Why Won’t My Cat Use the Litter Box? Four Possible Explanations
Updated on : 19 May 2021
We have one cat, a beautiful blob of black fur. She got soaking wet one time and we were shocked: she seriously can’t be more than a couple inches wide!
However, when she’s dry – with all that fur, she looks like she could hold her own against just about anyone or anything. And she does… just ask the neighborhood dogs who dare to darken our doorstep.
We used to have two cats – both girls. If you know anything about cats (and we didn’t when we adopted back-to-back girl cats), you should know this: boy cats are chill. Super chill. For that matter, even one boy cat and one girl cat can be chill together. But two girl cats who aren’t sisters: almost always a mistake – at least in our limited experience.
THE MYSTERY OF THE PEE
Anyway, one of our female cats died (a story for another day… and another blog). But when we did have two female cats, it made sense to us – given their attitude towards one another and their territorial nature – that each would occasionally pee on something besides their own litter. It sucks, but you manage. There are some really good products for getting this super rank stank out of your carpet, clothes, and yes, tragically, even mattresses.
But once the older cat died, and it was just the one cat left, why on earth would she keep peeing on stuff? Why does she sometimes not use the litter box? It’s not like I, the human, occasionally choose a basket of laundry over the toilet!
Listen, we’re Kitty Korner, so you know where this is headed (hint: we needed a Kitty Korner Door STAT). But we want to explore a few of the other common reasons first…
FOUR POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS FOR YOU CAT PEEING ON YOUR CLOTHES
#1. MEDICAL ISSUE
Let’s cover our bases here. Sure, your cat could have a urinary tract issue. Maybe an infection, maybe a disease, maybe worse. But I think we all know the difference between a cat who is peeing due to an uncontrollable disease and one whose pee plans are much more in his or her own control. In our case, at least, it was certainly not medical. By the way, if you do suspect a medical issue, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your veterinarian.
#2. THE TERRITORIAL FELINE
We already discussed this briefly: yes, we had two cats, and yes, they were each inclined to mark the continental divide between their respective territories. That can surely happen with multi-pet households – especially when you have two females (we speak from experience). But as we go through our Dr. House-like diagnostics, we can cross this one off the list because we now have just one cat!
#3. STRESS, ANXIETY, AND OCD
These may all sound like human conditions, but if you think our pets are immune, you’re not paying attention! These poor creatures suffer all of these and more: loneliness, depression, grief, and even despair. They feel what we feel, and when they are feeling these difficult emotions, they tend to act out. For you and me, “acting out” may mean crying or yelling or throwing a vase or journaling. What of our pets? How do they act out?
Try peeing where they are not supposed to be peeing! For example, our cat was known to pee on any basket of warm, freshly laundered clothes in a laundry basket inside the house! Rest assured, those clothes get folded right away nowadays.
Mental illness is the most common among our first BIG THREE reasons. But alas, none applied to our little black furball – at least we don’t think so. So… what’s left? Ah, the Kitty Korner angle! Read on, dear friend…
#4. WHERE IS MY LITTER BOX?!?!?
If you, a human, had no access to a “normal” bathroom (it’s occupied or locked or otherwise out of commission) and you really had to go, what would you do? Probably run to the neighbor’s house or drive to the gas station, right?
Well, your cat only has a couple of realistic options, and they all leave you scratching your head, asking yourself:
A. Why is my cat peeing on the furniture?
B. Why is my cat peeing on the carpet?
C. Why is my cat peeing on the laundry?
See, most cat owners keep the litter box in an inconspicuous place: the laundry room, the basement bathroom, in a closet, etc. But you always run the risk of closing the door – even if accidentally – and locking them out of their bathroom. That they end up peeing on the furniture, the floor, or the fresh load of laundry simply isn’t their fault.
Are we suggesting you plop your cat’s letter box on the coffee table in the middle of the living room? Of course not. But we are saying you need a Kitty Korner Door – an easy-to-install pet door that lets your little fuzzy friends roam freely throughout your home!
Our Do-It-Yourself kit comes with simple instructions to cut and attach our patented SlideLock™ hinge to any solid or hollow interior door, allowing you to lock your cat’s access in the open or closed position. Oh, and if you don’t want your cat peeing on the laundry, maybe go ahead and lock it OPEN!
But what of the dog, the other kids, and the guests? Don’t worry: the cat can come and go as freely as they choose, while the canines, kiddos, and guests don’t even know what they’re missing.
It all boils down to this: if you don’t want your laundry to be pee-soaked, you need a Kitty Korner Door. So… what are you waiting for?