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Why cats dislike their litter box

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Cat doesn’t follow "the rules"

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OK, that kitten you got from your vet for your daughters for Valentine’s Day…you love her dearly. Until now, the entire family has enjoyed a picture-perfect relationship with kitty. But all of a sudden the kitty gives the impression that she can’t find her way to the litter box. And as accepting as you may be, there's probably a boundary to the amount of time you can put up with living in a house that smells like a kitten or cat latrine. Nothing can be quite so upsetting for a cat owner as this overpowering litter odor issue. Don’t call your vet and pay a fee, read the article for the reasons.

What to do now?

A vet may tell you that all adult cat or kitten elimination problems are "house soiling problems" though technically these words lean towards terms for simple litter box problems. This is a behavior problem, as any vet will explain to you, in which the cat or kitten chooses not to use the litter box for many reasons, choosing to use another area for elimination of urine, feces, or both. An affected kitty or adult cat simply avoids the litter box and the kitty picks a noiseless, carpet-clad spot behind a chair or in the corner of a room instead to litter.

There are many reasons why your cat may dislike his litter box:

  • Too few litter boxes
  • Unsuitably positioned boxes (damp cellar, high traffic area)
  • Problematic location (basement)
  • Hooded litter box (cat or kitten likely dislike hoods)
  • Box too unclean (not scooped often enough)
  • Box “smelly” clean (cleaned with harsh smelling chemicals, such as bleach)
  • Liners (some cats are unsettled by plastic liners)
  • Plastic underlay (suitable for the owner but not always valued by the kitty)
  • Incorrect type of litter
  • Litter too shallow, not deep enough
  • Hostility between cats in the house (competition/guarding of litter boxes)
  • Trouble getting into/out of the box, especially in elderly, arthritic cats

Solving the problem

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a vet, says,

Litter box problems are easy to solve. Increasing the number of litter boxes to N + 1 (where N is the number of cat in the household), changing the location of litter boxes for the cat's convenience, using scoopable litter, elimination of hoods from hooded boxes, etc., will typically yield a histrionic turnaround, especially if done in combination with proper clean-up of previous "accidents" using a vet recommended proprietary odor neutralizer (nothing less!).

Be observant and check your cat for any of the things on the list, then plan or rearrange accordingly. You should soon see marked results…. And smell them too!

See PetPlace for more information.

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