Everyone knows that setting up a litter box is one of the first things you’ll have to do when you adopt a cat. But whether you’re a new feline owner or if you’ve had your pet for several years, just about any cat can develop a litter-box aversion. Why does this happen? Below, your Bend, OR vet tells you about four common reasons why Fluffy is ignoring her bathroom:
Who wants to use the bathroom when it’s dirty? Not your cat, that’s for sure. Much like yourself, your cat prefers to do her business in a clean bathroom. That’s why it’s essential that you clean the box out often! Scoop it out every day, adding in a little fresh litter to replace that which you’ve removed, and change the litter pan entirely about once a week. This ensures that everything stays at peak freshness.
Our feline friends are picky when it comes to litter box placement. The first rule of thumb: put it in a quiet, out-of-the-way area in the house where Fluffy can use it without being disturbed. Also make sure that your pet can access the box at all times, day and night, even when you’re not home. If a screen door, sliding door, or other physical obstacle blocks your cat’s path to her bathroom, she’ll have to eliminate elsewhere.
Did you know that different cats are partial to certain types of litter? You might have to try a few kinds to discover what your particular pet’s preferences are. Some cats like clumping litter, while some prefer non-clumping. Some like fine grain litter, and others prefer a more coarse variety. And many cats are thrown off by scented litters, so use caution.
Of course, if your cat keeps avoiding her litter box and you can’t determine why, it’s possible she’s injured or ill. Cats with arthritis, for example, might have trouble getting up and into the box. A cat with a urinary tract infection will probably eliminate outside of their box. And something like a broken bone could mean your cat can’t make it up or down the staircase to reach her box.
It’s time to get your cat examined at the vet’s office if you think a medical problem could be to blame. Call your Bend, OR animal hospital.