“Oh, man… I don’t even know where to start. But yes, my cat keeps knocking over the litter box and this has been happening for months. I’ve tried everything, but it just keeps happening. What’s up with that? Can you offer me some advice?”
This is exactly what one of my friends told me out of frustration.
Have you ever wondered exactly why your cat keeps tipping over the litter box? I have.
No matter how hard you try, your cat just won’t stop knocking over the litter box.
You’ve tried just about everything, from putting it next to the couch so that he could ambush it (I won’t ask you why you thought that this would work), to using a tighter lid, and even buying different types of litter.
Nothing has worked for long though and you’ve surrendered to a life of kitty accidents in the house now and then.
What a stinky situation…
Luckily I found an easy way to fix this problem and avoid having to wait in line at the grocery store for a new one.
Why Your Cat Keeps on Knocking Over the Litter Box
1. Poor Litter Box Management:
It’s your duty as a cat parent to manage your feline’s litter boxes correctly for him to feel comfortable.
If your cat hates how the boxes feel on his body, he will probably mess up outside the litter box.
These are some of the management issues that happen to people that make many cats spill litter outside the box onto the litter mat.
- The cat’s litter box is not cleaned thoroughly enough.
- The hood or liner of the litter boxes makes your furry friend more uncomfortable.
- Cats normally prefer one to two inches of newspaper pellets litter; if it’s too deep, your cat won’t like its feel on her paws and the cat’s behavior will change.
- The number of cat litter boxes isn’t enough for your household. Each cat should have its box to prevent any cat from guarding the cat litter box. More choices over limitations!
2. Litter Preference:
Your cat is susceptible to the environment thanks to its sharp sense of smell and touch.
They may influence your cat’s reaction to the kind of kitty litter you use in their boxes.
She can dislike the scent or feeling of a different litter such as silica gel crystals if she’s not accustomed to it.
3. Location Preference:
Where you locate your cat’s litter box in the house will influence your cat’s behavior towards the box.
If the location is excellent, your cat is likely to hang a lot in these floor areas.
Don’t be surprised to see your cat staying in the litter box for long; It’s a sign that maybe it’s her new safe bed space.
When the placement isn’t ideal for the cat, prepare to clean the litter that they throw on the floor.
4. Size of the Litter Box:
Having an extra-large cat use a small litter box size is an issue.
For your cat to turn around inside the box freely, you need to have a bigger box with high sides that accommodates the cat’s body.
If you fail to do so, it can lead to accidents around the area and reasons for litter spreading everywhere in the house.
5. Negative Memories from Past Experiences:
Memories do haunt your feline, especially if they are harmful memories.
If your cat was upset by something while using the litter box, she might panic every time she returns to the litter box.
Remember to have her checked by a veterinarian to ensure she’s healthy.
How do you Prevent Your Cat from Knocking over the Litter Box?
Even though cat spilling litter is a major setback, you can do something to solve this.
1. Clean the Litter Box Thoroughly:
Cats love their litter box clean, keeping it that way will significantly reduce the spreading of litter. You should find a cleaning routine that you can keep up with.
Avoid touching the poop using your hands as you do the dirty work for obvious reasons.
Make sure that you scoop the cat waste completely of the litter box at least once a day.
If your litter box absorbs odor, you should try steel litter boxes since they don’t absorb the scent, and they last longer.
2. Use a Litter That Your Cats Prefer:
Giving your cat various types of litter that they hate contributes to their unhappiness. If your cats hate the litter, they will keep on messing it up.
The perfect way to resolve this problem is by experimenting and seeing the type of litter your cats prefer.
If you have information that your cat has experience with a particular litter, stick to that menu.
It would be best if you tried soft litter with small partials since most cats enjoy them and the feel on their paws.
It’s common for most cat owners to see their cats rolling in the litter box, usually because of the litter’s texture. Other felines turn this into a bed.
Trying litter with different textures can be the solution to solve the problem in most cats.
3. Make A Few Changes to the Litter Box:
When you keep on changing the litter box and its contents, your cats will feel uncomfortable.
You should give them time to adjust after making any changes…..to make it work.
Before they get comfortable in their business, it’s common for them to spread more litter around the edge.
It would assist if you made gradual changes to the litter box to make your cats adjust fast.
4. Get A Litter Box That Fits Your Cat:
Having a litter box that is too small or too large will make your cats uncomfortable.
Lack of comfort makes your felines conduct their business quickly, spreading the litter outside the box.
You can solve the problem by simply getting the right sized litter box, with high sides to avoid spillage.
The litter box should allow your cat to move inside it freely.
Upgrading to a litter box with tall walls and high sides can also help prevent your cat from flinging the litter over the edge.
5. Avoid Punishing Your Cat:
Punishing your cats for making a mess with the litter box won’t help at all.
When you discipline your cat instead of correcting the problem, it will associate the litter box with punishment.
This leads to a bad relationship between you and your cats and even your veterinarian might not help.
The next thing you’ll see is one cat staring at the litter box with fear instead of using it to eliminate it.
Your cats always have a reason why they keep on knocking over the litter box. Taking your time and observing your cat can give you clues and ways to resolve the problem.
Make sure that you play with your cats enough, and they will find the litter box as their least favorite playing area.
How do I stop my cat from spreading the litter box?
- First, make sure there’s enough litter in your box. Cats don’t like to feel as though there’s not enough room for their paws to land when they’re digging. If there’s not enough litter in the box, cats will be more likely to try and find another spot to bury their waste.
- Second, get a litter box with a lid on top. Lids can help contain odors as well as excess dust. Some even come with an air filter!
- Get a bigger box. It should be at least 1.5 times longer than the cat’s body length, which will give them plenty of room to dig and cover without kicking litter all over the place.
- Try changing the type of litter you’re using. Some varieties are more finely textured than others and may stick better to your kitty’s paws, causing less scattering as they leave the litter box.
- Add another box in a different location
- Keep your boxes clean on a regular schedule. First, keep the box clean: scoop at least once daily, and change out all of the litter once a week. Litter boxes can get stinky, so if you keep them fresh, there’s less of a chance that your cat will want to spread. Cats prefer a clean bathroom too!
Why do cats mess outside their litter box?
- The type of litter isn’t right for them: Cats prefer a finer texture for their litter than we do. While clay litter can be good for covering up odors your cats may hate the litter. Try transitioning your cat to an alternative like pine pellets or paper pellets instead.
- Stress or anxiety. Stress can cause a cat to eliminate outside of their litter box. This can be caused by many things, from moving, to a new pet, to loud noises. If your cat feels threatened by something that’s going on around them, then they may want to go somewhere else where they feel safer and more comfortable.
- Medical problems: If your cat is having health issues such as feline lower urinary tract disease, he may avoid using the box because he associates it with the pain while peeing.
- “Bad” litter box location: Cats like privacy when they go potty and some will use an area close by if their designated spot is in a place where there is too much traffic or noise going on around them when they do their business (this includes other pets).
So the fact is, your cat simply doesn’t think that he’s doing anything wrong.
These problems can be difficult to solve, but if your cat is litter box trained and the box itself is up to snuff, you might be surprised at how easy it is to manage this problem.
If you’re still having issues even after trying out everything listed above, make it a point to contact your veterinarian for some customized advice.
They may be able to prescribe you something that will help your kitty with their litter box mishaps.
They may even want to examine your cat firsthand to make sure that they don’t have a more serious issue at hand.
Cats can be sensitive little beasts and they will often react badly when they are not feeling 100% content.
Be patient, implement the strategies outlined and enjoy living with your kitty!