Things You'll Need
Unscented scooping litter
Cat Attract Litter
Cat Attract Litter additive
Up to 10 percent of all cats develop elimination problems during their lives, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Cats stop using their litter boxes for a variety of reasons, including a medical condition, anxiety or territorial aggression in multiple-cat homes. When your cat stops using its litter box and eliminates in other parts of your home, it stresses out you and your cat. Prevent this messy behavior and train your cat to use its litter box properly by making it pleasant and safe to use.
Place the litter box in a quiet area of your home that your cat can easily get to at all times. Avoid noisy areas such as a laundry rooms, or inaccessible, dark places such as closets or basements. Put the box in a location where the cat can easily escape and does not feel cornered. If possible, place the box in a spot your cat has been eliminating in inappropriately.
Give your cat a litter box without a lid that has enough room for it to turn around comfortably. For young kittens or older cats, provide a litter box with low sides so your cat can easily step in and out of the box.
Use unscented, clumping cat litter that you can scoop and fill the box only 2 to 3 inches deep. Your cat will not use a dirty litter box, so clean it at least once a day with a litter scoop. There are several options for clumping litter, including clay-, wheat- and corn-based formulas. Determine your cat's preference by placing litter boxes side-by-side and fill them with each type. Continue to provide the type of litter in the box your cat uses the most.
Place Cat Attract Litter in the litter box if your cat still refuses to use the litter box with unscented, clumping litter. This specialty litter contains ingredients designed to attract your cat to use its litter box. You can also sprinkle Cat Attract Litter Additive in your cat's regular litter to make the box more appealing to your cat.
Provide an ample number of litter boxes if you have more than one cat or more than one story to your home. You need to provide enough litter boxes for each of your cats plus one extra, according to the ASPCA. Place at least one box on each level of your home so your cat always has easy access to a litter box.
Clean previous sites of inappropriate elimination by your cat with an enzymatic cleaner to remove all traces of the urine or feces odor. This will prevent your cat from returning to these locations instead of its litter box to eliminate.
Place litter boxes away from locations your dogs can get to if you also own dogs. Cats may not use boxes where a dog could harass them while using the box.
Wash out litter boxes weekly and replace litter with a fresh amount.
For multiple-cat households, provide vertical sitting places for all of your cats to reduce territorial aggression and stress. Reducing this stress will encourage your cats to use their litter boxes properly.
If your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, take it for a veterinary checkup, as this may indicate a medical condition. Some of these conditions, such as a urinary blockage, can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
Never punish your cat by yelling at it or hitting it if it eliminates outside of its box.
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Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.