There’s nothing worse than coming home to a puddle of cat pee (or worse), next to, instead of inside the litter box. And when it starts to become a habit, it can be a sign that your cat has rejected the litter box entirely.
Why would my cat to reject the litter box?
Cats are fussy beings, and there are a range of reasons as to why your cat won’t go like they used to.
One of the primary reasons is cleanliness. If your cat doesn’t believe the litter, the box, or the spot
you’ve placed it in, is not up to their standards, they will not use it. This is not the case for all cats though. Particularly where older cats or tiny kittens are concerned, it could be that the box is too difficult to climb into, or that the type of litter used does not suit their sensitive paws. Anxiety, stress or illness can also be contributing factors. Cats who are uncomfortable often change their habits to signal their discomfort to their owners.
Keep it clean
If your cat is concerned about cleanliness, make sure that the litter box is thoroughly cleaned and changed out more frequently. Remove soiled litter at least once a day and wash the entire box
at least once a week. Ideally, a natural smelling cleaner should be used, and ammonia-based cleaner should be avoided, because of how similar it smells to cat urine.
Give them more options
Invest in more litter boxes. A useful rule of thumb is to get one more litter box than you have cats.
If you have one cat, get two litter boxes, if you have two cats, get three. This allows you to swap out the boxes more easily, and avoid cats showing up to a litter box that has already been used by another.
Easy access and privacy
Creating a sense of privacy is also key. Cats don’t like to be seen visiting the loo (it’s too undignified).
In the case of older cats, it may be time to switch to a shallower option. Look for a litter box that is very easy for your cat to climb into, and place it in an area which is easily accessible from all sides
When to consult a vet
If you suspect that anxiety or physical illness might be a cause, consult a vet to discuss your cat’s behaviour. More frequent urination, urinating outside the litter box, or any signs of strain when urinating can be signs of a urinary tract infection, which will need to be seen to in order to alleviate any pain or discomfort.