Author Topic: Cat Litter Box Issue  (Read 7855 times)

CommonCents

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Cat Litter Box Issue
« on: February 13, 2015, 07:45:30 PM »
Our cat never had a litter box issue until we moved a year ago.  Now, she's used our office a few times, so we figured that the she was marking her territory and the prior owner's dog used that spot.  So we closed the office door so she couldn't get it.  Unfortunately, it's been cold here in Boston (in addition to our crazy storms) and our pipes froze about a month ago, which we suspect may have been because our office was colder due to being closed off and not getting enough heat.  So we had to open the door back up.  What can we do to stop this behavior?

Indio

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2015, 08:16:41 PM »
Can you put a litter box in that spot or block it off with boxes or a chair to prevent the cat from getting to that spot of the carpet?

CommonCents

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2015, 08:22:53 PM »
It's a faraway spot in the house (in the basement), so it's really not ideal to put it there.  Plus DH would never remember to clean it there and it'd be on carpet, so it'd be more annoying to clean up what bits she tracks out.

We currently have it blocked off with a card table (we had something up earlier that she made it over), but we'd really prefer not to have that up permanently like that.  I was wondering if there's a spray that would stop her from being attracted to the spot, or if we could put something there that would stop her from doing it.

southern granny

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2015, 08:36:59 PM »
You need to use a cleaner that completely  neutralizes the odor, so she will not keep returning to that spot.  They sell them at pet stores for sure, but I don't know about wal-mart type stores. 

kathrynd

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2015, 08:47:22 PM »
Is that the only place (office) where your cat marks its territory?

Put a screen door in addition/ or in place of the door that is there now..this will allow heat to flow thru, and keep the cat out.

CommonCents

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2015, 09:04:37 PM »
Yes, it's the only place (and its the same spot in the office always), hence why I think it's a marking territory issue.

kathrynd

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2015, 12:02:00 AM »
Yes, it's the only place (and its the same spot in the office always), hence why I think it's a marking territory issue.

We use ozone machines in our rentals when cats have urinated.
You may be able to rent one, or contact a place who does fire restoration (eliminate smells after fires) and they can probably tell you if it will work.

Sofa King

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2015, 08:36:25 AM »

Kris

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2015, 09:22:01 AM »
A cheap thing to start is eucalyptus oil, which cats strongly dislike, but is not unpleasant to humans.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2015, 09:43:35 AM »
Get a small electric heater with a thermostat. Put it in the office on low and shut the door.

You won't have pee on the floor and nothing will freeze.

You only really have to plug in the heater when you know it might freeze so aside from the $25 cost of the heater there shouldn't be any power consumption hit.

-- Vik

Cpa Cat

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2015, 10:17:35 AM »
There is a product called Just For Cats that neutralizes urine, which helped a lot when we had a cat with this issue. Then I suggest you place an upside-down laundry basket with a brick on it over the location.

Once the cleanser completely dries, get down there and take a good sniff. If you can smell any cat urine at all, give it another dose.


Jacana

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2015, 10:49:38 AM »
We had a litter-box problem cat for years. Try reading the downloadable booklet at this site: http://www.preciouscat.com/litter-box-solutions/

The booklet had a lot of good advice about the behavior, possible causes, and fixes. You do not necessarily need to buy their expensive litters. But the rest of the booklet is a basic run-down of why your cat might be doing it and how to fix it.

We used a retractable gate to keep her out of the most problematic places, which we then reused for our daughter.

As for cleaning, we found that Nature's Miracle urine destroyer worked well for the rare pee spots and also to clean up the stains on the subfloor from our previous owner's incontinent dog (the carpet and padding were a hopeless disaster). But our cat was more medical-related feces mishaps, and for that we used the Nature's Miracle Orange-Oxy formula. Seemed to really get rid of the stains and smell.

LadyStache

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2015, 02:09:16 PM »
You could replace the regular door on that room with a screen door, that way it keeps the cat out while still allowing air flow.

dodojojo

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2015, 02:48:48 PM »
Clean the spot with cleaner.  Spray Feliway in the spot or use a Feliway plug-in in the area.  Feliway doesn't work on every cat but it was created to prevent cats from spraying and soiling in unwanted places.  The added side benefit is that the pheronomes chill out cats.  But again, not every cat is affected by Feliway (works on about 70% of them). 

