Cat Health, Guest Blogs, Senior Cats

Why Do Cats Go Outside The Litter Box?

Author bio: This post was submitted by Clara Lou, a Co-founder and the Head of Marketing at Pet Loves Best is a one-stop solution for all your pet supplies shopping and pet-related queries.

The joy of having a pet cat is unparalleled. It is even more delightful when your cat is well-behaved and properly trained. Yet sometimes your adorable cat does something out of the ordinary, i.e., going outside the litter box, even when you have trained them not to do so. 

If this problem persists, it can be stressful and inconvenient. In the case of your cat going outside the box frequently, it is a red flag. You should take immediate steps to resolve this issue before it becomes a major one.

Photo by Litter Robot on Unsplash

Reasons Why Cats Eliminate Outside The Litter Box

Your cat can refuse to use the litter box for a variety of reasons. In this article, we have examined a few of the most common causes of this issue and some options you can take to deal with them.

Medical Conditions

It is typical for cats to eliminate outside of their litter boxes when they are suffering from medical conditions or are ill. If you observe any irregularities in your cat’s pee or feces, you should immediately take them to the vet. 

If the diagnostic results reveal any conditions, your cat was likely behaving abnormally due to that condition. Alternatively, if the test results are normal, you should pay attention to your cat’s behavior, as changes in the behavior pattern may be the actual reason for the problem.

Box Preferences

It’s possible that your cat doesn’t like every litter box. To get your cat comfortable in a litter box, you should try out different types. They are very picky creatures. 

Cats should be able to enter and exit boxes quickly. You should pay attention to the surface and texture of the box, as not every material is healthy for your cat. You can even try cat litter alternatives that make your pet feel comfortable. Make sure you do your research well before purchasing your feline roommate a litter box.

Inadequate Number of Litter Boxes

This problem could be more troublesome for cat parents having multiple cats in the house. You will need enough litter boxes for each cat, plus a few extras when you have multiple cats. Having not enough litter boxes can also lead to some cats eliminating outside of the litter box.

Changes in Surroundings

Your cat may be cautious about using the litter box after moving to a new location since they are unfamiliar with the surroundings. Let them have some time to adapt (Yeah, even they need time to adjust to the new environment).

Location Dilemma

If you’re battling the question of where to put the litter box in your house, you’re not the only pet owner. Cats are a lot pickier than most other pets. Therefore, if the location of their litter box isn’t convenient for them, they won’t bother to use it. 

The box should be placed in a protected area, where the cat is free to do their business without any interruptions. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you should place the litter box far away in the corner because that is also not recommended. Cats prefer places where they can observe everyone from every side and can escape in any direction if such a situation arises.

Lack of Cleanliness

Cats indeed like cleanliness a lot for someone who creates havoc around the house and messes with every room. The litter box may not be as clean or hygienic as it should be, which is one of the primary reasons why cats don’t use it. 

Ensure that you clean the box at least once a day. Furthermore, you need to make sure to eliminate the smell, too, as cats have sensitive noses.

Other Box Problems

In addition, there are several other problems related to the little boxes, which could force your cat to go outside for elimination in one way or another. 

There is a very good chance they are accidentally eliminating outside the box. Occasionally, cats may have to urinate or poop outside the box when they are in an urgent situation.

What Can You Do?

To ensure your cat uses the litter box correctly, you can try several tactics to resolve this issue. It’s essential to keep in mind that you shouldn’t force your cat to use the litter box. 

Your best bet is to convince them that the litter box is the best place for them to relieve themselves. Here are some tips that might help you in the future:

  • From a young age, teach your cat to use the litter box for elimination.
  • Make sure the litter box is cleaned frequently, ideally every day. Using automatic litter boxes will eliminate the need for daily cleanup.
  • Don’t overwhelm them with too many options, as they might get scared.
  • Choose a cat-friendly litter box that matches your pet’s preferences.
  • Make sure the box is kept in a secure location.
  • You should not suddenly change the environment where your cat lives. If you can’t avoid it, be patient. Give them time to adjust.
  • You should consult an expert if your cat is suddenly behaving strangely.
  • A household with more than one cat needs to have an adequate number of litter boxes.

Cats are creatures of habit. They like to have a higher sense of their surroundings and feel like they are in control. Even the slightest variation in their surroundings can affect their routines and behavior. Nothing is more stressful for a cat owner than an unpredictable, moody cat. Therefore, it is crucial to identify the reasons why your cat is rejecting the litter box. After you pinpoint the problem, you have several options available to you that will help you to resolve it.