Litter Box Problems Got You Puzzled? Frustrated?

Need help solving litter box problems? Has your cat suddenly started to use the carpet or floor as a toilet?

Can't figure out why? Puzzled by this behavior? Let's ease your frustration and get your kitty back on track.

"One must love a cat on its own terms."
-Paul Gray

Solving these problems is a challenging task. To fix your problem, you'll have to learn more about cat behavior, and remember that there can be several factors involved.

Despite the fact that I've had a page up on litter box problems for quite some time, I continue to get many requests for help from visitors surrounding this and related problems.

I've put together this more extensive guide in the hopes that this will give you many ideas and strategies on how to overcome your problems.

As this website becomes more and more popular, I unfortunately don't have the time to respond individually to requests for help via email.

In addition, I am not a veterinarian, and am not qualified to give such advice. I am also not an animal behaviorist or a pet psychologist, and I don't have any formal training in these areas. I do, however, understand cats quite well, and I certainly know how frustrating it can be to try to understand them, especially when they're having problems.

So, here's what I've put together...


Cat Litter Box Problems Guide

Cat Box Problem Overview
Of all the categories of cat behavior problems, box problems can be one of the most difficult to overcome. Sadly, it's been reported that the most common behavioral reason for an adult pet cat to be given up to a shelter is an unresolved problem with inappropriate elimination. Here we'll cover the behavioral and physical causes of this issue.

Tips for Solving Litter Box Problems
Solving cat box problems can be a challenge. Anything from an illness to stress can throw your cat off her routine. Your veterinarian needs to be involved in the discussion, and physical problems ruled out before you approach the behavioral issues. You should be aware that even the most well adjusted cat can be thrown off by stress. Stress can come from many sources, including a change in household routine, the addition of a family member or pet, or the death of another pet. Even changing the amount of attention your cat receives can put stress on your cat.

Anatomy of a Cat Box Problem
Solving a litter box problem means being patient, diligent, and consistent with your cat. If your cat develops litter box aversion, the original cause can either be medical in nature, or it may be behavioral. If there's a health issue, it will need to be dealt with first. Either way, some retraining may be required to get your cat back on track.

Resources on Cats and Litter Box Issues
Here's a list of resources on inappropriate elimination, the litter box, and spraying/marking behavior which either support the information I have published in this guide, or offer additional insight or a different perspective on the issues.

Litter Box FAQ
I've seen some general litter box questions come up repeatedly, and thought I'd put them together in this FAQ (frequently asked questions) document.

Reasons Your Cat Won't Use the Cat Box
Some of the main reasons your can't won't use the litter box.

Solving Cat Urine Problems
Nobody wants guests to walk in and be able to guess by the smell that they've got a cat. There are two main types of urination problems in cats... inappropriate urination, and spraying or marking behavior.

Solving Defecation Problems
If you have a problem with your cats defecating outside of the litter box, but urinating inside the litter box, you might find some relief contained within these question and answer pages.

What's Your Choice for the Best Cat Litter?
One of our readers, Lynn, asked for some help, so we put out a call for opinions on the best cat litter.


Starting Your New Cat Off Right

If you have a new cat or kitten at home, it's best to start them off right so that you don't encounter litter box problems in the future. You might want to have a look at the cat box basics section of the site, including information on the pros and cons of automatic and self-cleaning boxes.

Litter Box Training
Basic cat litter box training requires providing the right environment for your cat.

Cat Litter Box Training Tips
Information on box training in a tip sheet.

Should you use flushable litter?


If your cat won't use the litter box, or is experiencing some kind of related issue, these pages are here to help to guide you as you work with your vet or other professional. If you'd like to contribute to this site and either post a problem or a resolution, please see the form and instructions below.

As for my own experiences with my cats in this area, while Teddie has had her bouts of constipation, and Frankie has had issues with what I call "cling ons," none of the three Cat Lovers Only cats have ever had clinical litter box problems. There has never been a case of inappropriate elimination in the house, so I have not had to personally conquer this beast.

When Teddie is having constipation problems, she plays around in the box and swishes the litter around, but doesn't go. She'll visit the box many times within a short time span, and sometimes she'll act like she's trying, but no dice. Eventually, she uses the box.

If your cat is acting like that, it's probably not related to what we normally call box problems. She may be constipated, however, which can lead to long term bowel health problems. Also, feline constipation can have a number of causes, including impacted anal glands. So make sure you follow up with your vet.


