Cat litter box avoidance

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 10:55 AM CDT
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MILAN, Ill. (KWQC) - Butterball, a 3-month-old male neutered kitten, joins Patti McRae from Quad City Animal Welfare Center for our Four Legged Friends pet of the week. He loves to play and is the last of his litter to be adopted at the Welfare Center. Go in and see if Butterball is your new friend!

Patti also shares what to do when your cat is avoiding the litter box.

  • Make sure you have enough litter boxes. Always have one extra box. For example if you have two cats, you need three boxes.
    • Cats prefer larger boxes and a shallow bed of litter, usually just a few inches.
      • Scoop them daily and each week you should dump them and put in clean litter.
  • Avoid using scented cleaners as your cat my be sensitive to the smell.
  • Litter boxes should be in an easily accessible and safe area.
  • Cats prefer to have their food and water away from their box.
  • Do not use lids or liners in your cats box.

If your cat does soil outside of the litter box:

  1. Clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner that will eliminate the pet order. These can be found at pet and hardware stores.
  2. Contact your veterinarian. Your cat could have a medical problem that you are unaware of such as a urinary tract infection.
  3. Did you change litter? You should not change the litter your cat is used to using.
  4. Have you recently changed your routine? Cats can become stressed and litter box avoidance can also be a behavioral issue. Sometimes simply playing with your cat near the box and rewarding them can help.
  5. Ask your veterinarian about using pheromone sprays and/or diffusers to help calm your kitty.
  6. Is your cat spayed or neutered? This can easily be taken care of by scheduling an appointment to have you cat spayed or neutered.

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