Cats are clean creatures and naturally want to cover their tracks by for instance burying any mess they make and with most cats preferring to do their business on loose and grainy substances it is not surprising that they quickly learn to use a cat litter box. But when their preferences include other favourite areas within your home the problems begin.
The main reasons why cats choose not to use the litter box are that they disapprove of the location of the box or they have an aversion to the box itself, its contents or even or some dissatisfaction with the depth of the litter. The cat litter box may be in the wrong location, perhaps not private enough.
Some other reasons maybe:
o The contents of the box may not be satisfactory to the cat, scent of the contents for instance.
o The cat litter may not be emptied often and the litter box is not cleaned often enough.
o The cat has experienced painful urination or defecation in the box because of a medical condition.
o The cat is often disturbed whilst using the box.
o The cat may associate the box with punishment if it is often being placed in the box after soiling elsewhere in the house.
In the event of mishaps it is important to thoroughly and properly clean the soiled areas. Strong smelling household cleaners however, will not help. You will need specifically for this purpose an enzymatic cleaning fluid to eliminate the odour or deter your pet from re-marking the area.
To help with litterbox training try some different approaches but your patience will pay off in the end and improve your cat's behavior:
o Ensure that the litter box is kept clean at all times, to scoop at least once a day and renew the cat litter completely every four to five days. If the box smells unpleasant to you, then you can be pretty sure it's offensive to your cat as well.
o Try placing a new box in a different location, with a different type of litter. Your cat may have decided that her old litter box is unpleasant, or is not in a private enough location and so a different box with different contents in a different location will ensure the cat that doesn't apply the same negative associations to the new box.
o Make sure that the litter box isn't anywhere where there is noise that may disturb the cat, or in an area of the home that your cat doesn't frequent.
o Try to encourage your cat to use the box after meals, suggesting to the cat the purpose of the box, limit the cats area of straying if it tries to leave the box, pat the sand to gain the cat's attention but do not try to manipulate their claws through the sand that will become a natural reaction for them once they have appreciated your intentions.
Once that you begin to succeeded in your efforts a small treat or praise may be appropriate but if you are tempted on the other hand to become cross if things are not going to plan although a slight correction may be necessary, overdoing it by becoming loud and irrational will only have the opposite effect.
George Potter is providing advice and information on the proper care of cats at his website http://propercareforcats.googlepages.com/home so why not pay a visit? you might find and answer to your problems in the various pages there, covering the selection and purchase of your cat, the right accommodation to make your cat comfortable, training, feeding and grooming.