Litter Box Problems.
How To Solve Them!

Litter box problems are common and can be incredibly frustrating.

If your kitty has snubbed his litter box in favor of a much more unusual "toilet," you have a couple of serious issues. One is the assault on your nose. The other is the drain on your bank balance.

I don't think I need to elaborate any more on these; if you've ever faced this situation, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

To deal with litter box problems successfully, you firstly need to get into Kitty's mind and work out why he's suddenly parted company with his box. Once you know the reason, it's much easier to fix the problem.

What Has Triggered Kitty's Litter Box Problems?

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The first thing I'd say about this is that he isn't ignoring his litter box just to pee you off (sorry about the cheap joke!)

There is a reason for it which is perfectly logical to Kitty but may be the last thing in the world you'd have thought of.

Shouting at him won't solve this problem. Neither will rubbing his nose in it. Punishment is pointless. He won't understand why you're mad at him, so he'll get stressed out.

And in that frame of mind, he's even more likely to pee somewhere he shouldn't.

Success in dealing with this is down to finding out why he's decided he doesn't like his litter box, then taking the necessary steps to put it right.

The first thing to always consider and rule out...

Is he Ill?

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If your cat has suddenly and inexplicably developed an aversion to his litter box, the first thing you should do is take him to the vet.

It's possible he has a urinary tract infection. This means it hurts like hell when he pees, and there's a good chance he'll think it's the litter box that's biting him on the butt. His response? Avoid the nasty, vicious litter box and pee somewhere else.

Cats with this problem will sometimes (though not always) take to peeing in a sink, bath or shower, because it's cool (as in nice and cool against their burning butt, not cool as in trendy!)

Cat urinary tract infections are usually easily treated with antibiotics. They can be dangerous if left untreated.

OK, so you're back from the vet who's given Kitty a clean bill of health. What other reasons might there be for his pee spree?

There are a number of reasons for litter box problems, listed below. Click on whichever ones you think may apply to your cat for more information and suggested solutions.

Is Your Cat Spraying?

Is Another Cat Spraying?

Have You Found the Best Cat Litter for Him?

Is the Cat Litter Odor Putting Him Off?

Is His Box the Best Litter Box Size, Shape or Design?

Are His Cat Litter Boxes in a Bad Location?

Other Cat Litter Box Problems

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Once you think you've identified and rectified the problem, you need to encourage Kitty to re-build his relationship with his litter box.

But, before you do this, it's vital that you completely get rid of the cat urine smell from the carpet and anything else he's been using as a latrine. If you don't do this, the smell will encourage him to keep peeing in the same spot, regardless of how inviting you've now made his litter box.

Click on these links for advice on how to clean cat urine and cat urine cleaning products.

Potty Training Your Cat

So, you've identified why Kitty fell out with his litter box. You've addressed it. You've cleaned all the cat urine away. Great! Your litter box problems are almost a thing of the past.

If you're lucky, your cat will start using his litter box again without any further mishaps. But I'd be lying if I said it was that simple in all cases.

Some kitties will need re-training to start using their litter box again. For advice on potty training your cat, click here.

If you prefer reading a book on this subject rather than clicking round lots of web pages, click here for information on a great ebook.

Self Cleaning Litter Boxes

If your cat is one of those whose toilet must be immaculately clean - otherwise he won't use it - an automatic litter box could be a solution. The following pages may help you:

Automatic litter boxes explained

Pros / cons of self cleaning boxes and useful tips if you're thinking of buying one

Go to Cat Behavior Explained home page