•  Litter types – cats are very sensitive to smell so avoid all fragrant litter.  Your cat may avoid the litterbox if the litter contains perfumes or if they don’t like the smell or texture.  If you can, avoid clay litter too as the dust can cause breathing issues for cats.  Young cats may also consume it and get a stomach blockage.
  • Cleanliness – cats can smell up to 4 miles away!  A used cat box can be compared to an outhouse for humans.  Please clean often – up to multiple times a day.
  • Misunderstandings about what is a litterbox – cats may confuse dirty laundry, plastic, discarded papers, and planters for areas that should be used as litterboxes.  This is not misbehavior; they often can’t tell the difference.  For instance, if you use plastic litterbox liners, the cat may think any plastic bag is an appropriate litterbox.  Also, some litter brands use the same fragrance as common household items, like laundry detergent.  This could cause your cat to think your freshly washed laundry is an appropriate litter box.

If your cat stops using the litterbox, there are many things you can try including adding another litterbox, trying different litter types, or using cat attract litter to lure them back to the appropriate location.

  • Types of poop – small pebbles or straining to poop means your cat is constipated.  Runny or mushy poop could be a sign of intestinal parasites.  Both of these can be normal in healthy cats occasionally, but if it persists beyond a few days please look into ways to get them help.  Please see the Stool Chart on our Resources page for more information on stool types and how to correct them.


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