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Why Isn’t Fluffy Using Her Litter Box?

It’s not uncommon for our feline friends to shun their litter boxes—in fact, studies show that one out of every 10 cats will develop a litter box aversion at one point or another! Here, your London, ON veterinarian tells you about some of the possible reasons Fluffy is avoiding her bathroom.

Box Location

Would you want to use the restroom in a loud, crowded area? Of course not, and neither does your cat. Place the box somewhere quiet and out-of-the-way so that Fluffy can do her business in peace. In most homes, a basement or back room works best. Also make sure the box is easily accessible by your cat at all times.

Litter Preference

Some cats can be picky about the type of litter used in their box. Some cats don’t like scented litters; some prefer a different texture or grain size; still others insist on non-clumping litter rather than clumping varieties. Experiment with different litter types to see if your cat seems to prefer one or the other.

Negative Conditioning

If your cat was startled or frightened while using a litter box earlier in life, she may have developed a negative conditioning toward them and refuses to use one now. This may require the help of professionals to correct; set up an appointment to discuss the matter with your veterinarian. Some simple training may be all that’s required, or you may need to seek the help of an animal behaviorist.

Too Close to Food

The expression about not using the restroom where you eat couldn’t be more accurate than when it comes to our cats. Our feline friends have been known to shun the litter box or stop eating and drinking entirely if food bowls and the litter box are placed too close together! Be sure to keep these areas well separated so that your cat can’t complain.

Other Cats in the House

Do you have more than one cat in your household? Keep in mind that not all cats are okay with sharing a litter box. It’s entirely possible that your cat isn’t using their bathroom simply because another cat in the house is. You may have to set up multiple boxes, perhaps on separate floors, to correct this problem.

Still no luck getting your cat to use their litter box properly? Give your vet in London, ON a call today to speak with a professional.

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