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  • Cat NOT using litter box

    I have posted before on boards, can't remember if it was here or not. My 6 yr old Himi female (fixed) pees/poops out of her box. I have spoken with a cat specialist, I have tried Prozac (made her MORE mad and peed ALL the time outside box) and currently she is at another location (the only pet) and she was behaving for about a month and I just got a call from my kid that she peed on her pillows, peed on the rug in front of her AFTER the litter was clean and pooped outside the box. I am at wits end and fear I must give her to a shelter, because NO ONE is going to want her and how can I not tell someone I give her too the issues? They will end up calling me once it starts.

    Has anyone just given UP on their cat and called it quits because they could not control her behavior??? How will the shelter find her a home? will they have to put her to sleep???

    I just don't have the money anymore for specialists and our bedroom smells and now my kids apt smells.

    IS there anything left to do with her????? thank you in advance!!!

  • #2
    What was the Prozac for? It sounds like a medical condition if it had to go so far as that. Maybe it has something more to do with her inability to control it, and a vet could take some tests to make sure it's medical and not behavioral. On a rare occassion, my cat has urinated outside his litterbox. The only answer I could ever come up from this was that he was either upset, or something in the air and the amount of unknown people upset him since he does not do it often. But to have it done usually sounds.. severe, perhaps, and I don't think it's the cat's fault. Something may need to be done, pills, surgery, etc if it can't be solved like any normal or common problem.

    Try a vet. It would be unfortunate to have a young cat get put to sleep.


    • #3
      >>How will the shelter find her a home?

      They won't. The cat will be put to sleep in 99.999999% of cases.
      I agree with above advice.
      I have a dog with a urinary issue.
      Medication solved her problem.
      Also, where is your litterbox?
      Cats need a PRIVATE place for their litterbox (secluded) but not in a DARK spot. They also will not use it if it is too close to their food dish (i.e. in teh same room). Have you changed litters recently?


      • #4
        How often is the litterbox changed? If it was dirty and she didn't want to walk in it you will be literally giving her a death sentence by dropping her at a shelter for something that ISN'T HER FAULT!!

        I don't know how old your kid is but is he doing a good job keeping the litterbox fresh and clean? Scooping is not enough as the litter at the bottom stays wet and stinky and no self respecting cat would want to use it.

        Kerry's question about recently changing litters is a good one - did you and if so what are you using now?

        Make sure the litter is 'dumped', not just scooped at least every two days (we do it every day) and that the box is WASHED, not just emptied, before new litter is put in.

        If you don't want to make sure this is done then instead of putting your cat in a shelter where she will feel abandoned and terrified before they kill her please have the compassion to hold her while your own vet euthanizes her - it should be your responsibility to end her life, not some poor overworked and overwrought kennel employee's.

        Hopefully keeping the litter box clean will avert your having to kill your cat.


        • #5
          Her litter is cleaned constantly especially HER box. The prozac was recommended by the vet, said in 50% of cases for anxious cats it will stop the behavior, it upset her more and she peed more. She is 6 yrs old and the behavior started at 1 yr old. She was checked prior to Prozac for health issues, none. I know about the litter vs food dish, there are no dark places at either of our houses except the garage and that is not a place for a cat or dog. I AM NOT choosing to put her down, it was a ? as how could she live anywhere else. Unfortunately with Gracie is it catittude she uses the box sometimes and not others. Her box is clean and I use the same litter and made sure the kids used the same and the same food. I was told she was territorial and would be happy alone so I gave her to the kids where she would be queen. They said she used her litter perfectly until the other nite.

          We put new carpet down 2 yrs ago which she has peed all over, we used dog pads for awhile as she used them for bit, then she moved them aside. We have spent $1,000's in the house due to cats/dogs peeing on wood floors which are black, carpet that sticks .

          YOU ALL don't know me so don't judge or condemn me!!!!!!!! I have had pets my Entire life and never had this issue and I have tried my best and spent the money for it. So if one of you want her please speak up.


          • #6
            soooorrry but this is an emotional issue for me! that I don't take lightly.


