Thursday, October 18, 2012

Why Won't My Cat Use the Litter Box?

When a frustrated client called to tell me that his cat, Scout, had been defecating outside of his litter box for months and needed advice to stop this from continuing I immediately scoured the internet for answers because I feared that my client would be surrendering Scout to the animal shelter if his behavior didn't change quickly.

A litter box should be compared to a human's toilet which is, of course, flushed every day and therefore must be scooped/changed daily as well. 

If left in the wild, a cat would not choose to walk around in his own waste. Instead, he would simply choose another plot of land and that “plot of land” usually ends up being outside of the litter box or any other area of the home.

Upon further research I found that a cat’s sense of smell is much more sensitive than our own and when his litter box does not meet his standards he will stop using the box entirely.

For years, Scout's owner had been filling the litter box with Tidy Cats Long Lasting Odor Control litter but there are three problems with this litter:  

First of all, this litter is not very good at controlling odor. Secondly, the scent of ammonia is unpleasant. Last, if the soiled litter isn't replaced often enough, the urine will collect at the bottom of the box. The bacteria in the urine will multiply and convert the uric acid into foul-smelling ammonia. 

I carefully suggested that Scout would be happier with clumping (scoopable) litter such as Fresh Step as it is the cleanest, most effective type of cat litter available. The main ingredient, sodium bentotite, acts as a clumping agent, absorbing urine and turning it into tight, solid clumps that can be easily removed from the litter box and disposed of.
Within days of following my advice Scout and his owner are happily coexisting in a home where the litter box is well utilized and odor free!

I hope this information has been a help to every frustrated cat owner who has cleaned up way too many accidents outside of the litter box!  

Please tell me if you've experienced the same issues and what you've done to correct the problem!


  1. Oh we hope that as the problem sorted. How kind of you to all the research. Have a terrific Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. Awww poor Scout! Cats are totally clean creatures and abhor dirt and smells so if the litter hadn't been cleaned often and properly then his behaviour is totally understandable!

    Glad you helped out his owner though! Take care

  3. Hope this turns him around.

  4. Our friend tried different cat litter and shredded paper and that worked
    Benny & Lily

    1. Switching litter sometimes is the best way to solve "accidents" for sure! Glad it helped your friend!

  5. I would always change the kind of litter used if my kitty did his business outside the box! Good info! Austin generally uses the great outdoors as his litter box lol

    1. I think the great outdoors is the best place for a cat to doing his business! The outdoors is the best litter box ever!

  6. Mom has always used Fresh Step for me and Mi-Mi, but Tiffany told of the earlier days, when she used the sale brand. Those, apparently were touch and go days, no pun intended. We are so glad to use Fresh Step! MOL!


  7. yes this is giving such a wonderful information that we must have to know or else it'll be dangerous for us so thanks for aware this keep doing this.


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