K.R. asks from Evanston, IL on October 02, 2008
Cat Won't Use Litter Box - Evanston,IL
Any suggestions? We added another cat to the family back in June, but the problem started before then. She first started using the bathtubs. We solved that by keeping the bathroom doors closed. Now she goes just outside the litter box. We've changed the box, keep it clean, changed the litter, moved the box, no success! She's not the brightest cat in the world...Any other ideas?
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
we took off the hood on the main litter box and we switched to Dr Elseys Cat Attract litter...it seems to be working! My next step is to add a 3rd litter box. Thanks to all you cat lovers who responded!!
L.Q. answers from Chicago on October 02, 2008
I had 3 cats and a dog. Shortly after having my first and only child, my male cat started spraying. Cats are funny because things bother them so easily. First, is your cat fixed? Having them fixed is almost always the way to get it to stopped, although the longer you wait, the less likely it will work. Also, have the cat checked for an urinary infection immediately. That can usually be cured right away with medication.
My cat was already fixed, so let me assume yours is too. We went to three different doctors and went through so much before we finally got him to stop. My cat was peeing everywhere. He peed on clothes, our bedding and mattress, random corners, ANYWHERE! It went on for nine months before it stopped as well.
The first doctor put him on some medication (can't remember what) but it did not work. After trying three medications, we still couldn't get anything to work. We went to three doctors and they all told us we had already done everything we could and that we basically had to deal with it. Finally, we went to Bartlett Animal Hospital. They were actually the fourth doctor to tell us we had done everything (including using Feliway) but they called a specialist for us. The specialist prescribed another medication, not well known to most vets, and it worked! He is almost completely off the medicine now... sadly, at the same time putting him on the medicine, we gave him to my parents. He sprayed at their house in the very beginning, but since the med has kicked in, he hasn't done it even once.
If you would like to know the name of the medicine that worked for us, please email me privately because I can't remember what it is called off the top of my head. Also, I recommend bringing him to Bartlett Animal Hospital. I know for a fact they will do more than most other places and they are very familiar with my cats situation and what worked and what didn't (not that that completely matters because every cat is different). Anyway, there are two docs there- Dr. Nelson and Dr. Baker. They both are very good and will know what to do!
L.F. answers from Chicago on October 03, 2008
I have been using Lavender oil on a cotton ball when I dry our clothes. My male cat is funny. If I change anything in the house he uses the bedding and couch as a litter box. I just loving doing all the bedding at 9 P.M. I have cleaned the litter daily. Hand wiped the box each time. God forbide I change the type of litter. I have not put Fresh Wave by the cat box. I am putting in another litter box that is larger. If I were you I would let her go in the bath tub. I know it is gross but it is easier to clean up. I was on line and found a good website for animal behavior products. I cannot remember the sights name. They sold non harmful products.
K.S. answers from Bloomington on October 02, 2008
With 12 cats I hope I can be useful, but we'll see.
We have a little room in the house (originally designed for a dog house) that we confine our not so trained cats to, then as they become trained we move them to slightly bigger rooms. Rooms that are of course easy to clean and easy to spray stuff onto. We found some "stay away" spray, I can't remember the brand but I think we got it at Petco. Some brands do work better than others even though they have the same exact active ingredients.
If you're going to move the box, move it to a place the cat seems to use a lot. Then continue to clean up and discourage the use of other places with spray or whatever you can find that they don't care for.
The other person did have a point about having two boxes. But we have our 2 boxes in one room and both cats use the boxes. Just don't put them side by side. Also all this talk about privacy isn't always true. For example, our cats prefer the boxes w/o lids. You also said this started before the new cat came, so if shes's having personal issues it's not because of the new cat. But that doesn't mean that she's not "mad" about something and this just happens to be the way to show it.
The thing with cats is they never do what you want when you want, it's always on their terms, but you can at least limit the messes you have to clean up by confining to one area of the house.
W.S. answers from Chicago on October 02, 2008
I had cats for years, take the kitty to the vet first but my experience is to keep the litter very simple - plain old clay litter - nothing with any scents or clumping or anything else extra, changing the brand or type of litter can really put them off... And change it EVERY DAY, just use less litter and dump it daily. I used to use those cat box liners (or you can use small trash bags) and put several layers of liner and litter in the box, so all I had to do was remove the top layer, tie up the bag and you have fresh litter.
Cats can be very finicky, the least little thing that upsets them can also cause them to urinate where they should not.
Two litter boxes will likely help. I would introduce the new box with a very plain litter, put the kitty in there and praise her over and over. good luck to you.
P. answers from Chicago on October 03, 2008
Your cat might have a bladder infection or some other urinary infection. Take her to the vet. When they refuse to use the litter box it is usually a sign that they have an infection of some sort. I never knew this until it happened to one of our cats.
T.G. answers from Chicago on October 02, 2008
General rule of thumb for cats is 1 litter box per cat plus 1 extra. Also if you have a multilevel house make sure there's one on each level. I have a tri-level and have 5 boxes for 2 cats, both neutered males.Here's a few ideas I have.
Cats don't like change, even the smallest. Even if it's rearranging a room, clutter in a corner etc.
Another idea, your cat is trying to tell you something, or show you something is wrong with them. If you smell the urine and it's real weak, kidneys or something is not functioning properly and needs medical attention.
I had a cat that started uriniating in the bath tub drain and then moved to bed, sure enough took him to vet and he was diabetic. Had to give insulin shots 2x a day and special food.
If theres blood droplets in the urine,strain to pee, frequent urination or a yeowl/painful sounding meow, there's an infection. Again go to vet.
Have you started spending less time with this companion? Could be telling you he's lonely.
You can try to reprogram her to use the litter box again by putting her in a crate large enough for cat, food, water and litter box for about 3-4 days straight and then let her out and see what happens. If marking occurs again put her back in for 3-4 days more.
Let her go in tub, cleans easier than carpets, etc. Use a product called Petastic, way, way better than Nature's Miracle, for clean up. Petastic does have an Especially for Cats line. www.petastic.com
Cats are very smart and if you don't pay attention to what they are saying to you, they will find out more and creative ways to let you know. I hope this helps.
In any event, call your vet and talk over with them.
D.F. answers from Chicago on October 03, 2008
Good Morning K.
You might want to have your cat checked out at the vet. We had a similar problem with out cat and found out that she had a kidney infection. Once the meds were done, she was back to using the litter box.
T.S. answers from Springfield on October 03, 2008
Don't laugh, I have had similar issues and after taking the cat to the vet, discovered that he had a urinary tract infection. I had another cat who messed in my bed signaling he now needed his own box because the other cat no longer considered him a kitten (vet said it was a psychological issue and he was trying to relate his 'stress' to me) Another box cured the problem. I also had a cat who was just plain picky and her litter box required us to dump and scrub daily or she would just go around the box!
Supposedly cats will display this kind of behavior when they are either ill or stressed out. I would suggest a vet visit. Good Luck!!