• Shelley Beyer

Litter Box Training Tips



Is your kitty not using the litter? Maybe this is why!

If your cat isn’t using the litter box, there could be several reasons for it. Before you worry too much, try changing some of these things to see if it encourages your cat to use the litter box. There are a lot of possibilities to explain why your cat is going outside of the litter box.


The problem could be as simple as:



The Wrong Size Litter Box


Make sure that the litter box you choose is an appropriate size for the cat you are trying to train. Your kitten may feel intimidated if the cat box is too big. A 13x9 inch pan with low edges is the easiest for kittens to use. Make sure you scale the size of your litter box up as your kitten grows. (1.5 times the length of your cat is a good rule of thumb) Make sure the sides of the box are not too big if you have a kitten. You don't want them to have to climb a wall to try to go pee!



The Wrong Style


The personal taste of your cat is what you should take into consideration when choosing the type of litter box. Some cats prefer an open litter box, while others prefer an enclosed space. If your cat is avoiding the litter box, it may be because they don’t like the style you’ve provided them. Try switching to the other and see if that makes your cat happier.



The Wrong Litter


There is a possibility your cat does not care for the litter in the box! Most cats prefer fine-grained litters. They may even like clumping or non-camping litters. As for the wheat or corn-based cob, they may not like it because it smells like food. Try a few different kinds to see if that makes a difference to your beloved feline. Think of it as finding the right brand of toilet paper!



The Wrong Location


Maybe the kitty doesn’t like where the box is. We tend to hide the litter boxes because they aren’t always fun to look at for us. It might be making your kitty feel trapped! There may not be enough light in the area, especially at night. Try adding a night light if that seems to be the problem. If your home has multiple floors, there should be a litter box on each floor to make it more accessible. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t want to walk that far to go to the bathroom, don’t make your cat do that either!



Unwanted Sharing


If you have multiple cats, you may not have enough litter boxes! Some cats may not have problems sharing, while others may. You should have at least one litter box in your home per cat. Some sources suggest having one more litter box than you have cats, but that may not be necessary for your pets (especially if your home is small). Sharing the bathroom with somebody can be stressful, and your cats may just be annoyed by it.



Not Being Clean Enough


If your cat isn’t using the litter box, it might be because the litter box isn’t clean enough. Scoop the litter out daily and keep at least 2-3 inches of clean litter in the box. If you are following product recommendations for changing out the litter entirely, consider changing it out even more frequently, or scooping multiple times a day. You don’t like it when your bathroom isn’t clean- neither does your kitty!


Keep in Mind


If you’ve tried all of these things and your kitty is still not using the litter box, you should probably seek out the advice of your veterinarian. There may be a medical reason for their inability to use the litter box properly, such as parasites or urinary tract infections. So, take them in for an examination- it’s better to be safe than sorry!