Blog Post

Feb 28 | Loni Patke

What Your Cat Wants You to Know about Going Outside the Litter Box

Often, the trickiest part about being a pet owner is simply not knowing what your pet is trying to tell you. This is especially true for independent, lovable cats. In fact, noting your cat’s bathroom routine can tell us a lot about what your pet is experiencing. 

When you spot your cat going to the bathroom outside of its litter box, it could mean several things.

First, the box may not be as clean as your cat prefers. Simply clean it more often or replace older boxes. If you have multiple cats, they might prefer their own litter boxes. I recommend one box per cat and spreading the boxes apart in your home to give each cat some privacy. 

Secondly, your cat may not like the location of the litter box. Most cats prefer quiet areas with low traffic, but they often do not like boxes to be placed in a corner. This sometimes makes them feel ‘trapped.’ I suggest placing the box in a laundry room or an office with dim lighting. Cats generally prefer large, uncovered litter boxes, which are easily accessible. In homes with more than one story, litter boxes should be placed on each level of the home. 

Third, as your cat grows, the litter box should, too. The box size should be 1.5 times the length of the cat. This will give the cat plenty of room. 

You could also consider changing your cat’s type of litter. Experiment with unscented versus scented and clumping and non-clumping litters to see which type you and your cat prefer. 

Finally, when a cat starts going to the bathroom outside its litter box, it simply could mean it is not feeling well. Schedule your cat’s appointment with your veterinarian and write down any observations you have noticed in his or her behavior. This will help find a solution for these lovable cats we all adore.