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Articles and Advice from our Pet Expert

How do I get my cat to use the litter box in our new house?


We recently moved into a new house and bought new furniture. My 5 year old cat won't go near the laundry room where her litter box is. I finally kept her downstairs in the family room at night where so far she has been good about going in the litter box.

I tried enzyme sprays that my friends recommended, but to no avail. She was used to roaming the house, and now if she is upstairs I have to watch or she will go to that area and go...what can I do?

Thanks so much,



Hi Cathy!

Sorry to hear you're kitty is having trouble using her litter box consistently. But you are not alone! It's a rather common feline challenge, but one that is not always easy to fix.

Inappropriate elimination can be caused by medical conditions or behavioral problems. But cats also may go outside the box when they dislike their litter or if the box is dirty. They can even develop this problem due to stress from changes in their household, such as a new pet, or moving to a new home. It sounds like this might be the case in your situation.

I recommend that you take her to see your family veterinarian so that he or she can rule out the possibility of a medical condition causing the unwanted behavior. However, if your cat has changed her behavior due to your recent move, she may need behavior modification, which is a time-consuming process. It will require lots of love on your part, patience and determination. Your vet can guide you through the process and suggest helpful outside resources.

In the meantime, locate her litter box in a quiet area with little house traffic. It's possible that the previous box locations were stressful for her, or very much unlike where her box was located at your previous home.

Good luck. With love and patience and guidance from your veterinarian, your problem can be solved.

Kristen Buck60x60

Written by:
Kristen Levine, Pet Lifestyle Expert

October 19, 2009

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