While most cats and kittens are naturally inclined to use the litter box... there are some that need a little extra help in this department. Unfortunately, many litter box problems can be caused by human error. Here are some helpful troubleshooting tips to help you keep litter problems away.
**If your cat has suddenly started having issues and you have not made any changes to her litter pan area then you must have a veterinarian evaluate her immediately for any life threatening urinary tract illnesses that can quickly become fatal. **
With that said, here are some top causes of litter problems. Be sure to go through each one to find out if any of these apply.
* Dirty Litter Box
If you don't keep your cat's litter pan fresh and clean then she may just look for another place to go! This is not what you want. Just think about this for a second... you would be absolutely disgusted to enter a dirty, smelly bathroom where there was poop and urine everywhere wouldn't you?
Maybe you'd opt to hold it or go somewhere else? Your cat feels the same way about her litter box. She doesn't want to step on her own urine and feces just like you don't!
And for Pete's sake, do not leave this responsibility up to your child! Your poor cat should not have to suffer with a dirty box because little Timmy or Tina is not in the mood to change the litter pan.
It is recommended to clean your cat's litter pan a minimum of twice a day. Stick to this rule and your cat should be happy. If you cannot even do this... then you should add an extra litter box or two. So if one is dirty, she has another "fresher" choice.
* Litter pan is hard to reach
If you are bringing in a new kitten or cat into your home you should be sure her litter pan is easy to reach. She should not have to jump through hoops and hurdles to use the bathroom. If you have a two story home, you'll need a box on each level as well.
If you have adopted a new cat, she might be a little afraid of her new environment, smells, sounds and everything else she's being exposed to. It's much safer to slowly introduce her into the household little by little. In other words, when she's first introduced, don't put her litter pan in the far away corner of the house. Put it close to her in her little home base area.
If she's scared, timid, shy or anything else.. she's less likely to muster up the courage to venture out into this big new home to go searching for her litter pan.
To make things simple for her, you can start by simply keeping her quarantined to just one room where she has access to her food, water and comfy sleeping spot and her litter box. As soon as she's used to her environment you can give her more space.
Note: Never put her litter box close to her food and water source. Why? Well, answer this... would you like to eat a delicious, gourmet meal right next to your toilet?
There's your answer!
* Constantly switching her litter
Your cat can only take so much of this little game... so be sure to stick with a brand you trust and if you do decide to switch, do so gradually. This way, it isn't such a shock to her when she steps into her litter pan to find a whole new texture and scent.
Many cats have been known to outright reject their new litter! Be sure to observe the changes you've made and how she reacts to it. If it doesn't work out, you can switch her back to her old, familiar litter.
* Harsh fragrances are being used
Your cat has a sense a smell that's much sharper than yours. Try to remember this when you are picking out litters and especially deodorizers.
A cat litter or deodorizer that smells "nice" to you may seem overpowering to your little friend. "So how does this affect her litter habits?" Simply put, if it's too overwhelming she may just skip on using the litter box!
Opt for non scented litters and also skip on harsh smelling deodorizers. If you keep a regular cleaning schedule then you won't need them.
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