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Video:When a Cat Won't Use Litterbox

with Debbie Anderson

If your cat won't use the litter box, you may have a mess on your hands. Here are tips on what to do when your cat won't use the litter box and how to clean up accidents.See Transcript

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Transcript:When a Cat Won't Use Litterbox

Hi, I'm Debbie Anderson for About.com.

Sometimes your cat just stops using or won't use the kitty litter box for various reasons. So today, I'm going to cover a few tips on what to do when your cat will no longer use the kitty litter box and how to clean up "accidents" around the home when they occur.

Removing Smells from Cat Litter Box

The most important thing to remember is that cats are particularly sensitive to smells and many times this is the reason for why a cat will suddenly stop using their kitty litter box.

To fix this problem, remember to always keep the kitty litter box away from the cat's food and water supply area in the home because cats usually won't relieve themselves in the same area as where they eat and drink.

Separate Litter Boxes for Multiple Cats

Alternatively, if you have a cat that is feeling intimidated by other cats in the household, this can also be a reason for why a cat does not want to use the cat box. In this instance, provide at least one cat box in the home per cat in your household and this extra cat box will likely resolve the cat's emotional issues about using the litter box.

Determine Why Your Cat Won't Use the Litter Box

Next, remember to keep the cat box cleaned out on a daily basis to alleviate offensive smells that might cause your cat to go elsewhere in the home.

If these solutions don't work, continue to switch kitty litters until your cat finds a smell of kitty litter they like to go in best. This is important because many cats are sensitive to different types of kitty litter scents, textures, and smells and if they don't like their kitty litter, they won't use the kitty litter box to relieve themselves.

Finally, if your cat is having a hard time going to the bathroom, or is in pain or crying a lot, always consult your local veterinarian immediately, because many medical problems can also be a reason for why your cat will no longer use the cat box.

How to Clean Up Cat Litter Box Accidents

Once you have determined the problem for why your cat wasn't using the cat box, always use a black light to locate the glowing urine stains around the home the cat created.

Then, after putting on your rubber gloves, use clean paper towels to follow the directions on the back of a commercially available urine cleaner and odor remover to thoroughly clean up the urine stained areas on the floors and walls around the home.

Alternatively, if you only have one or two fresh stains to clean up, you can also use items from around the home to clean up these little "accidents." To do this, after putting on your rubber gloves, use a clean paper towel to quickly blot up the urine on the floor. Next, use a mixture of 1 part warm water to 1 part white vinegar and carefully sprinkle this solution over the urine stain on the floor. Allow the solution to sit on the stain for approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Then, use a clean paper towel to gently blot up the remaining urine and the water and vinegar solution until most of the moisture has been soaked up by the paper towel.

Next, eliminate any remaining odors by lightly sprinkling a small amount of baking soda over the stained area. Allow the area to completely dry with the baking soda on it.

Finally, vacuum the stained area on the floor until the carpet is clean and free of the previous stain.

By investigating the source of your cats behavioral change and cleaning up all of the scents of urine around the home where the cat box is NOT located, you will have a much higher success rate at keeping your cat in the kitty litter box when it's time for him to go.

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