Uricide Pet Odor Eliminator


(844) 400-0205

Cats Refuse to Use Litter Box

Does your cat refuse to use its litter box? Here’s what to do when accidents happen.
It’s common for cats to stop using their litter boxes. However, this can present you with a bit of a problem, as you must deal with the aftermath of their ‘accidents.’ Keep reading to understand what to do when your cat refuses to use their litter box.

Why do older cats refuse to use their litter box?

Although adult cats may stop using the litter box for no apparent reason, accidents with older cats are generally uncommon. However, these unexpected accidents can be frustrating as you struggle to understand your cat’s behavioural change. cat refuses to use litter box
It might simply occur because your cat has taken a dislike to the litter box it’s been using for some time. It could also come down to something you’ve changed, such as location, type of litter you use, or some foreign object getting into the tray.

What should you do when older cats refuse to use their litter box?

If your older cat refuses to use their litter box, the first thing you should do is to clean it regularly, this will also help with any lingering urine odors You don’t need any fancy cleaning products; just everyday detergent, water, and a cloth will suffice.
It would be best to replace the litter frequently before it becomes too soiled. If replacing the litter with the same brand doesn’t work, you might have to try an alternative.

Your cat’s sudden refusal to use its litter box might be because of its location. If you’ve recently moved the box or tray, try moving it back to the old spot and see if that works.

Perhaps the problem lies not in the litter box’s location but with something that’s been moved near the box. Therefore, try relocating anything that might have encroached on your cat’s area.

What if your kitten Refuses to Use the Litter Box?

Kittens mostly learn to use a litter box by following their mother’s example. However, your kitten might not have its mother around, so it won’t have an example to follow. You could find yourself dealing with frequent accidents.
If their mother is not around, you can train the kitten yourself. Start by putting the kitten in the box and teaching them what to do. Take your kitten’s paws and scratch the litter with them. Doing this a few times could get your pet used to their litter box.

Kitten Refuses to Use Litter Box – Additional Tips

If they are not getting it, you might try another simple solution. Try putting your kitten in a room with their bed, food, water, toys, and litter box. Don’t allow them to leave until they’ve used the litter box a couple of times. This practice will help them form a habit of using their box. Cats Refuse to Use Their Litter Box

The problem might lie in where you place the litter box. To begin with, try putting your cat’s litter box in a secluded place. A bit of peace and quiet is best for your kitten when it’s learning to use the litter box.
An alternative means of providing some privacy for your kitten, you might want to try using a litter box with a cover. If you’ve placed the litter box in an area of high activity, your cat is unlikely to use it. Therefore, a cover might be suitable, especially if space is tight.

Got more than one cat? Try doing this.

Cats are territorial, so you’ll need to consider this if you have two or more. Your cats might want to share a litter box, so you may have to provide two or more. Also, you might have to keep the boxes separated, as proximity might cause a cat to do its business elsewhere.

Ideally, each cat will keep to its allocated litter box, but this may not happen. You should never punish a cat for using the wrong box. Instead, use incentives to encourage them to use the correct box.
Also, never strike a cat for having an accident outside its box. If you do, you could frighten your cat, and it could associate the litter box with punishment.


Cats often refuse to use their litter boxes, either when training them or due to some change in their environment. By implementing some of the methods above, hopefully these methods will help you avoid too many of these accidents in the future. If you are still having problems, you may have to consult a professional.