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Cat Not Using the Litter Box

Category Cats
Cat in Litter Box
There are a number of reason why a cat might stop using it's litter box. It could be as simple as the box needs to be cleaned more often, to being a potential warning sign of a serious health issue. Knowing the habits and preferences of your cat can help narrow the list of possible problems and help get them using the litter box again. This is a guide about cat not using the litter box.

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September 26, 20161 found this helpful

This is a guide about cat stopped using litter box. Determining the reason your cat has stopped using its litter box is the first step in correcting this behavior.

Litterbox on a white background

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September 26, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about kitten not using the litter box. Although many kittens will quickly learn to use a litter box, some take encouragement and patience.

Finger pointing at kitten in litter box

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May 14, 20140 found this helpful

This is a guide about cat peeing outside litter box. If your litterbox trained kitty suddenly begins peeing outside the box, it is cause for concern and possibly frustration.

Litter Box

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October 15, 20130 found this helpful

This guide is about cat won't poop in the litter box. It can be very frustrating when you do not understand your cat's behavior.

Litter Box

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 19, 20110 found this helpful

I have a male Persian cat and he is peeing almost everywhere and not using the litterbox at all. But in the case of poop, he uses the litter box or the bathroom very properly. Please help me find solution; it's urgent.

By Afrin from Navi Mumbai, India

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Answers

June 19, 20110 found this helpful

I'm not a cat person but if he were mine he would pee in the box or pee outside. Cat pee stinks up a house with odor that refuses to go away.

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June 19, 20110 found this helpful

I would keep him in a room with a litter box with grass or hay on top of it. Could he have a bladder infection? A UTI or be diabetic, which makes a cat pee all the time and can cause a UTI. A vet check up would be in order. Is the litter box clean? Cats sometimes don't like the feel of a particular litter. Try a different litter, and as a last result, buy some catnip spray and spray some of it on the litterbox. He will have a good experience then of the litterbox.

Here are some further ideas, and I hope the cat gets to feeling better.

http://answers.  010125448AAsog9f

Blessings,

Robyn

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June 19, 20110 found this helpful

If he is not neutered, he may be "spraying". They do this to mark territory, especially if there is another male cat.

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June 19, 20110 found this helpful

Good advice so far. They will mark territory when confused. I.E. flood earthquake scared in general. mine did ht after air conditioner backed up and hall and closet were soaked.

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June 20, 20110 found this helpful

I agree with Robyn Fed's advice. I have a cat rescue and the first thing we do when receiving a rescue is a trip to the vet for a complete physical and shots and neutering/spaying.

They also make some cat foods that are especially for cats who have a problem with pH balance issues which results in painful urination and UTI's. They will do as your cat is doing oftentimes when this is the problem.

And also, some male cats are "sprayers" and will never stop this. In that case they will have to become an outside cat, which will of course lower their chances of a long life by many years.

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June 21, 20110 found this helpful

I have a male cat that sprayed in the house after we got a new kitten. I cleaned all the carpets with pet odor shampoo and used a steam cleaner on bare floors. When it was all dry, he went back to the litter box. I can only assume he was looking for the familiar smell of his previous accidents. When the smell was gone, the urge to remark was gone too. I had been cleaning the floor in the usual manner with a mop and cleaner. the steam cleaner seemed to clean more effectively.

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June 22, 20110 found this helpful

Please take him to your Veterinarian for a checkup. There might be an underlying medical problem.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 11, 2009

My cat won't use litter box.

By Maria from Houston, TX

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November 12, 20090 found this helpful

Some questions come to mind:

Is this the only cat? Some won't share boxes.

Is it kept clean? Cats don't like dirty boxes.

Was this an outside cat that you're trying to convert? Some adult cats won't change.

Does the cat have a regular place it DOES use? You might need to cover that place, because cats like to go back to the same spot.

Just some stuff to think about.

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November 12, 20090 found this helpful

Where is he going? I had a Maine Coon for 18 years that would never use a litter box. I always said he thought he was too good for one. =) He insisted on going outside to potty. We would leave him in the house for a whole weekend, every weekend, to go camping, and he would actually hold it the entire time. As soon as we came home, he almost knocked us down to get out.

I've had a lot of cats in my lifetime (have 4 now), but he was the only cat I have ever owned that simply refused to use a litter box, but yet never went in the house. As he and my dog became elderly, I would lay a "pee pee pad" down for my dog at night in case, like a lot of elderly, she might need to go during the night. She would use it often, and lo' and behold, my Maine Coon started doing the same thing! He would never use a litter pan, but as he got older, he would use the dog's "pee pee pad". Good luck to you!

