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Housetraining issues for Puppy/Cats

June 29th, 2006, 01:36 PM
K here's the situation....We've had two cats, one's a a year, the other is 4 months. They were perfectly litterbox trained and never went outside the box unless they were trapped in the bedroom at night and in that case they would go in our bathroom tub.

We just moved into a new place and we got a new puppy. They're still very nervous around the new pup so I thought it would be a smart move to put their two litterboxes where the dog isn't around and it's safe for them to go do their thing when they need it...But they've been going outside the litterbox like CRAZY the whole week we've been at this new place.

But I have a theory for this whole thing and I need someone to confirm or disconfirm it. Obviously we're in the process of housetraining the new puppy and he's gone both #1 and 2 in the house already. I've noticed that the cats are just going #2 RIGHT BY all the spots the dog has gone potty. Are the cats just marking over their territory when they smell the scent? We've done our best to clean up all the messes BUT maybe the animal odor is still there?

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks!

June 29th, 2006, 01:43 PM
what are you cleaning up the accidents with? there are products out there designed for pet accidents. Although you can't see or smell the spot, animals can.

I'm sure moving to a new place coupled w/ the addition of a new puppy is VERY stressfull for your cats.

I'd try using Nature's Miracle on the accident spots, keeping the litter boxes in a calm, quiet, puppy free zone, and hope everyone settles into the new home & routine soon.

good luck! btw... what type of pup?

June 29th, 2006, 01:57 PM
Wow, you've sure had a busy few months!!

First things first: have you shampooed the carpet in the new house? If not, hire someone or do it yourself with a rental unit or a purchased one. Make sure it's not just a little spot-lifter, but a full-fledged steam cleaner. If you do it yourself, buy a shampoo formulated for pet owners. If you hire someone, tell them you need a pet-formulated shampoo. It does make a difference. You never know what happened in that house before you got it. Even if the previous owners didn't have pets, someone else might have, or visitors brought one or more. If the house is brand new, the chemicals from the new construction might still smell to the animals.

2nd-Any messes that the dog--or cats--make, clean it up ASAP. Don't use bleach or ammonia. Even on a hard surface like linoleum or wood, make sure you clean it well and then apply a pet-enzyme cleaner. My favorite: PetZyme ( You can get this at PetSmart, or similar things elsewhere. Make sure it's an enzymatic cleaner. Baking soda works, but not as well as these.

3rd... how many litter boxes do you have, and what is their arrangement? Do you have one (at least) on every floor of your house? Your little kitty is still a baby, and still learning. Don't force her to use any spots that aren't the box--keep one in your bathroom if they might get locked in your room! Use clumping litter and scoop everything out of it at least once a day. While you're at, it train the dog to leave the litter alone, and then you don't need to worry about him getting into it later. The dog should be supervised at all times to avoid him terrorizing the cats in or near the litter boxes. If this isn't possible, confine the dog to a place where the boxes aren't, or in a place that doesn't interfere with the route to the boxes. If *that's* not possible, then you need to rig a cat-only door to the litter box area. You can buy magnetic cat-flaps (I have one!) if your dog is the same size or smaller than your largest cat, or if the dog is bigger, a "regular" cat flap will do fine.

4th; house-train the dog immediately. Even as a brand new pup, he should not be having accidents in the house. Take him out every hour on the hour. Take him out after playing, after eating/drinking and after naptime. Out first thing in the morning and last thing at night. If you can't supervise 100% of the time, confine the puppy to a small room and leave a puppy pad (not newspaper as it will leak onto the floor underneath). If there's no doggy messes on the floor, then no excuses for the cats to think it's an ok spot to go, too.

That's all I've got. HTH,

June 29th, 2006, 02:24 PM
The new dog is a German Shepard...

To answer the question about the litter boxes... There's one in our finished basement, right next to their food. The dog refuses to go down there since we haven't trained him to use that set of steps yet...And the other is upstairs in the hallway. The dog can get there...They've been going a lot on the main floor, which is where the dog normally is. I would put a box there, but I think they would be too stressed to try and go to the bathroom when the pup is right there. There has got to be some kind of reason this is happening...I've had two cats before these two and there was NEVER an issue when we moved. Then again, they never had to live with a dog!

June 29th, 2006, 04:24 PM
To answer the question about the litter boxes... There's one in our finished basement, right next to their food. The dog refuses to go down there since we haven't trained him to use that set of steps yet...And the other is upstairs in the hallway.

Sounds like you have enough boxes, but I would suggest moving the one that's right next to their food. Would you like to crap right next to where you eat? Probably not. Or move their food.... either way.

What do you do with the dog at night or when you're not there? Do the cats have anywhere (other than downstairs) that's dog-free? That can be very important. Where do the cats spend their day? Try to make it an area that the dog isn't in unless you're in there with them.

You may have to place a litter box directly on the spot where the cats are messing and slowly--like inches per day--move it to where you want it. Yes, that is a pain in the butt, but so is having to clean up the floor everyday!

I've been through a similar situation, except my cats didn't use the same spot as the dog, just didn't use the boxes (pooped and peed on the floor near them). Honestly, there's not a lot you can do to make it better in a hurry except teach the dog good manners, re-teach the cats litter-box manners (confine them to a room with a litter box and gradually allow them full run of the house if you have to), and do everything in your power to get the smell of the spots out. Those, patience and time and things will end up being fine.

One other note: please make sure that neither of the kitties has a urinary tract infection (aka vet trip). Stress can trigger them and while the older one has moved more than once, the kitten may not be handling it well, plus the addition of a *large* dog in their life might trigger a urinary infection. If you don't fix that medically, then all these other things won't work. And sometimes there isn't any symptoms of it other than a kitty not using the box. So please have them checked.

Good luck!

June 29th, 2006, 04:34 PM
Anthony,the comfortable world your cats were used to has changed,cats are incredible creatures of habit,mine don't even like the furniture changed around:p add a new puppy to that and those cats will be in total turmoil:sad:
You seem to be doing all the right things and if you do not allow the pup to chase the cats,I am sure evevtually things will be ok,also don't forget to give them lots of attention,they were there first after all.
Probably difficult with an adorable Shepard-Pup,but he needs to learn,the cats are off limits.

June 29th, 2006, 05:26 PM
Yes, the pup's learning more and more that the cats are not to be mangled with. There are a few times during the day that the pup gets excited and chases the cats (I end it quickly though when I see it).

I really don't want to confine the cats to a room since they've already had full run of the house. We've been trying to give them as much attention as possible knowing there's a new dog in the house. I know that confiining them now may ruin my relationship with them...And their relationship with the dog, due to their jealousy and uncertainty of him.

I will take the advice and move the litterbox away from the food, but still keep it downstairs. If that doesn't work, I guess I'll try and put the litterbox where they've been going and try and keep the pup away from it.

Oh BTW, we are crate training the dog. He stays in his crate whenever we leave the house.

June 30th, 2006, 07:21 AM
Anthony,it all sounds good and I am sure giving the cats some time,they will eventually accept the puppy,might not love him:D ,but will accept him.
Hopefully their litterbox problems,which IMO is a form of protest,will be back to normal too:fingerscr