If your cat has recently decided not to use the litter box, this can create a lot of stress for both of you. This frequently happens, and often there is a simple fix for the problem.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when this happens:
1. Are you changing the litter daily?
2. Is the box easily accessible to your cat?
3. Have you recently added a new cat to your family?
4. Is the food and/or water dish too close to the box?
5. Have you changed brands of litter?
6. Are you using a new litter disinfectant?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, try changing back to the way it was done before the problem occurred.
Here are a few suggestions that may help:
1. If you have more than one cat, consider providing a box for each cat. Some cats don't like to share.
2. Make sure you haven't moved the box to a location that may have frightening noises.
3. Experiment with a new litter?cats seem to prefer a sand like texture.
4. If the cat has chosen to eliminate outside the box, and has chosen only one spot for this, move the litter box to that spot. You can gradually move the litter box back to the new location a little each day.
5. If the cat has chosen to eliminate in several locations, try putting dishes of cat food in those locations to discourage them.
6. If you have a cat that stands in the litter box but eliminates outside of it, try using a covered litter box.
7. Check with a janitor supply store for a product called uric acid neutralizer. It contains an enzyme that neutralizes the acid and eliminates the smell.
8. Consider a visit to the vet. Often there is a medical reason for this type of behavior change.
It's possible there is an emotional basis for the change in your cat's behavior. Has your cat recently been under a lot of stress? Things like surgery, illness and new pets in the house can all cause stress.
One or more of the above suggestions should help eliminate this problem. Above all, do not yell at your cat or punish him. A calm approach and a willingness to try different things will keep both you and your FurrKid happy!