It can be very distressing when your cat refuses to use the litter tray. Even the most loving owner will find it challenging. There are a lot of things you can do to help teach your cat to behave the way you want it to.
Ask yourself some questions:
- Is this new behaviour? Has it recently started in a normally clean cat? If this is the case, you need to arrange a visit to your vet as soon as possible. Any behavioural changes should be checked out in case there is an unseen illness or injury.
- Is the litter fresh? Have you tried changing the litter? Different cats have their own preferences and what suits one may not suit another. All cats need a well maintained litter tray. Their sense of smell is much better than ours so if we find it smelly, imagine what it must be like for them!
- Have there been any changes in the house or household? New family members? New pets? Renovations? Cats love routine and anything new may cause them stress and lead to inappropriate elimination.
- Is the cat able to use the tray comfortably? Arthritis can make it difficult for a cat to climb in and out of a high tray. Also, the tray needs to be big enough for the cat to turn around in and deep enough so it can cover its waste.
- Does my cat need more privacy? Some cats prefer a hooded tray, others don’t lie being enclosed.
There are other things to be considered if your cat won’t use its litter tray and if your cat is still having problems, get in touch