I am an unabashed cat lover. During my life I have raised 11 cats. There is nothing more wonderful than befriending a new kitten… watching him grow… cuddling him, playing with him, and cherishing him as he grows into adulthood and beyond.
One reason cats make perfect pets is that they are easy to litter train. But – what happens when something goes awry and – for reasons you cannot fathom – your precious bundle of joy suddenly stops using his litter box?
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to figure out why a cat that has been perfectly house-trained suddenly refuses to use his litter box – except, possibly, trying to get him to start consistently using it again.
Fortunately, most of my cats have impeccable litter box habits! Some, like Tsunami, loved their litter boxes so much, they’ve played and slept in their freshly cleaned boxes as kittens! But – every now and then – situations occur that remind me not to take good litter box habits for granted.
Take Angelica, for instance. My one and only Maine Coon Diva did not appreciate our attempts to transition her from a starter kitten box to a big girl cat box down the hall, as communicated by conspicuously placed deposits throughout the house. And then there’s Legend. The stress of moving and adjusting to a new environment caused Legend to exhibit hit and miss litter box habits during the transition.
It saddens me to learn that failure to use the litter box is the number one reason good cats end up abandoned or at shelters. Retraining your cat to use his litter box can be challenging – but our feline family members deserve our unconditional love, patience and support!
What can you do to ensure that your precious cat never becomes a casualty of litter box fall-out?
Dr. Bruce Elsey – a Denver-based, cat-only veterinarian who recently created Cat Attract, the first litter specifically designed for cats who stop using their litter box – shares these important tips!
1. First, identify the cause for your cat’s litter box problems. Does your cat have a medical problem? Is the problem a result of stress and/or environmental factors? Often, there is an overlap in these issues.
2. Determine whether or not your cat is marking his territory – a normal way that cats get their point across when their threatened. One clue? In inappropriate urination, the cat will leave a puddle and turn around and sniff it; in marking, the cat will spray in a line and won’t sniff! The more cats you have in your household, the greater the likelihood you may experience a marking incident.
3. Practice cleanliness! Scoop your cat’s litter box every day!
4. Make sure the box is large enough for the cat to easily turn around in – ideally, it should be at least one and one half times the length of the cat. Most litter boxes are not really that large, so if you have a large cat, you will need to pay close attention to this tip!
(Note: As a Maine Coon Cat owner, I use an elongated plastic under-the-bed storage container in lieu of a traditional cat litter box to ensure that my cats have ample room to move around in!)
5. If you have multiple cats, plan for multiple litter boxes. You should have one box more than the number of cats in your home.
6. Replace your litter boxes every now and then! Dr. Elsey says that using a plastic litter box can eventually pick up an odor that the cats find objectionable and they will have an aversion to it.
7. Make sure your litter box is placed in a quiet, safe location and pay attention to your cat’s preferences (remember Angelica?) Placing a litter box next to a washing machine or dryer or furnace that cuts in and out can be an issue as it could scare the cat while it’s in the box. Most cats prefer open litter boxes over closed styles.
8. Add canned food to your cat’s diet to double his total water intake and decrease the incidence of urinary issues.
Have you ever had a cat who stopped using his or her cat litter box?
How did you resolve the issue?
Next month, I look forward to testing, reviewing, and hosting a giveaway for Cat Attract – a litter designed to help save cats by helping them to use their litter boxes!
Can’t wait? Don’t miss out on Dr. Elsey’s Litter Box Solutions Booklet – a free booklet full of tips, product information, and coupons to help you get your favorite feline back on track!
In the meantime, I’d like to invite you to an upcoming #BlogPawsChat on Tuesday, 2/25/14 from 8 to 10 pm EST where you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about this topic!
Disclosure: I have written this original post on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network for Precious Cat. Although we are being compensated to help spread the word about Precious Cat’s Cat Attract formula, Create With Joy only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Precious Cat is not responsible for the content of this article.
Copyright © 2014 by Create With Joy. All Rights Reserved.
If you see this content posted elsewhere, please contact the site owner.
Thank you for helping to prevent content theft!