What To Do When Your Cat Won’t Use The Litter Box

  • By: mvadmin
  • Date: June 23, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Cats are pretty picky when it comes to almost everything. They can be picky eaters about where they sleep, and above all else, they are very selective about where they choose to do their business. Few things are more irritating than when you spend a good deal of money on something for your cat, and it refuses to use it.

Today, we will look at some of the reasons why your cat may not be using the litter box. If your cat is doing its business elsewhere in the house, you will have to keep cleaning up after it until it won’t use the litter box is found.

Why Do Cats Need Litter Boxes?

Cats must do their business in litter boxes since they tend to be indoor animals. Outside cats rarely need to use the litter box since they tend to do their business in the grass or in other areas where it is of no concern.

Reasons Why Your Cat Won’t Use the Litter Box And What to Do

If your cat doesn’t want to use the litter box, there are several possible reasons for it: 

Wrong Type Of Litter

One of the leading causes why cats don’t use the litter box is a poor choice of the litter. As we stated earlier, cats are picky, which extends to their choice of litter. Using the wrong kind of litter can quickly drive your cat away from the litter box in no time.

You may want to purchase several small bags of different litter types and rotate them until you find one your cat is satisfied with. However, this may take some time, so you will have to keep cleaning up after your cat while testing different litter types.

This is usually the most straightforward problem to solve since it only involves swapping out the litter type that you use. The other potential causes of your cat not using the litter box tend to be a little more complicated and harder to solve.

Medical Issues

Another reason your pet won’t use the litter box is because your cat has medical problems. Many potential issues could cause your cat to urinate in places other than the litter box. A common sign that this occurs is if your cat keeps using the litter box but inconsistently.

Most medical conditions that will result in your cat not using the litter box will give your cat less control over its urination and bowel movements. If your cat has issues holding it in, there could be one of many problems, including urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and many other related illnesses.

The best thing you can do when you believe your cat is suffering from medical issues is to take it to the vet. Most of the problems mentioned above can be solved with a quick vet visit and the prescription of some medication. Some issues will take a bit of time to resolve, but they will not be life-threatening with proper treatment.

The Litter Box Is Dirty

A more simple reason why your cat may not use the litter box is that it is unclean. Cats will not approach a litter box that smells, so you may have to increase the frequency of cleaning the litter box. This is especially important if you use a litter that gets dirty quicker, like the non-clumping type.

Keeping your cat’s litter box clean is essential to ensure that it uses it and because of the potential health ramifications for your cat. A dirty litter box is a breeding ground for bacteria, and this can result in your cat contracting a disease or an infection. This can result in several expensive vet trips, so cleaning out the litter box in a timely fashion is essential.


There are many reasons why a cat may not be using a litter box, but most of them have simple solutions, thankfully. If you are trying to get your cat to start using the litter box once more, it is likely one of these three issues.