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Your Cat’s Litter Box: 8 Mistakes to Avoid

While the covered box does provide privacy, it also lacks escape potential. I’ve written about this many times because it’s important, especially in a multiple cat household, for the cat in the box to not feel trapped or to ever be vulnerable to an ambush. The quickest way to a litter box problem is for a cat to not feel safe in there.

8. Punishment and Assumptions

It’s very sad to see a cat parent punish a cat for a litter box avoidance problem because it will only lead to a bigger problem and increase the stress already felt by the kitty. Cats don’t eliminate outside of the litter box out of spite or as a misbehavior. If a cat doesn’t use the box it’s because he can’t for some reason. Don’t immediately assume a missed litter box elimination is behavioral and don’t reprimand the cat. Very often, the reason a cat goes outside of the box is due to an underlying medical condition. Make sure your cat is checked by the veterinarian before assuming it’s a behavior problem. Once the cat gets a clean bill of health you can work on figuring out what’s keeping him away from the box. It may be the box set-up, lack of maintenance, something going on in the household, multicat issues or any of the other things previously mentioned in this article. Instead of punishing the cat which is counter-productive and possibly damaging to your relationship, look at the environment from his perspective and you may surprise yourself in what you’ll discover.

Quote from Beth Stern

 

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Need More Information?

For more specific information on litter box training and litter box problems, refer to any of Pam’s best-selling books including the latest release, CatWise.

For more information on cat behavior and training, refer to the articles on our website and the best-selling books by Pam Johnson-Bennett. If you have a question about your cat’s behavior or health, contact your veterinarian. This article is not intended as a medical diagnosis nor is it a replacement for your cat’s regular veterinary care. This article is for general information purposes only.