EVEN though you have a litter-tray for your cat, you may be shocked to find that kitty has suddenly decided not to use it and to go somewhere else in the house. This is a common problem and one of the main reasons why cats are taken to shelters. This is sad for the owner and the cat, especially as this drastic move is often unnecessary, and the problem can often be solved by making a few simple changes.
Reason: Kitty may have a urinary tract infection or gastrointestinal upset and has associated using the litter-tray with pain. So consult your vet to see if there is a medical reason.
Remedy: Treat the symptoms and move the litter-tray to where the cat has been relieving itself. Once it’s back using the litter-tray, you can move it to where you want.
Reason: The cat may have taken an acute dislike to the litter-tray if they have had an unpleasant experience while using it. This may be because of a medical reason (see above), being frightened by another pet or being subjected to a frightening noise while using it.
Remedy: Get a new litter-tray and find a new safe location. If you have a dog, try to keep them out of the area.
Reason: The litter-tray smells.
Remedy: Cats have an acute sense of smell so it is best to scoop the tray every day and empty it fully every few days and give it a good wash. However, don’t use strong-smelling cleaners as these can deter the cat from using the tray. Many cat-owners like to use clumping litter as it’s easy to scoop.
Reason: The litter-tray is too small. The tray should be big enough for your cat to be able to turn around in it.
Remedy: (Obviously!) Get a bigger litter-tray.
Reason: The cat doesn’t like the type of litter.
Remedy: If you buy a rough litter, try a finer one. They may not like the feel of rough lumps under their feet.
Reason: They are in another part of the house when they want to use the tray.
Remedy: Have more than one litter-tray in the house, preferably at least one on each level.
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