Have A Cat Litter Box Problem? Or... Have A Solution To One?

Do you have a cat litter box problem with your kitty? Or... do you have a solution to one that would help someone else? A fix that worked for you, or might work for someone else? Share it!

This is our discussion forum where you can help and be helped by other Cat Lovers Only readers!

You and others can comment, and vote on submissions so that other readers can know which solutions work most often.

Check back here in a while to see your post as submissions need to be approved. I'll do my best to get to them as soon as possible.

Enter Your Title of Your Problem or Your Fix (for example, Problem: My Cat Poops on the Rug!, or Fix: Change Litter Box Location)

Problems and Solutions from Other Visitors

Click below to see problems and solutions posted by other visitors to this page...

We have one cat pooping and peeing on the floors and rugs 
We have 4 cats, two from her house, and two from mine. 3 were ferals, 1 is a longhair. We had two small boxes in the laundry room, and we moved them outside …

Small Litter Box, Long Cat (Solution) 
My 1 1/2 year old, l8 lb. female cat is average but, boy, is she long. I am 5 ft. tall and if Amber stands on her hind legs, her front paws reach above …

My new kitten has started pooping on my bed! 
June Bug is the newest kitten in the house. We have one other cat who is under a year old. Within the last 2 weeks, June Bug has been pooping on my bed. …

My cat poops on the rug 
I have two three year old male cats. They are neutered. One of them is fine with the litter box. The other one is, too, but a week ago he started to …

Litter box problem with 2 cats 
I have two four-year old tabbies (one male, one female litter mates) neutered and spayed. In the last few months, the male has begun to refuse to use his …

Cat pees on edge of litter box and on floor 
Cat is in the litter box but pees on the edge of the litter box, and on the floor. We have 3 cats and 3 litter boxes. One of the cats (we don't know …

My cat was sleeping in his litter box 
My 18 year old cat was not feeling very well. One day when I came home from work, I found my little guy sleeping in his litter box. I found it strange, …

6 week old kitten won't use litter box 
Our cat recently had 2 kittens, 1 female and 1 male. They are almost 6 weeks old... the female kitten won't use the litter box. I have discovered that …

After move, cat won't use litter box 
Hello, We recently moved, and now my cat won't use her litter box at all. She is going everywhere else but inside it. She is fixed. When we moved she …

Cat sleeping in her litter box 
My Cat Momo won't stop sleeping in her litter box even after she uses it. Just a few days ago I noticed I have been seeing my cat less and less. Today …

Six year old cat started pooping on floor 
My friend's six year old cat started pooping on the floor after the other cat scared her out of the litter box while she was using it. My Friend has …

My kitten is pooping and peeing right next to the litter box 
I am fairly meticulous about keeping the litter box clean for my three cats, Sam, Bells and Diego. However this morning I came out of my room to notice …

Pooping in tub, peeing in the drain 
Seriously, one of our older male cats poops in the tub, most of the time leaving a horrible stain which cannot be removed! I've witnessed him 3 times …

Male cat runs and poops 
He runs like crazy and leaves poop all over the house. We have taken him to two vets so far and they say it is a behavioral problem. Try locking him up …

Two newly adopted cats won't use their litter box 
Hi! I adopted two 9 month old male kittens (brothers) just over 24 hours ago. I thought everything was going fine, but I'd never seen either one of them …

My adult cat won't use litter box 
A stray kitty came to our house. Then in a couple of weeks we found out that she is pregnant. We let her in and she had her babies in the house. She won't …

My cat Sam and the litter box 
Sam, the litter box and his other strange habits, lately. We have a stray cat that just came to live with us one day about 2 1/2 years, ago. He has been …

5 year old cat started pooping in front of garage door instead of in litter box 
My 5 year old cat has started pooping in front of the garage door instead of in her box. Lilly is 5 years old and has been pretty good about using her …

My one cat is pooping everywhere 
It started awhile ago and was just once in awhile. It's a daily occurrence now, was just on the floor and now its become pooping on the couch, stairs and …

Kitten will not use the litter box 
I just received two six week old kittens one uses the litter box the other will not. We have put him in and he has gone in it, but he will not get in it …

FIX: Reason For Cats NOT Using a BOX 
I have had a few cats in my lifetime that wouldn't use the box. It turned out simply that they didn't like the type of litter I was using so I changed …

