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unusual litter box problem

sujean
August 8th, 2004, 10:10 PM
I have 4 cats and a dog. My only female cat is having an issue with using the litter box. Up until about 2 months ago, I have never had any box problems (for the last 4 years). But recently Nina has decided that she is not going to use the box. However, she only poops out side of the box. When it comes to urinating, she does not have a problem knowing where she is supposed to do her thing.

These are the things I have tried:
1) change litters, including brand and type
2) added more litter boxes (total of 5 now...some open, some closed boxes)
3) changed the location of the boxes
4) placed several boxes in different locations
5) made sure none of the cats or dog are ambushing her during her business
6) made sure she does not have any health problems (she is fine)
7) Cleaning the boxes 2 times a day

A couple of additional notes:

my husband and I went on vacation for 5 days. My sister watched the cats and dog while we were gone. in those 5 days, she did not have to clean up after Nina once! This morning (my first morning home) nina pooped outside the box again!! I cleaned it up and cleaned the boxes. Several hours later, she pooped outside of the box AGAIN!!

She used to do this only in the middle of the night (while we were sleeping). But now, she does it whenever she feels like it (of course when I am not witnessing it). She will NOT do it if i leave a piece of her poop on the floor though. Also, she does not ALWAYS do it. i have even tried to take notes on my and my husband's behavior around the time that she is doing this and have noted no changes. She has gone weeks at a time without incident. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to why she does this.

I have even called on a feline behavior specialist and she is stumped. Is there anyone out there that can help me??? My husband and I are at wit's end with this but can't bear to give her up!! Please help!!

Lucky Rescue
August 8th, 2004, 10:28 PM
Litter box problems can be very frustrating,as you can see.:(

I can't think of any other suggestions that you haven't tried, and the only reason I can see is that something is maybe stressing her.

Since she didn't do this while you were gone, can you think of anything you may be doing that causes her stress? Do you get angry when she does this? Some cats are so thin-skinned that anything can stress them, and eliminating outside the box is often the result.

As a last resort, you could try medication just long enough to break her of this habit.

In the meantime, could you get a cheap, easy to wash rug and put it there? That would facilitate cleanup at least.

sujean
August 8th, 2004, 10:38 PM
I agree that something is stressing her but I can't seem to find what it is.

One of the things I have done is to make sure that I do NOT get angry with her b/c she is VERY skiddish. She gets nervous when my printer starts to whir...

Is there a medication that you are suggesting? Maybe a feline valium?? lol

Otherwise, I acutally have concrete currently where the boxes are. I was reflooring but did not want to do the office until I solved her problem. At this point, I am not concerned about the floor, just for her well-being!

Thanks for the suggestions!!

Cactus Flower
August 8th, 2004, 11:04 PM
How close to the box does she go? Is it always right next to the box? If so, maybe putting something on the floor, around the box might help- something she doesn't want to step on. Leave a little path open, just big enough for her to walk through to get to the litter box.
I'm thinking maybe baking pans filled with water?

sujean
August 8th, 2004, 11:24 PM
she never goes close enough to make me think that she *accidently* went outside. It is always about 3 feet away. i have also tried putting her favorite sleeping bench on the spot she was going. That worked for a while, but then she just moved the undesignated poop spot to 3 feet on the otherside of the box. :confused:

sujean
August 26th, 2004, 10:58 PM
For anyone else that has this problem: i seemed to have solved my problem...i leave the closet light on at night for the cats.

I did this one night by accident and did not have a problem. so decided to continue it as an experiment. sure enough, the problem stopped and our house has been outside-the-box poop-free for 3 weeks!!

who could have guessed :rolleyes:

Cactus Flower
August 27th, 2004, 02:22 AM
WOW! Do you think it was a matter of actually not being able to see the litterbox?

I'm glad you got this resolved :)

glasslass
August 27th, 2004, 09:43 AM
Maybe just a case of scaredy-cat?

chico2
August 27th, 2004, 09:55 AM
I always have a light on in the downstairs bathroom for the cats :D
Hubby says they can see in the dark,but I would like to see him trying to aim for the toilet in the dark :D
I am happy you got the problem solved.