Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.


Q. We have a female cat that has started to pee in the floor. She has been fixed for years but refuses to use her box.

Answered By
JESSICA L DESROSIERS

A. Sudden changes in litter box habits can be caused by a number of things. As with any sudden change in behavior, making sure your cat is healthy with a checkup from your vet is the first step. Common problems such as arthritis or even urinary tract infections may make a cat unable to use their box, or cause accidents to happen. Once the health issue has been addressed, you can also address the behavioral one. Cleaning with an enzymatic cleaner on accident spots will remove urine enzymes and deter cats from using the area again to go potty. For older cats with arthritis, using a box with lower sides or a ramp into it can help make getting in and out easier. If the litter has been changed recently to a different type, it may need to be switched back to the older litter and then gradually changed to the new as cats can be VERY picky about the litter type used. And lastly, making sure the box is clean and that food, water and bedding areas are not too close to the box can help encourage your cat to go appropriately.


DISCLAIMER: The answers in Ask petMD are meant to provide entertainment and education. They should not take the place of a vet visit. Please see our Terms and Conditions.

CAN'T FIND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR?

Ask an expert about your unique situation now FOR FREE!

IMPORTANT: The opinions expressed in Ask petMD content area are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. Our Ask petMD experts include veterinarians, vet techs, veterinary students, pet trainers, pet behaviorists and pet nutritionists. These opinions do not represent the opinions of petMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a petMD veterinarian or any member of the petMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, timeliness, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. petMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider petMD user-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on petMD.