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Pregnant stray wont use litter box :(

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have taken in a pregnant stray who is about 1-2 weeks away from delivery. We have to keep her inside now and for 12 weeks postpartum when she will be spayed. She is a sweet cat, but she does not use the litter box.

I have tried all sorts of litter and several products recommended by my vet (cat attract and a few others) and so far, she still wont use the box. If I let her into the yard, she will poop in the yard, usually in an area that is covered by bark chips. So I brought some bark chips in and put them in one of the litter boxes....but she still uses various parts of the house as a litter box.

I know I could put her in a cage to confine the poop, but this seems cruel since she is used to her freedom. I would love to continue giving her the run of the house, but I don't want it to smell like a giant litter box.

If I allow her to go in and out as she pleases, there is no problem--she will use the backyard as a litterbox. But now and for 12 weeks after she delivers, letting her outside is out of the question since there are Toms in the neighborhood and I can't let her get pregnant again. So what can I do with this litterbox-averse cat who will be inside my house for the next 3 months??

Any advice would be greatly appreciated since this is my first experience with a stray. Thanks!!
post #2 of 9
Purchase some organic potting soil (no additives). Fill the litter box with this. Have two more boxes ready with just clay litter (not clumping). When she pees or poops in the dirt, scoop it out and put whichever it is in one of the clay boxes. Wait until she does the other one, then scoop that out and put it in the other litter box filled with clay litter.

I wouldn't removed the dirt box just yet - I'd remove some of the dirt, bunch it up to one side so there's room to put down some clay litter over half of it.

She doesn't know what litter is, but wants to use something she knows. Her smell in the soiled dirt in the clay will help her, and slowly mixing in clay litter into her dirt box a little at a time will also help. At some point remove one of the boxes, but I would leave two out for her. She's used to going outside, which means she's used to using a "clean" patch, so having one box for pee and one for poop will also help, just in case you're not there to scoop as soon as she goes.

for what you're doing!

Laurie
post #3 of 9
I forgot to add - once she's using the clay litter boxes, then you can work on switching to clumping litter. That switch could go pretty easily - but I'd give her a few days of using the clay boxes. If she's successfully doing that, then I'd replace one side of one clay litter box with clumping litter, leaving clay in the other half. If she still uses the box, then I'd try switching the whole thing. If she uses it, you should be good to go.

Laurie
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Wow this is great advice, thank you. I just got a huge bag of organic soil, so I'll start tonight and see if she uses it.

Also, she has chosen a particular spot (on an upholstered couch) where she keeps going. I cleaned it with 'Capture' but she continued going in the same place. I now have it covered with plastic trash bags but sometimes she'll even try digging in the trash bags. Is there something I can spray on it to repel her from this area? Thanks!!!
post #5 of 9
Nature's Miracle?
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks LDG!!! She pooped in the soil box during the night, sooooo so far so good.

I'll follow your instructions and see if I can't get her to eventually use the clumping litter box. But I'm just glad she used A box, and not my sofa or carpet.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
Nature's Miracle?
I have some in my arsenal, so I'll give it a shot.
post #8 of 9
You might want to restrict her access to the house to make sure she doesn't give birth somewhere it is hard for you to keep an eye on things. Also, be careful with clumping litter, it shouldnt' be used with kittens in case they eat it.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by booktigger View Post
You might want to restrict her access to the house to make sure she doesn't give birth somewhere it is hard for you to keep an eye on things. Also, be careful with clumping litter, it shouldnt' be used with kittens in case they eat it.
REALLY good point. I'm so not used to working with pregnant ferals. I'd stick to the clay litter.

Also, since she used the sofa, I would use the entire bottle of Nature's Miracle on the spot. Shake it well, pour it slowly - let it soak in. Then cover the area with aluminum foil and let it air dry. It may need a second application. The scent of her pee will encourage her to continue using the spot - so it's got to be really thoroughly doused with an enzyme cleaner. Nature's Miracle works, but isn't the best. I've heard rave reviews about Anti Icky-Poo (available here: http://www.catfaeries.com). We use Nok Out (http://www.nokout.com).

If you think she may have peed somewhere else other than the couch, I'd get a small black light and go through your home at night with it. Pee will show up as an orange splotch.

Glad the soil seems to be working.

Laurie
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