Have your cat spayed or neutered at six months of age. Sexually mature and intact felines frequently use urine and feces to mark their territory. Neutering will correct elimination problems in ninety percent of these cats.
The rule to go by (generally) is for the number of cats in your home, have that many litter boxes plus an additional one. Extra litter boxes are necessary because some cats like to defecate in one and urinate in another. Some cats may not use a litter box that has been used by another cat. Different areas for the litter boxes can prevent location avoidance issues. Loud dryers can be a location avoidance issue for cats. The same can be said regarding washing machines and dish washers.
Clean the litter boxes DAILY. The single most common reason for a feline’s refusal to use a litter box is because the box is dirty. When you use public restrooms, do you not look in the stalls first and then make your decision whether to use that one or go on to the next one? Non- clumping litter should be scooped daily and the litter box emptied and washed (bleach is recommended) once a week. Clumping litter should also be scooped daily and the litter box washed weekly as well. The cheaper clumping litters that easily break up should be scooped as frequently as the non- clumping litters (Bacteria left in the litter box will have an odor the cat can detect, even if you cannot.)
Chose a litter that appeals to the cat. (Yes, you read that right!) Most cats prefer the texture of the sand- like scooping litters. Be sure to choose a brand that clumps into a firm ball hence, the scooping is easier and cleaner.
As a health precaution regarding kittens that might be prone to ingest litter (yes, some do), use a non- clumping litter until the kitten is four months old.
Never use scented litter. Perfumed, chemical scents repel cats. (Especially citrus aromas.) When you wash the litter box, use hot water and a mild dishwashing soap (or bleach as was previously mentioned).
Do not use litter box liners. They can be an irritant to some cats. Also, hooded litter boxes can be offensive to cats as they do not satisfy a feline’s need for escape potential when relieving themselves.
Although they trap the odor inside, away from you, it creates an outhouse effect— and do you enjoy outhouses?
Place litter boxes in quiet places that offer privacy while still being easily assessable to the cat. If you reside in a two story home, each floor should have a litter box.
Never place food and water dishes by litter boxes. Is your toilet next to your stove?
While it is an innate action for kittens to use material they can rake with their paws as litter, they also have been known to choose other, more convenient to them, locations. Limit their territory until they learn only litter boxes are appropriate for elimination.
When introducing a new cat to its new home- confine the cat to one room with its litter box, bed, food and water. This will allow the cat to become accustomed to smells associated with its new home. A week is the standard length of time we recommend.
Once your cat has free roam of the house, and you have set up litter boxes, do not move them. Cats will continue to go where they know to go.
Help your cat feel comfortable. Play games with him or her. Give massages, talk, and cuddle. Reward with positive affection and attention.
The more confident and secure a cat is the less likely litter box problems will arise.