A new cat or kitten can make a great addition to your home. Many people choose to adopt or buy a cat because they can be low-maintenance, keep to themselves, and offer support and affection. However, there can be some challenges to being a cat owner, especially when it comes to potty training. 

While there are many cats that will take to their litter box right away with minimal to no accidents, that’s not always the case. Some cats may urinate in less-than-desirable areas throughout your home, causing unpleasant messes and smells. Keep reading for five reasons why your kitty may be neglecting their litter box. 

1. There’s a health issue

First and foremost, you should talk to your vet if you have any concerns about your cat–or any pet for that matter. While health issues are often more common in older cats, it’s possible for any cat to develop a health issue that contributes to bad bathroom habits. These may include kidney disease, a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, bladder inflammation, or another health issue. If your cat isn’t urinating in their box, schedule a trip to rule out a serious cause. 

2. They’re not “fixed:

Cats will often spray or urinate in various areas when they haven’t been spayed or neutered. This is a way for them to spread their scent and mark their territory. Spaying or neutering can correct other problem behaviors as well, such as howling and aggression. Talk to your vet about the best time to get your furry friend fixed. 

3. They don’t feel safe

Most cats prefer to “do their business” in a secure, private location. That’s why many litter boxes are covered or enclosed to give them seclusion while they go about their business. If your litter box is out in the open where there’s a lot of sound and action, it could be discouraging them from going into the box. Pay attention to where they’re urinating. If it’s in a secret spot like behind furniture or in the shower, they could be looking for some peace and quiet away from the everyday hustle of your household activity. 

4. They don’t like the cat litter

There are so many different types of cat litter, and if your cat doesn’t like the kind you purchased, they could be urinating elsewhere. Explore different options such as clay or crystal, clumping or non-clumping, and more. Some cats don’t like strong scents. So if you’re using a scented litter and your cat isn’t using the litter box, you may want to consider a switch to unscented. 

5. They’re stressed, angry, or bored

Cats often act out when they are feeling stressed, neglected, angry, or bored. For example, if you recently moved, brought in another pet, have been away from home for a long period of time, or another big change has happened, your cat could be acting out by urinating around the house. Be conscious of what your furry friend may be going through, and make sure they have plenty of food, water, playtime, and affection. There are also different sprays, diffusers, and medications that could help in times of stress. Chat with your vet to understand your options. 

There are many different reasons why your cat may be refusing to use their litter box. But with the right amount of research and attention, you should be able to address the situation. And while you do, make sure you’re properly cleaning up all messes. An enzymatic cleaner for cats is usually needed to get rid of urine odors that keep your cat coming back to the scene of the crime. At VETERINARYCARE at Belmont™, our veterinary team would love to meet your feline companion and answer any questions you may have about their health and behavior. Give us a call today: (678) 581-4055

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