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pooing next to the litter box

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Greetings all,

My cat is a one year old Siamese mix who can't seem to poo in the litter box. Urinating is no problem, she goes right for the box then, but can't for the life of her poo in the right place.

I've had her for about a month and she's very comfortable with everything in the house and doesn't show any signs of being unhappy. She's well taken care of and gets plenty of attention.

She'll poo usually within inches of the box on either side, but occasionally it'll be next to the bathroom door around six feet away from the box.

At first I thought maybe it was an attention seeking thing because I always come home from work to find poo on the floor, but she did it tonight while I was home after being played with for an hour.

The litter box is regularly cleaned and restocked with fresh litter (though I don't think she's pooed in the litter box once since I've had her).

I'm considering changing litter or getting a second box, but I'm afraid that would confuse her so bad that it wouldn't matter.

Right now I'm frustrated beyond belief with this. Coming home to clean cat after a long day is NOT what I intend to do. She'll be locked in the bathroom tonight until I'm less irritated.

Any ideas, suggestions... something?

Thanks.
post #2 of 14
I'd definitely suggest trying a second litter box. Some cats just don't like to pee and poo in the same box.
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by wishiwas View Post
I'd definitely suggest trying a second litter box. Some cats just don't like to pee and poo in the same box.
Honestly this sounds like it might be a good thing to try. I know it sounds odd but cats can be like this. They have some hysterical idiosyncrasies!
post #4 of 14
I'll say the same thing I said in another thread: you'd be surprised how many cats like to pee in one box and poop in another. They don't want to do both in the same. Even if it's clean. I don't know why that is, but it just is. When this kind of thing happens, the first thing to try is always a second litterbox. I'd suggest putting it right next to the other one.

The second thing to try if that doesn't work is changing the litter. So oddly enough, both of the things you thought would confuse your cat are the primary remedies. I wouldn't worry too much about your cat being confused. I just can't picture my cats confused. Me, yes. Them, no.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas everyone.

This morning I bought one of those cheap disposable litter boxes just to see what happens. If that works I'll buy a real litter box. But I opened it up and put it on the floor and she went right to it and urinated in it, which is what she always does immediately when I change the litter. So hopefully she'll have marked that one the liquid waste box and the other one will be for solid waste only... but we shall see.

On the bright side of things (if you can call it a bright side), she's only pooing in the bathroom floor and not everywhere else.

I don't have a lot of cat experience, so most of this is pretty new. The last cat I took care of from time to time was an outside cat so I didn't have to worry with litter boxes and poo on the floor. This is my first real pet in about 17 years (our dog died in 1990... I was 9).

Again, thanks for the tips and keep them coming if anyone has more.

Thanks.
post #6 of 14
You're embarking on a great adventure - life with a cat.
post #7 of 14
If it doesn't seem to be working, put the second box right where she's been pooping (in the bathroom). Then if she starts going in there. Slowly move it where you want it...over the course of several days/weeks.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
It worked for a few days, I've even spent the night away from home a few times and came back to no poo in the floor.

But tonight I got home from work... instinct told me to check for poo. All clear.

I sat down in the bedroom, played with the cat for a bit and then started playing guitar. The cat is terrified of the guitar so she ran away. But kept coming back, seeing the guitar and running away. So I eventually closed the door so she couldn't come in and get scared.

After playing for a bit I went in the kitchen because my beer somehow went away... I immediately noticed the foul stench of cat . I have noticed that she's not so good at covering it up and thought she just didn't cover it. But something in the back of me head told me to check anyway. Nope... she in the floor.

Knowing that it had just happened within the past ten or fifteen minutes I felt justified in disciplining her. After a quick, forceful (but not too hard to hurt her) swat, I cleaned up her . She knows she's in trouble because she's been under the kitchen table ever since. If she poos under there she really will be in trouble.

Moving the box to where she's poo'ing won't matter because it'll be a move of inches. Only a few times has she pooed somewhere other than within six inches of the box. Which is what makes me so mad... she could easily move six goddamn inches and poo there.

Maybe it had something to do with being scared of the guitar, I don't know and I don't care. She'll have to learn to deal with the guitar.

