Litter Box Basics: How NOT To Deal With Litter Box Problems

Dealing with litter box problems can be frustrating and confusing for you and for your cat as well. If you’re patient, kind, and understanding, you can find a solution that works for both of you. If you’re not, the problem will just get worse.

Here are four things you should never, ever do when trying to solve a litter box problem:

1. Never yell, scream, or shout at the cat
Throwing a temper tantrum may or may not work with the humans in your life – and if that’s your modus operandi for dealing with life’s difficulties, cat poop is the least of your problems – but it will absolutely never, ever work with a cat.

The cat will simply be traumatized and terrified. He won’t understand what’s wrong, he won’t know why you’re angry, and all you will manage to do is make him afraid of you. And if you do it often enough, he will hate to see you coming; he’ll hide from you, cower in your presence, and avoid you at all costs. But he won’t ever get the message about the box, and the problems will continue.

In fact the more hysterical you get, the more litter box problems you’re going to have.

The only thing that losing your temper with a cat will achieve is to absolutely ruin any chances that you and the cat will have the loving relationship you both want.

2. Never rub the cat’s nose in her own feces or urine
Cat’s aren’t stupid. They will react to this exactly the same way a person would react to it – with shock and outrage. They will feel abused and humiliated … and they won’t understand in the least why this person they love is doing such a terrible thing to them. Think about it – would you try to toilet train a child by rubbing their nose in their own diaper? Rubbing a cats nose in his own feces is exactly as effective as that would be. Why would anyone even think of doing such a thing?

3. Never, EVER hit or kick the cat
See above. Not only is it utterly ineffective, it’s stupid, pointless, and cruel.

4. Never carry the cat to the litter box, plop him in it, and hold his paws and make digging actions
Many kind and well-meaning cat owners think this is the way to give the cat the idea that they’re supposed to poop in the litter box. Unfortunately, the cat has no idea what you’re trying to accomplish and will almost certainly be alarmed, frightened, and frantic to get away.