Litterbox Issues in Cats

There are many things to love about our feline companions. Fluffy is cute, cuddly, playful, and entertaining. She’s also very neat. Your kitty will carefully groom herself daily, and will use her own private litterbox to see to her needs. Unfortunately, sometimes cats do start avoiding their litterboxes. This can be very frustrating for their owners! However, before you can address your pet’s behavior, you’ll need to figure out what’s causing it. A Rochester, NY vet discusses some possible options below.

Medical Issues

Health reasons can sometimes cause litterbox woes. Have your vet give your cat a thorough exam, to make sure that there isn’t a medical problem causing the issue. If Fluffy gets the all-clear, you can move on to other possibilities.


Sometimes cats stop using their litterboxes out of anxiety. If you think your kitty may be suffering from anxiety, consult your vet or a cat behaviorist.


Our feline friends don’t care to share bathrooms. If you have more than one furball, you’ll need multiple litterboxes. The general rule of thumb is one box per kitty, plus at least one extra.


Has your feline pal been fixed? If not, that may be part of the reason for her avoiding her litterbox. Intact kitties are much more likely to spray than furballs that have been spayed or neutered. Fluffy will also be healthier and better behaved if she has been fixed. Ask your vet for more information.


Make sure to keep your furry friend’s private bathroom clean by scooping it daily and changing the litter every week or so. Cats hate dirty bathrooms!


Fluffy’s litterbox should be in a place that is private, easy to reach, and neither too hot nor too cold. You also want to make sure that the litterbox itself isn’t uncomfortable for your feline buddy.

Purrsonal Preference

Kitties can be very particular about their private powder rooms. Fluffy may not like the litter you are buying. Or, she may dislike the shape, size, or location of her litterbox. Experiment a little, and see if that helps.


Never punish your kitty for her mishaps. This can actually make Fluffy afraid of the litterbox, especially if you reprimand her near it. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Please contact us, your Rochester, NY animal clinic, with any questions about your cat’s health or care. We’re here to help!

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