Common Cat Litter Box Problems

October 3, 2009

in Cats

Cat litter box problems can be a source of frustration for cat owners. Cat urinating or defecating outside of the litter box are common problems for cat owners.

If the cat litter becomes too dirty, the cat may suddenly refuse to use the litter box. Some cats are very choosy about the cleanliness of the litter.

This resistance to using a dirty litter box usually can be resolved by changing the cat litter more frequently. Sometimes, I cat will refuse to use a litter box if the cat owner has changed the type of litter.

Some cats will refuse to use the litter box if another cat has used it. This can be a common reaction to being in a house with multiple cats or if a new cat is introduced. Adding more litter boxes in different areas of the house may solve this problem.

Sudden refusal to use the litter box could be a sign of a urinary tract infection. Sudden changes in behavior such as a loss of litter box training should be reported to the veterinarian.

Other signs of urinary tract infections in cats are straining to urinate, producing little urine, or blood in the urine. Urinary tract infections can be dangerous for cats, so cats exhibiting any of these problems should be examined by a veterinarian.

Some cat owners complain that their cat defecates in the bathtub. Cat defecation in the bathtub may be from illness, loss of access to the litter box, or a dirty litter box. A cat owner may want to keep a small amount of water in the bathtub to discourage the cat from doing this if a cat is habitually defecating in the bathtub.

If the litter box is in a high traffic area or close to their food bowl, a cat may be more likely to seek other places to urinate or defecate. If the litter box is placed in a closet or room with a door, the cat owner should make sure to door will not shut and block the cat from the litter box.

Cat urine spraying is not the same as litter box problems. Cat spraying is a territorial behavior that may be worse than households with multiple male cats. Cat spraying is unrelated to litter box usage.

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