Part Manx kitten is incontinent 
Our part Manx kitten, is incontinent. Occasionally dribbles, but almost always, when he's sleeping. Covering his sleeping areas with the waterproof pads, …

My cat won't use the litter box since being spayed 
My cat Christie always used to use the litter box but since she was spayed 3 yrs ago, she urinates & poops outside of the litter box. Litter box is …

Maine Coon Kitten Poops Outside of Litter Box 
I have a four month old Maine Coon Kitten that is pooping outside of her litter box; she is an indoor cat. When I first got her 2 months ago, she did not …

Click here to write your own.

My cat poops on my son's bed. 
My cat poops on my son's bed after my kids are away for the weekend. Our cat is a shaded silver Persian, almost 3 years old. She is my daughter's cat …

5 month old kitten has sudden change in behavior and potty habits 
We got our 5 month old Maine Coon mix a month ago. He has used the litter box until today. I also have noticed he has become less social. He use to be …

Litter box problem started recently 
My male cat Strider will be 3 in August and sometime around the beginning of the year (around March) he ate some string. He went to the vet and he gave …

Cat Genie - Keeping The Litter Granules In The Box 
Keeping the litter granules in the Cat Genie! Everytime the box gets used, litter is kicked/tracked out. Lots of it. It's in every room & stuck to …

My cat's bathroom behavior is degenerating! 
My cat's bathroom behavior is degenerating and now she goes EVERYWHERE! I have two cats - male and female - and the male is very tidy and never ever …

My kitten poops and pees on countertops and anything off the ground 
The kitten was from a mommy that stays outdoors. I took kitty when he was weaned from mom and kept him in the bathroom until he was comfortable. He …

Problem: My cat doesn't clean herself 
She uses the litter box but doesn't clean herself afterward. I'm having to wash her rear every day or I find little brown poop spots all over my bed, …

My cat has begun to sleep in the kitty box 
I bought a new litter and since then she has begun sleeping in the box. My Thoughts: Cats often rebel against change, and may become …

My cat poops and pees on carpet  
My 9 yr. old female cat has recently started peeing and pooping on the carpet in my dining room instead of using the litter box. I don't know what to …

My Cat is pooping on the porch - on purpose! 
My cat is pooping on my screened-in deck, on purpose! I've tried scrubbing the rug and floor where he's decided to leave it, my Mom tried making him …

Cat has diarrhea on the rugs 
I have a roommate that has a cat that has diarrhea all the time. She took her to the vet and the Dr ran a bunch of tests, but they came back normal. …

problem - my cat goes everywhere 
I don't know what to do? My kitten is 17 weeks now I got her off a breeder about 6 weeks ago, at first she wouldn't use the litter box at all? Then i got …

Problem: My cat only makes it half way in the box!!!  
Please help. Our cat KC has a real problem making it all the way into the box. She is healthy, well adjusted, loved, clean litter, not stressed, etc …

male cat overspray  
My large male cat is very fussy and the litter box must be cleaned often or he will not use the box. He has started to over spray the box even when …

Cat plays with poo 
My cat keeps taking poo out of his litter box to play with as a toy. How can I get him to stop?

New male cat does not use the box 
My cat poops and pees outside the box. I just adopted 2 new cats one female the other a male. The male is 2 years old and does not use the litter box. …

Don't be lazy cleaning those litter boxes, that's their bathroom ! 
Always take care of those litter boxes. If that was your bathroom how would you feel if it was filthy?

Sleeping in the Litter Box 
I just adopted a four-month female kitten from the Humane Society. I have had her for four days and she has been a happy, loving, kitten, always jumping …

My cat poops in my kids outside play area 
My cat has a litter box that he uses when he is in. I am home most of the day, and he comes in and out many times but spends most of his day outdoors. …

Eating Cat Litter! 
She's messing on the carpet & eating her cat litter! Daisy was the perfect cat until recently. She started peeing little by little at each heat cycle. …

Kitten butt scratching Not rated yet
I have a 6-week old kitten I got from the pound. She uses the litter box just fine, but... After depositing feces, she sits on it then rubs her butt in …

Strong urine odor from spayed female cat Not rated yet
We have had Sassy for two years now (a rescue). She is fixed, indoor/outdoor. She is on the same food/feeding schedule and diet as when she came to us …

