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Cat Litter Training - Isn’t It Supposed To Be Easy

Cats are extremely clean creatures and are easily litter trained. They have a natural instinct to bury their feces and a litter is immediately accepted as their “toilet“. However, sometimes cat litter training is not as easy as it supposed to be. If your cat prefers to relieve herself elsewhere, you should not punish her for being a messy cat and exclude your potential errors first.

Simply placing a litter box in your basement or other room you consider appropriate and expecting from your cat to find and use it will not do the trick. First of all, the litter box must be accessible to your cat all the time. If she cannot get to the litter box, she will try to find other appropriate places to relieve herself. Then you should make sure that the chosen place provides enough privacy because cats like privacy too when defecating. Also, show it to her. Put your cat inside the litter box, take her claw and scratch the litter. At the same time, remove all soft objects such as newspaper, old clothing, etc. which could be used as an alternative to the litter. Also, be sure not to put any food near the litter. After all, you do not eat in the toilet either, do you?

If your cat still is not using the litter box or misses it, you should consider its size because she might refuse to use it if it is too small. If the size of the litter box should not be a problem, you should perhaps consider enclosing the litter box to prevent your cat from missing it. But if your cat was already litter trained and suddenly started searching for other places, ask yourself how often you clean it. Ideally, litter should be cleaned every day or at least every second day, while the litter should be replaced once a week. As already mentioned earlier, cats are very sensitive when it comes to cleanness and they will not use the litter if they consider it dirty but search for cleaner alternatives instead.

Change of the litter brand may be another reason why your cat is suddenly refusing to use it. They usually are not picky as long as it enables them to bury their feces and as long as it meets they standards for cleanness, however, it is not impossible for them to refuse it due to different texture, smell or similar seemingly unimportant reasons. Some cats also refuse to share their litter box with another cat, so if you have brought home another cat to keep her company, she will appreciate it but she might “demand“ her own litter box.

Medical reasons is last possible explanation for your cat not defecating in the litter box. Do not panic because it does not necessarily signal a serious illness. Perhaps your cat just ate something she should not. But if nothing works or if your cat is showing other worrisome symptoms such as refusing to eat or sudden weight loss, contact your vet.