Peeing outside the box is one of the most common litter box problems cat owners encounter. By following these 10 litter box tips you can help to keep your cat's litter box problem-free.
1. Have at least one litter box per cat plus one. This way no cat will be prevented from using a box because they are all occupied.
2. Scoop the litter boxes each day. Some cats are bothered by unsanitary conditions and will stop using their litter boxes if not scooped frequently enough.
3. The litter box should be kept away from food & water bowls. Cats don't like that smell too near their food and may not use the box.
4. Place at least one litter box on each level of your house. That way your cat has options if the primary box is blocked. This is especially important if you have more than one cat.
5. Place the litter box in a quiet, private area that is conveniently located (for the cat). If the box is too hard to get to, especially for a kitten or an elderly cat, he just may not use it.
6. Don’t use a hooded litter box. Especially if you have a large cat who may not have enough room to turn around, scratch, etc.
7. Replace the litter box once a year. Over time, your cat’s claws and your scooper can make small grooves in the bottom and sides of your litter box. These grooves are harder to sterilize and can hold onto odor.
8. If you use a brand of litter that is working, don’t change it. Changing litter brands can upset cats and result in refusal to use the box.
9. Empty the litter box & wash it once a week. Scrub the box every time you change the litter. Use mild dish detergent to clean it, as products with ammonia or citrus oils can turn a cat off, and some cleaning products are toxic to cats.
10. Sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of the box before adding litter. This will help absorb odors without bothering your cat if she’s sensitive to fragrance. If you find the litter box odor offensive, your cat, with her keen sense of smell, probably finds it even more offensive.
Following these tips should keep your cat happy & using the litter box. If your cat begins to go to the bathroom outside the litter box, your first call should always be to your veterinarian. Many medical conditions can cause a change in a cat's litter box habits.
Are there any other tips that work for you? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!