4 Reasons Your Cat May Not Be Using The Litterbox

4 Reasons Your Cat May Not Be Using The Litterbox

Thursday, 08 August 2019 10:23

Your seemingly healthy, happy cat has decided to start using the bathroom outside of the litterbox. This frustrating behavior may have you scratching for answers and we've listed some of the more common reasons below. A sudden change in your cats bathroom behavior should signal a trip to the vet for a thorough checkup as it may also indicate a treatable medical condition.

Medical Issues

Cats can develop medical conditions that make it difficult or painful to urinate. When you cat suddenly stops using the litterbox,  it's important to first see your vet to rule out a medical issue. Medical conditions that may lead to your cat not using the litterbox include urinary tract infections (UTI's), feline cystitis and kidney stones or infections. These issues are usually treatable and can help resolve litterbox issues.  CLICK HERE TO RECEIVE $25 OFF YOUR FIRST VISIT WITH YOUR CAT


Stress is probably one of the top reasons cats urinate in the house once a medical condition has been ruled out. Cats are sensitive creatures and a mild, but sudden change in their environment can trigger stress. Stress can be triggered by 

  • Environmental changes (moving, new family members, new furniture etc..)
  • Routine changes (different feeding schedule, different work schedule etc...)
  • Introduction of a new pet
  • New neighborhood cats your cat may have spotted out the window

If you suspect your cat is stressed, consult with your veterinarian who can advise you on ways in which to help your cat feel less stressed. We offer a variety of different natural products designed to lower the stress level of cats.

Litterbox Aversion

Have your recently changed your cats litterbox or the litter inside it? Cats are very particular about their box and litter and a sudden change in either could result in your cat turning its nose up to it. Being creatures of habit, cats prefer to stick with the same type of litterbox and the same type of litter.  Cats also prefer to have their litterbox changed as often as possible, especially in multi cat households. For multi cat households, the general rule of thumb is to have one litterbox per cat plus 1 so no cat feels threatened to use a litterbox. If you've recently changed the location of the litterbox, that could be another reason why your cat isn't using it. Most cats prefer a quiet area of the house to do their business. Older cats may also prefer a shallower litterbox so it's easier for them to climb in and out. 

Marking Behavior

If your cat is urinating on the same spot every time, they may have formed an unwanted habit. Cats sense  of smell is much more sensitive to ours so its important to thoroughly clean up any areas where your cat may have used the bathroom. Your cat may be drawn to the same area because their scent is still there. We can advice you on clean up products and ways in which to discourage your cat from marking.


We know it's frustrating when your cat decides to use the bathroom in inappropriate places but we're here to help! Our veterinarians can recommend products that are specifically designed to help reduce stress in cats. We carry an arrange of therapeutic products in our clinic as well as on our convenient online pharmacy. For more information, or to schedule your cats appointment, contact us. If your cat is new to us, CLICK HERE TO RECEIVE $25 OFF YOUR FIRST VISIT WITH YOUR CAT. We can't wait to meet you!