Your cat’s cleanliness
6 If it’s not a medical condition or a message, it’s probably the litter
box. Cats are clean animals who are very
particular about where they eliminate.
The litter or the box might be unaccept-
able to your cat. “A lot of cats simply
don’t like scented litter,” Rainbolt said.
Some cats might
not like the texture
of a litter. But don’t
change the litter too
quickly. Instead, she
a second box with the
litter you want to try and
see how your cat responds
first before changing to that litter.
Box size matters. Cats need to be
able to turn around in their litter box
and stretch to bury their waste. Some cats
don’t like covered litter boxes, because the
boxes may trap odors or make your cat
feel trapped. For a kitten or an arthritic cat,
the sides of the box need to be low.
7 Provide enough litter boxes for your cat. The rule is one per cat
plus one. Put one on every floor of the
house, so your cat has no trouble making
it to the box.
Consider whether the cat wants to
go all the way down to the basement,
Rainbolt said. If your cat is not making it
to the box, the box could be in a location
where a child, dog, or another cat might
be harassing him while in the box or
blocking him from the box.
8 Clean your litter box at least once each day. Cats hate a stinky
litter box even more than you do. If you
can smell it, your cat is overwhelmed by
it. If the litter box is covered, it’s even
more important to keep it clean.
“If the cat is peeing right next to the
box, that means he wants to use it and
is making an effort to go to it, but the
box is not suiting him,” Rainbolt said. “It
could be dirty and he doesn’t want to get
his paws dirty. Cats are not being finicky.
This is a survival mechanism. When you
go in a public restroom and see a toilet
that hasn’t been flushed, you move on to
the next stall. There’s nasty stuff in waste:
parasites, bacteria. You don’t want to get
dirty or be exposed to bacteria, and cats
are no different.”
Don’t put the food bowls or cat beds
near the litter box. You’re not going to
they care about
as much as