Why Cats Stop Using The Litter Box

Why Cats Stop Using The Litter Box

Cats like to be clean and don’t stop using the litter box out of spite. If your cat stopped using the litter box or is missing the target, there is probably a good reason behind her change in behavior.

Medical Issues

When a cat stops using the litter box it could indicate a serious medical issue. It is important to take your cat to a veterinarian. You should expect urine and blood tests during your visit. Here are just a few of the medical reasons a cat might stop using the litter box.

  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Partially Blocked Urethra
  • Diabetes
  • Constipation
  • Stress
  • Allergies

Naughty catPreferences

Some cats like their litter boxes a certain way.

  • A dirty litter that has not been scooped enough can cause a cat that prefers a clean bathroom to stop using it and opt for a cleaner option.
  • A recent liter change can cause an unfamilar bathroom environment that makes your cat unsure about using it. Your cat might not like the smell, the type of litter might be irritating in some way or the texture might not feel right to their paws.


If you have multiple cats, it is possible that one of the cats is being territorial over the litter box and preventing the other cat from reaching or peacefully using the litter box. You may need to add another litter box in a different area, so your cat can always find one that is unguarded.

Big cat, small box

If you have a big cat and the litter box is too small, your cat might not be able to successfully get its full body in the box.

Older Cat Missing The Target

As cats get older, sometimes they lose some of their mobility and start hitting the wall instead of aiming downward. An easy fix for this situation is a high walled litter box or turning a high walled storage container into a litter box.