7 Tips To Help A Cat Get Over Their Fear Of The Litter Box

 7 Tips To Help A Cat Get Over Their Fear Of The Litter Box

Whether it’s bathroom trauma or your cat’s preference of their bathroom environment, it may be a cause for fear or distress of their litter box. It’s hard to communicate with your pet but not too hard to tell when something feels off.

If you notice your cat using the bathroom in areas around the house other than the litter box or even going right outside their bathroom area, you may want to consider some of these useful tips for getting your cat over their fear of the litter box.

Although you may have thought of this already, your cat may be avoiding the litter box for the simple fact that they don’t like the litter in it! Just like humans, cats need to feel comfortable when using the bathroom too and if the litter in their box is too rough or has an overwhelming smell, they may steer away.

It’s always worth a shot to try to switch up your litter to determine if that is the source of their hesitation. If your cat is using the bathroom on softer surfaces, they’re likely to do better with a soft litter and feel more comfortable using it. Sometimes it can be that simple to heal your cat’s troubles and get things back to normal at home.

  • Communicate To Your Cat That You Sympathize

If you are noticing your cat’s bathroom behavior is off and they are showing fear of the litter box try to let them know that you understand they are scared and that you’re there to help them.

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You can do this by accompanying your cat to the litter box if they seem okay with that and perhaps placing a towel or tarp down beside the litter box to show that you recognize they have a problem with actually going in the box. By doing this you may help your cat to get a little closer to the litter box and over their fear. If this means accompanying them several times to the litter until they are comfortable going on their own, then so be it.

  • Change The Location

If you haven’t tried this already, maybe relocate your litter box to another area of the house. Your cat may be avoiding it because there are difficult stairs or other obstacles in their way or they simply don’t like going to the bathroom in that particular spot.

If your cat is going to the bathroom in other parts of the house like in a dark, private place, perhaps move the litter box to that spot or one similar to maximize your pet’s comfort level.

  • Clean The House

Be sure that if your cat has soiled areas of the house other than the litter box, you are cleaning them right away. If you leave the waste in these other areas of the house for too long, your cat will begin to think it is okay to go to the bathroom in those spaces and continue the pattern.

Keeping these areas clean will signal to your cat that it is not right for them to be going in these places and remind them that their litter box is the only correct place to do their business.

  • Take Them To The Vet

It is not unlikely that your cat may be avoiding the litter box due to a medical issue. If you see your cat licking their genitals frequently or trying to go to the bathroom but can’t, bring them to the vet immediately.

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Your cat may be experiencing a medical issue preventing them from going to the bathroom like a urinary tract infection or a digestive issue.

Your cat can’t tell you directly when something is wrong so be sure to pay close attention to them so you can act fast if their behavior seems off.

  • Change The Litter Box Design

Whether your cat’s litter box is too big, too small, hooded, or not, all cats are different and like different things. Some cat really needs their privacy in order to go to the bathroom which is why a hooded litter box design is perfect for those cats.

Litter boxes such as ChillX offer a covered design to give your kitty the privacy and space they may need. On top of that, the covered unit also conceals odors by containing them under the hood.

If your cat is having trouble climbing in and out of their litter box, perhaps try one with a simpler design with an open-top entryway for any type of cat.

  • Clean The Litter!

I know it’s a chore that can easily slip the mind but it is so important to keep your cat’s bathroom area clean. Just like humans, cats like to maintain good hygiene which includes going to the bathroom in a clean space. If the litter box is too full, your cat is likely to avoid it altogether and start going to other parts of the house or acting out.

I know if I let the litter box stay messy for one day too long, my cat will act out and go to the bathroom in other parts of the house or directly outside of the litter box. This job can be made easier with an automatic litter box that will do the cleaning for you in a quiet and efficient way.

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Automatic litter boxes such as the ScoopFree and the ChillX AutoEgg automatically begin to rake through dirty litter after each bathroom trip keeping it clean for the next time your cat pays a visit.

Don’t be too concerned if your cat is avoiding the litter box. Litter box related behaviors and episodes are normal and can usually be resolved with simple at-home adjustments.

Pay attention to your kitty’s behavior especially if they are unable to go to the bathroom since that may require a check-up. Take the initiative to keep their spaces clean and make solid accommodations for their needs. This may mean a new litter box design, relocating, or trying out a different type of litter. Don’t give up on raising your cat’s comfort level and getting them back on the right track when it comes to bathroom habits.

“This Article is sponsored by ChillX”


Passionate about animals.

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