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Dumpster will not use a litter box an chooses a smooth floor

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
At least it's not the carpet. BUT I've lived with it for years. First it was just poop on the floor and now it's both. I tried to work around the problem by offering him two clear trays that can contain the bodily fluids but he uses them once and them goes on the floor. So if I don't get to clean the trays after every two pees I step in a puddle in the kitchen. He also uses the kitchen floor for #2. Needless to say the trays hold pure urine and smell awful. I have to wash them several times a day.

I've been concentrating more on Shadow my other cat that has food allergies and has been ill. She had a diahrea problem that was not confined to tile and was all over the carpets. So her health and my carpets were the immediate concern.

Now that she's better I would like to focus my energy on retraining Dunpster. I love him dearly and would never punish him for his "mistake". But he does not know that it's a nistake because he's been this way since I got him from a stranger online that was getting rid of him. I am not sure if this is the reason that she no longer wanted him but he's very skittish and has only improved and started to trust me in the last few years. I've had him approx. 3 - 4 yrs.

Without punishing him in anyway. (I don't want him to fear anything more than he already does) Can anyone offer retraining suggestions? Or is it something I will just have to grin and bear?
post #2 of 4
Has he been seen by a vet for this problem? It does sound more behaviour related than UTI, but you never know.

If you're not opposed, there are also medications that the cat can be given.

My girl cat, Boo, is an "emotional pee'er". When she's stressed or upset, she finds something of my husbands (usually a bag) and pees on it. We finally realized why she was doing this when we took in a stray mom cat to let her have her kittens in our spare room. The vet tested Boo's urine and it was negative for crystals or bacteria, so instead we put her on the equivalent of kitty prozac for about a month. It did bliss her out and during that time we worked on retraining her to the litterbox. She had her own room that she stayed in while we were gone and was only allowed out while we could supervise her. She also had a feliway difuser plugged in at all times.

She became more and more reliable without supervision while we had our stray cat here. The better she became, the more she could be left out without us watching her. Setbacks meant we restricted her time again.

She's pretty good now, a dirty box or her being upset by an outside cat or our other two will sometimes set her off, but not like before.

I also have a friend who has a cat that was abused as a kitten (kids kept trying to flush her down a toilet). She refuses to poop on anything other than the floor. She's found that she can put down a tarp with some unscented, non clumping litter and her cat will go on that. Then she can bundle it up about once a day and dispose of everything. Maybe you can see if you can at least train him to do something like that?

Since he will use an empty tray, do you think he would use the disposable baking trays? They're cheap, smaller than a litter box, so you could set out several for him to use. You could have several of them so if he goes through 4 a day, pop them in the dishwasher and lay out 4 different ones? Not very practical, but could save you from scrubbing your floor all the time!

post #3 of 4
I too would tell the vet about your problem, to be sure he doesn't have a problem w/ his bladder or something similar causing him pain when he urinates. His behavior would be a typical reaction to that kind of pain. Although, you say it's been going on for a very long time...but it never hurts to double check.

If it's purely behavioral, and you've worn out the other alternatives, then as jlutgendorf said, medication might help. Fluoxetine (Prozac) helped me, errr - my cat. It takes about 4-6 weeks to start seeing the results, but it could very well be worth it for you.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Yes I am going to take him to the vet. Unfortunatley he's really scared of leaving the house. When I moved he was so much in shock that he hid under the basement stairs. We are not even sure how he got under there as there was only a small hole and he's a 17 lb cat. We couldn't find him for a week and I even called an exterminator out. The exterminator said that he wasn't in the house. Finally my ex boyfriend's dad pulled a board out from under the stairs on a hunch and found him. We had to pull him out by wrapping a cord around him. He's finally comfortable in my new home (it's been 10 months) But I think this cat has endured some trauma. He's afraid of plastic bags, outside, he runs when I am cleaning his messes. I try to reassure him that I am not going to hurt him and I love on him after I clean so that he's not scared of me. He hides in the closet when other people come over. I really believe it's a behavioral problem. But I will take him the the vet. It was my next step anyway and see what he says. (although he didn't help much with Shadow) At least he can rule out medical issues and I can maybe get some kitty prozac to calm his fears.

As far as the disposable trays, I'm not sure he'd use them but it's worth a try. He's a large cat so I'm afraid he may miss with them because they are so lightweught and can be moved around easily. The tarp is a good idea if it's smooth enough for him to use, but if there's litter on it he won't then I am afraid the pee with run.

I love this cat so much and he's affectionalte to me alone, but he's so shy that I am afraid he's been abused. If I move too fast he's alarmed. If I pick him up he hates it so I try to scoot him to the food in the morning instead of picking him up. He drools when I pet him and is just so sensitive of a cat. So I will try your suggestions and hopefully I will have a happy kitty home again.

Thanks again.

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