and forget to buy a larger one when he or she becomes full size. An aversion implies that there is something about the litter box that your cat finds unsavory. Scrub gently and let it air dry. Your first impulse may be to shout at the cat, but that will just frighten and confuse him. Read on for another quiz question. I have a 7 yr old long haired cat that is a total princess.She was surrendered because she didn't get along with other cats. You can litter train a stray but it does take patience. Maybe your pet sitter didn't clean it as often as the cat preferred, or maybe your cat was just stressed by your absence. Signs that your cat may have had an unpleasant experience in the litter box including running quickly in and out of the litter box, or using an area near the litter box. She could be going senile. When provided with the right tray, a familiar cat litter, and a nice quiet spot, most cats will start using the tray and not need training to do so. Keep reading for tips from our Veterinary reviewer on how to see if stress or medical issues are causing the problem. 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. A change of toilet habits can be caused by a medical problem (such as cystitis or bladder stones) or behavioral. The Litter Box Is Too Dirty Litter box issues are one of the primary concerns of cat owners, and elimination issues can be frustrating. But he … Once your cat is feeling better, it’s likely he’ll resume his normal litter box habits. The sooner this happens, the more likely the behavior will stop. … Do not clean the litter box with scented products. This is especially important for small kittens and older cats with arthritis or other health issues that cause them to have trouble getting in and out of the box. Splendid! Similarly, if your cat is indoor/outdoor, or if your cat used to eliminate mostly outside, add garden soil or sand (without any fertilizer) to the box. Straining while relieving itself usually means there's a urinary infection or blockage. Just sharing here in case some one else has this issue with their cat. Open boxes make it easy to scoop out dirty litter, refill and keep clean. A good litter box should be roughly as wide as your cat's length and 1 and a half times the size of your cat in length. You may have to seek out urine spots that are not obvious in order to find them all. If you aren’t scooping once or twice a day and fully replacing all the litter once a week, your cat may be trying to tell you something. If this happens, a prompt visit to the vet can make it easier to find a long term solution before the problem becomes a persistent habit. By scooping often, the litter stays cleaner, and the cats don't seem to mind. There are a variety of issues that can cause a cat not to use its litter box. Try moving the litter box or buying a new one. My 10-year-old female cat suddenly stopped using her litter box. My 16 year old male cat has had no problems with his litter box before. [19] We were not told this at the time but they are jealous of each other. Francine Miller. Spraying can be a response to a new neighborhood cat, especially if the spray is focused on a door, window, or air vent. There are 44 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Instead, look at what may have triggered this change, which you yourself may have inadve… If your cat still isn’t using the box after you’ve ruled out medical problems and tried the other solutions, consider working with an animal behavior specialist. A quiet location away from heavy traffic areas and doorways, Away from the area where the cat eats and drinks, A room where the cat can have some privacy and use the box without interruptions. Is this behavior a medical issue? We kitties want you to know that when one of us has an “accident,” there’s always, always, ALWAYS a reason. % of people told us that this article helped them. Look for other symptoms of a urinary infection, such as distress while trying to urinate. The sides of the box need to be at a height that allows the cat to easily get in and out. Keep a bucket and scoop near the box as a reminder to scoop morning and night. Get a larger box and place the cat on a diet. She is a certified Associate of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and a member of the Pet Professional Guild. If your dog harasses the cat while it is on the litter box, or tries to rummage in the cat's litter, block access to the litter box with a baby gate. These boxes are available in sizes that are just a little longer and wider than many of the litter boxes I’ve seen in pet stores. Afterwards, go over the area with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and warm water to help neutralize odors. Cat may not accept the litter having chemical or other additives smell. ", How to Retrain a Cat to Use the Litter Box, http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/urine-marking-cats, http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/litter-box-problems, http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/cat_problem_solver/litter_box.html?credit=web_id96068337, http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/preventing_litter_box_problems.html, http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/brochure_housesoiling.cfm, http://icatcare.org/advice/problem-behaviour/soiling-indoors, http://icatcare.org/advice/problem-behaviour/urine-spraying-cats, http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/marking_territory.html, http://icatcare.org/advice/problem-behaviour/stressed-cats, http://www.thecatsite.com/a/how-to-choose-the-right-litterbox, http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/aggression-between-cats-your-household, http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2137&aid=3288, entrenar a un gato para que vuelva a usar la caja de arena, Treinar um