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Cats International

Lapsed Litterbox Users

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One in every 10 cats will have a litter box lapse in his or her lifetime. 

 Here are the most common reasons:
  • Sad catThe cat is suffering from a medical problem involving the urinary tract (If the UTI is bad enough, some blood in the urine may be visible.) It’s called a Urinary Track Infection
  •  This should be the first thing to check out.  Take Your Cat to the VET, to rule out illness
  • The cat experiences a bout of geriatric constipation
  • The cat has not been spayed or neutered and is marking territory
  • The caretaker does not keep the litter box clean
  • Not enough litter in the box
  • The litter box has a hood on it (most cats don’t like to feel trapped, this also traps the odors and makes the cat think the litter box is dirty, even right after it has been cleaned)
  • The owner uses disposable plastic liners (urine can get trapped into the folds of the liner and if litter is low in box the cat can catch their paws when digging)
  • The litter is scented (cats dislike a perfume odor)
  • The litter brand and type was suddenly changed (this should be a gradual transition)
  • The owner buys a new box and throws out the old one.  Boxes should be placed next to one another, don’t get rid of the old box until the cat is using the new box consistently
  • The litter box was washed with a harsh cleaning product and the scent is still present  Several rinses with clean water should be done to eliminate the odor
  • The litter used is sharp and uncomfortable and it irritates the cat’s sensitive paw pads
  • The cat has been declawed and finds walking or digging in the litter painful.  Find a very soft to the paws litter.  We recommend SmartCat® Natural Litter (see Litter usage tips)
  • There are not enough litter boxes in the house (1 per cat, plus 1 is recommended)
  • The litter boxes are located all in one area, they should not be next to one another
  • The cat is kept from using the litter box by another family pet or children
  • The location of the litter box is too busy or too remote. Don’t create an obstacle course for your cat
  • The owner suddenly changes the location of the litter box.  You can add a new box in another location, but leave the existing box where its been located, slowly relocate the box to a new location if necessary
  • The cat accidentally gets locked out of the room where the litter box is located
  • The cat was never properly trained to use the letter box in the first place
  • The cat is stressed by a change in routine or the environment, including work schedule changes, overnight guests, new furniture, remodeling, outside animals seen through the window, etc.
  • A loud noise can startle the cat when using the litter box or in its vicinity, they associate the frightening experience with the litter box
  • Not using the litter box is never done intensionally or for spite, there is a reason for everything our cats do, it is there way of communicating something is not right
Funny red-haired cat


 The Stress target is the cats bladder!

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