MsPeacock

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2015, 03:38:10 PM »
Nature's Miracle works well to get the odor out. I would recommend steam cleaning first w/ water. Then saturate (really saturate) the spot w/ Nature's Miracle and let it soak in and completely dry.

 And consider a second litterbox to put in that room in case the cat does get in there w/ the idea of peeing.

CommonCents

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2015, 09:39:36 PM »
Thanks for all of the suggestions.  Btw, sorry I was unclear before - she hasn't (as far as we can tell by smell) been peeing in there.  It's all feces.  Not sure if that makes a difference in the advice anyone gave or would give.

NeonPegasus

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2015, 08:01:32 AM »
With cats, you have to answer the question "what's in it for me?" The cat is not pooping on the floor for giggles. There is a reason. Once you figure it out, you'll have your solution.

How often are you cleaning out the cat box? It should be cleaned a minimum of once a day per cat per box (i.e. 2 cats with 1 box means twice a day; 1 cat with 1 box is once a day).

I would start by cleaning your current box 2-3 times a day to keep it in tip top shape. I would suspect she doesn't like something about your cat box (maybe it's too dirty for her liking) so she's going to a faraway, quiet space to do her business.

Our cats used to poop on the floor right beside the cat box to express their discontent. We eventually got a Cat Genie self cleaning cat box because DH had litter box duty and never stepped up his game. The only time we get poop on the floor now is if one comes in to poop and the box is in the middle of cleaning the last cat's poop.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2015, 08:08:28 AM »
Thanks for all of the suggestions.  Btw, sorry I was unclear before - she hasn't (as far as we can tell by smell) been peeing in there.  It's all feces.  Not sure if that makes a difference in the advice anyone gave or would give.

Feces can still be territorial. If it's a fixed location, then I would still try the Nature's Miracle (Just for Cats is actually a Nature's Miracle product).

But the pooping could be triggered by a generalized odor - "I smell another animal, time to show them my important poop, so they know who's boss around here!" So if it continues, you may want to try cleaning the entire room with a steam cleaner and wash the walls if possible.

I know you don't like the suggestion, but one of the easiest ways to deal with poop is to give her an appropriate place to do it - IE a kitty litter in the room.

startingsmall

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2015, 02:40:12 PM »
Marking consists of depositing small amounts of urine on vertical surfaces around the house - this isn't territorial marking.  This is 'inappropriate elimination,' which is a totally different issue.  In most cats who are ONLY defecating outside the box and not urinating, there's some sort of underlying medical issue - some mild inflammation in the GI tract, subclinical constipation, etc.  So I'd start with a visit to your vet and bloodwork to rule out medical problems.  If everything else checks out, there are a lot of things that you can do to help behavioral inappropriate elimination.... but like I said, that's a lot less common than a medical issue in this case.


Jacana

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2015, 04:14:47 PM »
Ah, so it's not pee? Bummer. Been there. Seconding startingsmall's comment. Have her checked by the vet.

Our problem kitty had IBD or possibly GI lymphoma, exacerbated by stress, and she associated her litter box with pain after a few bad episodes and started to avoid it when she felt ill. It was intermittent and hard to solve.

If it is not medical, another possibility is that your cat's normal box is not clean enough (plastic boxes do start to retain too much odor to clean after a while and need to be completely replaced) or she doesn't really like the litter you've been using.

Yet another possibility is that the normal box is located in an occasionally stressful area so she seeks out a more private location that smells appropriate (thanks to previous dog) when her normal litter box is unavailable. Think back to her accidents, was there an unusual event, like a guest in her space or someone cleaning her space with a vacuum or anything? If so, you may need to consider providing her with a second box in a separate acceptable space with more privacy for those events.

If all else fails, my suggestion is to accept it and put a litter box in that spot but clean it a bit less frequently to still encourage use of box #1.

Good luck!

ZiziPB

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2015, 07:40:22 AM »
With cats, you have to answer the question "what's in it for me?" The cat is not pooping on the floor for giggles. There is a reason. Once you figure it out, you'll have your solution.