            • #7
              I am sorry too but when you wrote 'kid' I had in mind a teenager who probably had more on his mind than changing litter.

              We have hundreds of cats here and I don't believe in cattitude however. The cats we take are from diverse situations and they all use the litterbox UNLESS there is a medical problem or something traumatic (even a loud noise) has happened to upset them.

              You said that she used the litterox perfectly for a month and the other night didn't. Could you find out if anything was different that night? Perhaps they had company that she was afraid of, perhaps they talked to loud - SOMETHING happened to change her behavior.

              Is she declawed by the way?


              • #8
                Try another litter, or even another litter box? I know it sounds strange, but sometimes cats just decide they don't like the box. If its a covered box, try an uncovered one, if its covered, try the uncovered. Try a different litter, different brands have different textures, it could be she doesn't like the texture of what you are using. Take a look and if its fine, try something coarser, if its course, well you get the idea.

                Try setting 2 or three boxes out, in out of the way areas, and see if that helps.

                IF all else fails, its time to take drastic action....

                whenever you can't directly supervise the cat, put her in a small room thats easy to clean (bathroom) with a litterbox. Whenever you can directly supervise her, let her out. As soon as she starts showing signs of going to the bathroom and she isn't using the litter box, immedietly tell her NO, in a firm voice and take her to the nearest box and put her in it. She will soon get the idea its not acceptable to go anwyhere else.

                good luck.
                Everything not nailed down is a cat toy, everything else is a scratching post.


                • #9
                  I am breaking this up into two separate posts because I want to provide you with two separate approaches here.

                  Here is something I wrote on another board and it may be of help to you:

                  A cat cannot write you a letter to say that it is ill, not feeling well, upset, unsure, insecure, or is worried or stressed out. So the only way they can communicate about this is through their behavior. Typically a cat with inappropriate urination is either a cat with medical problems (bladder infection, diabetes, thyroid, etc.) or is a cat that is stressed out.

                  First, get your cat into a vet for a complete exam and testing. Tell you vet everything you are telling us, and you want to make sure there are no medical problems that could be causing this urination.

                  If the vet finds your cat is medically okay, then you have to look at what has been happening right within your own home. You have to be really honest about it and play Sherlock Holmes. Stress can be from: illness of another pet in the home, illness of a human, humans fighting in the home, divorce/separation of humans, new humans in the home, moving to a new home, new pets in the home, not enough litter boxes, changing locations of the litter boxes, changing of type of litter in the litter boxes, stray/ferals outside the home, not scooping and changing the litter box often enough and so much more.

                  I had been reading the book The Cat Whisperer and according to that book some cats get stressed out and go into urine spraying or inappropriate urination from some of the following:

                  --New carpet or new rugs: It brings a new smell into the home which is the cat's territory (and new carpet and rugs do emit new odors).

                  --New furniture: Again, it brings in a new smell into their territory.

                  --Bicycles in house: They spoke of an extreme case where a boy was bicycling to and from school and the bicycle was being brought into the home every day. The many smells of the outdoors were on the bicycle tires and enough to start the cat spraying.

                  --Shoes: They spoke of another extreme case where the people had to leave their shoes outside or in a garage. When they were outdoors and about in their regular shoes, when they returned home they were walking in with the many smells of the outdoors on the soles of their shoes and it got the cat started.

                  Below I have put a post I did on cat spraying, and it contains information you can use.

                  I watched an episode on TV about Alfie the cat who was spraying urine around his home. The specialist said that a cat spraying inside his home is an indication that they are insecure about their environment which is their territory. When outdoor cats spray around the outside of the front door, every time the door is opened that outdoor cat's scent comes into the house and makes the house cat insecure and want to re-establish territory by spraying. THIS IS GREAT INFO. OKAY, NOW WE KNOW THE REASON, SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

                  Locate and clean the sprayed areas in the home (and outside the home) of urine (you can even use a black light if you're not sure of where the areas are). Then take a damp washcloth and wipe the mouth and facial cheeks and back of your indoor cat and then take that washcloth to the indoor areas where the cat has been spraying and wipe that "scented" washcloth on all those areas. THE SPECIALIST SAID THAT URINE IS NOT THE ONLY WAY OF ESTABLISHING TERRITORY, and that using the scented washcloth is an excellent way of you helping your cat to establish his indoor territory. Wow.

