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Cats/Cat refuses to use litter box


We have four cats, 2 boys, 2 girls, all spayed/neutered. The boys do all of their business outside, and one of the girls defecates outside and urinates inside. The other girl, Echo, about 3 years old, absolutely refuses to use the litter box. She never defecates in the house, only urinates - on the kitchen counter, on the bathroom rugs, on the couches - anywhere except the litter box. She is completely healthy, no urinary tract problems. I have been able to get her to go in the litter box once with a lot of coaxing and treats; she is not afraid of it or anything. I figured maybe she just wanted her own box, so I set one up in a completely separate area from the other box, and she still peed in the house. Then I tried putting a little bit of dirt in it from her favorite planter box in our yard, since she likes going outside and she was (kind of) a stray (we rescued her from the neighbor's terrier when she was 8 weeks old.) Still nothing. She will sniff the newer box, sit in front of it, but she won't put her feet in it. Actually, she kind of freaks out when I try to put her feet in it, unlike with the other box (even though she doesn't use it.) I've tried treats, petting, different litter, everything. But she still won't go in her litter box. Currently, the only solution is to cover up the couches and try to put her out at night, but that's not always easy to remember and I don't want to put her out now when it's below freezing at night. What can I do?

have you tried the confinement training method?

Some cats need this extra training especially when there are other cats in the home which can be a stressor doe some cats. Also trying those cat calming sprays can help some cats too. It may be worth trying both of these things for awhile to see if it can break the cycle that your cat has got into.

i have information about both of these things on these pages



best wishes Kate


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Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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