My 1 year old cat won't use his litter pan

  • My 1 year old Male cat has decided he doesn't need to use his litter pan and can just go anywhere and doesn't even try to cover it!  What can I do to get him to use his litter pan?

  • Hi there Sheryl, I am sorry to hear about this.

    I know this can be an incredibly frustrating issue to deal with.

    Firstly, I'd want to ensure he is neutered. If not, this will be the cause as he will have a desire to mark his territory and mark his scent.

    If he is, his behaviour could be due to a medical issue (such as FLUTD) or stress.


    I'd try to determine if anything stressful happened before this behaviour started e.g. a new pet or person in the home, or moving home.

    If he is an anxious boy, I'd consider using a Feliway plug in and perhaps starting him on some daily calming supplements that are mixed in with food.


    The rule of thumb is that there should be one tray per cat and one extra. So there should be 2 right now if he is the only cat.

    Trays need to be in areas of the home with low foot traffic, where he has privacy.

    He may prefer to use a tray with a roof.


    Cats are often incredibly fussy and won't use a tray because it is dirty, so keeping the trays as clean as possible will help.

    If you cannot do this reglarly, I'd invest in a self cleaning tray.


    Some cats have a litter preference, so the answer can be as simple as changing the type of litter you use.


    Ensure he has all of his own resources and plenty of spaces she can go to be alone when needed.

    This means a food and water bowl that are not close to each other or to the litter tray, a cat tree, a scratching post, a window from which she can see the outside world, toys, cat nip, food puzzles etc.


    All 'accidents' should be promptly cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner, to eliminate the odour and prevent re-soiling.

    We should never tell him off for accidents, as this increases anxiety and makes things worse.


    For further reading, this resource is very good:



    Finally, a vet check is wise so we can examine him and analyse his urine, in case there is a medical issue which needs addressing.

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