Don't get me wrong. I love this cat, she's sweet and playful. But right now I'm furious with her.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychopomp View Post
Maybe it had something to do with being scared of the guitar, I don't know and I don't care. She'll have to learn to deal with the guitar..
Mmmmmmmm......one of the first things we learn about cats is that they usually win, and it's easier to just accomodate. Could you put her out of the room where you play your guitar and close the door?
post #10 of 14
Hi,
I would suggest wood chip litter.It's got good absorbtion and easy to clear.Also use a litter liner.I hope you have an enjoyable time with your cat
post #11 of 14
[QUOTEKnowing that it had just happened within the past ten or fifteen minutes I felt justified in disciplining her. After a quick, forceful (but not too hard to hurt her) swat, I cleaned up her . She knows she's in trouble because she's been under the kitchen table ever since. If she poos under there she really will be in trouble.
][/quote]

No amount of swatting, or screaming, or any other negative type reaction from you is going to work. If anything, it is only going to cause more behaviors.
Since you know when she poos, can you go and watch, and when she gets in the position, turn her around so her butt is in the litter, or pick her up and place her in the litter, and tell her she is a good girl when you do it? Maybe another litter box, small one, would be helpful. they cost around 3 dollars.

Litter boxes do not always have to be big ones. I have three big male cats, one big box and two kitten size boxes.

Fang does not like to put his front feet in the litter when he pees, he puts his bottom in, and the front feet are on the floor.

Cats will respond very well to positive reinforcement, love and encouragement. You could teach her not to be so fearful of the guitar as well, but all of this takes patience and understanding. Not discipline.

Good luck.
post #12 of 14
I can imagine how angry and frustrated you must feel!! You express yourself very well, and I just couldn't help laughing, although it surely is no laughing matter!!! I, too, am an inexperienced cat owner, but I have been very fortunate to have rescued a perfect cat (for me). He seems to realize that I have no idea what I'm doing, since I have always had dogs. I have been treating him as if he is a dog, and he's going along with it! I am now convinced that cats are smarter than dogs.
Here are my thoughts: Your little cat was very proud of himself for using the litter box and couldn't wait for you to get home and notice his accomplishment and realize that you had finally realized that he wanted two toilets.
Then, you "ruined" it all (in his thoughts) by playing that "thing" that he hates and is afraid of. So, he decided to punish you by pooping on the floor again, knowing that it would annoy you. Then when you reacted with anger, he was happy and realized that he had succeeded in punishing you! I do think that having the two litter boxes will work out for you and him, since it has already worked for a few days. Maybe you should refrain from playing the guitar just for a while until he is used to his new routine and realizes how very happy you are with him.
My kitten seems to know exactly what I am thinking, and reacts to my emotions in just the right way. As I said, I think I just happened to get a kitten who realized that I am new to owning a cat! And, he knows that he can train me to do things the way he wants them! Good luck, and please let us know how it goes!
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychopomp View Post
After a quick, forceful (but not too hard to hurt her) swat, I cleaned up her . She knows she's in trouble because she's been under the kitchen table ever since.
I agree with the poster above: This is already a stress issue, and this makes matters worse.

She's under the kitchen table because you have changed from a loving person to some kind of monster who hits her. That's all she knows.

The only way to ever change a cat's behavior is persuasion and respect. So I strongly urge you not to think "discipline" will work. Because it just does not.

She reacts to stress by pooping on the bathroom floor, for whatever reason. So the thing to do is make her life less stressful, since she has demonstrated she can use the litter box when her head is calm and clear. Even heavy play can overstress some cats, even if they seem to be having a good time.

My suggestions:
  • Try putting the poo in the litter box you want her to use, cover it half up, or whatever she does. Modeling the correct behavior is much more understandable to a cat than trying to punish something they simply can't see as a crime.
  • Instead of cranking her up with games, trying relaxing her instead. Are there quiet times you can share? Ever given her nip? Gotten down on the floor with her? When does she approach you and can you do that more often?
  • Bach's Rescue Remedy is a flower essence that I've used to calm stressed cats. Here's a link: http://www.rescueremedy.com/ and I've also gotten it at health food stores.

I understand that there's nothing more upsetting than litter box issues. Unfortunately, many litter box issues occur because the cat has no other way of communicating their stress. The person responds in a way that creates more stress, and things just get worse.

She does find your guitar a scary object, and I've found most cats do. Do you know why she is scared of it? It's impossible to play without sweeping the neck around, and this big object being swept around over their head triggers their instinctive fear of big birds who can snatch them away. (I live in an area with birds that big, for instance.) Most cats are like that.

So please don't see her as angry or petulant or resentful. She's just scared and stressed and doesn't know what to do. As the adult in the relationship, you need to figure out what she wants, and give it to her, and I hope I've been some help.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Werebear View Post
She does find your guitar a scary object, and I've found most cats do. Do you know why she is scared of it? It's impossible to play without sweeping the neck around, and this big object being swept around over their head triggers their instinctive fear of big birds who can snatch them away. (I live in an area with birds that big, for instance.) Most cats are like that.
That's very perceptive; I don't think I would have thought of that. Nice job of thinking from a cat's point of view!!
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