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Old December 22nd, 2007, 06:00 PM
milesaway1980 milesaway1980 is offline
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Cat won't stop pooping next to litter box

My wife and I are very frustrated. We've had a single cat home for quite a while and for our first anniversary, I got my wife another kitten (the first one was mine, or more so, I was his) so this cat was for her. We first noticed that he was pooping in the shower and the bathroom sink. It was irritating, but fortunately easy to clean up, and with patience and training we got him to stop. Now, however, he has resigned to pooping NEXT to the litter box. He will only use it when it is completely cleaned out and unused. We've been through three litter boxes, one with a door, one without a lid of any kind, and now a self cleaning one yet he just will NOT stop going to the bathroom on the floor next to the litter box. He was four months when we got him and is now seven months and we are near our wits end. I've gotten to where we're trying to clean the litter box two to three times a day for two cats just to keep him happy and it's not working.
Our other cat has had one accident in his entire life when he was three weeks old so I'm not sure what to do. Any help and training advice would be great.

Some behavioral cues:
He's a Russian Blue, who is very sweet and loving and adores my wife and I and loves our other cat. He only poops on the floor, but never pees. He KNOWS he's not supposed to, I know when he's done it because he will run and hide before I've even seen it. He also knows he's supposed to use the litter box because it's always right next to it, never in corners or other places around the house.

A second litter box is simply not an option, I won't even consider it. We can only bend over backwards so much for a cat, he needs to learn to obey the rules. *sigh* Please help, I don't want to get rid of him.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 06:08 PM
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It sounds to me like your kitten is very fastidious. Some cats just don't like using the same box as another cat! I was even speaking to a lady the other day who has one cat who had this issue. Her vet told her to get another box for him and he stopped. He just didn't want to do his business in the same box all the time.
I hope you reconsider your decision not to get another litter box. For the little extra it would cost and the little extra work you would have to do it should not be a huge issue. You would probably have one very very happy kitten and a peaceful household.
And btw....welcome to Pets.ca and we like pictures here.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 06:12 PM
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Why is a second litter box not an option? I think it's your only choice as most cats prefer to have their own. I don't see how it is "bending over backwards for a cat".
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 06:16 PM
milesaway1980 milesaway1980 is offline
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Thanks for the welcome. I'd love to get some pictures up. Unfortunately, we just don't have an apartment large enough for another litter box. Our current one is in our kitchen due to lack of space. The only place that even has room for a box is the middle of the living room so it just isn't an option.
If we had more room, I would probably get him another one. I understand about a kitten wanting to be clean and have his own space, but how do you make the little guy understand that he just doesn't have that choice??
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milesaway1980 View Post
Unfortunately, we just don't have an apartment large enough for another litter box. Our current one is in our kitchen due to lack of space. The only place that even has room for a box is the middle of the living room so it just isn't an option.
If we had more room, I would probably get him another one. I understand about a kitten wanting to be clean and have his own space, but how do you make the little guy understand that he just doesn't have that choice??
Oh but you do have room! Did you not mention that he has used the shower? Why can you not put a box in the shower and when it is being used for showering put the box just outside the door?? You said you have tried three different types of boxes so unless you threw them out you already have a box. Go on.....give it a try.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 06:26 PM
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Or, could you make a little space in a closet?
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Also, if you have room in your kitchen there is no reason why both litter boxes can't be there. I have two cats and both litter boxes are side-by-side in the basement.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbow View Post
Also, if you have room in your kitchen there is no reason why both litter boxes can't be there. I have two cats and both litter boxes are side-by-side in the basement.
I had thought of that too. Smaller boxes side by side. Just so it's their own.
You say he loves your wife and you and the other cat. Sounds like he has settled in and become part of the family. It would be a shame to "get rid of him" over a little issue like this. :sad:
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 10:10 PM
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Generally with litterboxes the rule is at least one per cat.. if not one per cat plus another. Honestly, this may never stop until you have one per cat..
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 10:44 PM
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I agree with the advice from the others. I have one cat who is quite large (not fat just a big boy) and he sometimes prefers to use our bathtub or the mat right next to the box. I believe it is because he is quite large and finds it uncomfortable to balance in the box while pooping . I personally find it fairly easy to deal with the poop on the mat, not really any different from scooping it out of the litter box. I think making a big deal of it may force him to hide elsewhere to do his business and that would be much more of a problem.

