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Tips For Tackling Litter Box Trouble With Your Cat

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If your cat has suddenly started avoiding the litter box or is going to the bathroom in other areas of the house, it's a situation that requires immediate attention. The longer the cat spends doing this, the harder it is to restore proper litter box use. While it may be the result of a medical issue that requires veterinary intervention, here are a few things you can do to try to resolve the problem on your own.

Clean Up All of the Affected Areas Right Away

When your cat is urinating in other areas of the house, the first thing you need to do is clean up those areas. Use an enzyme cleaner designed to eliminate the residual odors in the carpeting and other areas. Without this special cleaner, you may have odors left behind that will encourage your cat to return to that area. Most veterinarians and pet supply stores offer these products.

The first time you spot your cat going in another part of the house, clean the litter box. A litter box in need of cleaning is one of the most common causes of aversion. By keeping the litter clean daily, you can eliminate that as the potential source of the problem.

Add Extra Litter Boxes

Many cat owners think that with just one cat, one litter box is enough. In some cases, that isn't accurate. Some cats do best with more than one litter box. In fact, a good rule of thumb is to have one litter box for each cat, plus one extra. Place the litter boxes in different areas in the house so that no matter where the cat is, there's an available box. Some cats will resort to going in other areas of the house if there's only one box available or it's too inconvenient to get to. One of the things you can do is to invest in a new litter box to put where the cat has been urinating in the house.

Opt for Different Styles of Litter Boxes

Sometimes, it's not about the condition of the litter or the availability of the boxes. In some cases, the style of the box is a problem. For example, the large, covered box that your cat liked as a kitten may have become too small as the cat has grown. If your cat has nothing but these covered boxes and has trouble turning around in them, that can discourage litter box use. Another concern with litter box style is the height of the sides. If your cat is older or has a joint problem that inhibits jumping, make sure you offer litter boxes with low sides for the cat to get into.

If none of these things help to resolve the problem, talk with your veterinarian (like those at Pitts Veterinary Hospital PC). Your cat may have a urinary tract infection or other problem that's making it difficult to get to the litter box.