Top 5 Reasons Your Cat Isn’t Using the Litter Box

Did you know that one out of every 10 cats will develop an aversion to their litter box at one point or another? There are many possible reasons for this—if your feline friend seems to be distancing herself from the bathroom recently, it’s time to act! Your Hendersonville, NC veterinarian tells you about some of the most common reasons below.


Would you enjoy doing your business in a dirty bathroom? Of course not, and neither does your cat! Our feline friends prefer using a clean, well-kept bathroom. Be sure to scoop out Fluffy’s box daily, and change out the litter entirely once a week. This will keep things clean, fresh, and smelling pleasant, and your cat will be much more inclined to use her bathroom properly.


Our cats can be fairly picky when it comes to their bathrooms’ location. Much like humans, cats prefer doing their business in peace and quiet—make sure you put the litter box in a calm, out-of-the-way locale where your pet isn’t likely to be disturbed by family members, other pets, or loud noises. In most homes, a basement, laundry room, or bathroom works well.

Litter Preference

Different cats have different preferences when it comes to litter type. There are a wide variety of options out there—litter comes in different granule sizes, different scents, different consistencies, etc. There is clumping litter and non-clumping litter as well; certain cats prefer one or the other. You may have to do some experimenting to find out what type of litter Fluffy prefers best; ask your veterinarian for further advice.

Sharing With Others

Do you have more than one cat in the home? If your feline companions are sharing a litter box, this could be the root cause of your cat’s aversion to the bathroom. Not all cats take kindly to sharing a bathroom! You may need to set up more than one box to give each of your pets a measure of privacy. The general rule is this: keep one litter box per cat in the household.

Negative Conditioning

It’s possible that your cat has had a negative conditioning experience in the past; perhaps a loud noise startled her while she was using the box as a kitten. This may require a professional’s touch to correct, so contact your veterinarian for help.

Talk to your Hendersonville, NC vet for more advice on cat care.

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