My cat has started peeing and pooping behind my couch Not rated yet
My brother, sister-in-law and niece moved in with me about 8 months ago and everything seemed to be OK, but now my cat has started peeing and pooping behind …

Newly adopted cat afraid to use the litter box Not rated yet
We adopted a sweet, very non-confrontational 16 month old cat. She is constantly being "tag teamed" by our other two cats. She has consequently developed …

5 month old female kitten will not use litter box Not rated yet
I adopted a 5 month old female kitten, she is fixed, up to date on all shots and in good health. She used the litter box at the shelter and now that she …

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My couch is not a litter box! Not rated yet
My 11 1/2 month old female Maine Coon kitty named Minnie has started peeing on our couch. We have 2 cats and two litter boxes, and she has never done this …

Cat stopped using the litter after surgery (resolved) Not rated yet
My cat recently had her tail amputated due to a break. It was hard to keep an eye on her during recovery, but after her wound healed, she started pooping …

Adopted Birman cat urinating and defecating on couch Not rated yet
I adopted a 4 year old Birman cat who seems to be using my leather couch as its litter tray - help!!! I thought at first that it was territorial weeing, …

Female cat quit going in her kitty box Not rated yet
I have a monster of a cat when she goes in heat. She is the best cat you could ever have. But now we have a fight over the litter box. She will go on …

Cat defecating outside litter box only during the night Not rated yet
We recently adopted a cat from a hoarder who had 20 cats in her home. He has diarrhea which we are treating with an antibiotic. During the day he urinates …

My 8 Mo Old Kitten Never Learned Properly? Not rated yet
Mishka, my 8 month old recently adopted Siamese mix, is an only cat. She uses her litter box perfectly well when she needs to go. She has always gone …

My 2 cats won't let new cat use litter box! Not rated yet
I have 2 cats... 1 male and 1 female, that get along very well. I got a new kitty 2 years ago and the 2 older kitties still pick on the new one, even though …

Male tabby is marking and defecating Not rated yet
The problem started with my 10 1/2 yr old male tabby - we have several stray cats and my cat started marking and urinating on and in front of my out side …

My kitten had an accident on my boyfriend's bed Not rated yet
I had gone away to the city for one day and night and I received an angry message from my boyfriend Saturday morning saying that my kitten had pooped and …

Help! Litter box aversion! Not rated yet
I have a Maine Coon mix that was recently treated for an anal gland abscess. He's healing up great, pretty much all healed now, but since pooping was …

7 year old female cat pooping on the carpet/rugs/blankets Not rated yet
My 7 year old female cat had good litter box habits, but started pooping on various carpets throughout the house in the past couple of years. I got …

2 year old cat urinating and defecating on newly laid porcelain tiled floor Not rated yet
Please help, we have a 2 year old male neutered cat which has started urinating and defecating on a newly laid porcelain tiled floor. We have had this …

Kitten petrified of the litter box Not rated yet
Hello All! I have one 22 yr old domestic and just rescued 3 (I was just getting 1) kittens. They came litter trained and were fine until today the more …

Kitten won't use litter box when new cat in house Not rated yet
I have a cat who is almost 2 and he is fixed and another cat a female, she is not fixed and she is close to 6 months. We have tried to get other cats/kittens …

My 5 month old kitten eats the litter! Not rated yet
My boyfriend and I found our kitten when she was only 3 weeks old, thrown out of a car and sick with an upper respiratory infection. We nursed her back …

Cat is pooing and peeing in dining room on carpet Not rated yet
My 16 1/2 year old cat is suddenly pooing and peeing on the dining room carpet. Put a shower curtain down and now she goes on that every night. I have …

Cat ingested a toxin, won't use the litter box Not rated yet
Our cat, Molly is two and a half, she is the most lovable happy cat I have ever had (and I've had cats my whole life). The vet says she ingested a toxin …

My 12 year old cat poops on the carpet Not rated yet
My cat Smith is a little over 12 years old and he uses the litter box and poops on the carpet. He will do good for a few times and then he will go behind …

Aged cat sleeping in kitty litter box Not rated yet
My cat is 13 years old now and when I moved into a new apartment over a year ago she insisted on sleeping with me every night. She'd previously always …

Since giving birth our cat will not poop in litter box Not rated yet
Ali came to us 2 months ago and transitioned well to being inside until she surprised us and our vet by having 3 beautiful kittens. When the kittens were …

