Pet Snuggles


Powered by Valhalla and Gatsby Gatsby

WordPress logo+ Rendered server-side using data from WordPress.

Reasons your cat has stopped using the litter box

Invalid Date

Cats are notorious for their finicky preferences, but they can also be creatures of predictable habits. How a cat uses its litter box is often one of those predictable habits, and knowing why your cat has stopped using the litter box can help you better understand your pet’s behavior, needs, and preferences.

Rule Out Health Reasons

There are many health-related reasons why a cat may stop using its litter box. Because different conditions from simple urinary tract infections or arthritis to more serious diseases such as diabetes, bladder stones, feline interstitial cystitis, and different cancers can change a cat’s litter box habits, it is important to consult a veterinarian right away if your cat’s potty habits change. This will rule out any medical issues or identify a course of treatment if necessary before your cat’s health deteriorates dangerously.

Other Reasons Why Cats Refuse a Litter Box

There are many non-health reasons why a cat may stop using a litter box. If your pet’s health isn’t the cause of litter box behavior, consider these other factors and which ones may be causing difficulties.

  • Not Enough Litter Boxes
    Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in another. If only one litter box is available, the cat may turn to potted plants, carpeting, or quiet corners to do its business. Similarly, some cats prefer not to share litter boxes, so if you have more than one cat, you should have more than one litter box so every animal has its own private space.
  • Uncomfortable Litter
    A cat’s paws are very sensitive, and litter that doesn’t feel right can make the cat avoid the litter box. This could be because of the litter’s size or texture, especially if you have recently switched litter brands. A heavily scented litter may also be too strong for a cat’s nose and could cause it to move its bathroom business elsewhere.
  • Improper Box Size
    A litter box should be large enough for the cat to comfortably turn and scratch while still feeling as if it can escape if threatened. Litter boxes that were a great size for a kitten may be too small for an adult cat, or a litter box in a tight corner or confined space may make the cat feel too enclosed to use the box appropriately.
  • Lack of Privacy
    Cats will not feel comfortable using a litter box in a noisy, high traffic area or very public space in the home. Cats feel vulnerable when eliminating, and the box should be in a somewhat sheltered, private area where they feel secure but not so enclosed that they may feel trapped or intimidated.
  • Dirty Box
    A dirty litter box can be off-putting for a cat, and they may stop using a box if it is not cleaned and refreshed regularly. This is especially true if multiple cats are using the box and it will collect odors much more quickly.
  • Household Changes
    Different disruptions to a cat’s daily routine can affect its litter box habits because of anxiety or stress. Adding a new pet to the home, moving, renovations, changing mealtimes, or even just rearranging furniture could disrupt a cat enough to change its litter box use.

Making the Litter Box Cat-Friendly

Regardless of why a cat may stop using its litter box, there are simple tricks to help make the box more appealing and avoid unwanted accidents in other parts of your home. To help your cat feel comfortable using the litter box…

  • Choose a box that is the right size for the cat. Avoid styles with covers that can seem too confining, and be sure the sides are low enough for the cat to enter easily.
  • Have multiple litter boxes available in different areas that will be safe and comfortable for your cat to visit. If the box has to be moved, do so slowly so the cat can more easily switch places.
  • Position the litter box or boxes away from the cat’s food and water bowls. Most cats will not eliminate near where they eat or drink. A quiet, semi-private space is best.
  • Use the cat’s preferred litter or other litter box material, ideally choosing a clumping, unscented style. If you must switch litters, do so gradually so the cat can adjust to the change.
  • Avoid using large litter box liners. Plastic liners can crinkle and make a lot of noise that could spook a cat. If necessary, use a sheet or two of newspaper on the bottom of the box.
  • Keep litter just 1-2 inches deep. Cats need enough depth to scratch at the litter, but very deep litter can be uncomfortable and may discourage the cat from using it.
  • Clean the box often and thoroughly. This may mean scooping the litter multiple times each day, and completely scrubbing the box and replacing all the litter each week.
  • Clean up any out-of-box accidents quickly and thoroughly, using enzymatic cleaners to neutralize odors so cats are less likely to consider the spot appropriate for bathroom use.
  • Take steps to lower household stress and reduce the cat’s anxiety to ease its bathroom habits. A nervous cat is more likely to have accidents or change its litter box habits.

There may be many reasons why your cat has stopped using the litter box. By making the box as comfortable and stress-free as possible, you can discourage any non-box elimination and keep your cat happy without extra cleanups or behavioral problems.

It adds a new prose class that you can slap on any block of vanilla HTML content and turn it into a beautiful, well-formatted document:

<article class="prose">
  <h1>Garlic bread with cheese: What the science tells us</h1>
    For years parents have espoused the health benefits of eating garlic bread with cheese to their
    children, with the food earning such an iconic status in our culture that kids will often dress
    up as warm, cheesy loaf for Halloween.
    But a recent study shows that the celebrated appetizer may be linked to a series of rabies cases
    springing up around the country.
  <!-- ... -->

For more information about how to use the plugin and the features it includes, read the documentation.

What to expect from here on out

What follows from here is just a bunch of absolute nonsense I’ve written to dogfood the plugin itself. It includes every sensible typographic element I could think of, like bold text, unordered lists, ordered lists, code blocks, block quotes, and even italics.

It’s important to cover all of these use cases for a few reasons:

  1. We want everything to look good out of the box.
  2. Really just the first reason, that’s the whole point of the plugin.
  3. Here’s a third pretend reason though a list with three items looks more realistic than a list with two items.

