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What are symptoms of not using the litter box?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We've just made the switch to Worlds Best Cat Litter, and have done it over a few weeks. They preferred the stinky, dusty clay litter, and are now having to deal with just WBCL.

There's less wees and poos in the boxes, but I've seen them all go at least once. With 3 cats it's hard to know how much everyone is going.

What happens if they stop using the litter box? Are they likely to just try and go elsewhere inappropriate? Are they likely to get constipated or get a UTI? What are the symptoms of these?

I'm hoping the amount of clumps in the litter box picks up soon, and I think I'm pretty in tune with my cat's normal behaviour, and would pick up if something is wrong, but it's good to be sure!
post #2 of 9
I would think that they would likely find an inappropriate place to eliminate. Cats can and do "hold it in" for awhile but obviously they can't do that forever.

Holding it in can indeed lead to constipation or a UTI. Some symptoms of constipation and a UTI include frequent trips to the litter box (or, if a cat has rejected the litter box, frequent squatting) with little or no output (this may or may not be accompanied by cries of discomfort) and excessive licking of the genital area. If you see this happening you must obtain medical help as soon as possible, because it doesn't take very long for the toxins in the uneliminated waste to build up in the body to levels that could be fatal if left unchecked.

I too am currently in the process of switching from Tidy Cats (awful at clumping) and Arm & Hammer (incredibly dusty) to WBCL and like you, I'm going very, very slowly to give things the best likelihood of success. So far, so good, but if and when either of my cats makes it clear that WBCL by itself is unacceptable, I will pull the plug and look for another litter that all of us would like. To me, the cats are the ones who dictate what brand/type of litter to use --- and what not to use. I'll tolerate the crappy Tidy Cats litter if it makes them less interested in going outside the box. Hopefully neither of us will have to worry about that though!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
We got home tonight and all I could smell was the corny WBCL smell

I hope that's just because it's fresh....
post #4 of 9
I never notice the WBCL smell unless I'm right up by it... Which type are you using? I get the Extra Strength since it's only like 20 cents more where I get it.
post #5 of 9
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
We got home tonight and all I could smell was the corny WBCL smell
Yep, I found that too when we used WBCL. The cats didn't take to it so it was short lived.
post #6 of 9
I switched gradually over a course of about 3 months, starting with one box, then gradually moving on to the other boxes, so in the beginning they had three boxes with mostly clay litter and one that was about 25% WBCL.

I added more WBCL to each box slowly, so that one box at a time (out of 4 in total) became close to 100% WBCL.

Initially, I noticed the cats preferring the boxes with the higher clay content, but eventually they got used to the smell and the feel of the WBCL, and now we have no problems at all, and regular litterbox usage.

If you are really concerned, try adding some clay litter back into the box and mix it well, and just slow down on the transfer rate a little bit.
post #7 of 9
Sarah, how many litter boxes do you have? I'd leave one with the old clay litter and gradually work in the WBCL in the other until they are used to it then switch out.

When I read threads here, I sometimes cannot believe how lucky we are with Bijou and Mika. I've changed their food abruptly with no tummy issues or diarrhea, I changed their litter immediately and no litter issues. They sure seem tolerant compared to a lot of other kitties.

I have to say also Sarah, that unless I'm bending over the litter box I don't smell the corn smell and I too use the formula for multiple cats.
post #8 of 9
I've found the gradual approch works the best. I filled one up with the "alternative" litter (originally WBCL, but now it's Swheat Scoop) left the other two clay, then started mixing clay and the other litter until that box was 0% clay...and so on. We are now up to three non clay boxes, and one 25% clay box.

No accidents, but Bella did hold out for a while using just the clay. Now she uses her two favorite boxes regularly (one is 0% clay, the other 25%) Stan never seemed to be bothered by the change as long as he as two boxes for his different kinds of "business" he's happy
post #9 of 9
I just posted on another thread about the same issue. I was switching to WB , but noticed yesterday one of my cats peeing on the floor next to one of the boxes. I have seen all three cats use the boxes with WB mixed in , but with less activity. I think it was a sign she didn't like the switch. I was at 25% WB 75% clay. I just gave in and filled their boxes with clay and all the cats jumped in and peed. I think the uprising was going to begin yesterday but since I'v switched they called it off. I went around last night with a black light and found a suspicious spot under my son's bed. I cleaned it up and hopefullly that's that.
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