How often are you cleaning out the cat box? It should be cleaned a minimum of once a day per cat per box (i.e. 2 cats with 1 box means twice a day; 1 cat with 1 box is once a day).

I would start by cleaning your current box 2-3 times a day to keep it in tip top shape. I would suspect she doesn't like something about your cat box (maybe it's too dirty for her liking) so she's going to a faraway, quiet space to do her business.

Our cats used to poop on the floor right beside the cat box to express their discontent. We eventually got a Cat Genie self cleaning cat box because DH had litter box duty and never stepped up his game. The only time we get poop on the floor now is if one comes in to poop and the box is in the middle of cleaning the last cat's poop.

+1.  Totally agree with these comments.  It sounds to me like she's not happy with the litter box for some reason.  It could be the location that she doesn't like or the level of cleanliness.   Also, have you by any chance started using different litter?  She may not like the scent or the texture of it.

SoftwareGoddess

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2015, 04:32:50 PM »
Marking consists of depositing small amounts of urine on vertical surfaces around the house - this isn't territorial marking.  This is 'inappropriate elimination,' which is a totally different issue.  In most cats who are ONLY defecating outside the box and not urinating, there's some sort of underlying medical issue - some mild inflammation in the GI tract, subclinical constipation, etc.  So I'd start with a visit to your vet and bloodwork to rule out medical problems.  If everything else checks out, there are a lot of things that you can do to help behavioral inappropriate elimination.... but like I said, that's a lot less common than a medical issue in this case.

Startingsmall, thank-you for this! One of my cats has had this exact issue for over 3 years, and I've been pretty sure that it was more of a medical issue than purely behavioral. My vet has not been helpful, but I will push harder for some diagnostics the next time I visit.

PatStab

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2015, 05:07:51 PM »
Sounds like I'm lucky after reading all of this.  My old kitty is 19 years old, she has never had this issue.  I keep her litter box clean but I only change it every 3 to 4 days so not that clean.

She has issues, pees a ton as she has kidney issues and a type 4 heart murmur.  Still she is a very good kitty, she travels in the motorhome with us and has been moved. She sleeps curled up in my arm every night.  I hope she doesn't start having issues and I hope you find a solution.

MMMaybe

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2015, 06:26:38 PM »
We had a litter box issue just recently after years of no problems. Turns out the cat was afraid of the room where his tray was. He developed a fear of it for some reason, you know how they can get ideas in their heads that don't make sense?

Well I moved the litter tray somewhere quieter and no more problems. So it might be something about where the tray is, that is bothering your cat.

kathrynd

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2015, 10:59:30 PM »
Sounds like I'm lucky after reading all of this.  My old kitty is 19 years old, she has never had this issue.  I keep her litter box clean but I only change it every 3 to 4 days so not that clean.

She has issues, pees a ton as she has kidney issues and a type 4 heart murmur.  Still she is a very good kitty, she travels in the motorhome with us and has been moved. She sleeps curled up in my arm every night.  I hope she doesn't start having issues and I hope you find a solution.

When our 19 yr old  cat starting having problems, and did his business outside the litter box, it was because he was having trouble getting into the box, because the sides were quite high.
We noticed this in his last month of life.

CommonCents

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2015, 12:40:26 PM »
She's 12, and not as agile as she used to be, but can still get in the box w/o an issue.

I think you guys may have hit the nail on the head and it's most likely from unhappiness about her current box.  She's DH's cat, from before I met him and he is absolutely terrible about cleaning out the box, despite my complaints, as I'm more sensitive to the smells than he is.   (I am a dog person, not a cat person.)  And, it's also possible she doesn't like the current location as much as it's near a door.

That said, a trip to the vet wouldn't be amiss either.  (DH is also terrible about this and hasn't taken her in a long time for a check-up.)

tariskat

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Re: Cat Litter Box Issue
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2015, 04:27:49 PM »
I'd dump all the litter and wash out the box with water and then vinegar to get it nice and squeaky clean before you put new litter in it, too.  And then make hubby step up his box cleaning! I have 2 cats, 2 boxes, and clean them 1-2 times a week (usually without adding more litter) and then scoop more often as the litter runs low, then dump all of it at once and clean the box.