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Do I need to change something here? (Help Please!!! Long)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
I have a question about my cat, Hattie. The litter boxes are always kept down in the basement, as we have no other place to put them. This has never been a problem for our cats, and in fact, works out rather well, as the dogs have no access to the basement because the cats enter/exit through their CatHole door.

I have only been in the basement on a rare occassion when the cats are actually using their litter boxes. Yesterday I was in the basement doing laundry when I noticed Hattie using her box. She very reluctantly put her feet down in the litter. It seemed as if she didn't want to have to step on it. (She is declawed by her previous owners, but, many years ago. Two paw declaw). She has always faithfully used her litterbox and continues to do so. I don't know if I am reading too much into this, but, it really appeared to me that she just hated stepping on the litter. She then proceeded to prop herself (front two paws) on the side of the litter box with only her back paws in the litter while she was urinating. She did her business and then steps completely out of the box and reaches in with her front paws and covered up her urine. (Just so the thread doesn't go the direction of the cat having a UTI or something like that, Hattie was just seen at the vet, is healthy and has no UTI. She urinated just fine with no problems noted).

Can a cat dislike their litter? I used to faithfully use Cat Pride premium plain clay litter, but, it is no longer available. When I switched, I went with FreshStep, but, I dislike this brand due to its very heavy perfume. I have been using this for many months, though. I noticed that Duncan doesn't appear to want to use the box after I put fresh litter in it (Fresh Step)...he used the box that had not been cleaned yet before he used the cleaned box with the Fresh Step in it. Hmmmm...

I have 2 litter boxes in the basement now. This is what I am thinking of doing: buying another litter box and use the pearls or the soft, scoopable style of litter and see if Hattie would like that better. I hope I don't mess up their excellent litter box habits by trying out other litters. I will keep their two boxes the same litter, but, am going to add a 3rd box with another style of litter, just to see if it makes a difference for them. Think this is an OK idea?

Please respond!!! Cindy W.
post #2 of 11
i have heard that declawing can cause permanent problems, could you have Hatties paws checked out to make sure they dont hurt?
post #3 of 11
Originally posted by Cindy W.
I will keep their two boxes the same litter, but, am going to add a 3rd box with another style of litter, just to see if it makes a difference for them. Think this is an OK idea?
That's exactly what I was going to suggest! And leave the original boxes in the same location, and put the new one nearby.

Kitties are funny. They may end of liking having all three working, and having 2 different kinds of litter (for different moods). One of my kitties steps carefully on the litter too as if she is not liking the feel on her feet. I've tried different kinds and she still does this. She also stands on the edge to do poopies (I guess she is afraid the poopies might land on her feet?) and when she is done with her business she flies out of the box like a bat outa hell.

As long as the kitties are using the box correctly, then that's the most important thing. Getting the exact perfect litter is just icing on the cake, so to speak
post #4 of 11
I agree! It sounds like you know exactly what to do. Let us know how the new box and litter work out.
post #5 of 11
I would, to be safe and if Hattie allows you to, check her paws carefully and see if you see any type of problem with them. It could also be that she is having some problems with her back, and is trying to take the strain of her weight off her in some way while she relieves herself. Cats need their claws for balance when they walk. But I do have several cats that pee in that position all the time, and they have their claws. They are all long hairs, the ones I see doing this, and it made me wonder if they just disliked getting litter on their hair around their bum?
post #6 of 11
Cats can definitely dislike certain types of litter. Your description of her behavior fits my cat's when confronted with pearls or crystals. He much prefers scoopable litters that are very fine-grained. By the way - we're boxer fans, too! Aren't they lovable?
post #7 of 11
I have a cat that has done that ever since we got him. He is an abyssinian. He is a very funny little cat.He picked it up one day while in the potty with my s/o I swear.He used to do his peeing the other way and then after that one day, he now stands up in the one corner of the box and does his business, He will still do #2 the other way but he has to pee like the big boys for some strange reason. My other male cat doesn't do that though(he's a grey tabby). go figure.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just thought I would post an update on the litter box situation. I bought an additional litterbox and purchased the soft scoopable litter. I have yet to see which cat is enjoying the new litter box so much, but, either one of them or both of them is making use of it! I guess I am now doing the recommended thing for them anyway by having two boxes + one extra (for 2 cats).

One question about the scoopable litter:
I notice that it clumps up into big balls in the area that is urinated on (I realize that is what it is designed to do)...but, there are also small tiny-size clumped up areas. Do you worry about them being left in the litter box? I have a litter scoop that has holes too big to sift out those small clumps. Make sense? Should I get a scoop with smaller holes, or should I not worry about the small clumps left in the box? Does anybody else have this problem?

Well...that's it for now!
post #9 of 11
i use tidy cat crystal blend. i'm very happy with it. I scoop the litter out daily (everythign little clumps big clumps) and then every week or so I dump all the litter and was the box out really good. it keeps the house from getting sticky
post #10 of 11
Cindy, you're my kind of kitty mommy! you worry about the same things I do! :tounge2:

On the scooping type litter, get a wide scoop with a flat leading edge (not rounded like a spoon) and when you scoop drag the scoop so it scrapes the bottom of the box. By scraping and lifting one strip of the box at a time, it prevents the balls from breaking up. (You should be scraping the balls up from the bottom, kinda like lifting cookies from a cookie pan, one section at a time.)

I used to worry about the little clumps and used a spoon with tiny slots to get them. But after about 10 years I realized my kitty didn't care about the little ones. You can also use the corner of your scoop (where it doesn't have slots) to remove the 1/4" pieces. If it is 1/8" mini clump, I think it's safe to say that you can just leave them in there.
post #11 of 11
Seems to me that if cats have likes and dislikes in food, it would follow they could be sensitive to texture. I have a friend who has two dogs. One loves the water and the other can't abide to get so much as a toe wet. So, yeah, it seems to me the cat just may not like the texture of the litter.
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