Litter Box Rejection: 6 Causes & Their Solutions

Litter Box Rejection: 6 Causes & Their Solutions

This blog post is brought to you by Betsy Wallek, resident cat lady and manager at Tomlinson's- Round Rock. She is trained in pet nutrition, has years of experience in the pet industry and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with fellow pet parents. Is your kitty persnickety about her litter box, or does she even refuse to use it? There can be a number of causes behind litter box rejection, but don't fret; we’re here with 6 tips to help you through the poopiest of times.

Six Reasons for Litter Box Rejection (& How to Fix Them):

1. Type of Litter

Litter Box Rejection "You want me to use WHAT litter?" -Blanca Cats have high standards, and perhaps your kitty isn’t quite into what she’s using. Thankfully, there are many types of cat litter on the market. Explore your options and see which one she responds to best: pellets, clumping, or non-clumping. Beyond clumping qualities, there are all the different bases: pine, clay, walnut, corn and crystals. Dr. Esley’s also makes a wonderful litter called Cat Attract, which took my kitties from 5 to 95% usage in a single day.

2. Sign of Illness

Your pretty kitty doesn’t have the words to tell you if and how she's feeling ill. If she potties outside her litter box, she may be trying to get your attention and make you aware that something's off. Often, a urinary tract infection can be the source of her discomfort. Analyze her urine for crystals, and take her for a quick trip to the vet. Also, incorporate a cranberry supplement, which can help ward off UTIs. Listen for tiny kitten sneezes, as well.  Some clay-based litters can be incredibly dusty.  Try switching to a lower dust litter to keep kitty asthma at bay and your cat using their litter box.

3. Cleanliness

Bust out the litter scoop! I know my Stan Man likes his box done regularly.  I don’t blame him; I’d hate to go in a dirty environment. Cat litter also needs to be completely changed on a regular basis.  When neglected, mold can grow in the box.  Cats sense this and avoid the area.

4. Location, Location, Location

As with most things, location is everything. While litter boxes in common areas might be a little unsightly, our feline friends prefer a box in an area they frequent. Set them up for success! Going Outside Litter Box Fur-siblings Sprinkes and Finn need plenty of litter boxes.

5. Not Enough Litter Boxes

Having an adequate number of litter boxes can be a game changer, especially in households with multiple kitties.  The rule of thumb is that you should have one more litter box than you do cats.  So, one cat means two litter boxes, two cats will have three litter boxes, etc. It makes sense, as I can only imagine the discomfort of doing my thing and then having another person barge into my stall.

6. The Box Itself

Cats can be seriously picky. Your kitty may be deterred if she feels the box is too small, hooded,  shallow, or big. You may have to try a variety of shapes and sizes before he settles on one he likes.   Have more kitty questions? Give our Round Rock location a call, or email Betsy directly at bwallek (at)

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