Have you ever thought if your litter box is desirable enough for your cat? If your cat had problems with house soiling, then it’s likely you did. But it’s not always necessary to have litter box issues to consider how can you improve and make this location more desirable in the eyes of your cat.
Many of them are still using the litter box, even though they dislike it. For example, if you are at a sports event, you, most likely hate going to portable dry toilet cabin, but you do it anyway because you have no better alternative.
It’s similar for cat’s, they don’t like their box, but aversion is not that huge, to choose another location. However, it really is a loaded gun waiting for the trigger
It’s not natural for cats to use a litter box, so make it as “natural” as possible
The fact they cats are using a litter box does not mean they love it. But is it possible for a cat to love his litter box?
Nature did not anticipate the need to eliminate in the litter box for cats. And, mostly it works just because they are made to be the closest match to natural conditions in our apartment. Make this gap larger, and your chances of having litter box issues are rising accordingly.
Here’s a list of things to do, to make the litter box more appealing in the eyes of your cat:
- Clean it frequently enough. First, infrequent cleaning is the number one reason for cat not using a litter box. And, even if he is using it, it does not mean he likes stepping on a wet litter and digging up a stool buried there earlier. It is definitely creating a ton of stress for your cat. If possible, clean the box after every use. Of course, for most people it is not possible, so do it at least twice daily, and dump the whole box once weekly or every other week, at least. Find how to make litter box scooping easier here.
- Reconsider the location of the box. Inappropriate location of the box is very frequently observed in cat households. Mostly it is because it is integrated in the already existing household, so, sits at the only available spot. Have you ever thought of moving other furniture to create a appealing location for a litter box? Well, in many cases it would be necessary to achieve it. In general, it must be – easy accessible, not next to food or water bowl, and must provide an ability to retreat from it in a hurry, if necessary. We’re not going to go in detail with this one, but you will benefit reading our article about the positioning of the cat litter box.
- Get a larger box. Generally you should looks for box that is 1.5 times of the length of your cat. If your box is smaller (actually, most commercial litter boxes are too small for most cats), it may be uncomfortable for your cat, and nothing is creating litter box aversion stronger, than discomfort using it. Your carpet then might be more appropriate p[lace, in the eyes of your cat.
- Change the litter type. There are many (and counting) litter types available. Some are less preferred by most cats, some are more. Some are avoided by all, except few cats, some are unsuitable for few individuals only. Naturally cats prefer loose soil or dirt for their elimination locations, so, you might think of a litter that feels close to it. In most cases, it’s a non dusty litter with small particles and with no specific smell, which disqualifies odored litters. However, we’d like to recommend trying several types by yourself, as individual cats have individual preferences.
- Make other elimination spots undesirable. If your cat is already housesoiling, make sure you make those spots undesirable to your cat. Clean them with a detergent labeled for cat urine removal and make access to them a bit challenge.
- Get more than one litter box. Cats love options, and, while, in a multi cat household, where territory wars may be going on, having several litter boxes is a must, a single cat in house will also benefit from several options. Like, one closer to his afternoon nap cat tree, and next in a room he loves watching birds from a window perch.
- Remove the hood. Hooded litter boxes are advertised as extremely excellent choice, and most owners see the benefits instantly. Less smell, better view, no need to clean too frequently, no litter on the floor, and so on. However, what cat sees, is a litter box that dries longer, smells more and is uncomfortable. Actually, most benefits of hooded litter boxes are for owners, and most disadvantages of them are for cats.
- Don’t punish a cat. If an accident has happened, don’t punish your cat. It certainly not gonna help your cat to love the litter box, but, he might assume, that not the location chosen is a bad thing, but the elimination process itself. So he may start not only avoiding litter box, but house soil in spots, where it’s harder for you to find, and clean wastes. It may also result in serious health problems, as cat tries to hold as much, as he can.
Remember, making a cat litter box more desirable for your cat, is just one task in a “to-do” list, if your cat is already housesoiling. You will still have to find out the cause of it, clean the elimination spots and re-train your cat using the litter box. To make sure you do everything right, read more on our series about cat litter, and litter box problems.