To a cat parent, one litter substrate may be just as good as another. In fact, what humans may find attractive about a particular brand or type of litter may actually be highly disliked by cats. There are also other factors that come into play when trying to evaluate whether your cat has a litter aversion.
How Common is Litter Aversion?
It’s actually relatively common that a cat may eliminate away from the box due to a dislike of the litter or the litter conditions. Even if she still faithfully uses the litter box, she may want to spend as little time in there as possible. She may not dig or scratch or she may even perch on the edge of the box so her front or back paws don’t have to touch the unpleasant texture of the litter.
Common Reasons for Litter Aversion
Texture. Cats are very tactile and they can have very definite preferences when it comes to the way a particular substrate feels on their paw pads. In general, most cats tend to like the soft, sandy feel of scoopable litter. Some litters have sharper granules and some have large ones or they may even have pellet-type granules.
Abrupt Changes. Your cat is a creature of habit. When she goes into the litter box she expects to find the same type of litter that she’s used to. If you make an abrupt change in brand, type or scent, it can be confusing and can cause anxiety. Cats don’t want to be surprised when they go to the litter box.