                  I also forgot to add that on a prior episode, they had techniques to discourage the local cats from hanging out by your front door and in your yard. Unless you act to discourage the local cats, they will constantly mark your yard and home as their territory and will enter through pet doors to get into your home.

                  Written by Ragdoll Mom
                  Cats, as a class, have never completely got over the snootiness caused by the fact that in ancient Egypt they were worshipped as gods.
                  P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)


                  • #10
                    Now, let's take it another step and also consider if your cat may be having some problems with senility. Here is something else I wrote on another board about an episode of Barking Mad and you can try those ideas too.

                    Barking Mad had an excellent show on Mollie, an elderly, senile cat. Mollie had been adopted about a year earlier and the new owners said if they didn't adopt her no one would have wanted to because of her advanced age. The owners found that Mollie began meowing at 1:00 every morning, she would do a sheep's "bleat" type of meow during the day and they called in Barking Mad. With a child coming into the home, they were concerned. Mollie underwent a thorough full vet exam and came out very healthy and okay, they were able to estimate her age at about 15 years old (which in human years was into the 70s), and Mollie was very found of her new female owner and followed her female owner around the home. The behaviorist found Mollie to be senile and that was the cause of all this regular meowing, and had the owner make the following changes:

                    --change the litter box to a very short sided one (the sides looked almost one inch high), and put in extremely fine grain (almost sand) litter (there had been no litter box problems) but it was clear that they didn't "fill it up" the way we typically do with litter. Clearly Mollie would not have to "step up" into the litter box and not have to walk through a "hole" in a hooded box;

                    --remove the cat bed, and take a high-sided cardboard box with the top open and cut an opening from top to bottom (and not do a typical circle or hole cut like some cat beds are). Clearly there was no top, the sides were about one foot high, and the opening was very easy to get in and out of;

                    --an extremely over stuffed and soft cat bed cushion was placed into the new cardboard box bed for Mollie.

                    --the owner was to make time to spend with Mollie every day where they played and interacted.

                    I'm happy to say it was very successful. Mollie was extremely content with the new bed and could be seen sleeping contently in there (I wonder if the high sides and opening that was so easy to walk through had something to do with it). The owner did play with fishing poles and such with Mollie, and Mollie actually looked more active and alert when the Barking Mad team returned several weeks later and Mollie was out in the back yard checking out the plants with her owner. They did say that Mollie will get more advanced in her senility and the owners will have to make more changes as time goes by, but that Mollie probably did not have a whole lot of years left in her life. It was a wonderful episode with an excellent outcome.

                    Here’s a website on this also:
                    Cats, as a class, have never completely got over the snootiness caused by the fact that in ancient Egypt they were worshipped as gods.
                    P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)


                    • #11
                      Yeah may be the cat with inappropriate urination is either a cat with medical problems or is a cat that is stressed out... you have to get the cat into a veterinarian to make sure the cat could be fine....


                      • #12
                        When one of our cats started doing this, we took him to the vet. It turned out his kidneys were no longer functioning properly. The urine in his body made him feel bad and he tried to tell us that through his behavior.

                        He was already 16 so he was put to sleep. I did not want to put him through a few months of medication, because the vet said it would only give a little extra time.Did not want to put an old friend through such an ordeal anymore, so he left for the Rainbow bridge easily, while me and hubby were holding him.

                        The purpose of life is Joy!


                        • #13
                          There's always a reason they stop using their box and it's not to make you mad or get revenge. Don't put the litter tray in a busy location or near a noisy washing machine for example. Put the litter tray in a quiet easy to access location and don't forget they like privacy too! Cats do not like to use the toilet near to where they eat. Move litter boxes away from feeding areas or where their water is placed. Do not put the litter box in a room or basement where the door may be closed and the cat cannot access it.