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Litterbox Problems

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
As some of you may know, I decided to adopt Salem (formerly known as Indigo) who is one of my strays, and who is also pregnant. I fixed her up a room in which to have her babies in, and all is going well -- with one exception: she won't use the litterbox! I've tried everything: I had my s/o throw some dirt in it, hoping that she'd relate it to going outside b/c that's what she's used to - but that didn't work. So I bought some of that pine litter, hoping that that might work, but that didn't do the trick, either.

I've never had any problems teaching a cat how to use the litterbox. Usually all I have to do is place the cat in one, and their natural instinct takes over. But Salem just doesn't want anything to do with the litterbox..

I'm at a loss. Does anyone have any suggestions??



~KK~
post #2 of 20
when i first brought her in, my Firefox would poo in the box but not pee - that she did on the floor. i got some kitten attract litter, & that solved the problem permanently! it's made by the same company as the cat attract litter & litter additive, but is safe for kittens.
post #3 of 20
I would try two boxes, fill them with organic potting soil (no fertilizers) and add the cat attract additive. If she goes for that, I'd then replace a third of it with the litter mentioned above. If she keeps using it, I'd replace another third, &etc.

Do make sure you clean up anywhere she's gone outside of the box with an enzyme cleaner. Nature's Miracle isn't the best - but if you use a lot of it, it works. It may need a second application. And while you wait for it to dry, I'd cover the area with aluminum foil to discourage her from continuing to go in the same place.

that she'll start using the box!

Laurie
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
when i first brought her in, my Firefox would poo in the box but not pee - that she did on the floor. i got some kitten attract litter, & that solved the problem permanently! it's made by the same company as the cat attract litter & litter additive, but is safe for kittens.

Can this stuff be bought at Wal-Mart or somewhere else? Or do you have to purchase it online at one of those cat store websites? I'm kinda leary about buying online, b/c I heard that some of those pet websites aren't safe...

Thanks for the info, Laureen!

~KK~
post #5 of 20
I'd call around to pet stores. Our vet sells it. But there are definitely safe places to purchase it online. I don't know if this is the cheapest price - but it's a reputable site: http://www.healthypets.com/catattract.html

Laurie
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post


Do make sure you clean up anywhere she's gone outside of the box with an enzyme cleaner. Nature's Miracle isn't the best - but if you use a lot of it, it works. It may need a second application. And while you wait for it to dry, I'd cover the area with aluminum foil to discourage her from continuing to go in the same place.

Amazingly enough, she hasn't gone on the floor - even when she's been in her room all night long.

I do let her outside a few times a day, just so she can do her business. But I'm getting really hesitant now on letting her out, b/c I'm afraid she'll have her babies outside somewhere. But I also don't want her doing her business on the floor.. Which is why I'm trying to find a solution to the problem before it's too late...

Thanks for the tips, LDG!

~KK~
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
I'd call around to pet stores. Our vet sells it. But there are definitely safe places to purchase it online. I don't know if this is the cheapest price - but it's a reputable site: http://www.healthypets.com/catattract.html

Laurie

I'll ask my vet. If he doesn't have it, we'll have to do a little traveling, b/c there aren't any pet stores in the immediate vacinity. Otherwise, I'll try the link you posted, or the one Laureen posted.

Thanks, Laurie.

~KK~
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
Can this stuff be bought at Wal-Mart or somewhere else? Or do you have to purchase it online at one of those cat store websites? I'm kinda leary about buying online, b/c I heard that some of those pet websites aren't safe...

Thanks for the info, Laureen!

~KK~
i haven't seen it at Wal-Mart, but my local Petsmart carries the cat litter, the kitten litter & the litter additive. don't know what you have near you, tho.
petfooddirect is reliable, from what i've been able to tell [i've ordered from there] & they carry the additive. i would think either of the litters would be kinda pricey to ship, due to weight.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
i haven't seen it at Wal-Mart, but my local Petsmart carries the cat litter, the kitten litter & the litter additive. don't know what you have near you, tho.
petfooddirect is reliable, from what i've been able to tell [i've ordered from there] & they carry the additive. i would think either of the litters would be kinda pricey to ship, due to weight.