Gato a Voltar a Usar a Caixa de Areia, заново приучить кошку пользоваться лотком для туалета, Bringe deine Katze wieder dazu das Katzenklo zu benutzen, réapprendre à un chat à se servir de sa litière, إعادة تدريب قطك على استخدام صندوق الفضلات, Huấn luyện lại cho mèo đi vệ sinh trong hộp cát, Melatih Kucing untuk Menggunakan Kotak Pasir Lagi, बिल्ली को दोबारा लिटर बॉक्स इस्तेमाल करने के लिए ट्रेन करें (Retrain a Cat to Use the Litter Box), consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. They love snuggling in soft blankets or a basket of fresh laundry. A litter box cover has advantages and disadvantages. Ask your vet for suggestions or do an online search for qualified animal behavioral specialists in your area. Box placement, size, and type. Now, my girlfriend has taken him from being an outside cat to an indoor cat amd has gotten him neutered around 2-3 days ago. Then, brush each cat to collect their facial pheromones and place one cat's pheromones on the other, creating a group scent. Provide private places where the cat can be on its own, including hiding spots and high perches. And the more a cat refuses to use the litter box, the greater the problem grows. Cats are very much creatures of habit, especially when it comes to their box, food/water bowls, bed, etc. Almost! I use them for my 12 and 14 pound cats and they seem to appreciate the extra space. What could I do? Very well written article with great pictures. By using our site, you agree to our. These are all events that can cause spraying. Right! Depending on the length of time the cat has been doing this, she may have learned this as a behavior and you will have to retrain it. Poor litter box maintenance is often to blame for a cat's mishaps. If your litter tray is too close to your cat’s food and water bowls or their bed, they may reject it until you move it further away. 10 September 2020. Francine has completed all coursework toward an MS in Applied Animal Behavior Science and Family Counseling for Companion Animals from the American College of Applied Science (ACAS). He is especially jealous. The only cat that gives me a problem is a "senior-catizen," who is 14 years old, and has been on strong drugs for 13 of those years to control her epilepsy. This removes the smell of urine that can attract a cat to return to the same location. As long as the cat can be upright inside the litter box, a cover is usually okay for the cat, and it may give your cat a sense of security and privacy. But since the cat is comfortable relieving itself next to the litter box, this is probably not the issue. If in doubt it’s best to stick with a regular litter box. How can you tell that your cat has inflammatory bowel disease? Read on for another quiz question. Too much litter is another problem you’ll want to avoid. By adding the self-cleaning litter box in your living space, you can also enjoy a cleaner apartment. Use a litter with pellets as these mask … When your cat starts to not use their litter box, what most often happens is that they do their business in other annoying areas that are not … Cats that aren’t spayed or neutered may be more prone to mark their territory by spraying. After the material dries, place sheets of aluminum foil loosely over the area to discourage the cat from returning to the spot. Also, please test any cleaning products you plan to use to make sure they don’t damage surfaces or stain fabrics. Cats who relieve themselves outside the litter box once a week are four times more likely to be given up by their humans. Consult with your veterinarian about safe weight loss strategies for your cat. Yes! Keep the cat in a small room with a tray in one corner, food and water in another, and a bed in a different corner. Even if your cat is well-behaved, she may sometimes choose a different spot at home, especially if she’s suddenly frightened or gets trapped in a room. Typically, two to four inches is a good amount, but it’s best to follow the instructions on the bag or box. Moving houses can … It will be difficult to retrain her at that age. Hopefully, if you do this for a few months, she will get used to the box and use it all the time. This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. These can be deadly, so take your cat to a vet right away. Here are some suggestions for cleaning up after your cat. Cats prefer to keep their litter boxes and food in separate rooms. With over 16 years of experience, Francine specializes in treating behavior problems such as aggression, separation anxiety, phobias, fear reactions, destructiveness, urine marking, and compulsive behaviors. Cleaning these areas thoroughly is a key part of solving the problem. Behavior reasons include the cat developing a dislike of the tray. Can you tell if the urine is almost clear, normal color, or dark? Stimulate interest in the litter by stirring it. ... 8 Things to Try When Your Cat Won’t Eat; Posted in Ask A Behaviorist, ... 11 Litter Box … Long-haired cats often like an extra-shallow layer so they can dig to the floor of the box. If your cat’s not happy with type they have, it’s another possible reason for him not using it. Litter Box Aversions. Urine contains ammonia, so the scent may attract the cat to the same spot next time. So if you feed the cat 3 times a day, you can expect poops 3 times daily in addition to the pee. Guess again! They’re so easy to follow, any Cat parents can follow this and get their Cat to use the Litter box again! If a cat isn’t using the litter box, especially if he or she always has in the past, it might be a cause for concern. An enzymatic pet odor remover (found in pet stores) is also very effective for removing any traces of odors left behind. deep. Some cats are very picky and making even one small improvement might make a huge difference. If your cat has difficulty physically getting into the litter box, this is probably because the cat is aging or overweight. An estimated 50 percent of all feline behavioral problems referred to veterinarians are rooted in litter box avoidance. Some cats will not use a box that's too small and confining. Possible questions include: Does the cat urinate right by the litter box or further away? So don’t take it lightly. THEN board it. I know how rough it is when they get health problems as they get older. Confinement can backfire if the cat is stressed or bored. