Thursday, September 24, 2015

Four Reasons Why Your Cat Won't Use His Litter Box

When a frustrated client called to tell me that his cat, Sammy, 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 him to the animal shelter if his behavior didn't change quickly.

First of all, cat owners must remember that a litter box is comparable 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.

Also, 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.

Next, Tidy Cats Long Lasting Odor Control litter had been poured in Scout's litter box for years and Sammy wasn't happy about that because it doesn't control odor very well and the ammonia scent is unpleasant.

Finally, I carefully suggested Sammy's owner to switch to 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 Sammy 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. Our friends changed the type of litter stuff and everything went back to normal
    Lily & Edward

    1. All it takes is something really simple like changing the litter to make a difference! Thanks for your comment!

  2. Glad you were able to help the owner and keep the cat out of a shelter situation. These are the types of help that lots of dog and cat owners that could reduce shelter referrals. When we got Bailey the owner's main complaints were resolved quickly by his foster Mom because she was used to dealing with Sheltie puppies and by the time we got him, the problems his owner complained about were minimal and likely wouldn't have resulted in him being surrendered had the owner known someone who could have provided the interventions needed.

    1. Thank you for your comments! Yes, many owners don't have the resources for help when their pets aren't behaving properly and it is sad because they could easily go to the internet, their friends, neighbors, vet, a trainer, etc, instead of giving up out of frustration and then surrender their pet to the shelter needlessly. I am glad you worked to make sure Bailey was happy and behaved and that he has a good life with you!


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