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November 12, 20090 found this helpful

I see a lot of posts in the archives about their cats doing #1 or #2 in the litterpan, but not the other. Try getting two litter pans. Seriously! I have 4 cats, and they are all indoor cats. I have 2 litter pans and they do #1 in one of 'em, and #2 in the other. Go figure.

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November 15, 20090 found this helpful

Take him/her to the vet to see if they have a urinary tract infection, so that it can be treated. UTIs can be fatal in male cats.

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November 16, 20090 found this helpful

This sounds like an easy fix, but we had a similar problem with our cat, which was an indoor cat. We were able to get to the spots easily, where she decided to poop, usually beside or near the litterbox! I scooped up some, put it in the litter box & she went right to the box, smelled her own scent and never had a problem again. I had cleaned the litterbox, washed and disinfected it and she needed to know it was actually hers I guess. Good Luck hope you get the problem solved.

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November 16, 20090 found this helpful

Vet first, to rule out medical problems. Try extra litter boxes. Mine also use one for #1 and one for #2 and 1 cat will only go on a smooth flat surface, with no litter. So I put down a large lid from a rubbermaid storage container, and she uses that...strange, but loveable creatures! They keep you guessing! Good luck.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 2, 2017

I have made an improvised litter for my tabby cat. My previous Shirazi cat doesn't have any issue with the shredded newspaper as litter, but my tabby cat seems to have no interest of using it at all, instead, he always likes to poop on the rags or worst, my laundry.

What can you suggest on how to encourage my cat to use shredded newspaper as litter?

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By 0 found this helpful
September 29, 2015

We have two female cats ages, 3.5 years and 15 years. We have introduced a male kitten in the last 6 weeks. He is a rescue that we have been fostering since he was 7 weeks old. We kept him in his own room especially at night for the first 3 weeks and slowly introduced him to our two cats. 2.5 weeks ago we gave him full access to the house without human supervision or intervention.

We have a RoboKitty Litter box. It basically automatically cleans itself. He has been 95% great about potty training. He has had a few peeing accidents especially in one specific corner of our living room. We have blocked the area off and have tried to be vigilant about getting him to litterbox and that has been successful. However, we have now noticed that our two female cats are pointedly going pee outside when we let them out for their supervised time in our back yard. Is this a sign of stress? How should I remedy this? Should I get a second Robokitty litterbox? Has anyone had success with Feliway cat diffusers? I am seeking tried and true methods.

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August 29, 20120 found this helpful

My older cat uses her cat box to poop, but when it comes to peeing she has been peeing all over the house. I bought puppy pees pads and she is using them. I just don't know what to do.

By Christy

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August 30, 20120 found this helpful

That is the classic sign of a bladder infection in cats. Be sure and get her to the Vet to be checked. The infections are quite painful, so dont wait.

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August 31, 20120 found this helpful

1. Change the kind of litter. 2. Add another litter box 3. Take her to vet to make sure she is ok. 4. Scrub the box you have with basic cleanser and hot soapy water. even if you cant smell it, she can ( been there, done that, made the changes). Normally it's the simple things that make the difference and solve the problem. :)

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By 0 found this helpful
November 29, 2010

My cat will not use her litterbox or go outside to do her thing. She will only do it inside on paper or in corners. What's up?

By sb6663 from KY

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December 1, 20100 found this helpful

Hello,

Please take your baby to the Veterinarian. There could be a urinary track infection going on.

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December 1, 20100 found this helpful

We had a male cat who wouldn't use the litterbox. After some research what worked for us was, putting the paper litter that is used in hamster cages in his litterbox and putting him and the litter box in a good sized dog crate for about 5 days or so (whatever it takes). The theory is to re-train him to go in the litterbox and since he didn't like traditional litter the paper was soft and similar to the areas he was peeing on. ( It can't be the cedar shavings that are also used to hamsters etc.) I found the paper litter at Walmart and petsmart. When we let him out of the cage we set up two litter boxes one with paper and one with regular litter. After a while he started using the regular litter again. I found this info on an internet search. And it worked for us . Good luck. Oh yes and don't forget to get rid on all old urine and fecal odors. I saw a recipe on ThriftyFun the other day for a solution that works for this.

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December 1, 20100 found this helpful

I have a 3 month old kitten that does the same thing. Sometimes she uses the box, but often she goes in the bathtub or on the floor in the corner of the litter box room. I can't figure out why it's inconsistent.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 23, 2016

I have three cats. Freddy is 8 mos and fixed. Kiki is 7 months and not fixed yet. Rocky is 2 and fixed. We'll just say my husband isn't patient when it comes to their behaviors. Freddy is skittish but very affectionate. He will headbutt you until you have a headache. But, he pees and poops (mostly pees) on furniture and the floor right in front of you. I know he's trying to communicate, but my husband just thinks he's being bad. He seems healthy, so I think it's behavioral. It's strange that he will stare you in the face as he does it. Today he peed on the floor right in front of my husband as he came home.

