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

  • By: mvadmin
  • Date: August 23, 2021
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Cats are quite picky when it comes to almost everything. They can be picky eaters, picky about where they sleep, and above all else, they are very picky 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 be taking a 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 need to 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 main causes behind why cats don’t use the litter box tends to be because of a poor choice of the litter. As we stated earlier, cats are picky animals, and that same pickiness extends to their choice of litter. Using the wrong kind of litter can easily 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 that your cat is satisfied with. However, this may take some time, so you will have to keep cleaning up after your cat while you are testing out different litter types.

This is usually the easiest 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 that 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 make your cat have 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 of the 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 quite a bit, so you may have to increase the frequency of cleaning up the litter box. This is especially important if you use litter that gets dirty quicker, like the non-clumping type.

Keeping your cat’s litter box clean is important not only to ensure that it uses it but also 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 trips to the vet, so it is important to clean out the litter box in a timely fashion.


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.