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Help! My Cat Isn’t Using the Litter Box

Did you know that one out of every 10 cats will develop a litter box aversion at one point in their life? There are many reasons why your cat may not be using the litter box. If your cat is having trouble, use these tips from your Cameron Park, CA vet:

See Your Vet

First things first—set up an appointment at your vet’s office to have your cat examined. There is a chance that medical problems like injury, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and much more could be the cause of your cat’s litter box aversion. You’ll want to have any issues ruled out before moving on to other solutions.

Change the Location

Would you want to use the bathroom in a crowded, highly trafficked area? Of course not, and neither does your cat! Make sure your cat’s litter box is located in a quiet area where family members and other pets don’t pass through often. You should also make sure that your cat’s box isn’t accidentally blocked off by a screen door or other physical obstacle, which would force your cat to use the bathroom elsewhere.

Change the Litter

Cats can be picky about the actual litter in their box. Some cats prefer non-clumping while others like clumping, and some may prefer a litter with a different base material, like clay or silicate. In addition, many cats are turned off by scented litters. Experiment with your cat’s litter preferences to find out what he or she likes best.

Clean the Box

Just like us, cats don’t like to use a dirty bathroom. If you don’t clean out your cat’s box often enough, it’s likely that they’ll shun it entirely. Take time every day to scoop out the used litter, replacing that which you’ve removed with a handful of fresh litter. Once a week or so, remove all the litter to give the whole box a thorough cleaning with soap and hot water.

Try Behavioral Counseling

Some cats develop a behavioral aversion to the litter box. This can be rooted in childhood, when something startled them while using the litter box, or by other negative conditioning scenarios. Talk to your veterinarian if you think a problem of this type might be affecting your cat.

If you’d like a recommendation on a specific litter box or type of litter for your feline friend, contact your Cameron Park, CA veterinarian today.

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