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What To Do When Your Cat Won't Use The Cat Litter Tray

Aug 17, 2007
The development of the cat litter tray has truly become a milestone for pet ownership. The modern use of cat litter in boxes or trays has allowed the cat owner to easily take care of their cats waste as well as provide a great place for indoor cats to do their business.

But some cats tend not to do their elimination activities at designated places like the cat litter tray. It is important that you observe your pet closely and find out whether the litter tray is being used by the cat.

There are several possible factors that could prevent the cat from opting to use the cat litter tray. For one, cats need ample space to squat, turn around and dig when they do their thing. Thus, if the cat litter tray is too small, the cat may not have enough space to move around. Even you would not be comfortable doing such in a very tightly spaced bathroom, right?

Another factor would be the litter used in the tray. For years, manufacturers have used clay and silica as litter substrates. But lately, experts advise them to refrain from using such materials since cats are not comfortable digging through them.

There are two types of litter trays being sold in the market currently. One is the open-spaced type, and the other is the closed litter box. Based on observations and pet owners' experiences, cats usually prefer the open-type one because it provides ample room for movement. However, most pet owners prefer the closed-type because it hides the waste and keeps the smell from permeating throughout the house.

When buying cat litter trays for the first time, it is recommended that you purchase both types. That way, you can determine which type is preferred by the cat. Remember, it is the cat that would use the litter tray, not you, so respect the animal's preference.

When Your Cat Won't Use The Litter Tray

You could help make the tray be a comfortable place for your cat. For one, strategically place the tray where the cat could easily spot it and have access to it.

Do not place the cat litter tray at hidden areas like under some furniture, at the garage, under the air conditioner, or somewhere else where people could not easily spot the box. Chances are, the cat would also find it hard to find the litter tray, and it could no longer hold its urge before it finds the tray.

Manufacturers also advise that as much as possible, put litter trays in all floors of the house so the cat could easily have access to them once they feel the urge.

Do not put deodorizer or air fresheners on top or beneath the cat litter tray. The cat may not like the smell of the chemicals coming from such fresheners. If you want to make sure no smell would originate from the tray, you could put some baking soda underneath the tray. Baking soda would not be detected by the cat because it does not secrete harsh smell that may annoy the cat's sharp olfactory senses.

Since the cat is also a territorial animal, make sure each cat, if you have several at home, has its own designated cat litter tray. They would not want to share territories.

Buy trays that are using very fine materials, as fine as sand, as litter substrate. As mentioned earlier, silica and clay are not preferred by cats anymore.

If all else fails, your cat must have some sort of behavioral problems. Thus, seek the help of your veterinarian at once.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://catlitter.topicgiant.com where you can learn more about cat litter and using the cat litter tray.
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