Domestic cat in the litter box. What is your cat trying to tell you?
There is always a reason your house cat will leave the can, be it clinical or behavioral.
One of the most common behavioral reasons cats are abandoned at shelters is that they no longer use the can. This is a sad fact as most can problems are easy to fix and also to solve. For all types of habit problems in cats, the most effective course of action is to start by asking why the cat is leaving the can. Do you suffer? Do you fear something? Is another cat bullying you?
As a reminder, cats don’t act out of anger or malice. There is always a reason why your cat leaves the litter box, be it clinical or behavioral. It is our job as cat moms and dads to find out what that reason is and to help our cat feel more comfortable.
What steps can we request to resolve issues?
Two cats analyze the pet litter box. Learn more about canned training.
If you have multiple cats, is that the culprit?
Step 1. Identify the house cat
If you have multiple cats, who is the culprit? A guilty look on your cat’s face or suspicion is not enough to assign blame. Consider setting up a babysitter cam or route webcam to catch them in the act, or separate your cats into different areas or parts of the house to try to exclude one.
If you separate your cats and both go back to using the box, it may be stress related to concerns between the cats. Do your cats get along? Does one bully the other? Do you only have one can for two cats? You may need to add more doses and work with your vet to get both cats getting along.
Action 2. Take the cat to the vet
Before immediately assuming that peeing outside the box is a behavioral issue, consult your veterinarian. Often it can be the result of a nasty urinary tract infection, crystals in the urine, or bladder stones. Your pet cat cannot let you know when something is harming, so its only way of communicating is to stop using the box. The pet cat may also begin to feel uncomfortable touching the can and may be looking for a place in your home where there is no harm in using the bathroom.
Action 3. Look at your can.
Now that you’ve ruled out a medical cause, it’s time to determine if you have a canning arrangement that’s right for your cat and the number of pet cats in your home. At first, your cat may just not like the litter box! You should take a look:
Where’s the litter box?
Maybe you intend to hide the litter box in a dark corner of your basement, but your house cat doesn’t. It shouldn’t be in a high-traffic area of your home, but it should remain in an area that’s easy to spot and reach. Imagine living in a house where your bedroom is on the top floor but your only toilet is in the basement!
What’s in the package?
Cats that speak normally prefer odorless, clumping, clay litter. Look for a litter that is soft on their paws, especially if you have an older or declawed house cat. Try changing the brand or type if using pellets or crystals. There are types of clutter and additives that contain scents that will usually draw the cat into the litter box that are worth trying, but using scented litter or air fresheners near the packaging may deter your cat.
What size is the package?
Many litter boxes sold at pet stores are simply too small for your house cat. Your house cat should be able to walk around in circles comfortably in the box. As a general rule of thumb, you should look for a crate that is 1.5x the length of your house cat. If your cat is peeing or pooping next to the box or over the side, the size of the box may be the problem. You can make your own litter boxes out of plastic containers, or you can shop at the pet store for the largest possible one.
Is the packaging sufficiently cleaned?
It should do without specifying, but clean the litter box! If you only scoop the packet once or twice a week, give it about daily and even twice a day. Change the bedding and scrub the box regularly with soap and water. Indoor cats like their washrooms to be sparkling clean!
Does my cat have enough litter boxes?
Believe it or not