Cat Behaviour Problems: Understanding Why A Cat Does Not Use The Litter Box

Cat Behaviour Problems: Understanding Why A Cat Does Not Use The Litter Box

One of the main cat behaviour problems that we face as feline owners is whether the litter box is being used properly. Many felines are able to use the litter box correctly, but other cats can have issues using the litter, and will end up urinating or defecating elsewhere in the home. Instead of becoming angry at your cat because of this behaviour, there are several considerations you must make as this behaviour may be completely out of your cat’s control.

Health Concerns

Before you consider anything else, make sure you have your feline checked over by a Veterinarian. Inappropriate elimination is one of the main symptoms of sickness in cats, especially due to kidney or liver problems, or Urinary Tract Infections. Ensuring that your kitty is in good health will help you to identify and understand the root cause of this cat behaviour problem.


Marking or spraying is sometimes mistaken for inappropriate elimination. A cat that is spraying in the home will urinate on a vertical surface such as a wall or a couch as opposed to a horizontal surface, such as the floor. Marking can occur if a cat is not spayed or neutered, or if a cat is trying to communicate with other neighbourhood cats.

Dirty Litter

Cats are very sensitive to smells and are not interested in smelling or walking on dirty litter. Imagine having to use a litter tray that had not been cleaned for weeks… it would definitely be an unpleasant experience. Your feline may have decided that he does not want to hold his breath, and he has instead chosen to do his business elsewhere in the house. Make sure you clean the tray once a day, and change the litter at least every two weeks.

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Any type of change in the home can cause stress for a feline. Rearranging furniture, home renovations, and strangers in the home can cause a kitty to experience stress. Strange people or animals can cause high stress for a cat if he or she has to walk past these strangers to use the litter box. Make sure to monitor your cat’s behaviour in what may be a stressful situation to make sure he or she does not have an adverse reaction to the change.

Recognizing and understanding the cause of this cat behaviour problem is the first step in helping you to reduce these undesirable accidents in the future. Once you have discovered the cause of this behaviour, you will be able to focus on understanding your kitty to help eliminate the behaviour in the future.