Most cats are pros at using a litter box. Kittens are usually introduced to it by their mother and the ones that weren’t, catch on really fast. So happily for humans, there’s typically very little training or effort required on our part.

But what if a cat just won’t use the litter box? Unfortunately, it’s a fairly common issue and is one of the main reasons cats are surrendered to shelters and rescues.

If you’re singing the litter box blues, don’t give up! There are ways to tackle this annoying, frustrating and smelly issue.

Visit the vet.
If your usually reliable kitty has started missing the litter box, make an appointment with your vet ASAP. They’ll be able to identify or rule out any underlying problems, such as a bladder infection, that could be causing the issue. Once you know it’s not a health problem, you can start addressing other possible causes.

It’s all in the numbers.
If you have multiple cats, it’s important to provide them with an appropriate number of litter boxes. Some cats simply don’t like to share, so they opt for the carpet, bed or other inappropriate areas. Prevent litter box overcrowding by having at least one box per cat.

Location, location, location
Who doesn’t want a little privacy when it comes time to “go”? Our cats are no different. So make sure their boxes are in a quiet, out of the way location with minimal traffic. Try to prevent anything unpleasant happening near the litter box, which could make your cat wary about visiting it again.

Use the right litter.
Provide your cat with a super premium, quality brand such as Cats Incredible™ Unscented litter. Make sure the box contains enough litter for digging and burying—about two to three inches should be sufficient.

Keep it clean.
The number one reason cats stop using the litterbox is because it’s dirty and smells of ammonia. Clean out the box at least once a day, and wash it out monthly with liquid dishwashing detergent and baking soda. For an even more pleasant experience, Cats Incredible™ Litter with Smell Squasher actually prevents ammonia from forming and comes in a nose-pleasing lavender scent.

With just a little patience and effort, you and your best feline friend will go from singing the litter box blues to whistling a happy tune!