Why Your Cat Might Be Ignoring His Litter Box

Why Your Cat Might Be Ignoring His Litter Box

Your hefty tabby Atlas loves to blow his own horn. This imposing five-year-old feline tells everyone how he got your two younger cats under control without lifting a paw. While that’s impressive, he’s most proud of earning the regional “Outstanding Litter Box User” Award. Unfortunately, Atlas should return that trophy right now. This week, he left three horrible-smelling cat urine puddles on your solid hardwood floor. You’re perplexed about your normally reliable cat’s antics, and you think he’s eyeing up your carpet. Tomorrow, you’ll take him to your Park County veterinarian for a physical exam and a dose of behavioral counseling.

Stealth Medical Condition

First, your vet will determine if your cat’s behavior results from an undiscovered medical problem. She’ll likely request a urinalysis, and possibly other tests as well. After analyzing the results, she’ll develop a treatment plan if necessary.

Reaction to Stress

Maybe Atlas can’t stop replaying a past stressful incident. If he previously experienced a nasty urinary problem, he might connect the box to that uncomfortable ailment. Or, since he craves privacy for his important business, he could be distressed that he must conduct those affairs in view of your other cats.

Your persnickety cat also hates disruptions to his routine. If you’ve brought home another pet, or undertaken a remodeling project or even a household move, he’s clearly displeased with your actions. Since you’ve ignored his protests, he figures that urinating on the floor will get your attention.

Unsavory Litter Box

However, Atlas’ angst could stem from his litter box. Since he’s a big-boned, portly guy, the space-saving container might make those important maneuvers difficult. If he was an older cat facing mobility problems, the container’s high sides could be tough to navigate.

Maybe you’ve switched to a new cat litter. The current formulation has a different smell and texture; and your bold, brassy cat isn’t shy about telling you he hates it. He’s also annoyed that he must wade through a belly-deep pile of pellets, rather than a two-inch layer. Worst of all, he might be shaming you into more frequent box maintenance.

After your Park County veterinarian finds the cause of Atlas’ strange behavior, she’ll treat a developing medical condition. She’ll also provide recommendations on resolving the litter box issues. If your cat’s potty habits have recently changed, contact us for expert advice.

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