Our cat stopped using its litter box. She will now target a left-out blanket or coat.
– Carl, Oak Park, Illinois
You don’t leave me a lot of bread crumbs to follow, but I think I can still help you.
Litter box problems are common and often the result of several combining factors, from where the litter box is placed and the type and depth of litter being used to someone accidentally scaring the cat near the box and thus, the cat is forever afraid to go back to the box. Your cat could also have a urinary infection. In fact, sometimes the only way you know a cat has a urinary infection is that he or she stops using the litterbox and begins using blankets, clothing, and any other material left on the floor.
Take your little girl to the veterinarian to make sure she is okay. It could be as simple as getting her on antibiotics. If she’s healthy, add a second litter box someplace else in the home until you figure out what’s happening with the first box. You can also buy a litter box attractant online or at pet stores to entice her back to the box.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, children’s author, syndicated pet columnist, and pet expert with more than 30 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal