Don’t you just love Siamese cats? They’re affectionate, talkative, and incredibly intelligent. They may not understand the concept of personal space, but we continue to adore them despite it.
Some things, however, can not be ignored or simply tolerated. This includes your Siamese not doing his business in the office.
When your cat decides not to use the litter box anymore, not only does it become a mess for you to clean up, it can actually be a sign that something much deeper is at play.
On the other hand, if you’ve brought a stray cat home, it’s only natural that they won’t know how to use a plastic box in the bathroom. In this case, it’s time to potty train them.
In this article, I’m going to share with you 7 things you can do when your Siamese won’t use their litter box. I’ll also guide you through training your kitten/stray on how to use a box.
So, let’s get into it!
Is it normal for a cat to not use a litter box?
Believe it or not, cats aren’t born with a little box attached to their bum. Much like babies, they have no clue what a potty is, and they just ‘go’ wherever they please.
Kittens learn where to go to the bathroom from their mothers. This happens around 4 weeks of age. You may not even notice the process, however, the kittens are always watching and learning.
If your kitten is learning from a housecat mother, chances are they’ll understand how to use a litter box straight away.
However, if they were born to a stray or one who has no experience with a litter box, neither mother nor children will know how to use a litter box. In this instance, it’s completely normal for your cat to not use a litter box.
If your cat has been using the litter box for several years or is well aware of how it works, then it is not normal for them to suddenly stop using it.
Urinating outside of the litter box is often referred to as ‘inappropriate elimination’ and there are a few reasons why this can happen.
Your Siamese could have a medical problem, could be experiencing territorial issues, or are simply unhappy with their litter box facilities. Either way, their refusal to use the litter box is their way of telling you something is wrong.
Many people think cats are just being spiteful or are trying to cause trouble, however, this isn’t the case. It’s your job to figure out what is wrong with them if you want to fix the issue.
I have multiple cats, which one has the problem?
It is very common for one or more cats in a multi-cat house to stop using the litter box. Not only do cats have a social hierarchy, but they also have outcasts too.
Every cat has a different personality, so it definitely isn’t one shoe fits all. However, it is normal for outcast kitties to spend a lot of their time hiding – whether this is perched in high places or simply out of the way of other cats.
This can make them become stressed, and in turn, cause them to mark their territory by spraying or urinating outside of the litter box.
Even if there is no outcast in your household, you must create a safe space for each of your kitties. You should always have at least one litter box for each cat (more on this later.)
First, however, we should identify which one of your Siamese kitties is the culprit.
I actually have two Siamese cats at home, and I also had a few problems with them not using the litter box. The issue was, I didn’t know which one!
I decided to separate the two for a while – placing them in different rooms with different litter boxes. Soon enough I found the culprit, as one had gone in the litter box and one had gone outside.
If you don’t have the extra space, you could always try setting up a kitty cam to see if you can catch them in action.
Is it an health issue?
Inappropriate elimination is often a sign that something much deeper is at play.
Just like us humans, they can be ‘caught short’ for a number of reasons. This can cause them to squat and go before they’re even able to reach the bathroom.
The best way to eliminate medical issues is to take your Siamese to the vets. There, they will be able to examine your kitty and rule out any physical issues that may be stopping them from using the litter box.
Here are 4 common issues that may be making your Siamese uncomfortable:
1. An upset stomach
We’ve all been there – eating food that probably shouldn’t have been eaten or consuming something that doesn’t sit right with our stomachs.
This can happen to Siamese cats too – usually when they experience a sudden change of diet. However, a continuation of an upset stomach can also be a red flag that something bigger is at play.
If your Siamese is producing soft feces, or ones covered in jelly or containing blood, this is a sign something is not quite right.
Your vet will check for signs of:
2. FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease)
FLUTD is the term used to cover a whole range of problems that relate to a cat’s bladder. This discomfort can cause cats to urinate immediately even if they don’t necessarily need to.
Some FLUTD problems include:
Signs of FLUTD include straining, voiding, and blood in the urine. Both males and females can be at risk of FLUTD, however, it is more common for males to develop life-threatening blockages.
3. Unusual amount of thirst
There are a number of medical reasons that cause your Siamese to drink more water. In turn, this will mean your Siamese will need to urinate much more often than normal. This urgency to use the bathroom can override the initial litter box training.
4. Old age and arthritis
Some kitties, especially the older ones, simply experience too much discomfort when it comes to using the litter box.
For example, a cat with arthritis will have trouble climbing in and out a deep tray, so will eventually give up. They may also link their pain to the litter box, therefore they will avoid using it to avoid pain.
7 Reasons why your Siamese is avoiding the litter box and things to do
Once you’ve ruled out any medical problems, it’s time to start exploring other areas of your Siamese’s life. You’ll have to watch your cat carefully to figure out when and why they are eliminating where they shouldn’t.
This will take a lot of patience, persistence, and understanding on your side. However, it is possible to get your Siamese to use the bathroom successfully again.
1. A Dirty Litter Box
A dirty litter box is the main reason a Siamese will quit using their toilet.
Keep in mind, cats have a nose 40 times more sensitive than yours. So, if you think the litter box smells unpleasant, think about how your Siamese feels!
If your feline decides the carpet is a much better place to eliminate, chances are it’s because it smells a lot nicer than their box.
Even the most domesticated cats have their natural instincts. These instincts tell them to cover their waste to avoid predators locating them – that’s why they’ll cover things up, even in their litter box.
So, a dirty litter box can make them feel vulnerable.
Clean the litter box often – that’s it!
Twice a day, you should scoop out their soiled litter and top it up with new. If you’re using regular clay litter, you should empty the entire tray and give it a good wash with soapy water every week.
Avoid using harsh chemicals. This can also be offensive to your Siamese, in turn worsening the problem.
If your kitty is picky, you may have to scrub the tray more than once a week. You could also try changing the litter you use – I recommend clumping litter.
Clumping litter will control the odor much better than clay litter, and it will also need less cleaning on your end.
Of course, if you have a multi-cat household, the litter trays may need cleaning more often. Scoop the tray at least one time a day to keep the cats happy!
2. A Change Of Litter
Cats are incredibly picky creatures – there’s no doubt about that. While you may be familiar with cats going off their food, they can also go off their litter if suddenly changed.
All cats have their individual personalities, likes, and dislikes. A litter that works for one may not work for another. This can become even more complicated once you have a multi-cat household.
Some litters may be highly perfumed to help us humans out with the smell.
As I mentioned before, cats have very sensitive noses. So while it may smell nice to us, it could be far too much for them. Some cats may not be bothered by this, others will avoid their box completely.
A way to get around this problem is to see what your Siamese likes. This will involve some experimenting with their litter. You can purchase a small box or bag of each type of litter.
This will take some team effort – cleaning the litter, swapping out the different types – however in the long run, this will be better for the both of you.
If your cat was previously a stray, try getting a litter that best replicates their outdoor bathroom. This could be clean sand or dirt.
Once they have begun to become accustomed to the box, you can then swap it out for some real litter.
3. Location Of The Box
The placement of the litter box is a huge factor in your kitties life. If they don’t like the location, then they simply won’t use it.
For example, if you’ve placed the litter box next to their food area, they may avoid going to the bathroom due to their cleanliness. The same goes for a litter box that isn’t easily accessible.
Siamese cats are easily stressed, therefore any litter boxes placed next to noisy water heaters or washers, they may look for safer territory. Cats much prefer a quiet, private place to do their business.
Move the litter box to an area that is easily accessible, is away from food and water, and isn’t too noisy. Many people place the litter box inside the bathroom, which is usually a good solution for Siamese cats.
Siamese kitties enjoy spending time in the bathroom, however, if you have a multi-cat household, it may get crowded fast.
I have a few litter boxes around the house, one in the bathroom, one on the porch, and one in the spare bedroom. I found keeping multiple boxes in various places around the house best eliminates the chances of litter box misuse.
4. The Wrong Litter Box
When it comes to the actual litter box, picking the right one is more important than you think. There are hundreds of boxes on the market in different sizes, shapes, and depths.
Some cats love litter boxes with hoods, others hate feeling confined when they go to the toilet. Some may have no problems with a shallow box, others may be kickers and get the litter absolutely everywhere.
Try using a few different types of litter boxes to see which one your cat likes the most. You can also remove the litter box liner if you think it may be bothering them.
Finding both the right box and litter is very important when it comes to your cat’s bathroom habits.
5. Multi-Cat Household
Cats are very territorial creatures, therefore they will hate to use the same litter box. Their hierarchical ways will also leave some cats feeling uncomfortable and unable to use the bathroom.
You may have noticed one or more cats not covering their feces after they’ve been to the bathroom. This is actually a way for them to say “Hey, I’m the boss of the household, don’t use this space!”
Once the other cats see this, they’ll be reluctant to use the same litter box.
As a general rule, there should be one litter box per cat, plus one. This ensures all cats have their own space. The spare litter box should be placed in a private area in case your kitty decides they want to do their business elsewhere.
6. A Change In Environment
As you may know, Siamese cats hate change. They love to stick to a tight schedule – lunch at 1 PM, playtime at 4 PM. Any disruption to this schedule can cause them to become stressed and anxious.
