My cat won't use the litter box since being spayed

by M Onofre
(Bklyn NY)



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 cleaned twice a day, she has her vaccines, gets her yearly check up... she's the Queen of the house what can I tell ya, but I can't take this any longer

I don't know what to do anymore, I love her but she's driving us crazy with the daily cleaning up after her.

Please let me know what else can be done...I don't want to get rid of her, my boys will be devastated.

Please, what can I do?


M. Onofre

My Thoughts:

It would be easy to assume that the trauma of the surgery triggered the problem. That may or may not be the case. This has been going on a long time so it's probably going to be difficult.

Fixing most litter box problems is trial and error, but this one may be more so. Has your vet checked her for conditions with her inappropriate elimination in mind?

It might be helpful to have a bit more information. Perhaps you could answer some of the questions I've listed here?

Did you use newspaper in the box after her surgery? This is sometimes recommended, but it may have confused her.

Did you keep things just as they were with respect to location of food and water and litter box, or did that change at the time?

Is her litter box far away from her food?

Does she use the box sometimes but not others? Are there any common factors with
respect to when she does use the box? Or when she doesn't?

Have you tried...

Isolation retraining? This is where you set her up in a confined space (usually a single room) and see if she begins using the box again.

Moving the litter box to a new location? If she's choosing to use particular area for target practice, placing the box right on top of it may get her to use it. Then, you can move the box, inch by inch each day, back to where you want it. Make sure to clean the area thoroughly with enzymatic cleaners to remove any hint of the smell of the accidents before placing the box there.

More than one box? Some cats do better with more than one box. Some cats like to use one box for number one and the other for number two.

For example, if she poops in the box right after you clean it, but then won't use it, she may be a double box girl. You may have to juggle locations over time to see what works best as well.

A different type of box? Some cats seem to like hooded boxes for privacy, others don't like box covers at all. Some may like lower sides, or a wider bottom.

A different litter type? Most cats like a more sandy textured litter, but others will go for sawdust. Have you experimented with varying levels of litter? Some cats actually like having a bit of dirt and grass in there too.

Cat Attract and Feliway may help, although they don't work in all cases.

Let us know your thoughts please.


Comments for My cat won't use the litter box since being spayed

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 11, 2012
My cat won't use it since surgery
by: Anonymous

I am having a similar problem with my cat. She had her tail amputated recently and since then she isn't using her litter box.

When she first came home she did use it but as time went on she goes on a mat in my living room. Could it be rebellion from the surgery?

Editor's note: I've seen instances where there appears to be a delayed reaction to stress, so I believe it's possible that it's from the trauma of the surgery.

Or it may be infection related. A post surgical urinary tract infection could cause urination problems. That can also lead to defecation problems so she ends up peeing and pooping outside the box.

Also, if you used newspaper after the surgery and switched it too quickly back to litter, this can trigger a problem. When possible, changes should be done slowly.

If she's having pain getting in and out of the box, that could be a factor. Have you tried placing a litter box right on the spot she's using?

Jan 20, 2010
the big top
by: David Wolfe

If there is a lid to her box remove it, my cat stop going because of it. And if she is pretty good size the box might be too small, also another idea replace the box entirely, try these suggestions, lol, Dave

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Cat Litter Box Problem Issues and Solutions.