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He's driving me nuts

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've had my cat for ... God I don't know, something like 11 years? I found him hiding in a bush when he was a kitten, only a few weeks old. He has a skiddish nature, but at night when it's quiet he can be a rather affectionate kitty.

He's having problems with his litter box. Or rather, I'm having problems with him and his litter box.

1) He never covers up his pee and poo, so it smells bad before it should. This is a problem because the only place I can keep his box is in my bedroom closet. It's not the most ideal location, but I have a roommate so I keep it in my room out of consideration for my roommate.

2) He gets litter all over the hard wood floor in my closet when he gets out of his box. It drives me nuts because when I shower and go to my closet for clothes, I get cat litter stuck on the bottom of my feet. Yuck!

I've tried giving him a bigger cat box, thinking maybe he needed more room to do his business since he's a rather big cat.

I've tried a few different kinds of litter, but I finally settled on the one that is easiest to scoop since none of them seemed to change his behavior. He seems indifferent to what litter I use.

I've tried one of those place mat things that are designed to catch the litter on his paws, but he jumps over it because he doesn't want to walk on it. Now litter still gets everywhere...except the place mat I bought for him. I'm halfway considering walking on the cat's place mat since it's the only place there ISN"T litter

He's just hard headed and I don't know how to make him behave the way I want him to. Help!

- Dustin
post #2 of 13
Well you really can't make a cat behave the way you want him to. Especially after 11 years. Many cats don't cover their mess in the litterbox at all, especially older cats. You can get the litterbox that is completely enclosed and they have to walk down a ramp inside the box to get out which will clean off their paws.

Or you can try a litter like Feline Pine which smells wonderfully, or Yesterday's News which is popular but doesn't smell nearly as good. It is a pellet litter and the pieces are very large. The urine turns to sawdust so your cat may track a little of that on the floor but it is easier to sweep up, or you can get rid of the sawdust right away.
post #3 of 13
I agree with Jen, your cat is 'settled' in his ways and I think the only optons are to change the other things, eg, type of cat-lit, maybe a different litter box, or I know you said there was nowhere else, it might be worth while considering another location for the box. Jen has made some great suggestions, but I am sure a general search on the net will also bring up some more ideas for you
post #4 of 13
I agree that you aren't going to be able to change your cats habits... but you can change yours. If it smells quick try to scoop more frequently or find a litter that controls the odor better. As for the tracking cat litter I assume the mat you bought is one of those plastic nubby things? Do try walking on it cuz they actually hurt my feet to step on... I imagine it's not comfortable for the cat either. I have smallish throw rugs in front of my litter boxes. They are soft so the cats don't avoid them.
post #5 of 13
One of my cats is like that. Well, she tries to cover it but she always digs in a wrong direction and everything stays on top as a result. My second cat really solves the problem. When she goes to the littler box she covers her stuff really well and what the other cat did before. However, yes previous writers are right, it is hard to change your cat after that many years.

The litter around the little box is another problem. I am using regular scented cat litter. Of course it is used to be all around. Now I just have a tiny rug at the front of the litter box. I also have a small vacuum nearby. It helps to clean it quickly. Takes a minute or two everyday. Not too bad.
post #6 of 13
If he doesn't like an enclosed box (some don't because of the odor build-up) don't force it or you could end up with his going 'somewhere else' and it could be hard to get him to go back to the box. The carpet vs placemat's a great idea. A lot of male cats won't cover up - they're trying to scare other cats away (doesn't matter if you don't have one!).
post #7 of 13
You might try Tidy Cats "Immediate Odor Control," if you haven't already. We'd been using it for months and then tried Arm & Hammer on a whim... and we couldn't stand the odors! Tidy Cats really works much better.

If your kitty were not older and unaccustomed to a covered box, I would suggest you check out It's a $300 litterbox, but I'd pay TWICE that for it if I had to! It solves the not-covering-it-up problem and provides clean litter on every visit. And you never, never, never scoop again!

Maybe something to consider for future kitties.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, I tried the Buddha Dome because it was small and enclosed, which made the most sense since it was going to be in my closet. He's a rather big male cat though (a big fat fluff) and I don't think he liked using a box that was so small. So I chucked the Buddha Dome and I got him the biggest litter box I could find at the pet store. It didn't change his habits at all, but I like to think he's more comfortable in it.

- Dustin
post #9 of 13
I don't know the answer to the covering litter thing, but I had the same problem with the litter getting all over the floor. I even use those dome litter boxes that are supposed to catch litter before the cat leaves the box. Works to some degree, but not effectively.

My cats now wipe their paws when they are done with the litter box. How? I bought one of those heavy duty welcome mats for my entrance. They are nice looking and are made from what seems to be the same material as the cat scratch posts, just woven differently. My cats started using it as a cat scratcher, so I bought 2 more and placed one under their litter box. Now I just vaccuum up the rug, and no more litter everwhere.

I got mine from Costco, but they probably sell them other places. They look like regular floor matts, but they are made from a rougher sort of thread.
post #10 of 13
I have the same problem with one of my cat, Daisy. They use feline pine (pellets) and it helped with the urine odor but not with #2, but it was extremely easy to clean up if it gets on the floor compared to clay litters. I have an enclosed extra large box that I can insert two carbon filters to help with the odor. I had to go away for two days so I left two litter boxes out with clay litter (scoop away with crystals) and for some reason Daisy started to cover her litter. I also got the litter buster mat. They didn't like it at first but after a couple of days, they got use to it but mine are still kittens so they can adapt.

I doubt an old cat is willing to accept much changes so you might want to switch different litter and add additional mats that are more comfortable for him to walk on.

Do you keep a nightlight on in your closet? I keep a nightlight on at all time in their bathroom so they can see better.
post #11 of 13
Don't blame the kitty for tracking litter -- he can't help it if it sticks to his feet. I love the convenience of scoopable litter (and it is a great value since it lasts a whole month) -- but it does track. I also have hardwood floors and can tell when my cat has done his business because there is litter in the hallway. I use my Shark sweeper to get rid of the tracked litter. So far, any mat I've put in front of the box hasn't helped all that much. Just be happy if your cat is not like mine -- he kicks huge amounts of litter out of the box (but he does cover his deposits).
post #12 of 13
the only advice i have is to wear slippers after your shower
post #13 of 13
Try enclosed litterbox it helps for our cat, since he likes to cover his "deeds" rather rigorously and even with an enclosed one there is still some on the floor near it.
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