Litterbox Issues in Cats

There are many things to love about our feline friends, but one trait cat owners really appreciate is the fact that Fluffy will use a litterbox to discretely see to her needs. However, occasionally a cat will start avoiding her litterbox, which can be very frustrating for pet owners. This issue can often be corrected, but you will need to find out what is causing Fluffy’s behavior before you can address it. Here, a Greensboro, NC vet lists some of the most common reasons for litterbox issues in cats.

Medical Issues

Litterbox troubles can be caused by several different health issues. If your cat suddenly stops using her litterbox, or if you notice Fluffy seems to be having difficulty going, contact your vet immediately. These can be signs of serious medical issues.

Dirty Litterbox

First and foremost, make sure to keep Fluffy’s litterbox clean. We recommend scooping it out daily, and changing the litter every week. Kitties hate dirty bathrooms!


Cats can be quite particular about their powder rooms. Make sure that Fluffy’s litterbox is in an area that offers her some privacy, but isn’t hard for her to reach.

Purrsonal Preferences

Cats all have their own unique identities, and their own likes and dislikes. This applies to litter as well as food and toys. For instance, some kitties may not like scented litters. Have you recently started using a different type of litter? Try going back to the old brand. You may also want to experiment with different types of litter and litterboxes.


Do you have more than one kitty? If so, make sure you have more than one litterbox. The general rule of thumb is one box per furball, plus at least one extra. Also, keep your pets’ powder rooms in different areas. Many cats don’t like to share bathrooms, and they often think of two side-by-side boxes as one big one.


Spraying is much more common in intact kitties. If Fluffy hasn’t been spayed or neutered yet, we recommend getting this done ASAP.


Sometimes cats avoid their litterboxes due to stress or anxiety. If you aren’t sure what is causing your cat’s behavior, and none of the above reasons seem to fit, consult your vet or a professional cat behaviorist.

Please contact us, your Greensboro, NC animal clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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