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My Cat Has Suddenly Stopped Using the Litter Box

Chardonnay
November 6th, 2007, 06:39 PM
Hello! I'm new here, so if this topic is posted in the wrong area, please let me know. I'm joining every forum I can find for some help!

Just a smidge of history: I've had cats as far back as I can remember, and am quite knowledgeable with animal behavior. I currently have three strictly indoor cats and a Pomeranian.

One of my cats (a male) has stopped using the litter box(es) altogether. He was a rescue, he's about 6, and I adopted him when he was about nine months. He gets along just fine with my other pets. In fact, he prefers them over me. No, I haven't changed the brand of litter. Yes, the litter box(es) are cleaned every day. No, there's not a new pet in the house. No, my routine hasn't changed. No, I haven't moved recently. No, there are no health issues. I have gone through all the theories that I know of to try to figure out what is causing this and how to correct it.

He urinates and/or defecates wherever he pleases. Mostly on my bed or my couch (whether I'm on them or not). I had a delightful discovery last week when I moved a chair away from the wall to vacuum and found a pile of mess.

I don't know what to do! I would never give up a pet due to behavior issues. I'm in this for the long haul no matter what. Can anyone suggest anything to get him back to the litter box? I don't want to keep him closed off from the rest of the house, but cleaning up after him is quite a chore.

Someone suggested Rescue Remedy, Feliway or Comfort Zone and the like. Has anyone tried these products specifically to get your cat to start using the litter box again?

Any advice is appreciated!

sugarcatmom
November 6th, 2007, 07:44 PM
Hello, and welcome!

My first question is going to be, how do you know there are no health issues? When was his last vet visit and was there a blood/urine work-up done?

Beyond that, you might want to check out this website regarding litter box issues to see if there's a solution for ya: http://www.catinfo.org/litterbox.htm

You could also try Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract (http://www.preciouscat.com/precious-attract-p-5.html) litter to see if that helps (Petsmart carries it). I've not used RR or Feliway for litter box issues, but at this point it wouldn't hurt to try. First, though, if your guy hasn't had a very recent (like, since this has all started) vet visit, I'd say that should be on your list. Cats are just so very good at hiding health problems, I'd want that ruled out.

Good luck! I know how frustrating these things can be.

ps. (he's not declawed by any chance, is he?)

Chardonnay
November 6th, 2007, 07:53 PM
Hello, and welcome!

My first question is going to be, how do you know there are no health issues? When was his last vet visit and was there a blood/urine work-up done?

Beyond that, you might want to check out this website regarding litter box issues to see if there's a solution for ya: http://www.catinfo.org/litterbox.htm

You could also try Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract (http://www.preciouscat.com/precious-attract-p-5.html) litter to see if that helps (Petsmart carries it). I've not used RR or Feliway for litter box issues, but at this point it wouldn't hurt to try. First, though, if your guy hasn't had a very recent (like, since this has all started) vet visit, I'd say that should be on your list. Cats are just so very good at hiding health problems, I'd want that ruled out.

Good luck! I know how frustrating these things can be.

ps. (he's not declawed by any chance, is he?)

Thanks. I've been researching the "remedies" for over an hour now. I'll check out Cat Attract as well.

He has had a workup recently, but I think I'll need to call my vet once more.

No, he's not declawed. Why do you ask?

want4rain
November 6th, 2007, 08:17 PM
is this the one who had crystals? have you ruled out crystals again??

the declawing was asked because many cats develop a sort of resentment after beign declawed, psychological issues with having vital body parts removed. :)

i responded in my other thread abotu Shadow peeing. :)

-ashley

sugarcatmom
November 6th, 2007, 09:14 PM
No, he's not declawed. Why do you ask?

Declawed cats can sometimes develop an aversion to the litter box, either due to associating it with pain shortly after the procedure, or later on when they become prematurely arthritic and it becomes difficult and/or painful to get in and out of the box. Glad that's not the case here!

Other possibilities, once medical reasons are eliminated, could be that he was badly startled one day while going to the bathroom and it's left a negative impression on him. You could try putting a litter box in a completely different area, and using a new litter (such as the Cat Attract one) to see if that helps.

Chardonnay
November 7th, 2007, 06:51 PM
is this the one who had crystals? have you ruled out crystals again??

the declawing was asked because many cats develop a sort of resentment after beign declawed, psychological issues with having vital body parts removed. :)

i responded in my other thread abotu Shadow peeing. :)

-ashley

No, my male has never had crystals and there are no "usual" symptoms of crystals.

He's fully clawed ... very clawed! :D He's a big boy--a 15 pounder--and his claws are the size of shrimp!

Yes, I saw your response under Shadow. Didn't know if it was directed at me. I'll go back to it now ...

Chardonnay
November 7th, 2007, 07:03 PM
Other possibilities, once medical reasons are eliminated, could be that he was badly startled one day while going to the bathroom and it's left a negative impression on him. You could try putting a litter box in a completely different area, and using a new litter (such as the Cat Attract one) to see if that helps.

Thank you. I've decided to try getting yet another litter box ... that'll make 4 for 3 cats. I have 1 litter box in the bathroom, and 2 in the spare bedroom. I will now add another in the spare bedroom. No hooded boxes. Large, deep boxes only located in a "private" area. Wish me luck!

It has been my experience that males tend to have more "issues" with the litter box. I also know quite a few people who have said the same thing. I don't know if it's coincidence or not.

Thank you for your advice.

want4rain
November 7th, 2007, 07:45 PM
with my limited LIMITED issues with cats... very little of it has had to do with litterboxes!! i would like to say though, going from kibble based diets, i was really shocked to see how much a cat SHOULD urinate!!!

im sure others will ahve more relevant advice for you but all i can say is look at a diet change. :)

-ash