Litter training an adult cat Not rated yet
I have a cat that has returned to my home after being feral for over a year. He no longer uses the litter box despite all my efforts. Please how can I …

My cat poops near the litter box but not in Not rated yet
My cat poops everywhere near the litter box but not in it. For over a year now, my 10 year old cat, Smokey has started pooping outside of the litter box. …

Kitty litter box problem Not rated yet
We found a stray kitten about 5 weeks old. She uses the litter box but also uses the floor in other rooms. Can you help? My Thoughts: …

Cat Voids in Bathtub Not rated yet
We recently brought an outside/inside cat in as both a favor to a friend and a pet for my wife. We have two other cats who have been in the family for …

Cat Anxiety Not rated yet
Cat anxiety is a topic I thought I'd address here in conjunction with litter box problems. Litter box problems are often a response to stress, and anxiety …

Click here to write your own.

My cat poops and pees in the house Not rated yet
I have two cats. They grew up together and they are both 14 years old. One is a black Angora and the other a Tabby. The black one does not groom itself …

Bathtub vs. poopbox Not rated yet
Our cat has eliminated in the bathtub two times in the last week. She has never done this. She has always used the cat box. Does anyone know why? …

Problem: Kittens poo in box but pee everywhere Not rated yet
I got two new kittens from my aunt and uncle a few weeks ago. They let us have them at 7 or 8 weeks, and we have had them for about two maybe three weeks …

My cat was sick, is better but still wont return to the litter box. Not rated yet
I have 3 cats. One 13 year old Burmese female, One 11 year old Burmese female and one 4 year old rescued male. The 2 Burmese are best friends and just …

Litter tracks Not rated yet
Our cat is now tracking litter all over the house. What do you suggest we do? My Thoughts: There are a number of solutions that …

kitty curtain, the litter box solution Not rated yet
I thought long and hard about the litter box. Number one was our 2 dogs getting into the litter box. This just made their bad breath worse. Also, it gives …

Cat never really used a litter box... and still wont. Not rated yet
I have two cats - one male one female. They are both outdoor cats, though they have been allowed access to the screened porch. The litter box used to …

Litter Box Problem - Litter changed two years ago, but she won't go back Not rated yet
Two years ago, my boyfriend tried changing his cat's brand of litter. She freaked out and refused to use the box at all. He instantly changed back, but …

Not using litter box Not rated yet
Hello, I'm hoping for some help. After having to put my 9 year old cat (Kennedy) down, I wanted to get another companion for my 7 year old cat (Khloe). …

Territorial Dispute? Not rated yet
After about two years of living together, Lancelot and Gandalf have decided to start marking on the carpeting. I lived with a cat for 11 years who did …

Box Aversion Not rated yet
Hello, I have a 4 year old male kitty named Chopper. There was a young man giving away kittens in front of a grocery store when I got him. He was much …

Small Apartment Not rated yet
My mother has a new small apartment. Where do you put a litter box when you have one bathroom, no utility room and you love your dear cat. My sister …

My cat poops and pees on my kitchen floor Not rated yet
She started peeing on the dinning room floor in oct 07 a few months after I moved in with my husband. He has 2 cats also. My cat has been chased and even …

My cat wants to live in the kitchen Not rated yet
I have an elderly cat, who used to hate the litter box, but used it properly when she had to. She always wanted to go outside to relieve herself. …

Can I place the litter box outside? Not rated yet
I live in a first floor condo with a patio enclosed by a 6 foot fence. I have a cat door leading to the patio which I leave open and my two cats go in …

Cat suddenly won't use litter box Not rated yet
have 2 males and 1 female, males are 6 and 4 years old female will be 2 in May, (got her when she was 6 wks. old) female has stopped using the litter …

Changing the location of the litter box Not rated yet
I have three cats (2 males and 1 female) who are all neutered. I have 2 litter boxes. One is down the basement and the other tucked into the corner of …

Vented Cat Litter Box ! Not rated yet
Here's a suggestion from a reader: I love cats but have always hated one thing about them, the litter box. I looked for options for years. Then I found …

Elimination Location Not rated yet
My 4th cat and baby, Sasha just started going in the house a couple of weeks ago. She has gone in the dining room 3 times which is only steps from the …

Click here to write your own.


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