Kiki is just naughty. I'm a teacher and she loves to help me grade papers. Freddy and Kiki now jump in the trash can. Kiki chews on anything she can sink he teeth into.

Rocky is our fatso. She's been on a diet and lost 3 lbs, but she's still big and because we have two other cats and both work we can't keep them from eating each others food. Rocky is fluffy and sweet, but she has pooping problems and drags it places. My husband says she's naughty and poops places, but she doesn't. She's a long hair and it gets stuck. I'm sure her weight makes cleaning difficult also.

What do I do with these cats? I'm on vacation so I've been home most everyday. Today I had to deal with car issues and I think that's what is wrong with Freddy. Kiki is a little monster. She's the boss around here. At 7lbs she flips 14 lb Rocky. I don't know what to do about her mischievousness. Rocky needs to be shaved and I'm scared to do it even though we have the tool. I don't want to hurt her.
Any advice, suggestions of other issues?

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By 0 found this helpful
June 22, 2016

We have seven, yes seven cats inside, 6 males and one female, all fixed. Originally we just had one, who is now about 4. We feed ferrules and one was really small, and we were afraid he wouldn't survive the winter so we brought him in and the female wanted to come in, so we brought her in as well, and added a second litter box. Everything was still good.

Then we had a mama cat get trapped and killed, intentionally, by a neighbor (he got into legal trouble and won't do that again). She had five, 5 week old kittens. One died, but we had to bring them in to care for them. They're about a year old now. After we brought them in our older cat started going to the bathroom in the hall or on floor in our bathroom. He is a moody cat anyway and this seems to just be him rebelling. Any ideas?

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By 0 found this helpful
September 28, 2015

I need ideas this 4 month old cat that is peeing everywhere it feels it wants to. I am about 70% sure he has pooped somewhere in my room cause it has a poop smell. I've been searching for 2 days. I need some ideas of how to stop this before I have to take him to a shelter.

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May 14, 20120 found this helpful

My cat is going to the bathroom on my desk instead of her litterbox. This has never happened before, and it just started yesterday. Yesterday I had thought maybe it was the box, so I cleaned it, but today even with the clean litterbox, she still uses the bathroom on my desk. She is using the same place, too. I'm getting worried because it might be a habit and I don't want my cat peeing and pooping everywhere around my stuff. I am also concerned that she might start going on the floor, corners, etc. What could be the problem?

By Lindsay L.

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May 16, 20120 found this helpful

She may have a bladder or kidney infection. That's her way of telling you that somethings not right with her. Please take her to your vet and have her checked out. I had a female cat that started peeing on our leather sofa and when I looked, I noticed some blood in the urine. The vet gave me some pills and it cleared right up. Good luck.

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May 16, 20120 found this helpful

I agree with the previous post. This is very likely a bladder infection. It is a very very painful condition, so see your Vet ASAP. After she has been treated for her condition, clean the spot on the desk with vinegar or an enzyme soak to get rid of the odor so she wont be tempted to return. Bladder infections can recur so be on the watch for this behavior in the future. It will be a reason for a return to the Vet.

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December 11, 20130 found this helpful

I have had this Himalayan kitten since September and she has been on 2 different kinds of antibiotics for a urinary track infection. The vet felt crystals in her urine. She also had an xray and it showed no stones, but after her meds are done 2 days later she starts peeing all over the house, and blood appears in the urine again. I have tried special wet food and special litter to try and retrain her to using the litter box. I have 3 boxes in the house for her to use. Help!

By Ana.M

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November 29, 20100 found this helpful

My cat keeps peeing and pooping at the bottom of my basement steps. How do I stop her?

By Amber from Altoona, PA

Answers:

Cat Not Using Litter Box

First take your cat to the vet to make sure there are no medical reasons for this. If she comes clean with her health, then you need to figure out why she is not using her box. When you got her, did you keep her confined in a small area with the box until she began using it regularly? This is very important, and you can do it now if you think she needs a refresher course. Also, some cats like the box very clean, and will not use it unless it is clean, meaning you might need to scoop it every day, at least once a day.

There is a lot of info on the net about what you can do about this. Some cats just take longer, but if you are patient, you can work it out. Good luck, let me know if you have any questions. (05/18/2010)

By jmp24

Cat Not Using Litter Box

There is a product called Comfort Zone with feliway that you can spray on a spot and the cat will not pee there again. You need to keep spraying it on a regular basis until the habit is broken. Good luck. (05/18/2010)

By Lizzyanny

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May 17, 20100 found this helpful

We have a three kittens that are 3 1/2 months old; one of the kittens keeps pooping on our living room carpet and won't use the litter box like the rest of the kittens. Why is that?

