Why Your Cat May Be Avoiding the Litter Box

Why Your Cat May Be Avoiding the Litter Box

Nearly one in every 10 cats develops some sort of aversion to their litter box at one point or another. Is your feline friend giving her bathroom the cold shoulder recently? Find out why below as your Flushing, MI veterinary professional tells you more.


Cats don’t like to do their business in a dirty bathroom—who would? If you don’t scoop out your cat’s box frequently enough, she may give up on it entirely! Scoop out the litter on a daily basis, and change out the litter completely every week or so to keep things fresh. This way, your feline friend should take to the box quite well and have no problem using it.


Where you place your cat’s box in the home is very important. Cats don’t like to use the bathroom in a crowded area with a lot of noise and uninvited guests; we can’t blame them! Put your cat’s box in a quiet room where she won’t be disturbed while using it. Also make sure that your pet can reach her bathroom at all times, even when you’re not home. If her access is physically restricted by a door or another obstacle, she’ll be forced to eliminate elsewhere.

Litter Preference

Try experimenting a bit with different grain sizes, base materials, scents, clumping vs. non-clumping litter, and more. Different cats like different types of litter! You may have to shop around for a bit to determine what your cat likes. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on a high-quality odor-controlling litter choice.

Negative Conditioning

If a cat was startled or frightened while using her litter box early on in life, she may associate the bathroom with bad things. This could be the reason your adult cat seems to shun her litter box. You’ll likely need the help of a veterinarian, animal trainer, or certified animal behaviorist to correct this issue—talk to your vet for more information.

Proximity to Food

The expression about not using the bathroom where you eat also applies to our feline friends. Cats are often picky about their food and water dishes being placed in close proximity to the bathroom! Keep your pet’s eating area far away from their bathroom to avoid any problems.

For more information on your cat’s preferences and behavior, as well as further advice on correcting your pet’s litter box aversion, call your Flushing, MI veterinary clinic today.

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