Cat Not Using Litter Box?
Find the Solution Here

Your cat not using litter box? This can be very frustrating and frankly quite annoying! Don't get rid of your cat! There is a solution!

There is almost always a reason why a cat stops using their box. It is most certainly not to exact revenge or to make you angry.

The first thing you need to do is take a look at your cat's surroundings, you will almost certainly uncover the source of the problem here.

1. medical problem


Cat not using litter box!

A cat that soils indoors may be indicative of a medical problem:

Cystitis (bladder infection), diabetes, a kidney problem, diarrhea or a parasitic infestation (intestinal worms).


Take your cat to the veterinarian to exclude any medical condition or illness.

The vet will conduct a number of tests and on confirmation of diagnosis administer the correct treatment to alleviate the problem.

It's important to exclude any health-related problems before you can explore other reasons why your cat is not using the litter box.

2. litter box | too small


In the case of an adult cat, the cat litter box may be too small or perhaps not deep enough.


Purchase a larger and deeper cat litter box.

It should be deep enough to take sufficient cat litter to allow your cat to dig a hole and bury its waste and at the same time deep enough to prevent spillage when kitty digs the hole.

It should be large enough to allow your to turn around in the litter tray or box.

3. litter box | too large


Cat not using litter box!

Kittens may be daunted by a litter box that is too large or too deep and consequently too scared to use the litter tray.


Purchase a smaller cat litter tray and one that is not too deep - kittens prefer a shallower litter box.

4. litter box | proximity to food


Cat not using litter box!

Proximity of litter box to the cat's food or bed.


Cats are very clean creatures.

They detest doing their toilet business near their food or the area where they sleep.

You will need to move the litter box to a different spot away from their food and sleeping area.

5. litter box | location | high traffic


Cat not using litter box!

Litter box is located in a high traffic area of the home.


Cats are shy and really don't like to be watched when going to their litter box.

Move the litter box to a low traffic and private location.

Give the cat privacy and an area where they feel less vulnerable.

6. cat litter | type


Cat not using litter box!

Change in the type of cat litter.

The cat litter may be too rough on the cat's paw pads and may be causing them discomfort.

Scented cat litter may cause allergies which will result in the cat sneezing.

Dusty litters also affect their respiratory passages.


If you have recently switched to a new brand, then revert to the original kitty litter that your cat was happy with.

If your original brand is no longer available, find a brand that is dust-free, scent-free and one with a softer texture that is kind to your cat's paws.

Visit our cat litter review for options.

7. cat litter | dirty


The cat litter may be dirty, wet or tainted by the disinfectant used to clean the litter tray.

A neglected cat litter box (one that has not had the urine and stools removed) will result in the cat going elsewhere.

Cats have a sensitive sense of smell and are put off by harsh odors and dirty litter trays.


Use clumping, unscented litter and scoop waste out of the litter box at least twice a day.

Change the entire litter box weekly and wash the litter box with hot, non-fragranced, soapy water.

Dry the tray before adding the cat litter.

NB: Kittens should never use clumping litter.

8. cat behavior | territorial


Cat not using litter box!

Cats are territorial and do not like to share their litter box.


Give cats access to multiple litter boxes and keep the litter boxes clean at all times.

In multi cat households, you do need a couple of litter boxes placed strategically throughout your home. Place the litter box in an area where stray cats do not have access to the tray.

9. litter box | limited access


The cat may not have had access to the litter box as a result of a door being inadvertently closed, thereby limiting access. This will certainly result in the cat not using litter box.


Make sure that your cat knows where the litter box is.

You should preferably not change the location of the litter box unless absolutely necessary.

Advise your family about the location of the litter box and ensure that the door or window to that area is always open so that your cat has free access to his/her toilet.

10. litter box | enclosed


A hooded or covered litter box may not be to your cats liking.

This may be due to a phobia of enclosed spaces or simply a case of the covered box being too small for the cat to turn around in to cover its waste.


Remove the hood and if this is not possible, provide your cat with a new, un-covered litter box.

11. cat behavior | stress


Stress. The cat may be stressed as a result of a new addition to the family, moving home or a dominant cat in the household.


Spend more time with the cat and shower them with love and affection.

Introductions to new family members or other pets needs to be done slowly and gently and always respect the 'space' of the resident cat.

In the case of moving home, you may have to confine your cat to a room with it's food, water bowls, scratching posts, bed and litter tray for a couple of weeks until the cat settles in and becomes familiar with its new surroundings.

cat litter box training

Re-training a cat to use the litter box takes patience and time

Pay attention to all the above problems and solutions.

Use a paper towel to wipe up accidents and place the soiled napkin in the new litter box to indicate to the cat where they need to go.

If your kitty has soiled an area, it's important to wash the area where the cat has soiled with a solution of vinegar and soapy water to ensure that the cat does not return to the area.

A cat can also be re-trained by confining them to a large crate with their bed and litter box.

As cats hate soiling their beds, they will use the litter box.

Once re-trained, release the cat and move the litter box to the desired or original position.

If you have a hectic lifestyle and have no time to regularly clean the litter box, then consider a self-cleaning, automatic cat litter box.

Do NOT punish your cat.

Do NOT hit, shout or rub your cat's nose into their waste to train them! This will only scare your cat and make them more secretive about her/his toilet habits!

Litter training a cat is simple if you follow our tips.

We hope this solves the problem of 'cat not using litter box'!

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