By Dawne from Saint Ann, MO

Answers:

Cat Not Using Litter Box

It could be that you aren't cleaning the box often enough. Also, one box for three kittens, even though they're small, might not be enough. Always keep the boxes in the same place but if you need to move them then do it only a few feet at a time each day until they are in their new destination. There are also some answers that might be helpful in the archives below. If the behavior doesn't change after more frequent box cleaning and/or adding a second box please call your vet. If the kitten starts urinating outside of the box call your vet right away because it could be a medical problem. (12/08/2009)

By Deeli

Cat Not Using Litter Box

Each cat is supposed to have its own litter box. Actually, each cat is supposed to have two litter boxes, one for eat type of "duty" that it does. So you would need 6 litter boxes for 3 cats. I would try three litter boxes to see if that fixes your problem. (12/11/2009)

By Carol in PA

Cat Not Using Litter Box

Maybe the kitten is a little slow and just hasn't figured out what a litterbox is for. Pick up some of his droppings and place them in the litterbox. Then place him in the box and let him smell his droppings. He may make the connection once the box has his scent in it. I had a couple of kittens that loved to dig in the litter, but took a while to figure out what it was used for. They sat and watched the other kittens use the box for weeks before trying it themselves. To reiterate what someone else said, do not move the litterbox on them at this age--it can really mix them up. (12/13/2009)

By susanmajp

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December 7, 20090 found this helpful

My three year old son and I have recently gotten a 16 month old kitten from a friend. The problem is the kitten doesn't seem to want to use his litter box. A few days after we got him he pooped on the floor (which I contributed to the fact that he had been wormed), but then he pooped in the same spot the next day. I cleaned up the spot and used enzyme cleaner on it and them moved his food to that spot.

Now he is doing fine with that, but a few days ago, I left laundry that I had been separating on the floor and came home to find he had peed all over it. Over the last few days he hasn't used his litter box for urine even once and I found pee in my desk chair. Please help, I clean the litter box every day, don't used strong chemicals or perfumes and have it in a private place. I am at my wits end.

He has been to a vet and it is not a UTI. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Michelle

Answers:

Cat Not Using Litter Box

Have you changed brands of litter? Some cats are so picky they won't use a litter they don't like. (09/20/2005)

By Linda L

Cat Not Using Litter Box

Is he neutered? Does your brand of litter have those nasty "deodorizing" things in it?

I scoop my litter regularly and see no need for chemicals which will burn their eyes and noses. Also, ask your vet for suggestions.


Best wishes.
Jennifer
Northern Virginia
(09/20/2005)

By ILuvDobes

Cat Not Using Litter Box

Your cat might also be peeing in places that have your scent on them, if he is mad at you. Do you leave him home alone for long stretches of time?
He may be bored and mad that he's home alone so much. Does he have any toys to play with, or things to do while you are not there? (09/21/2005)

Cat Not Using Litter Box

Go to PetSmart and buy the cat litter called Cat Attract. (09/25/2005)

By freedombelle2001

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November 11, 20090 found this helpful

My cat had a litter of four cats about 4 years ago. Three of the cats are litter box trained - one is not. This one cat has never used a litter box. I have tried everything from getting her her own box to putting her in a separate area with a box.

She used to use a rug that was next to the other litter boxes and she did very well with that for a while. We have recently moved and she will only go to the front door of all places. We are having the carpet replaced in our new home because we cannot get her house broken or to even use a rug now. Any suggestions?

Annie from TX

Answers:

Cat Won't Use Litter Box

  1. Try different kinds of litter.
  2. Try putting the cat's box in the spot where he/she pees.
  3. If outside cats are marking, your cat may think he/she has to mark out his own territory. Try neutralizing the outside cats' odors.
  4. Try two boxes with a different kind of litter in each.
  5. Never punish a cat for peeing in the wrong place. It doesn't mean to be bad.
  6. If your cat is pooping outside the box, consider whether there is a message implied.

A boyfriend once called my cat a "dirty, hairy little slut" and she stalked out of the room in great indignation as he apologized to her: "I was only teasing, Tattoo." When he went into the bedroom where he'd left his overnight bag, there was a little present next to it. (04/24/2008)

By Samudra

Cat Won't Use Litter Box

I was told by the vet that a neutered male can still spray it doesn't take that away just calms the want to, but like you mine does that. He said my cat, who has been fixed for years never sprayed until we got a new cat and the smell triggered him to spray again. He says you can give him a pill kinda like motion sickness pill to calm down, but it doesn't really cure it. They can, but no guarantees on it. He didn't know what else to tell me except he thinks there is a competition, but Cream doesn't spray back just Kit Kat. (12/31/2008)

By Heather M.

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January 16, 20080 found this helpful
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