Originally Answered: How to get my cat to use the litter box again?
I had this problem a year ago with my cat. I know how frustrating it is, but I am here to give hope because I was able to solve my issue. Of course, all cats are different, but here are a few things that worked for me and my sick cat.
1. Try to remove all traces of urine/poop and use a good cleaning mixture/solution after removal to make sure the smell has disappeared. Suggestion: http://www.catsofaustralia.com/urinestainremoval.htm I used this reasonably priced recipe as my solution - the only downside is it took a while for the carpet to dry after each time I did the procedure.
-Side note - My cat liked to pee in the same spot over and over again, and I couldn't keep up with removing the smell. I finally paid a professional carpet cleaner to clean the carpet.
-Whatever you use for your cleaning product, make sure it does not contain ammonia. The recipe I provided is meant to neutralize the ammonia in the cat's urine and using a product with ammonia will just give the cat more reason to use the area again.
2. If the cat has a tendency to poop/pee in the same area, try placing a clean litter box over the area.
3. If you see the cat about to pee/poop in the incorrect area, if you can, grab the cat and place it in the litter box. (This can be quite a juggling act - one time I tried this with my cat and I ended up getting pee all over, but the end result was what I was looking for). Note - Try not to punish your cat or scold them when they don't use the litter box - it will only cause them more stress and not help the problem.
4. When you do finally get the cat to use the litter box, either by you carrying it to the litter box or on it's own free will, reward it with a treat. This worked great with my cat and even now when he uses the litter box he looks to me to see if he's going to get a treat!
5. Try to keep the litter box(es) as clean as possible. I clean mine the first thing when I wake up, go to bed, and when I see him use it.
6. Try switching litter brands - perhaps your cat is like mine and very persnickety and moody when it comes to litter. We finally, the cat and I, agreed on a brand with baking soda in it - it covered up the smell and clumped well for clean up. In addition, my cat seems to like the feel and smell as well.
I truly hope this helps because as all cat owners know - a happy cat = a happy home!