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There can be a variety of reasons your cat is not using their litter tray.

Your first port of call should be your vet. They will take tests to rule out any medical problems. Increased urination can be caused by medical challenges including diabetes, hyperthyroidism or pododermatitis. Pododermatitis is inflammation of the paws. When paws are sore and when your cat scratches and covers their urine or faeces in their litter tray it may be painful. They may find somewhere alternative to go to the bathroom.

If your vet has ruled out any medical problems then thinking about your cat’s home environment and any potential stressors is important.

Litter tray

Is your cat’s litter tray large enough? Can they move around in it without squatting and is the depth big enough so they can dig and cover their business?

If you have more than one cat then is there one litter tray plus one per cat? It’s important that there are enough resources so your cats aren’t competing for the tray.

A kitten stretches during cat sitting service

Is the cat’s litter tray in a quiet secluded location and away from any windows where neighbourhood cats can look in? It can be intimidating for a cat if cat’s are looking in on them.

Is the litter tray clean? Is litter being scooped out twice a day and the cat litter completely removed and replaced once a week? Cats are very clean creatures and will not used an unkempt loo.

Are strong smelling odours and cleaning products being used? Cats have an incredible sense of smell and using citrus based cleaning products can be aversive for them and mean they avoid the litter tray.


What type of litter are you using – if it’s wood based or recycled paper this could be painful on the cat’s paws.

Sand based clumping litter is mainly preferred by cat’s. Sand means they can dig and cover and the clumping action makes it much easier to dispose of it.


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