Solving Litter Box Aversion in Cats

Cats have a preference for the surface or location in regards to where, and which items they want to eliminate. Cats generally prefer loose, sandy material, this is the reason they make use of a litter box. It’s only when their choices include the laundry hamper as well as the bed or even the Persian rug that their regular elimination becomes an issue. Through careful examination of the environment your cat is in certain factors that may caused the issue of litter boxes are usually identified and modified in order that your cat can make use of the litter box for eliminating.

The most common reasons cats aren’t using the litter box are anxiety, medical reasons, an dislike of the box or preferring a certain space that isn’t provided by the box and a preference to the location with no box, or any combination of these. It is necessary to conduct some investigation to find out the cause of your cat’s littering in your home. In some cases, why for why the litter box issue first began might not be the reason that it’s still going on.

For instance it could be that your cat quit using the litter box due to an infection of the urinary tract, and is now developing the preference for carpet surfaces and a preference for the location of the closet in your bedroom. It is necessary to consider all of the causes to solve the issue.

Cats won’t stop using their litter boxes because they’re angry or angry and want to retaliate against things has “offended” or “angered” them. Since humans behave for these reasons, it’s not hard to think that our pets behave too. Animals don’t behave to retaliate or sour, therefore it’s not a good idea to provide your cat with particular privileges hoping that she’ll be able to use the litter box once more.

Medical Problems

It is common for cats to start excreting outside their litter box if they are suffering from a medical condition. For instance an infection of the urinary tract or urine crystals could cause urination to be painful. Cats are often able to associate pain with their litter box and then begin to avoid the area. If your cat is suffering from problems with soiling in the house, make sure you check with your vet prior to determining medical reasons for the behaviour. Cats do not always appear sick, despite the fact that they are sick, and visiting the vet for a thorough examination can determine if there is a medical issue.


It is also normal for cats to start eliminating out of their litter boxes when they are stressed or nervous. There are many things that can trigger anxiety, such as the birth of a baby or pet movement, conflict between animals at home or a cat that is in the windows.

What You Can Do

  • If your cat has been eviscerating because of the arrival of a new person in your home (a roommate, a new baby or spouse) Have the new cat get to know your cat through feeding grooming, interacting, and playing alongside your pet. Also, ensure that positive things occur to your cat while the baby is present (see our handout “Preparing Your Pet for Baby’s Arrival”).
  • Dissolve conflict between animals living in the home (see these handouts “Feline Social behavior and Aggression between Family Cats”).
  • Limit your cat’s access to windows and doors which they can view animals in the outside. If that’s not possible you can limit the presence of other animals in your home (see our handouttitled “Discouraging roaming Cats).
  • Reduce stress in your cat by using methods to reduce stress, such as clicking training or play therapy (see these handouts for more information: “Stress Relief for Your Pet”, “Play with Your Cat” and “Clicker Training”).

Aversion to the Litter box

  • Your cat might have decided that the box isn’t a good location to urinate if:
  • The box isn’t clean enough to be suitable for her.
  • The patient has had painful urination, or defecation inside the box because of medical issues.
  • She was astonished by a rumbling sound as she was playing with the box.
  • She’s experienced “ambushed” while in the box by a cat, a young child or dog, or even by you trying to capture her for a reason.
  • She identifies the box with punishment (someone took her punishment for not removing from the box, and then put her back within that box).

What You Can Do

  • Make sure the litter box is neat and tidy. Clean it at least once a day, and change the litter thoroughly every 4 to 5 days. If you are using scoopable litter, you won’t require changing the litter as often. It will depend on how many cats reside living in your home and how many box litter you’ve got and how large are the cats who are using the boxes or boxes. The best rule of thumb you will smell the box and you’ll be certain that it is offensive to your cat too.
  • Set up a new box at an alternative location to the previous one, and use an entirely different kind of litter for this new one. Since you cat is deciding her old litter box isn’t pleasant and you’ll need to make your new litter box distinct enough so that she does not just apply the old, negative perceptions to the new one.
  • Be sure your litterbox is not located near any appliance that emits noise, or is located in a part of the home where your cat won’t be frequenting.
  • If you are experiencing issues with ambushing you should try creating multiple exits out of the box to ensure that, if the “ambusher” is waiting by an space, your cat has a way to escape.

Surface Preferences

Every animal has a preference for a certain surfaces that they would like to go. They may develop these preferences very early in life, however they can also change over time due to reasons we don’t know about. Your cat could be a surface-loving cat when:

  • She will always avoid a specific texture. For instance, soft-textured surfaces like carpet bedding, clothing, or bedding or smooth surfaces like cement, tile bathtubs, or sinks.
  • She will often scratch on this exact texture after eliminating even if she has gotten rid of it from the toilet.
  • She’s a cat that lives outdoors and likes to urinate on the ground or grass.

What You Can Do

  • If your cat is urinating upon soft areas, consider using high-quality litter scooper and place an extra soft rug underneath your litter box.
  • If your cat is evicting on smooth, slick surfaces, put an extremely thin layer of litter on one side of the box. You can leave the other side empty and then place your box onto a firm floor.
  • If your cat has a long history of spending time outdoors, you can include some soil or sod in the box for litter.
  • Make the space she’s been removing from her averse by covering it with an upside-down carpet runner or aluminum foil or by throwing cotton balls with citrus scent over the space (see our handouton “Aversives For Cats”).

Location Preferences

Your cat could prefer a specific location if:

  • She is always able to get rid of her in secure, quiet areas, like beneath a desk in the downstairs area or in the closet.
  • She will eliminate in areas in which the litter box was maintained or in areas in areas where urine smells are present.
  • She cleans her litter on a different floor of the house, away from the area where the litter box is.

What You Can Do

  • Place at least one litter box on each floor of your home.
  • Make the area that she was getting rid of aversions to her in the form of covering it an upside down carpet runners or aluminum foil by putting citrus-scented cotton balls on the space (see our handout “Aversives For Cats”).
  • or!”,A+Put your litter box in the area in which your cat has been cleaning. If your cat has used this box for at most 1 month, then you can slowly move it to a different place at the rate of one inch per day.

Cleaning Soiled Areas

Since animals are extremely attracted to continue contaminating an area with a smell of urine or feces. It is essential that you clean up the affected areas (see the handout on “Successful Cleaning to Remove Pet Odors and Stains”).

What not to do

Do not ever penalize your cat for urinating outside of the litter box. If you spot a dirty place, it’s not too late to give an apology. Make sure to clean it up. Rub your cat’s nose with it, dragging her to the area and yelling at her or any other form of punishment, is likely to make her fearful of you or hesitant to urinate when you are around. Animals do not understand the consequences when it happens even if it’s just moments after the fact. Punishment is more harmful than positive.