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Litter problem persists

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi Again.

I'm almost at the end of my tether with our kitten Boots refusing to use his litter tray.

During the summer it was no problem, he would cry to get out to go and do his business. However, it is getting cold outside, winter is fast approaching and our temps can get as low as -20°C, and he is no longer crying to get out and pooing in the spare bedroom - again!!

I have two litter trays and have put one in the spare bedroom where he has been going but now is just doing it beside the litter tray (literally right next to it).

I thought about trying to put normal sand in one to find out if he just didn't like litter (although the pet shop insisted he was clean when he came to us and I bought the same kind of litter). He does not use the litter for No1's either but I've never found any evidence of them in the house.......I'm a little confused about that one.

I've had cats before and never experienced anything like this!!!

He is too young to be neutered yet but I'll get that done asap. I've been to the vet to get him checked out for any infection but all was OK.

Thanks for any help!
post #2 of 18
Sometimes it is the type of litter. Try buying different types and put different in each box. keep a check and see if he will use any of the the different kinds of litter. Good luck.It is so frustrating to try and figure out why the refuse to use the litter box.
post #3 of 18
there is something that you can put into litter that is called "Cat Attract" and we use it in the office to coax our new kitten to go potty in the big kitty litter pan. He loves cat nip and now jumps right in, as he covers his "mass" the scent of catnip comes out... mmm... much better than poo...
post #4 of 18
You got him from a pet shop?

That can be the problem right there. The thing with pet shops is that very oftens the animals area (i.e. litterbox) can often go days without being cleaned, so they quickly lose that sense of cleanliness, and a cats natural urge to be clean and use the litterbox quickly diminishes.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the quick replies.
Just a few answers to questions.

I have two different types of litter and that makes no difference. In France we do not get a huge variety so I've tried them all now.

I can try the catnip thing - I think we can get that here, sure I've seen in the pet shop.

I never saw the litter try in the pet shop so I don't know if it was clean or not. Our ones are because he has never used them!!

What about using just normal sand????
Good or bad idea??
post #6 of 18
My cats is named Dumpster because he will not poop in the litter box and eventually stopped using the litter box all together.

I started to use a clear plastic tray that was the lining of a bird cage. He seemed to like that but I have to clean it EVERY time he goes 1 or 2.

Recently I bought the Cat Attract litter and this morning there was a break through. He peed in a litter box!!!

Trust me I understand your pain, there are ways around it but none very attractive. Dumpster's clear tray is in the kitchen! That's really appealing. But I love him so I try to encourage him and have patience. I've had him for three to four years!
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
We're almost out of hope now and patience!!
Andy now hates the cat, it's all getting too much. Boots knows what the litter tray is for because I found him peeing in it yesterday. I was ecstatic!! I went out to the shops, back 30 minutes later and there was poo everywhere - all over the guest room! Not just the corner where he always used to go but all over, all 4 corners of the room and one in his litter tray......What is going on??

Anyways, he got kicked out for a while (so angry I couldn't look at him). He came back in and I've just found another 3 poos in the guest room, all in different corners.

I want to close the door but then where will he go - my office, our bedroom, the living room??? At least he is contained to one room now!

We have now tried everything and the only option seems to be the pound. But I can't bring myself to do it........PLEASE any final ideas would be great!!!! We are willing to try anything!
post #8 of 18
Have you tried the sand yet? If not, have a go at it and see what happens.

You might want to have him checked out by your vet too. I'm not an expert, but that seems to be a lot of #2 for one cat. With 3 cats we get about that much in a day and you've only got one cat.

Good luck!
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm going to try another type of litter than we can apparently get in Germany (France is rubbish, there are only two types here). This litter is really fine (like sand) but it clumps - which sand does not do.

We also have to try some cat nip in the litter tray - anything to get him to go into it.

I just found a pile of wet clothes too - it appears that the laundry basket is the new place to pee!!!! Oh, joy!

We are hoping to find a solution soon. Boots is such a lovely little thing with a great character. We have had so much fun with him. Unfortunately, the litter/pee/poo situation is taking over and making us so frustrated with him that we are no longer having fun.

I'll keep you posted...........
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've just been reading another post and something just clicked!

