As cat owners, you must be pretty used to their charmingly unpredictable behaviour. But when your beloved kitty starts eliminating everywhere except in that litter box you set up, take a step back before you assume that your cat is being a jerk – it might be trying to tell you something.
To help you find out why your cat is not using its litter box, here are a few possible reasons why your cat is thinking “out of the box”:
1. It’s sick
A simple explanation is that your poor kitty may have fallen sick. If so, a trip to the vet may be in order, for there are plenty of illnesses that may result in a cat not using its litter box. These include feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), bacterial cystitis, and liver disease. Thankfully, most of these medical conditions are curable or manageable, and with proper treatment, your cat will be back to the litter box in no time!
2.Negative litter box association
Cats are extremely intelligent animals who are capable of associative learning. If your cat has experienced pain or trauma while using the litter box, it might have associated that negative experience with the litter box and is hence shirking it to avoid another negative experience.
To encourage your cat to use the litter box again, try offering a different litter box with a different type of litter and reward it with plenty of praises and treats when it gets close or uses it!
3. You don’t have enough litter boxes
Many first-time cat owners would be surprised to hear this, but for some extra-finicky cats, one litter box is simply not enough. That’s right, the reason why your fancy feline is not using your litter box all the time might be because it requires at least two litter boxes – one to urinate in and another to defecate in!
Plus, cats are territorial and need space to themselves, which means that if you have more than one cat, you may need to ensure that every cat has a litter box of its own too. By doing so, your cats may feel more comfortable and secure about doing its business in its own “safe space”.
4.You’ve put the box in the “wrong” location
Just like how you wouldn’t eat your lunch on the toilet bowl because it’s not the most hygienic, cats are also particular about cleanliness and tend not to defecate around where they eat. If your litter box is placed close to where your cat consumes its food, that might be a possible reason why your kitty is not utilising it!
Otherwise, think about whether you’ve recently shifted the litter box – cats are creatures of habit, which means any sudden changes in their environment may cause them to stop using the litter box as well. If possible, try to move the littler box a little at a time to make the transition easier!
5. It’s not clean enough
Similar to the point above, cats are furmily members who greatly value cleanliness, and it’s very possible for a cat to refuse to use a litter box simply because they deem it not clean enough. Therefore, do remember to clean the litter box diligently! Not only will it encourage your cat to use it properly, but it will also protect kitty from infections and parasites.
Make the right litter choice
That being said, emptying and replacing the litter multiple times a day can be a tiresome chore. To help make things a little easier at home, brands like Sanicat offer clumping litter, which can be easily scooped and thrown away.
Source: Adec Distribution
For an odour and mess-free litter box, try Sanicat Duo’s duo-scented cat litter – it boasts a fragrant and refreshing combination of vanilla and mandarin orange scents, and it comes with thicker granules to prevent cats from dragging the litter outside the litter box. Do take note, however, that some cats might not take to scents too well!
Source: Adec Distribution
If you have such a cat, Sanicat Active is a mildly-scented alternative that offers the perfect balance between effectiveness, hygiene, and health too. Made with Bentonite that has efficient clumping and anti-bacterial properties, its light Marseille soap scent also helps to eliminate unwanted odours.
Supplied to a variety of pet retail stores in Singapore by Adec Distribution, simply call them at 6443 9055 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org to find your nearest supply of Sanicat litter!
Telephone: (65) 6443 9055
This article was written for Adec Distribution Pte Ltd.