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The fastidious animals that they are, cats are quite easy to be litterbox trained. However, if your cat has begun to litter outside the litterbox or occasionally does the same, then you need to get to the bottom of the issue. It could be anything from the type of the litterbox to the location where the litterbox is placed that is causing your cat to litter elsewhere. Here are some basic cat litterbox preferences and etiquette that you should know.
- Place the litterbox on each level of your house, so your cat finds it easy to eliminate. Do not place the litterbox near your pet’s water or food bowls. Cats do not enjoy having their food and toilet places by each other. Alternatively, you can also move your cat’s food/water bowl or sleeping bed to places where he usually soils, to discourage the habit. Make sure the litterbox is in a place that your cat is comfortable visiting; noisy electrical appliances or other pets in the vicinity may cause your cat to refrain from littering in the box. If all else fails, just move the litterbox to where your cat usually soils.
- Cats prefer soft litter to pellet or crystal litter. In case you do plan on changing the litter, then, do it gradually, and not in one go. Replace about a quarter of the litterbox with the new litter once in every two days, until it is fully filled with the new litter.
- Make sure the litterbox is large, and that you have individual litterboxes for all the cats in the house, and an additional one as well. This way there is a lesser chance that your cat will eliminate elsewhere because another cat is using the litterbox. Ensure that the box is filled with litter to a moderate level.
- Keep the litterbox clean. Make sure you scoop every day if you can, and clear out the litter once every week. Wash the litterbox with soap water. Avoid using scented detergents, as it may put off your cat from using the litterbox.
- Do not tell off your cat if you catch him in the act of eliminating outside the litterbox. What you want to do is to interrupt the behavior and take them near the litterbox. Do not drop them in the litterbox.
You want to visit a vet to make sure that your cat is not eliminating outside the box due to a medical reason. If your cat has recently developed the habit of eliminating outside the box, then you should evaluate what has changed. Whether it is a conflict with another household pet or change in litter, make changes, so it does not get in the way of your cat’s toilet habits.