Now I don't know if this is a flash of inspiration or a terrible idea. Could I get a large dog crate and put Boots into the crate to try and retrain him to use a litter tray? Or would that frighten the bejesus out of him? He is used to roaming around all day (inside and out) but I'm thinking that if he really has nowhere else to go but in the litter tray in the crate then when he got out he would realise that things were not so bad in the litter tray?

Or would it push him over the edge in the opposite direction??

Any thoughts?
Is it just too cruel?
post #11 of 18
Originally Posted by MrsHaggis View Post
Could I get a large dog crate and put Boots into the crate to try and retrain him to use a litter tray?
That's exactly what i was about to suggest. Let him out from time to time for play, but anytime you can't watch him put him in the crate.

Have you tried putting potting soil in the litter too? If he's used to going outside he might like that.

I also agree with fuzzymolly, it seems like a lot of poop for one little cat.
post #12 of 18
It might also be worth picking some up and leaving his poo in the litter tray so he gets used to it being there and may even try to cover it over.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, we went out this weekend and got ANOTHER kind of litter - which is really small and more like sand than litter and we sprayed it with CatNip. And Boots used it to pee (for the first time in months!!!!) However, he refused to use it to poop! He wakes us up at 5am (OK during the week, rough at the weekends) to be let out to do his business.

We have tried with the new litter to put him in it but he just screams and screams until we let him out!

I thought of trying potting soil but wouldn't it really smell and be difficult to clean?? Worth a shot though - we have two litter trays so I guess I could try it in one!

I ran the crate thing by my husband but he hates the idea. Deep down he really loves this kitten and I think he thinks it cruel!!!

So for the moment we will try the soil and hope for the best!
And we'll try putting some poo in his litter box too and see if that helps any.

I think the type of food we were giving him (Friskies Junior) was too rich and didn't agree with him (hence all the poo!!). Since we switched back to Whiskas he's only going twice a day!!

Thanks again for all the advice
post #14 of 18
Good luck, we have fingers and paws crossed for you !

I think as long as you keep letting Boots outside to poo though, it will be more difficult to convince him to poo indoors in a tray.
post #15 of 18
Retraining him in a small room or crate might definitely be a good way of getting started. I would use indeed litter that resembles sand and clumbs together, put him in a small room with a bed, food and water, and a kittylitter tray. Make sure you put the food as far as possible away from the litter, and see how he does.

Guest rooms are often favorites to make a toilet out of because they are quiet. It is not a room that everyone just bursts into every five seconds.That and the cold might have been the initial trigger back when.
Also, i know its hard(ive been there myself), but try not to be mad at him. He does not do this to spite you. And the most common reason why cats do not use their litter tray(besides it being dirty) is stress. Showing him that you re pissed will only increase that stress. Try some catnip and play to alleviate that stress. You ll need him to be in a positive mindset if you want to retrain him successfully.

good luck
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Finally Boots has used his litter!!!!

Well its not really litter but potting soil (thanks for the tip missymotus)!! We still have the two litter trays - he has peed in one (the one with the real litter and lots of catnip) and using the other one for poo (twice in 5 days)!!

We were so elated the first time that we broke open a very lovely bottle of wine to celebrate!!

So the plan now is to use the potting soil and catnip for about two/three weeks, then put in a bed of real litter and cover it with potting soil and catnip and eventually over a couple of months try to wean him off the potting soil. It's really hard to keep clean and its smells a little bit more than the litter does.

BUT we have progress - I think we both (all) needed it!! He still prefers to go outside during the day. At night its below zero now so he is not so keen on waking us up to get out!

Boots seems more content too - probably because we are not pissed at him. I know, bad form and bad idea but its so difficult to just walk away!! He is a lot more cuddly and we're all much happier. Amazing what a little potting soil can do!!!

I'll keep you posted on our progress!!!!
post #17 of 18
I just wanted to add that some cats do not like to pee and poo in the same box. The general rule is if you have one cat you have 2 litter boxes, 2 cats, 3 litter boxes, i.e., one more litter box than the number of cats you have. That may have been part of your kitty's problem all along.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
He has actually had the two litter boxes since we got him.

I think he just hates litter to be honest. He'll only use it if really desperate - he's only peed in it once. I know that letting him out all the time probably doesn't help but he is an outdoor kitty and he plays with the kitty next door for hours on end, trying to keep him indoors would be almost impossible now!! And not good for our ears........
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