Cat has never used litter box

by Sandy
(Claremont, NC USA)

This female cat was a kitten I kept when my other cat had babies. I kept all the kittens. This is the only one who has never used the litter box.

She goes on the carpet. I have tried to train her. I thought instinct would tell her to go in the box, but never in her life has she. She's about 10 months old now.

My thoughts: I'm sorry to hear your cat is having so much trouble. Most kittens start using the litter box after watching their mother or other cats, and they take to the box rather easily.

I'm not sure why, of course, but it seems as though your kitten developed either a surface texture preference for carpet, or a location preference, or both.

As always, we're assuming a health issue isn't getting in the way of using the box regularly, or in this case, at all.

I don't know how many cats you currently have, or how many litter boxes, but it might be advisable to add one more box and see if anything changes.

If she has a favorite spot or spots on the carpet she repeated uses, try placing the new litter box right on top of that spot and see if she goes for it.

You could add some Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract to the litter as well to see if that entices her.

In case this is stress related, you might try Feliway.

Have you tried placing a piece of carpet in a litter box to try to get her to go in there? You might be able to get her to go in a box that way, and then get her used to using litter from there.

You could also combine that idea with isolation retraining, confining her to a room or a large cage. Once she's using the box successfully, you could allow her access to the rest of the house and begin moving the box inch-by-inch to a new location.

Since this has gone on for a long time, it may be difficult to get her to change and she may be tempted to revert back if given the chance. You may have to start over a number of times.

I hope that helps and please keep us updated on her progress.

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