behaviour tips for cats

Preventing Litter Box Issues

Some cats may have specific litter box preferences, or refuse to use the litter box. Below are some important factors to take into consideration to prevent litter box issues, and what to do if your cat stops using one. 


  • The number of litter boxes you have in the home is important. The rule of thumb is to have 1 box per cat plus an additional one. So if you have 1 cat, you should have 2 boxes. 2 cats = 3 boxes. Some cats may not want to use just 1 box for both urine and feces, and multiple boxes will also help prevent multiple cats guarding 1 box. 

  • The size of the litter box is crucial. Every cat is unique in their build/size. Cats need to be able to climb into, stand, and spin around in a box comfortably. Litter boxes should be 1 ½ times the length of your cat from the nose to the base of the tail. Click here for more info on choosing the best litter box for your cat.

  • The type/amount of litter matters! 2-3 inches of soft, unscented clumping litters are typically preferred by most cats. Cats don’t like strong scents, so staying away from scented and overly dusty litters is best. Other types of litters may be clay, or pine pellets. Check out this guide on types of litter. 

  • Location, location, location! Cats are very vulnerable in their boxes, and it’s best they are away from loud noises and lots of traffic. Basements and laundry rooms are a popular choice but not recommended. A quiet, clean area not against a wall with an easy escape route is best. Click here for more information on where to put the litter box. 

  • Cleanliness is key! Keeping the litter box clean will help ensure your cat wants to use it. You wouldn’t use a public toilet that’s filthy. Cleaning the box 1-2 times a day while changing the litter once a week is important. 

**FUN FACT! Most cats aren’t keen on traditional litter boxes, and actually prefer a large, plastic under-the-bed clothes storage box! Here is an example!