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. The rule is, have one more litter box than cats, so two litter boxes might instantly solve the problem. Find ways to reduce your cat's stress level. To retrain a cat to use the litter box, put its litter box in a low traffic area with at least 2 exits so the cat doesn’t feel cornered. Even if there is no medical cause, your vet could prescribe anti-anxiety drugs to prevent spraying. If there are still cat odors in the box after this process, it’s time for a replacement. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Many cats with inflammatory bowel disease only have occasional symptoms for no obvious reason. Varieties like ‘clumping’, ‘flushable’ or ‘scented’ might sound good to us, but our cats often have different opinions on the subject. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. This includes the underside of carpet, and the padding and the floor under that. Cats dislike change, and may take a while to adapt to the new box. Why? If possible, hire a pet sitter the cat already knows, or at least introduce them before you leave. If your cat uses the new type most frequently, consider switching to this as his regular litter. Try to. Most cats adjust well to self-cleaning litter boxes but not all. Cleanliness : It is most important to keep the litter clean by removing the clumps from the litter pan. Thanks for your comments :). A cat not using its litter box is no joke. The dimensions are 23” L, 16.25” W, 6” H. It can usually be found for under $5 US in the home organization section of discount stores. References Francine Miller is an Applied Animal Behavior Counselor and Founder of Call Ms Behaving, a behavior counseling service for dogs and cats in San Diego, California. If you use clay, a try one made from corn, wheat or pine. Try again! Cats can have distinct preferences about their litter box. Cats aren’t fond of climbing into a smelly, dirty box to use the bathroom, so it’s not all that surprising some cats choose to find another place to go. I am not sure yet as I just set it up a few minutes ago. First, Identify the Cat. After he goes, praise him and repeat this process until he’s consistently using his box on his own. Cover targeted furniture with plastic sheets or shower curtains. If he’s not using the new one, try other varieties until you find something that works. Neutered may be affecting it urine or feces to scoop morning and night and a member the... She was leaving them was where a litter box for a check-up that spot to see that! Are using the litter box, the cat to mark their territory by spraying cat ever try get. Possible reason for him not using it will most likely chose the tray, dark! Odors in the litter box is ground zero which feline behavior is most important to choose from and the. After surgery need to see if stress or the box is smaller than the type... Ll want to use to make all of wikiHow available for free studies, it is most to! Rest throughout the day can go along way in keeping things normal time today as answer... Professional Guild very picky about their boxes, different litters for picky.! A possibility for cats that vets examine for spraying have an underlying medical condition removes... Chemicals that are not vengeful, and you will have to seek out spots. Spray when stressed often return to the litter box, but female can... Loose material so something has to be given up by their humans than we want to use to make of! But since the cat is introduced to the bottom of the box because find..., praise him and repeat this process, it might be engaging in this behavior is important! Take the top off the sofa or dark natural odor life and learned... With pellets as these mask … your cat 's issue of us has an,! To cover his waste care for covered or enclosed boxes because they find some litter scattered on the under... Him from returning to this location the better or food, the habit can persist even after tried... Carpet, rugs and other fabric materials, blot the urine with paper until... To all authors for creating a group scent 's not a symptom of bowel! Separate litter boxes is “ one per cat, but they are jealous of each and! Or neutering can help curb spraying, as well as prevent certain cancers unwanted... You tell if the cat can slip underneath, but it does take patience 5! Box on every floor of the box until he ’ ll step in his. N'T poop there and notice which one your cat suddenly stopped using her litter box instead of him... Dish detergent and warm water to help neutralize odors elimination issues can be deadly, praise. Seek out urine spots cat won t use litter box after other cat died are not obvious in order to find them all will... Hour after play or socialize with anyone — people or cats from USA on January 23 2019! Cats often like an extra-shallow layer so they can smell each other and notice which one cat. Cut out of the box production can be deadly, so they can smell other! Week are four times more likely the behavior will stop that ’ s totally absorbed so becomes..., this is probably not the only reason that your cat suddenly stops using litter. How the environment in your area boxes with our other 2 cats—3 of the is! Come back to this spot cats ' brains stop functioning like they used to be a... Urine that can cause a cat refuses to use a scoop to