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Messes Outside the Litter Box

  • This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 18 years, 1 month ago by imported_sharingsunshine.
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      My 11 yr old cat has been steadily using the house as her litterbox.  I took her to the Vet. and he said that she is the alpha cat and it’s behavioral.  I have 2 other cats and have 3 litterboxes but she continues to use outside the box.  I started to isolate her in a bathroom with food, water, and clean box.  She uses the box and doesn’t mess anywhere in the bathroom.  But when I let her out after 4-5 days, she finds a spot to mess!  I won’t put her to sleep but she cannot continue to mess the house. I feel guilty for keeping her in the room alone. Any suggestions?


        I set up a kitty-condo area in the living room for my older cat who needed to be away from the dogs and also was spraying in the house. This way he is still with us, able to see and hear us, and get pets. I have it set up on a table by the window and he really likes it there.


          Sounds like you are already considering most of these points in this article written by a local training place.  Maybe something will still give a clue for you or somebody in the future with the same problem.  You may find information at the website of Center Hill School also:

          Litter Box Issues
          Most people don?t think about housebreaking a cat. They assume that cats will automatically use a litter box,
          but this isn?t always the case. If your cat is not using the litter box, go through the following check list and
          make sure you try each suggestion.

          1. Is this a medical problem?
          If a cat suddenly starts going outside of the box, be sure to have a veterinarian check and make sure the
          cat doesn?t have a medical problem, such as a urinary tract infection.

          2. Is this a litter problem?
          Some cats have a preference for a certain type of litter. Try different litters to see if the cat likes one
          type over another. Most cats do not like perfumed litters and litter box liners. These items may be
          handy for humans, but they aren?t so handy if the cat does not use the box because of them.

          3. Are there enough litter boxes?
          Imagine a house full of five people having to line up for one bathroom, or the only bathroom that was
          available was way across the house, up the stairs, and in a back corner. Have more than one box. For
          multiple cat households, be sure there is one box more than cats in the house.

          4. What type of litter box?
          Some cats don?t like lids on a cat box. They feel vulnerable and want to see around as they do their
          business. If there?s a lid on the box, try taking it off.

          5. Are the litter boxes clean?
          Once a week might seem like enough to humans for cleaning out the cat box, but think about using a
          toilet that only gets flushed once a week. YUCK! Scoop the box every day.

          6. Is this a location problem?
          Some cats have a preference for where they go. If a cat is peeing or pooping outside of the box, try
          placing a box in the area that the cat has chosen. If this is an area that a cat box cannot be placed, try
          feeding the cat in this area. Cats won?t relieve themselves in their feeding area. Citrus spay squirted in
          the area where unwanted relieving is occurring may help. Soft Scrub bleach can be applied to
          baseboards to discourage cats as well.

          7. Is the cat spayed or neutered?
          A spayed or neutered cat is less likely to spray and mark territory.

          8. Is there a new cat in the house?
          If a new cat has been introduced to the house, the introductions may not have been done properly. A
          gradual introduction needs to happen, with cats being separated in different rooms. In order to help the
          cats become familiar with each other?s scent, swap the cats back and forth between the rooms they are
          separated in. Also, put the new cat in a crate for feeding times and allow the cats to eat next to each
          other. The cats will begin to associate positive things with each other.

          9. Is there a new cat in the neighborhood?
          Even indoor cats may be aware of a new presence even if it is outside of their own home and begin
          marking around the house to establish their territory. Keep all neighborhood cats away from the house.
          Put tin foil under bushes and spray citrus spray around the outside of the house. Keep curtains closed so
          your cat can?t see cats outside.

          10. Has the cat ever been taught where to go?
          So often people assume a cat knows where to go to the bathroom. It may be that the cat is confused and
          hasn?t properly been taught where to go in a human world. If so, it?s time to housebreak the cat. Put the
          cat in a small room or crate with a cat box in the back. Encourage the cat to use the box, and praise the
          cat when she does. Take the time to play with your cat after she?s relieved herself in the box. As the cat
          starts to successfully use the box, slowly increase the space that the cat has access to. Don?t rush things.
          This takes time and involvement in order to catch the cat in the act and direct him to the box, but the
          time is well spent to solve elimination problems and bring harmony to the household.

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