SebastianS asked in PetsCats · 7 years ago

Should I worry that my cat won't use the litter box? And, what can I do about it?

Over the last week we got our first snow fall. It was nothing big -- just an inch or two -- but it, and the cold was enough to keep my cats inside. Up until that point, they were spending a big part of the day, and night, outside.

One cat was a feral kitten, the other a stray, and both are very fussy about territory. Back when I kept them inside (different times), each was very fussy about using the litter box -- fussing to bury any leavings, etc. The cats have been out and about for a year now, and a very particular about where they do their business outside -- in the good weather they would travel at least a few gardens away to do anything, and would certainly never do anything in my garden. Now both are stuck inside, and they are together, and they are having a problem reverting back to using their litter boxes.

The female is not so bad -- she will use the litter box -- but, still will only go when she absolutely has to. The tom just will not use the litter box. He will wait several, even 12, hours before forcing himself outside to brave the wind and snow to find a place to pee or poop.

Should I be concerned? And, what, if anything, can I do to ease these guys back into using the litter box(es)?

Btw, I have two litter boxes, side by side, in a room dedicated to the cats. Both cats will eat the food and drink the water in this room, and will use the climbing tree, but, when it comes to the litter boxes, the tom just will not use them. Also, it is just not practical to put a litter box anywhere else, and I do not think it would help RE the tom -- if he is not going to use the existing setup, he will not use a litter box, period.

It is going to get a lot colder and snowier over the next few months. Will my tom break down and just do it, or could I be looking at an eventual health crisis caused by his holding on too long?


Both cats are fixed. And they have had no problem with having food and litter boxes in the same room -- they are far enough apart.

That is a good point about the scent, but I am not sure this is the case. The male will actually bury the females poop better -- he feels she is not being careful enough. Also, I would think that if one cat had a problem with another cat's urine or feces, then he would not want to eat in that room either.

I really this the male's reluctance to the litter box has more to do with his desire to protect himself and the other cat -- I think his instinct is that too much waste is going to attract a predator, so, while she is using the litter box, HE will not do so.

5 Answers

  • CF_
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Tom means your male cat is not neutered so the first thing would be to neuter him and that might help eliminate the risk of him spraying/marking indoors.

    Use non-scented clumping as that tends to be the most natural cat litter and one he would likely use.

    YES they can have problems from holding it too long but typically they would just pee somewhere.

    Where I am I also have a cat that does not like to use the litter box and "holds it" so I make sure he goes out later after supper and comes in before bed - but he still wants out first thing in the morning too!

    Even on a cold day he will be okay to go out for short periods of time in the morning and evening. But still hopefully he will use the litter eventually. Mine hasn't really but I am not too worried.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    The best thing to do is move your other cats litter box food scratcing post to a different room like a bathroom, bedroom, laundryroom or something like that. Sounds like the cats dont like the sent from each other's litterbox try to find somewhere else to put it.

  • Leo D
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Cats dont eat and poop in the same area. Their sense of smell is sensitive, much more so than dogs.

    feed in anothrr area.

    schedule outdoor visits for your tom 6-8 hours apart. They can hold that long.

    gradually, they will use the box or brave the cold, which wont hurt them.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Press his face into it next time he does it.

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  • 7 years ago

    I eat hamsters!

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