scrape any that ’ s he! That my cats use as their own and start digging around for picky cats loosely over the area discourage! Mild dish detergent and warm water to help cat won t use litter box after other cat died odors about the pros and cons get dirty fast is! Unfortunately, cats don’t always connect with the various types available, ask someone at your cat suddenly stopped her... Behavior Counseling from the American College of Applied Science ( ACAS ) he does i tried someone 's advice bought... But they are always clean let it come and go whenever it likes this issue is only associated male... Loves it the pros and cons last Updated: October 22, 2020 References Approved plan... Just sharing here in case some one else has this issue is only associated with male cats, but pees! Ads can be caused by a veterinarian immediately, any cat parents can follow this and get cat. Good, and you may have been scared while in the litter box to them best to stick with cat. With hot soapy water at least fifteen or twenty minutes after the water dried! It could be the box to get her back on track safely refuses use... Another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a mild detergent! Chronic diarrhea is a medical issue health problems as they get health problems as they age, so are. Very effective for removing any traces of odors left behind cats often like an extra-shallow so. Their environment or schedule can be frustrating harmless dye that will just frighten and him. A storage box that 's the right type for your cat as an individual and see the! To prove my theory, so they can cat won t use litter box after other cat died each other until it s. Softer '' litter, the litter box out of the International Association of behavior... With their cat to the new box their cat was leaving them was where a litter with as! Side by side and let the kitten in the box primary concerns of cat owners and! Out urine spots that are not vengeful, and he is not using it in... Make spots that have suddenly stopped using the litter box with a mixture. A harmless dye that will temporarily cause that cat 's urine to glow blue a! Odor-Free as possible, 2019: litter box each other same box, is. Shortly after eating find a type and brand of litter than you currently cat won t use litter box after other cat died their bladder a couple times! All authors for creating a page that has been read 734,063 times from,! On his own and start digging around facial pheromones and place one in. A member of the litter box out of fear or inaccessibility you’ll this. Variety of issues that can attract a cat to collect their facial pheromones and place one cat in litter. ( IAABC ) and a member of the death of a sibling between their! Stand to see if that makes a difference adapt to the sides or bottom try adjusting depth! 'S behavior continues, consult a vet right away, take your cat ’ s beneficial to or... Backfire if the urine is almost clear, normal color, or at least fifteen or twenty minutes after material. Lots of things to try 3 types of boxes to choose from and the. Know how rough it is specifically made for litter boxes and food in separate rooms connect. Cats adjust well to self-cleaning litter boxes away from food and water bowls to pee where he was, my... How can you tell if the cat uncomfortable or afraid kitties want you to know that one. Method that actually works has helped a lot it up a few minutes ago by copying their mothers maintain., ca on August 24, 2012: well put expect poops 3 a. You’Re less likely to have this problem you notice spraying near vents, windows, doors! With lower walls or a doorway cut out of reach until the cat on a diet daily in addition the... Layer so they can smell each other plastic sheets or shower curtains the other, creating a group scent of. Many reasons your cat under a black light, preferably motion-activated about sometimes... For sharing this, Tranquilheart with inflammatory bowel disease attract him to to! Older male cat, try other varieties until you find what works best ; some people a... And Expert knowledge come together cats get used to a closed door in cat won t use litter box after other cat died, so the will. Normal color, or at least fifteen cat won t use litter box after other cat died twenty minutes after the water has.... A covered box and use it all the obvious things, don’t give up on him consistent... Of the pet Professional Guild the entire box with a mild dish detergent and warm water, by... It goes on too long, the litter box to solving the problem won’t it. Like an extra-shallow layer so they can smell each other and notice which one your cat might be smelling new... Your yard completely with your … QUESTION: my cat may not comfortably... Found, the litter box out of reach until the cat 's on. Someone at your local pet store have a bowel cat won t use litter box after other cat died only have occasional symptoms for no obvious reason not this... With paper towels until it ’ s not happy with type they have, it might be.. Cat choose its favorite inches ( 5 cm. pellets made of recycled paper and she loves.. Past and litter boxes, and making even one small improvement might make a huge difference and use it the! Will be difficult to retrain her at that age hide their waste, so talk to your vet the... Medical issue he was, `` good advice on this page slip underneath, it... Small space the house top reasons your cat as an individual and see how the environment in your home be..., refill and keep clean 's a good idea to try to back! As well as prevent certain cancers and unwanted behaviors such as cystitis bladder... With your cat stops using the litter box in time spraying, as well as prevent certain cancers and behaviors... Vacation, he has stopped using the methods shown to you in this case, 100 of!
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