If you moved your cat’s litter box without following the proper steps (which are outlined here), you may have stressed out your cat or confused them. Although moving the litter box to a new room in the house doesn’t seem like a big deal to us, even the smallest changes in a cat’s world can cause stress.
Try the following steps to correct the situation.
Why isn’t your cat using the litter box in the new location?
The most common reason a cat who used to use the litter box and now won’t in its new location is simply because they don’t like the location you’ve chosen (for example, you’ve placed it in the garage).
It’s easy to think of our cats as animals that don’t have as high of standards as we do when it comes to going to the washroom. However, cats do have standards and because the litter box is such a big part of their lives (eat, sleep, play, potty are the basics of a cat’s life), they’ll hold you to those standards.
If you’ve moved the litter box someplace that’s more convenient for you because it’s out of sight out of mind, it’s likely less convenient for your cat.
Be sure to understand what cats need/want when it comes to litter box placement (use this article as a guide for the best and worst spots to put a litter box) and make the new location more suitable to those needs/wants or slowly move the litter box to a more acceptable location.
Also make sure you follow the steps in this article if you plan to move the litter box again.
Cats also don’t like change, so if you happened to move the litter box and change something about it (the box, the litter), that could also be part of the problem. If you’re going to make a change, only do so one element at a time until your cat adjusts.
TALK TO YOUR VET
Although moving the litter box is the most likely reason your cat is no longer using the litter box, the timing of moving it may have just coincided with the start of a health issue. There are many health issues that can lead to a cat not using their litter box so be sure to talk to your vet and take them in for a checkup.
MOVE IT BACK
If you only have one litter box in your home and your cat is currently urinating and defecating outside the litter box, you’ll want to correct that quickly. Try moving the litter box back to its old location and give your cat some time to start using it.
Once they’re using the litter box again, try the steps in this article to correctly move your cats litter box without having any accidents.
TRY A NEW LOCATION
If moving the litter box back to the old location isn’t possible (e.g. it was in a spare bedroom and now you have someone staying in there), try finding a new location.
Don’t move the litter box abruptly; slowly move it bit by bit, day by day so you don’t cause your cat any more stress or confusion. Again, have a read over this article to get a better understanding of where you might have gone wrong with the last move and how to correct it with this move.
Be sure to pick an appropriate new spot so you can get them using the litter box sooner than later, and don’t have to keep moving it to find the right location. This article will help you choose the right spot.
KEEP IT IN ITS CURRENT LOCATION
If you can’t, or don’t want to move the litter box from its currently location, try the following suggestions to see if it will help encourage your cat to start using it again.
TRY A SPRAY
Although you don’t want to make too many changes at once, like changing your cat’s litter, but it may also help to add a litter attractant to their existing litter.
If your cat is peeing in the litter box but not pooping, or vice versa, the following articles may be helpful:
Stress may be the cause of your cat not using the litter box, so do everything you can to reduce their stress. Spend more time with them, give them more affection, play with them more, etc.
It may even help to go to the area the litter box is, and play with your cat, or sit down and pet them, talk to them in a loving tone, and give them lots of attention and affection. This may help them associate “good” things with the new location, reduce their stress around it, and encourage them to use the litter box again.
CLEAN OTHER AREAS
When your cat isn’t using their litter box, they’re finding someplace else to go. If they’re not, it’s important to contact your vet right away, as lack of urination and bowel movements can be a sign of a serious health issue.
Any place your cat has urinated or defecated outside of the litter box, be sure to clean it really well with an enzyme cleaner. An enzyme cleaner will ensure you’re removing all smells, even the ones you can smell but your cat can. link
If your cat can smell their scent in a corner of the house or on the carpet, it will encourage them to continue eliminating there, instead of their litter box.
Use a good quality enzyme cleaner. This is a popular one among cat owners:
I hope this article has helped you determine what to do if you moved the litter box and now your cat won’t use it 🙂