Behaviors by Cats Around the Litter Box


Many cats exhibit behaviours that are not abnormal. These behaviours include the cat’s use of a box as a bed and the playful drop of an object at your feet in order to engage you in play. These behaviours are often signs of normal cat behaviour and can be easily explained by evolutionary theory as well as documented instances of cat behaviour.

Litter box avoidance

One of the most common and frustrating cat behaviours is when your cat avoids using the best cat litter box. This can lead to a messy situation in that you’ll be stuck cleaning up and can also be harmful to your cat’s health and hygiene. Fortunately, there are a few clear reasons that a cat might avoid using their litter box:

  • Health Conditions – If your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, there may be a serious underlying health condition. A number of health problems can result from a lack of vitamin D, including diabetes and arthritis, as well as infections and issues with the kidneys.
  • Location – When you change your cat’s litter box location, it can take a while for your furry friend to get used to the new spot. This can lead to problems, such as your cat not using the box or developing other behaviour issues. To avoid these issues from cropping up, make sure you gradually move the box closer to its final destination before making any permanent changes.
  • Litter Preferences – When changing cat litter or adding an artificial fragrance to your cat’s environment, it is important to do so gradually in order to avoid rejection of the litter box by your feline friend.
  • A dirty box – Even if you don’t think it needs cleaning, your cat may have different ideas. Some cats prefer for the litter box to be cleaned after each use. If you keep a clean litter box, your cat is more likely to use it. If you scoop out the box more often, it may encourage your cat to use it more often. This is especially important if you have multiple cats who are competing for space in the box.

Protecting the Box

Litter box guarding is a behavioural problem that occurs in homes with multiple cats. The behaviour usually arises when cats feel threatened or unable to use the litter box, and they cease using it altogether. To discourage this behaviour, ensure you have enough litter boxes in your house for all of your cats to use. A good rule of thumb to follow is to choose a litter box size that is big enough to accommodate the number of cats in your household, plus one.

Ingesting cat litter

If your cat is eating its cat litter, a trip to the vet is in order to rule out medical reasons for the behaviour. One cause of litter eating in cats is malnutrition. Another reason for this behaviour is anaemia, which may be caused by certain medical conditions or diseases. Introduce toys, more playtime, and food puzzles to keep your cat mentally stimulated.

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