5 Litter Box Tips for Litter Box Issues

As much as your cat embraces the creature comforts of living and lounging inside, your domesticated kitty still has many of the same instincts as wild cats — especially around survival. If you’re dealing with litter box issues, it may be because of this: a wild cat’s bathroom sites leave them vulnerable to predators. So, if your favourite feline is testing your patience by going outside of the box, here are 5 tips that can make them feel safe when going inside their box.

1.Keep Food, Water and Litter Separated

Wild cats separate their bathroom sites from their eating and drinking sites to prevent bacteria from getting into their food and water. In fact, they prefer to drink away from their food, to make sure bacteria from their meal (like a dead bird) doesn’t mix with their water. So, separate your cat’s food, water and litter box locations to help prevent issues.


However, if your kitty does go outside the box, put their water and food bowls on top of the inappropriate spot; it can stop them from associating the location with the bathroom — and therefore, stop them from repeating the behaviour.

2.Remember: Clean is Good

Out in the wild, cats don’t want predators to know where they are, so clean-smelling bathroom sites are important to their survival. This instinct is still inside your cat, so keeping the litter box clean is key to her using it. Scoop litter at least once a day to help control odour.

3.Have More Litter Boxes for More Cats

Using multiple bathroom sites in nature is another survival instinct that helps cats stay safe from predators. You can mimic this behavior at home:


  • Have two litter boxes in separate locations for a single-cat household.

  • Have three boxes in at least two locations for a two-cat household; the rule of thumb is one litter box per cat, plus one extra.

  • Make sure you scoop boxes frequently — and use a litter with extra odour control

  • Empty and clean the entire litter box at least monthly, then replace with fresh litter.

4.Buy Larger Litter Boxes

Aside from trapping odours, covered cat litter boxes can also make cats fear being trapped by a predator as if they were out in the wild. That’s why cats prefer uncovered litter boxes over covered.


  •  Remove the cover of your cat’s litter box to help your cat feel safer, especially in a multi-cat household.

  •  Make sure litter boxes are large enough to allow your cats to cover their waste with fresh litter that is away from where they just soiled.

  •  You can tell if the litter box is too small or the litter is too dirty if your cat is pawing at the edge of the litter box, or the wall or floor.

  •  Maintain a proper litter depth of 3-4 inches as you clean, so your cat can satisfy her digging and covering instincts (another way they hide the evidence of their location).

5.Make Sure the Litter Box is Easily Accessible

Litter box locations should replicate closely what a cat does in the wild:


  •  Some cats prefer more hidden areas, while others prefer litter boxes that are more out in the open so they can see their territory — and keep on the lookout for predators.
  •  Regardless, make sure all litter boxes are easily accessible and in a low traffic area.

Just like wild cats, domesticated cats have survival instincts that drive their behavior. With these tips, you can respect their instincts and help stop litter problems that come up, so you have a happier cat — and a cleaner home.

With a variety of products to choose from, see which ARM & HAMMER™cat litter is right for your cat, and your home.

“Feline Behavior Problems: House Soiling.” Cornell Feline Health Center, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Web 21 Aug 2017. http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/brochure_housesoiling.cfm

Drake, Samantha. “Litter Box Training: Why Setup and Placement Matters.”Petmd.com. Web 21 Aug 2017.http://www.petmd.com/cat/care/litter-box-training-why-setup-and-placement-matters

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