Not Using His Litter Box? Avoiding It?


Cats are one of the cleanest pets you could ask for. They are fastidious about cleanliness and toilet habits.
So why would kitty not use the perfect box you set up for him?



Later, see Better Litter Box — make your own easily and cheaply.


How You Can Easily Correct f Common Human Errors

# 5. When kitty is older, make sure there are no stairs to climb.


# 4. Move box away from disturbances, such as dogs and young children


# 3. Move box so it's not near water and food dishes.


# 2. Try a different litter. Avoid scented litter or scented sprays or scented bleach. Many scents are repellant to many cats.


# 1. Here's the all-too-frequent reason for kitty to eliminate outside his box. Some people don't want to believe it's true in their house.

To kitty's nose, his litter box stinks horribly. It reeks of old feces and urine..maybe several day's old, maybe over a week old!


To be blunt, to his extremely sensitive nose his litter box is smelling the same to him as these two rotten human "toilets" would reek to your nose and mine. Can you imagine the stench?

Filthy human pit toilet
Filthy human flush toilet

But how can this be? Your litter box isn't anywhere as filthy and neglected as these two "hell holes."


You may say, "This is ridiculous. MY litter box doesn't look or smell anything like these foul places must."

Of course they don't. Not to YOUR nose. But to kitty's nose, don't be too sure. Consider this.


Yes, How Can This Be True?


Because kitty has 60-80 million olfactory cells

compared to our puny 5-20 million cells.

Number of human nose sensors blank spacerNumber of kitty nose sensors


Our nose is almost "dead" in comparison to his. He smells the strong stench of urine and feces and ammonia at such a low intensity where we smell nothing.


"Experts believe that cats utilize their sense of smell as the primary way of interacting with their environment." ("Your Cat's Sense of Smell," Cat Watch, Vol. 10, No. 11, November, 2006. Cornell Univ. College of Veterinary Medicine)


to HIm is stinks

His human owner didn't scoop daily, and didn't discard the litter totally once each week, replacing it with all fresh litter, and thoroughly wash or bleach the box (or if a liner was used, remove and replace the liner with a fresh one).





B: The litter is being changed totally once each week, scooped daily, and the box is being washed without scented cleaner (or the liner is being replaced)

It has a cover on it

a shroud


in human terms


Which of these toilets would you avoid, if you had a choice?

closed outhouse Open bathroom clean bathroom





obvious answer = you'd avoid the one that's covered and confined, rather than open with natural open ventilation, and flushed daily.


A COVERED LITTERBOX can produce equally foul and repulsive smells to your friend as closed toilets do to you, but many times more stinky because of his senstive nose.

Kitty litter boxes can't be flushed; they can only get a complete change of litter and be washed (or have the liner replaced).


Do you think your human toilet might stink horribly after two or three days if it weren't flushed? Put it inside a closet (equivalent to a covered litter box) and the stench would be magnified even more.


Perhaps your covered box is different because you empty it all and wash or bleach it every 48 hours…or perhaps it has a motorized fan ventilation exhaust on it…If not, don't be surprised if your kitty finally rebels and goes elsewhere in the house, in a more open, ventilated area that doesn't stink -- to HIS nose.



So What to Do Instead?  I don't want to look at that litter box.


Covered litter boxes are marketed today as "attractive" and as "furniture." No mention is made of whether this is best for kitty. Sometimes it is suggested that he gets privacy, which sounds good on the surface, but it forgets to mention the serious negatives.


We all want our homes to be attractive to ourselves and our guests. But a covered box is often another example of a product sold to satisfy the human without considering what's best for the one who actually uses it.




They are typically too small: the top of covered box is usuallly too low and kitty must bend the tail at the base. They also have too small a "floor" area. It is too cramped. None of this is good.

See Better Litter Box — make your own easily and cheaply.



The good news is that you can have an open box, yet have it out of sight too.





He gets what he needs You get what you want

you win .. kitty wins


Here's a commercial example. OR Make your own (Instructions for a larger one coming here soon.)


And change litter completely each week,and wash/bleach or use a new liner. Scoop clumps daily. See Near-Perfect Litter for something lightweight, clumping, and inexpensive, that may be better than what you're using now.


See Better Litter Box — easy and inexpensive


James D. Richardson

-Volunteer of the Year Award 2006
Chautauqua County Humane Society

-Supporting member since 1999
Cornell Feline Health Center

Please come back soon.

animation of kitty running and snoozing

copyright 2006 james d.richardson


5214 Thumb Road, Dewittville, NY 14728



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