We have people come in all the time for appointments asking why their cat no longer or won’t use the box they set up from them. Cats instinctively want to bury their urine and fecal matter so most kittens will use a litter box instantly. They are particular creatures and if they don’t like something they will let you know the best way they can. It is not always a medical or a behavioral reason, but sometimes it is just because they don’t like what you provided for them. If your feline friend is healthy, but is going to the bathroom in weird places I’d suggest looking into some of these points.
Some litters are overly strong in smell to mask the what the cats are producing. Well some felines can be sensitive to this and do not want to use that litter and therefor will seek other places besides the box to do their business. Where I work we use an unscented litter that still has an odor control to accommodate any cat.
The texture of litter on their paws can also deter a cat from using their box. There are many alternatives to litter you can get such as wood pellets or corn, but the clean up can be a little more effort. However the extra effort is worth it if you don’t want to find cat poop and pee somewhere it shouldn’t be like your bed sheets or laundry.
Not The Right Fit
Sometimes it is the box its self. If it is too small, not the right amount of litter, and scary/hard to get in to; can all be reasons a cat doesn’t want to go to the bathroom in it. For most cats you want to get a decent size box, but you may not want something with walls that are too high unless it has an opening. Boxes with covers are good and many cats do like them, however some find them scary enough not to go to the bathroom there. You also don’t want to over fill or under fill with litter. We recommend about two inches and you might think well why not more? Because they only need enough to cover their urine or fecal matter and anymore can be uncomfortable for them.
Other reason can be the box is in a weird spot for the cat, you have multiple cats, the box isn’t being cleaned enough, and just old age. You can try moving their box to different spots of the house to see if that helps with them going outside the box. Sometimes when you introduce another or many other cats to the house hold it can cause some bathroom issues. I’d suggest multiple boxes depending on the number of cats and cleaning them more frequently. If your cat has been loyal to their box, old age can play a big factor because they might not be able to get into the box as well as they use to.