BTW, I had to laugh at "he must learn to obey the rules". Didn't you know that cats are the ones who set the rules .
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milesaway1980 View Post
A second litter box is simply not an option, I won't even consider it. We can only bend over backwards so much for a cat, he needs to learn to obey the rules. *sigh* Please help, I don't want to get rid of him.
No, I think YOU need to "learn to obey the rules", and the rule is that you should have at least have one box per cat. Either that or you might as well learn to like picking cat poop up off the floor.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 09:26 AM
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Just a thought, but you could also 'hide' one in plain sight, like under a chair. That way there is also some privacy and since you scoop so often anyway, smell should not be an issue. I had a small apartment , 6 cats, and 7 litterboxes... I just had to make room and be a little creative.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbow View Post
Or, could you make a little space in a closet?
Then you will have to clean it often to avoid getting the smell in the clothes ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeriM View Post
I agree with the advice from the others. I have one cat who is quite large (not fat just a big boy) and he sometimes prefers to use our bathtub or the mat right next to the box. I believe it is because he is quite large and finds it uncomfortable to balance in the box while pooping . I personally find it fairly easy to deal with the poop on the mat, not really any different from scooping it out of the litter box. I think making a big deal of it may force him to hide elsewhere to do his business and that would be much more of a problem.

Try a newspaper stuck half-way under the box, so that when he does poop next to the box, you just have to rip off the top page and throw it away.

BTW, I had to laugh at "he must learn to obey the rules". Didn't you know that cats are the ones who set the rules .
True, true! Cats are the true rulers of any household, over dogs and humans!
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Then you will have to clean it often to avoid getting the smell in the clothes ...

What's wrong with that? .... cleaning the litter box often, I mean.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 01:01 PM
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Nothing, nothing! I was just saying ... and it also depends on what's in the closet, I mean is it the clothes, the bathroom towels or just the broom
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Well, just the broom would be preferable but I wouldn't be picky cuz the cat comes first.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 01:12 PM
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Why, of COURSE !!! That goes without saying !!! Voyons donc!
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 01:31 PM
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milesaway1980, I hope we haven't scared you away .....please update us.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 04:11 PM
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I'd say,if you cannot have 2 boxes,get rid of the selfcleaning box and get a large Rubber-Maid storage-box,I have 2 for 3 cats and it works fine,
They are large enough so if there happens to be another cats pee in there,they can still find a clean spot.Good Luck!
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Old December 24th, 2007, 02:54 PM
milesaway1980 milesaway1980 is offline
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Hey everyone, thanks for all the feedback. It's definitely a lot to consider. I think my best viable option is to train him to use the toilet. I'm serious when I say that a second litter box just isn't an option. Our apartment is very small and there just isn't a place for it. I'm very willing to love my cats dearly, but I'm not willing to live my life around litter boxes (which is already an issue in our very small apartment with just one) because the little guy is being finicky. It's not much, but it's our home and we want to be comfortable in it. I'm much more willing to either take a lot of patience and training to train him to either get over it or just use the toilet.
Secondly, I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that my first cat will use both of them without thinking twice no matter who's used it so I'll probably just be finding poop in front of TWO litter boxes instead of one.
As for training the cat not to do it, I just figured if people can train animals to jump through hoops of fire, do tricks, sit perfectly still for hours for a cat show, etc... , you could teach them to just quit griping and share a litter box. I don't find my first cat pooping elsewhere in the house because he's sharing, and the litter box and the litter box location have both changed since both cats have been in the house so I don't imagine there's any ownership.
I've had cats my whole life and have had had up to five or more happily share a well cleaned box without ever complaining or going elsewhere so this is really new (and frustrating!) for me. Looks like I'll be toilet training soon.

