Feline

Thinking Outside the (Litter) Box

By Marilyn Krieger

© Can Stock Photo/sarah2

Litter box avoidance is one of the most common reason cats are surrendered to shelters and euthanized. It is so sad and so unnecessary. Although the problem is hard to live with, it is also one of the easiest to solve. Some of the solutions are simple — others are more involved. Male and female cats of all ages can develop litter box challenges. There is always a legitimate reason for cats to avoid using their litter boxes. They are not bad cats, nor are they misbehaving. They are responding instinctually to stressful situations or something in the environment. If that’s not the case, then there could be medical problems causing the behavior. Cats who eliminate outside their litter boxes need to be examined immediately by a veterinarian. Painful and often serious medical problems can cause litter box avoidance challenges. Only after veterinarians give cats a clean bill of health can the problem be approached as behavioral. Read article


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