Litter Box Aversion: Why Your Cool Cat May Be Acting Up
Imagine this: It’s a regular day at home when you notice that your cat has started doing “their business” everywhere except in their litter box. What a crappy situation to be in!
While things may have gotten messy (and stinky), rest assured because there’s some science behind it. In this blog, we discuss why your cool cat could be doing something so uncool and what you can do about it.
When a cat chooses to use an area of your house instead of their litter box to do their business, it’s called litter box aversion. If your cat has started eliminating outside their litter box, it could be because of either medical or behavioural concerns.
Many cats express litter box aversion if they’re experiencing issues like lower urinary tract problems, renal failure, constipation and other health problems. This is because they associate the pain they’re feeling with the box itself. If your cat is showing an aversion to their litter box, visit the vet to ensure your cat’s health is fine.
In terms of behaviour, you might be surprised to learn that cats experience litter aversion and act out by avoiding their litter box for a number of different reasons:
Location: Where your cat’s litter box is placed can determine whether they use it or not. Avoid keeping the litter box in a cramped location prone to drafts, heavy foot traffic or loud noises. Instead, place it in a calm, quiet and temperature-controlled location.
Multi-cat tension: A good rule of thumb is to have one more litter box than the number of cats you have and to place them at different locations. This alleviates potential territorial issues and gives cats their own space for privacy and comfort.
Litter depth: A litter box should contain at least 2 to 4 inches of litter. Anything slightly shallower and your cat may not like it. On the other hand, a very deep litter box may also put off your cat from using it.
Cleanliness: Cats are extremely hygienic animals and are conscious of the cleanliness around them. They find it stressful and difficult to use a dirty litter box. This is why how often you clean your cat’s litter box is key to whether they like using it or not. Daily scooping and regular overall cleaning is the best way to maintain cleanliness of your cat’s litter box.
Litter type: Cats prefer unscented litter that doesn’t stick to their tiny paws and isn’t harmful for their respiratory system. Heavily perfumed litter made of small, rock-like particles can be repulsive to cats, immediately making them averse to using their litter box. So why not try HempyCat™? An all-natural hemp cat litter, HempyCat is engineered to be the healthiest and safest litter in the world. It doesn’t contain any artificial additives, chemicals, clay, silica dust or perfumes and is naturally antibacterial. It also combats offending odors without the need for heavy perfumes.
Most of all, remember to stay patient with your furry friend! Spend extra time to bond with your cat, gently remind them where their litter box is and reward them with treats for using it. Now that you know why your cat might be avoiding using their litter box, it’s time to make some changes.