Last edited by milesaway1980; December 24th, 2007 at 02:59 PM.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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Well, good luck with that. Poor kitty, I really hope for his sake that he can swim. :sad: How sad for him.
Are you absolutely, positivily sure it is the new kitty who is pooping on the outside of the box and not your new one? That could be his way of showing HIS displeasure. Or he could have done it first and the kitten, being a baby, saw and decided to emulate him.
Not sure if you picked up on it but a few people have said......you don't train cats, they train you! This is, by and large, very true. I have 16 and while I like to think they run on my schedule............... not on my life!!! I know when they are hungry and when they expect me to play with them and when they want to rest. I didn't do that, they did. I also have had cats my whole life. It's amazing the love they give you, isn't it?

Just as an aside and please don't take offense....... you said in your reply, and I quote.........and the litter box and the litter box location have both changed since both cats have been in the house so I don't imagine there's any ownership. So why, pray tell, can not a litter box go where there was one when there was just one kitty??????
Please post some pics soon. I would love to see what your babies look like as would lots of others, I'm sure. We love pics on this site.
Merry Christmas milesaway.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 04:43 PM
milesaway1980 milesaway1980 is offline
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The litter box moved by rearranging the kitchen. Where it used to be is now filled with what used to be where it is now. If that makes sense. I'm also quite sure it's not my first cat (Tiger), he just backs into the litter box, puts his hind legs over the edge and goes, he doesn't care what's in there. He was also recently very sick (all better now) but when he was, the diarrhea was in the litter box, the "healthy" stuff was on the floor.

Please don't worry, I am racking my brain to think of a place another litter box can go, I want my kitties to be happy, I love them both. I want them to be happy and I don't mean to sound like a hard case. It's just that I feel that if we're going to share a home, we need to respect each other, not just me catering to them.

As for toilet training, it's still just an idea at the moment. But IF he were to fall in, I'm not too worried about him, he's a big kitty (Mojito)! He's about nine months and I think he's already about 16 pounds, very muscley. I'll try and get some pictures soon.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 08:04 PM
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Sometime cats just like to poo in one box and pee in another. My friend has three cats and that is what all three do.

MarySmith
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Old December 25th, 2007, 02:10 PM
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Hi. I'm new here, but have had cats in my life for a long time. Just a couple of thoughts. These have all happened to us. Please don't take offense.

Hope you can solve the mystery. You sound like you really love your cats or you wouldn't be here asking for help. Good luck!

1. Is the litter box big enough? Don't know the size of your cat, but I have had big cats before that thought they were pooping in the box, when their rear ends were actually hanging outside of the box. Solution: Bigger litter boxes.

2. Are you sure cat #1 isn't forcing cat #2 out of the litter box or harrassing cat #2 so he can't poop in peace, but is actually rushed? Cats do have a pecking order.

3. What are you using to clean the litter box? Are you scrupulous about cleaning feces off the sides of the box? Does the litter box smell of urine? Cats have a fantastic sense of smell and can detect odors we cannot? My cats won't use the litter boxes when they are due for changing and start to smell of urine. I use a nontoxic cleaner, Sun & Earth.

4. Scooping or clay litter? Since I have multiple cats and use newspaper pellet litter, I completely change the litter twice a week and scoop stool on a daily basis. Two of the boxes that get the most use have to be changed twice a week.

5. Sometimes if one cat is sick (you said one cat had a problems previously), the other cat(s) won't use the box because there is an off smell.

6. Has both cats been checked by a vet for intestinal or urinary problems?
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Old December 26th, 2007, 05:49 AM
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Just one more suggestion on top of the good ones from Cassiopeia: you might want to try Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract litter. Lots of people have had success with it when their cat's elimination habits go astray.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 08:36 PM
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Coming in late to this.

If the cat is repeatedly pooping in the same spot, it's likely that the scent is still there, attracting him to that spot.

Normal soap and water won't de-scent the area, you need something like "Nature's Miracle". It's an enzyme cleaner that actually breaks down the organic matter that is there.
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