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Why does not my cat use the sandbox?

Feline behavior makes cats an independent and genuine pets, which can sometimes mean that the owners do not easily understand certain behaviors or interpret them erroneously.

One of the most common feline behavior problems is not to use the sandbox to perform the depositions, which in many cases the owners interpret as a vengeful behavior on the part of the cat (for example, when he has spent a lot of time alone), but this is wrong, since this attitude is not typical of a feline and also, they do not have an unpleasant conception of their physiological waste.

When we ask why the cat does not use the sandbox we must analyze the different possible causes, ranging from a hygiene problem to a pathological disorder.

The cleaning of the sandbox

If there is something that characterizes cats, it is their continuous need for hygiene, hence they can spend several hours per day grooming, therefore, we must understand that a hygienic environment is one of the needs that our cat claims as a priority.

If our cat makes its depositions out of the box we must supervise the hygiene of the sandbox, being necessary that we clean it twice a day and that we remove all the sand once a week, proceeding also on a weekly basis to a more thorough cleaning of the box, with soap and water.

We should not confuse these basic hygienic measures with the use of perfumed sand, since in this case, this may be the reason why our cat does not use the sandbox, as it may feel uncomfortable with certain types of odors caused by chemical additives.

The location of the sandbox

Si the cat does not use the sandbox Another possible cause may be the location of the same, it is true that as owners we do not want to have the deposit box of our cat in a central place in the house, something that our pet does not need at all, but we must not move too far the sandbox , since this would not be attractive for the cat.

We must find a intimate and quiet place Obviously, we should not place the sandbox in front of the wall, but it is much more advisable that our cat can have eye contact with the cat. all the space available in the room.

When placing the sandbox we must also avoid those spaces where there may be cold air currents, because if this is the case our cat will not feel comfortable and will not use this space.

A possible pathology

If we ask ourselves why our cat does not use the sandbox one of the causes that we should discard as a priority es the illness. Some pathological disorders can cause a malfunction of the kidneys or kidney inflammation, which causes pain to the cat, which associates the sandpit with physical discomfort and therefore avoids its use. This problem is relatively simple to identify since we will observe that our pet moans and complains while it is making its needs.

Show of anger

Indeed, cats sometimes They express their discomfort and anger urinating in places of the house that are not suitable. It can happen if you spend many hours alone, after a move, the adoption of a second cat or a traumatic experience. Discover why your cat urinates everywhere.

Lack of learning

Has your cat never learned to use the sandbox? Whether it’s a puppy or an adult, do not worry, even if it takes more time, it’s always possible to educate your feline and teach him how to use the sandbox. Of course, you must be very patient throughout the process, follow the guidelines correctly and use positive reinforcement to learn faster and understand you.


It is important to learn to differentiate urine from marking. This type of behavior problem is more frequent in cats that are not sterilized and that live with other felines or circulate near what they consider their territory. It is small drops on furniture, walls and floor. Discover what to do if a cat marks territory.

Tips for a good use of the sandbox

Here are some tips that will allow your cat to properly use your sandbox. If you follow these simple guidelines you can get your cat to use the sandbox without major difficulties:

  • Before considering that it is a problem of behavior go to your veterinarian to rule out any health problem. You can also go to a veterinarian specializing in ethology (science that studies animal behavior) as it will help you better assess if it is a problem behavior.
  • Your cat must have a sandbox that occupies approximately 1,5 times its size.
  • The sand should occupy approximately 4 centimeters in height in the drawer.
  • The cat can carry out its needs outside the sandbox by a territorial behavior, so if you have more than one cat it is advisable that each one has its own sandbox.
  • Performs a frequent and constant cleaning of the sandbox.
  • Do not clean urine from outside the sandbox with bleach or ammonia, bet on enzymatic products, such as “Sanytol”, which eliminate the traces of urine at 100%.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why does not my cat use the sandbox?, we recommend that you enter in our behavior problems section.

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