If you’ve noticed your Siamese avoiding the litter box after a change in the household, chances are they’re feeling anxious about something.
This could be a whole number of things: a new house, a new family member, a new pet… even if you’re out of the house more than usual.
Even the healthiest of cats can become stressed over the smallest of things. At the end of the day, they can’t understand why the changes are happening.
The best way to ease this anxiety is to ensure your Siamese feels included during any changes. Whether this is giving extra attention or a few more treats – reassure them that you’re not going anywhere.
Throughout this, ensure the litter box stays as clean as possible. Keeping everything relatively normal as you go through these changes will have your Siamese feeling comfortable and adjusted more quickly.
7. Marking Territory
This issue isn’t directly linked to the litter box per se, however, it does include urinating in places they shouldn’t. Spraying is an issue almost all pet owners go through before spaying or neutering their kitties.
You can tell the difference between normal urinating and spraying quite easily. While your Siamese will squat to use the bathroom, they will move onto a vertical surface and raise their tail to spray urine.
A refusal to use the litter box will have your Siamese urinating in convenient places – the carpet, the corner of the room, under the bed.
Spraying, however, will happen on your belongings, new things brought into the household, the stove, etc.
While it is more common in males, females can spray too. Spraying is linked to sexual and dominant instincts, therefore it usually stops when they are neutered.
That being said, spraying can also be caused by anxiety, even if the male or female has been previously neutered. This is when the territory part comes into play too. Especially in a multi-cat household, felines may resort to spraying to mark their territory.
If your Siamese hasn’t been spayed yet, I highly suggest you get it done ASAP.
Not only will this protect them from certain diseases, but it’ll also stop your house from smelling terrible. Take it from me, the smell of urine spray is disgusting.
If your Siamese is spraying due to stress-related things, you will have to try and identify the source of their anxiety. You can also take a trip to the vets if you come up with no solution.
How can I litter train my cat?
The best way to ensure your cat stays litter box friendly is to train them from kittenhood.
While their mothers tend to do this all by themselves, strays will have a harder time learning to use the litter box since it is a completely foreign object to them.
However, if your cat has never learned from their mother, here are the steps you need to take:
- Choosing the right box
Choosing the right litter box is the key to success when it comes to training your Siamese. Cats love to scratch and dig around in their trays, so you should ensure they have adequate space to do so.
Since kittens are small, I recommend starting with a small tray and working your way up in size as they grow.
As long as they have enough space to turn and move comfortably, you should be fine. When you first start out, pick a simple box that is easy to get in and out to avoid any further confusion.
If you have a senior cat, get one with a low entrance so there is no discomfort when jumping in and out of the box.
- Choosing the right litter
Similar to litter boxes, there are also a ton of litters on the market. A few include:
Each has its pros and cons for both you and your kitty, so it’s always a good idea to test out a few.
It’s best to use the same litter which they were using before they came to you. If you feel like you need to change, mix in the old litter with the new so they can gradually get used to it.
Some cats also have allergies and respiratory issues, so you should consult the vet beforehand if that fits your feline.
- Start the training in a confined room
When you first begin training your Siamese, it is a good idea to begin in a confined room. You can show them where the box is, as well as carefully placing them inside.
This will encourage them to explore and eventually use it. The litter box should always be in clear view so they know where it is.
Once they have become used to using it, you can move the box to a quieter place inside the house.
- Place the box in a quiet place
As I mentioned before, litter box placement is a huge part of the whole process.
Boxes that are placed in uncomfortable, loud environments will be avoided at all costs. A successful placement will be quiet, out of the way, but still close enough for human interaction.
The litter box should be away from their food and water and laundry rooms should be avoided at all costs.
The bathroom is usually a good place for the litter box, however, one should be accessible on every floor of the house.
As a general rule, there should be one box per cat, plus a spare one. Place these away from each other.
If not, territorial issues will break out and the whole house will become their bathroom.
5. Keep the box clean
Siamese cats will not use dirty litter boxes – it’s as simple as that. Cats are clean creatures by nature, therefore they will avoid dirty boxes at all costs.
Scoop out the box at least once a day and clean the entire box at least once a month, depending on what type of litter you use. The litter box should be replaced every year.
Why Won’t my Siamese use their litter box?
There are several reasons why your Siamese won’t use their litter box. Whether it’s an underlying medical issue or you suspect they’re feeling stressed, it’s a good idea to get them checked out by a vet.
Cats hate a dirty box, so it’s a good idea you keep it as clean as you can. They’re also rather picky when it comes to the right box and litter, so it may be a good idea to experiment with different types until you find the right one.
The most important thing to remember is don’t get angry or punish them. Cats don’t stop using their litter box for no reason at all, so it’s your job as a loving pet parent to figure out the problem.