Does Your Cat Avoid the Litter Box?
There may be many reasons why cats have house soiling problems or use the litter box inappropriately. Firstly, your cat may have a medical condition. If your cat is peeing or pooping outside the box, you have to first rule out urinary tract infections, cystitis or a feline lower urinary tract disease.
The second main reason is that they have litter box aversion and they don’t like their type of box or their litter. Also they may not like the location or size of their litter box. Inter cat aggression or behavior problems amongst your cat pack are other reasons why cats will urinate inappropriately.
A study in the early 1990s which evaluated which preferences cats had when it came to what type of litter you provided, clearly demonstrated that most cats hands-down preferred clumpable clay litter. The smaller substrate size, which means the small granular material that, would be like sand was much more preferred over larger particle size.
Most of the cat owners would be more interested in providing a litter that is non-toxic to the cat. The problem with traditional clumping litters is that if cats consume them, they can have gastrointestinal foreign body issues. Clumping litter often times get stuck in the cat’s pads and many cat litters on the market contain silica dust that can cause respiratory problems with cats.
Apart from this, many cat litters have a scent included. Cat litter manufacturers recognize that you’re providing a smell or scent control in the toilet area. Those scents can either be luring to your cat or they can be a problem. Research done in the past few years shows that cats have an aversion to scented litters that are floral or citrus scented.
Cats don’t like a dirty box. Therefore even if you’re lifting up the fecal material, the urine scent that remains in the box can actually provide enough of a deterrent that your cat will not use that box again. If you are using an unscented litter, you have to be very particular about scooping the box twice a day and removing the urine on a daily basis. You may disinfect the entire litter pan at least weekly.
Litter box size also affects your cat’s behavior. Cats usually prefer large litter boxes and use them more frequently than the smaller litter boxes. The number of cats you have in your house also affects your cat’s tendency to urinate outside the litter box. You need to make sure that you have at least one box per cat and that those boxes are kept very clean.
You have to remember that your cat is an individual and that his or her preferences for the size of the litter box, the odor control, the texture or the granular substrate, what the litter smells like, how it feels on their paws as well as the location of the litter box, can all play into how effectively your cat chooses to use his or her litter box.