Why does not my cat use the litter box?
Feline behavior makes cats independent pets and genuine personality, which in some cases may make tutors do not understand certain behaviors easily or misinterpret them.
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One of the most common problems of feline behavior is not using the litter box to do the necessities, which in many cases is interpreted by the owners as vengeful behavior on the part of the cat (when he spends a lot of time alone, for example), but this is wrong, since this attitude is not typical of a feline. In addition, they do not possess an unpleasant concept of their physiological residues.
When we ask ourselves why the cat does not use the litter box , we should look at the different possible causes ranging from a health problem to a behavioral disorder.
Cleaning the litter box
Something characterizes cats is their continued need for hygiene , being that they can spend several hours daily cleaning themselves. Therefore, you should understand that a hygienic environment is one of the needs that your cat requires as a priority.
If your cat urinates off the sand, you should check the hygiene of the sand that needs to be cleaned twice a day and changed once a week, as well as washing the box with soap and water .
You should not confuse these basic hygiene measures with the use of scented sand since in this case this may be why your cat is not using the box: he may feel uncomfortable with certain types of odors caused by chemical additives . In addition, some types of sand have a shape that bothers cats, since they prefer thinner and softer sands. Read our article which explains which is the best cat litter .
Where to Put the Cat’s Sandbox
If the cat does not use the litter box , another possible cause is its location. Admittedly, as a tutor, you do not want to put your cat’s needs box in the center of the house, something your pet does not need at all. However, you should also not push the box too far, as this is unattractive to the animal.
You should find a quiet, intimate place for your cat to feel safe when it comes to meeting his needs.
When placing the litter box, you should also avoid those spaces where there may be drafts of cold air, since the cat will not feel comfortable and will not use your space. Another important point is that you should not put the box near the water fountain and the feeder.
Is my cat sick?
If you are questioning why your cat does not use the litter box, one of the causes that should rule out priority is the disease . Some pathological disorders can cause kidney malfunction or kidney inflammation, which causes pain to the cat and causes it to associate the litter box with physical discomfort, avoiding its use.
Other health problems that cause pain and / or discomfort in your cat may also be the reason why he is stressed and is urinating out of the litter box.
Urine cat to mark territory
Mostly uncastrated male cats can mark the territory with urine. This situation is more common in changes in the environment, as a new member in the family or even a simple change in the decoration can cause some stress. The presence of a new pet in the house is also a common reason that triggers this behavior. See our article with tips for my cat not marking territory .
Advice for a good use of the litter box
Here are some tips that allow your cat to use the litter box properly. If you follow these simple guidelines, you can get your cat to use the litter box without difficulty:
- If your cat exhibits this behavioral problem, you should consult your veterinarian so that he discards any physical problem. After discarding possible physical problems, ensure that you meet the following conditions.
- Your cat should have access to a litter box approximately 1.5 times larger than its size. See our article on the best litter box for cats .
- The sand should occupy approximately 4 inches in height in the box.
- The cat can fulfill its needs outside the litter box by expressing a territorial behavior. If you have more than one cat, we recommend that each has its own litter box and extra box. See our article in which we talk about how many litters per cat .
- If physical problems have already been ruled out and the source is behavioral, consult a veterinarian who specializes in animal behavior, ie an ethologist .
Do you want to offer the best to your cat?
To avoid any pet behavior problem, you should also provide an environment that provides your entertainment and that satisfies your restlessness. Therefore we recommend that you take a look at the different toys for cats . You do not need to spend a lot of money, there are several toys that you can make with cardboard or even recycled material.