Now we’re going to try out another header style.

Typography should be easy

So that’s a header for you — with any luck if we’ve done our job correctly that will look pretty reasonable.

Something a wise person once told me about typography is:

Typography is pretty important if you don’t want your stuff to look like trash. Make it good then it won’t be bad.

It’s probably important that images look okay here by default as well:

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old.

Now I’m going to show you an example of an unordered list to make sure that looks good, too:

  • So here is the first item in this list.
  • In this example we’re keeping the items short.
  • Later, we’ll use longer, more complex list items.

And that’s the end of this section.

What if we stack headings?

We should make sure that looks good, too.

Sometimes you have headings directly underneath each other. In those cases you often have to undo the top margin on the second heading because it usually looks better for the headings to be closer together than a paragraph followed by a heading should be.

When a heading comes after a paragraph …

When a heading comes after a paragraph, we need a bit more space, like I already mentioned above. Now let’s see what a more complex list would look like.

  • I often do this thing where list items have headings.For some reason I think this looks cool which is unfortunate because it’s pretty annoying to get the styles right.I often have two or three paragraphs in these list items, too, so the hard part is getting the spacing between the paragraphs, list item heading, and separate list items to all make sense. Pretty tough honestly, you could make a strong argument that you just shouldn’t write this way.
  • Since this is a list, I need at least two items.I explained what I’m doing already in the previous list item, but a list wouldn’t be a list if it only had one item, and we really want this to look realistic. That’s why I’ve added this second list item so I actually have something to look at when writing the styles.
  • It’s not a bad idea to add a third item either.I think it probably would’ve been fine to just use two items but three is definitely not worse, and since I seem to be having no trouble making up arbitrary things to type, I might as well include it.

After this sort of list I usually have a closing statement or paragraph, because it kinda looks weird jumping right to a heading.

Code should look okay by default.

I think most people are going to use highlight.js or Prism or something if they want to style their code blocks but it wouldn’t hurt to make them look okay out of the box, even with no syntax highlighting.

Here’s what a default tailwind.config.js file looks like at the time of writing:

module.exports = {
  purge: [],
  theme: {
    extend: {},
  variants: {},
  plugins: [],

Hopefully that looks good enough to you.

What about nested lists?

Nested lists basically always look bad which is why editors like Medium don’t even let you do it, but I guess since some of you goofballs are going to do it we have to carry the burden of at least making it work.

  1. Nested lists are rarely a good idea.
    • You might feel like you are being really “organized” or something but you are just creating a gross shape on the screen that is hard to read.
    • Nested navigation in UIs is a bad idea too, keep things as flat as possible.
    • Nesting tons of folders in your source code is also not helpful.
  2. Since we need to have more items, here’s another one.
    • I’m not sure if we’ll bother styling more than two levels deep.
    • Two is already too much, three is guaranteed to be a bad idea.
    • If you nest four levels deep you belong in prison.
  3. Two items isn’t really a list, three is good though.
    • Again please don’t nest lists if you want people to actually read your content.
    • Nobody wants to look at this.
    • I’m upset that we even have to bother styling this.

The most annoying thing about lists in Markdown is that <li> elements aren’t given a child <p> tag unless there are multiple paragraphs in the list item. That means I have to worry about styling that annoying situation too.

  • For example, here’s another nested list.But this time with a second paragraph.
    • These list items won’t have <p> tags
    • Because they are only one line each
  • But in this second top-level list item, they will.This is especially annoying because of the spacing on this paragraph.
    • As you can see here, because I’ve added a second line, this list item now has a <p> tag.This is the second line I’m talking about by the way.
    • Finally here’s another list item so it’s more like a list.
  • A closing list item, but with no nested list, because why not?

And finally a sentence to close off this section.

There are other elements we need to style

I almost forgot to mention links, like this link to the Tailwind CSS website. We almost made them blue but that’s so yesterday, so we went with dark gray, feels edgier.

We even included table styles, check it out:

Bret “The Hitman” HartCalgary, ABSharpshooter
Stone Cold Steve AustinAustin, TXStone Cold Stunner
Randy SavageSarasota, FLElbow Drop
VaderBoulder, COVader Bomb
Razor RamonChuluota, FLRazor’s Edge

We also need to make sure inline code looks good, like if I wanted to talk about <span> elements or tell you the good news about @tailwindcss/typography.

Sometimes I even use code in headings

Even though it’s probably a bad idea, and historically I’ve had a hard time making it look good. This “wrap the code blocks in backticks” trick works pretty well though really.

Another thing I’ve done in the past is put a code tag inside of a link, like if I wanted to tell you about the tailwindcss/docs repository. I don’t love that there is an underline below the backticks but it is absolutely not worth the madness it would require to avoid it.

We haven’t used an h4 yet

But now we have. Please don’t use h5 or h6 in your content, Medium only supports two heading levels for a reason, you animals. I honestly considered using a before pseudo-element to scream at you if you use an h5 or h6.

We don’t style them at all out of the box because h4 elements are already so small that they are the same size as the body copy. What are we supposed to do with an h5, make it smaller than the body copy? No thanks.

We still need to think about stacked headings though.

Let’s make sure we don’t screw that up with h4 elements, either.

Phew, with any luck we have styled the headings above this text and they look pretty good.

Let’s add a closing paragraph here so things end with a decently sized block of text. I can’t explain why I want things to end that way but I have to assume it’s because I think things will look weird or unbalanced if there is a heading too close to the end of the document.

What I’ve written here is probably long enough, but adding this final sentence can’t hurt.