No one likes to come home or wake up to the familiar yet unwanted scent and sight of a missed kitty litter accident. As much as we love our furry friends, it’s safe to say that we don’t really enjoy the litter box training aspect of it, right?
Here’s the thing: litter box problems are common, and there could be a valid reason behind your cat not using the litter box. The best way to remedy this problem is to understand why these accidents are happening in the first place and then to create a solid game plan from there. That’s why we’re here! In this article, we will unpack the why, the what, and the how.
WHY IS YOUR CAT NOT USING THE LITTER BOX?
If your cat was once a huge lover of the litter box and suddenly they couldn’t be less interested, you may be wondering what the heck is happening. Cats certainly do have a mind of their own, but there’s actually a reason behind this.
Your cat’s new toilet routine doesn’t have much to do with their litter box training. However, if you feel like they might need a refresher, check out our post here.
In the worst-case scenario, your cat not using litter box may be caused by potential health issues. Health issues such as feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), bacterial cystitis, kidney failure, liver disease, or diabetes may be the problem. If you’re noticing other symptoms such as crying when going to the bathroom, straining to urinate, or blood in their urine, please contact your vet ASAP.
Worst-case scenario aside, there are less stressful reasons behind your litter box problems. These are much easier to treat and have a lot to do with us hoomans too. Your cat may not be a fan of your chosen litter, the size of their box, or they might not like the location of their toilet. If you didn’t think cats were opinionated, this might convince you!
Extra stress can be caused if you’ve moved houses recently too. In any case, it’s best to look at what you can do to help comfort your furry friend. The more comfortable their bathroom is, the fewer issues you’ll run into.
Last but not least, what would Door Buddy be if we didn’t mention keeping the dog out of the litter box? We won’t get into why dogs eat out of the litter box; we have a blog post for that! But, what we will reiterate is that this can cause enormous stress for your cat. Cat’s love their privacy, and the moment that they feel like their personal space has been invaded, you will start seeing more piddle parties around the house.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT LITTER BOX PROBLEMS?
Despite what you may feel, your cat isn’t doing their business outside their litter box to spite you. We know cats tend to have a sassy side, but this one isn’t on them! So, whatever you do, please do not reprimand your cat. This will only exacerbate the problem and cause a few more gray hairs for you and your cat.
What you can do is get back to basics with your furry friend. Most problems can be resolved when we take the time to tune into our pets, see what issues they’re facing, and understand what they need to feel themselves again. Now that you know why these litter box problems are happening, you should be better equipped to pick up on the warning signs.
Identifying the problem is the first step in finding the solution. Doing this can take some trial and error, but it’s worth the work!
Once you know what’s happening with your cat, you can help and get their toilet habits back on track. If there are medical concerns that need to be addressed, please consult your vet and follow their plan. Should your cat just be a little fussy, here’s what you need to do:
Clean the litter box every day
Add more boxes around the house
Place the litter box in a quiet but accessible location
Remove any hoods or liners from the litter box
Protect their litter box
Keep food bowls and beds separate from the litter box
HOW DO WE KEEP THE DOG OUT OF THE LITTER BOX?
One of the biggest reasons that we see when it comes to litter box training and cat not using litter box is unwanted intruders. Well, wouldn’t you also avoid the toilet if you constantly had someone barging in on your toilet time? Sorry, parents of toddlers, we know how you feel!
Thankfully, keeping the dog out of the litter box is a quick fix. All you have to do is set up your cat’s safe space. This room should be totally dedicated to their business where they can enjoy some peace and quiet. Not only will this help your litter box problems, but it will also calm your cat and boost their confidence.
The problem with setting up this room is that you may be bombarded with frequent meows and scratches at the door to let your cat in and out. Cats hate closed doors (trust us, it’s true. Just read this!), and us hoomans hate having to get up every few minutes. So, if you’d like to save yourself a workout and keep your and your cat’s sanity in place, we recommend using a Door Buddy.
Door Buddy is an adjustable door strap that let’s cats in and keeps dogs out. You can adjust this strap to suit the width of your cat and enjoy the freedom that comes with fewer meows, no more litter box problems, and a healthier doggo. Success!
Well, there you have it. Now that you know what to do if your cat’s not using the litter box, your litter box problems are solved!