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Why is My Cat Avoiding Her Litterbox?

May 1, 2017

Has your cat been having accidents outside of her litterbox? It’s not uncommon for our feline friends to shun their bathrooms. Find out the reason for your cat’s behavior as your Springdale, ON vet tells you more below:


Don’t place your cat’s box in a crowded, noisy area—like you, your feline friend prefers to do her business in peace and quiet. In most homes, a quiet back bathroom or basement nook works well. There, your cat can use the bathroom easily without being disturbed.


Cats are picky about the cleanliness of their bathroom; if it’s too dirty, they may simply avoid it altogether. Be sure to scoop out your cat’s litterbox on a daily basis, discarding the used litter appropriately. Change out the litter entirely about once a week or so to ensure freshness.

Litter Preference

Did you know that not all cats like the same type of litter? You might have to try out different kinds—there is scented and non-scented litter, litters made with different base materials, various granule sizes, clumping and non-clumping… the list goes on and on! Ask your vet for further details on the various types of litters out there and about what types your feline friend might like.

Proximity to Food

Don’t put your cat’s litterbox in an area close to her food and water dishes. Cats have been known to avoid their litterbox or shun their food and water if the two areas are in close proximity! After all, who would want to eat right next to their bathroom?

Negative Conditioning

If your cat has been startled or frightened while using the litterbox in the past, she might be conditioned against it now. This may require the assistance of a professional animal trainer or animal behaviorist to correct—ask your veterinarian to put you in touch with someone who can help.

Multiple Cats

Not all cats are keen on sharing a litterbox. If you have multiple cats in the household, try setting up the same number of litterboxes around your home. This way, everyone has their own restroom!

If you still can’t seem to get your cat to use her litterbox, it’s time to pay a visit to the vet’s office. Serious medical issues—everything from injury and infection to anxiety or internal disease—could be to blame! Call your Brampton, ON veterinary clinic today to set up an appointment.