If your cat has become accustomed to using a litter box and suddenly stops using it there are several reasons that can cause this change in behaviour. Sometimes the answer is simple and the problem can be solved easily. Although some more complex reasons for the behavioural change may need to be considered. Listed below are 8 reasons why your cat may stop using the litter box.

Look at the most simple causes first as these can be easily solved.

Number 1 – Cats like a clean litter box so make sure you check the box on a regular basis, remove any soiled material and change the litter every day. Wash the litter box every few days, at least twice a week. You wouldn't like to use a dirty bathroom would you? Neither does your cat.

Number 2 – You have put the box in a place your cat doesn't like. Cats like to have a quiet location with easy access and some privacy at a distance from their food and water. Make sure cats can easily get to the litter box so don't put it in a room with the door closed for example. You wouldn't locate your bathroom in the middle of your dining room with a washing machine on spin and people walking by would you?

Number 3 – Your cat may not know where the litter box is. Once you have found a suitable spot for the litter box try not to move it. Imagine if you came home and the bathroom had been moved and you didn't know where it was!!

Number 4 – Have you changed the brand of litter you are using? Your cat may not like the brand you have chosen.

Number 5 - Have you changed your cats environment? Cats like it best when they have the same environment. Cats like an environment which is familiar and comfortable. When stuff changes they can get stressed just like we do. Stress in cats can contribute to peeing outside the litter box.

Number 6 – Do you live with more than one cat? Some cats don't mind sharing their litter box other cats don't like it and need their own personal litter box. Remember cats are territorial and need to have their own space. If you have lots of cats living in a confined space you might want to consider an outdoor cat enclosure instead of having them in the house or re-homing some of them. You want your cats to be happy don't you? Sometimes you have to do what is best for them and their happiness not what suits you.

Number 7 – Your cat may have an urinary infection which is causing pain on peeing and its linked this pain to using the litter box and so is avoiding using the litter box. If you have ruled out points 1 – 6 above then you should take your cat to the vet to make sure it doesn't have a medical condition.

Number 8 – This is another medical one. Cats with Diabetes pee more often and your cat may not be making it to the litter box in time. Other common symptoms of Diabetes in cats include drinking a lot, weight loss in spite of eating more, poor coat condition, and tiredness. Again once you have ruled out points 1-6 then you should take your cat to the vet and get it checked out.

Finally if you do catch your cat peeing somewhere you don't like pick up your cat and move it to the litter box. Don't punish behaviour you don't like reinforce the behaviour you want to encourage.

Have a happy cat and a happy you.