Just putting a litter box out doesn’t mean your cat will actually use it. So if you’re having trouble getting your cat to use a litter box, rest assured that Dr. Carly Patterson, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, says the two main causes for litter box problems are behavioral or medical.

“Medical problems may predispose a cat to change urination habits, whether it is due to underlying pain or the increased volume of urine produced…” Patterson said.

“Marking behavior is characterized by a cat in a standing posture with the tail raised. Usually, the cat will spray back against an object and the tail may flicker slightly as a small amount of urine is sprayed,” she said. “In contrast, cats observing normal elimination habits will typically dig before fully emptying their bladder or bowels in a squatting position…”

To learn more about why your cat might be having problems using a litter box, click here.

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