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Litter Box Problems

Click here, to see our cat litter products. A cat that avoids using the litter box quickly makes herself unwelcome in a home. What should you do? (scroll down)
  • A cat that suddenly develops bad litter box habits may also have a medical problem. Take your cat to the vet to make sure this is not the case.
  • Has anything changed lately in your household? A new pet, baby, boyfriend? Visitors, parties, house redecorating, move to a new environment, change in your hours or routine? Return from boarding or hospitalization? Interaction problems with other animal household members? Cats are very sensitive animals. Make sure she does not feel neglected emotionally. Are you using a new kind of litter or have you changed the method for cleaning her box? Are there loud noises or other disruptions near her litter box? All of these factors can influence her habits.
  • Never punish a cat for a litter box mistake by rubbing her nose in it! This technique will not work and could remind her of a good place to "go" again!
  • Make sure that there is at least one box per cat in the household.
  • If your house is large or has several floors, put a box at each end of the house or on every floor.
  • Locate the box in a spot where your cat can have easy access and some measure of privacy. Do not locate it near the washing machine, dryer or furnace. The loud noises produced by these machines are not conducive to litter box tranquility.
  • If your cat is a "senior citizen" you may need to provide a small ramp into the box to compensate for stiff old joints, or use a box with lower sides. Make sure the box is in a place easily accessible for your older kitty.
  • If your cat "misses" and goes just outside the box, get a covered one or an extra large one with high sides.
  • Some cats prefer two boxes, one for urinating and one for defecating.
  • The rubber backing on certain throw rugs has an odor (possibly ammonia-like) that attracts cats to urinate. If your cat insists on urinating on a throw rug, you will have to throw it away. No amount of washing can completely remove the odor that she detects.
  • Never use ammonia based cleaners to clean accidents. They will have the opposite effect of attracting her to repeat her mistake.
  • On areas of repeated soiling, clean well, using an odor neutralizing spray or vinegar and water to finish. Then cover the spot (when dry) with your cat's food or water dishes. For multiple spots, use several dishes. Leave them there as a reminder when they are empty. Test for a day by removing a plate and then putting it back. Remove another one for a day and return it the next day. Try longer periods after she has not soiled again in these areas. This procedure may take several weeks, but it should be effective. Don't remove them too quickly, or she may go back to her old tricks and you'll have to start all over again.
  • Or cover the spot with plastic carpet runners, knobby side up. Or cover the spot with double stick tape. Or cover the spot with aluminum foil.
  • Or, if practical, place her litter box (or an additional box) on that spot. Make sure the litter is kept very clean. Use a small amount and change every day if necessary.
















Cat Litter Training and Self Cleaning Litter Boxes - GregRobert 


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