Help! My Cat Isn’t Using Her Litter Box

Studies indicate that one out of every 10 domesticated cats develop some sort of litter box aversion at least once in their lives. If your cat falls into that percentage and is eliminating outside of her box, consider the following reasons as discussed by your Smyrna vet.

Pain or Physical Limitations

If a cat is in pain, perhaps suffering from arthritis, she may be reluctant to get into her box simply because it hurts. Certain medical problems, like urinary tract infections or kidney stones, can also cause improper elimination. For these reasons, it’s best to set up an appointment with your vet as soon as you notice a pattern of your cat avoiding the box. He or she can examine your cat and help you determine the next steps.


Is your cat’s litter box clean? Almost all cats prefer a clean, waste-free box to do their business in, and can be very picky if the box isn’t up to their standards! Remember to remove all clumps periodically so your cat finds the box up to her sanitation criteria.

The Litter Itself

There are many different kinds of litter, and just as many cats who won’t like one or the other. Some prefer non-clumping while others like clumping; some like a scented litter; some like only a small layer on the bottom of the box while some prefer a healthy amount. You’ll have to experiment with your cat’s litter preferences to see what best suits her.


Have you considered that where your cat’s box is located could be contributing to her use of the box—or lack thereof? Cats, like us, don’t really want to go to the bathroom in a high-traffic, noisy area, so make sure the box is located in a quiet back room. Also make sure it’s constantly accessible, even when no one’s home.


Stress can be caused by a variety of factors, and it may be the cause of your cat’s litter box aversion. Other pets in the home, a recent change of scenery, or even something as small as a certain noise in the house can cause some cats to undergo stress. Talk to your Smyrna veterinary professional to find out the potential causes of your cat’s stress, and how you can resolve the issue and get your cat’s bathroom habits back to normal!

Comments are closed.