There aren't any pet stores in the area: we live in a small town, with a bunch of other small towns in the area. The closet bigger town is about 40 miles from here, where I'm sure they'd have a PetCo or something similar. We'll probably take a drive up there on my s/o's next day off, and hopefully be able to locate the stuff somewhere..

It probably would cost a small fortune to ship the litter - I hadn't thought about that. Buying it from a pet store would probably be our best bet..

~KK~
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
There aren't any pet stores in the area: we live in a small town, with a bunch of other small towns in the area. The closet bigger town is about 40 miles from here, where I'm sure they'd have a PetCo or something similar. We'll probably take a drive up there on my s/o's next day off, and hopefully be able to locate the stuff somewhere..

It probably would cost a small fortune to ship the litter - I hadn't thought about that. Buying it from a pet store would probably be our best bet..

~KK~
you can do a search on Petsmart's site for the nearest location. probably on PetCo's too - but i haven't found it there, only at Petsmart.
the additive doesn't cost too much to ship, either.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
you can do a search on Petsmart's site for the nearest location. probably on PetCo's too - but i haven't found it there, only at Petsmart.
the additive doesn't cost too much to ship, either.

What a dunce I am! I never even thought of doing a search.. I was thinking of calling a friend of mine who lives in the aforementioned town, and having her look up the pet stores that are in the area in the phone book and getting the numbers from her so I could call around before making the trip. But a search would sure be easier..

Thanks for having YOUR thinking cap on today, Laureen!

~KK~
post #12 of 20
this is gross but may help: if you let her out, could you dig up the dirt that she goes in outside and put it in the litterbox? that might help jumpstart her understanding. i had a kitten that didn't get several types of litter, but when i filled up the box with regular dirt, he took to it right away. it should be mentioned that this kitten had never been outside before! must be instinct.

and if you can't wait for cat attract, try sprinkling catnip on the dirt. once she uses it, you can slowly mix in more and more regular litter.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmylegs View Post
this is gross but may help: if you let her out, could you dig up the dirt that she goes in outside and put it in the litterbox? that might help jumpstart her understanding. i had a kitten that didn't get several types of litter, but when i filled up the box with regular dirt, he took to it right away. it should be mentioned that this kitten had never been outside before! must be instinct.

and if you can't wait for cat attract, try sprinkling catnip on the dirt. once she uses it, you can slowly mix in more and more regular litter.

I've already tried the dirt trick, and I even bought some pine litter hoping that she'd associate the pine with being outside. Neither trick worked. I even took a clump of pee and some pooh out of the other cats' litterbox and put it in hers, thinking that she'd get the hint, but that failed, too. I don't know where she's going outside: if I did, I'd get some of her own waste and stick it in the litterbox..

I don't think I'd want to put catnip in the litterbox. I wouldn't want her rolling around in the litter..

Thanks for the ideas though!

~KK~
post #14 of 20
Just FYI, when we first brought Lazlo in, he held out for over 24 hours before using the box. He was lying on the dirt-filled litter box and held out as long as he could. When he finally went, we put that clump in the litter filled litter box, and he "got it" right away after that. I don't know how long you've kept her confined to a room inside - but she may hold out on going pee for a long time once you decide to keep her inside 24/7.

Laurie
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Just FYI, when we first brought Lazlo in, he held out for over 24 hours before using the box. He was lying on the dirt-filled litter box and held out as long as he could. When he finally went, we put that clump in the litter filled litter box, and he "got it" right away after that. I don't know how long you've kept her confined to a room inside - but she may hold out on going pee for a long time once you decide to keep her inside 24/7.

Laurie

Does that mean that if I don't let her out to go, she'll eventually get "desperate" enough and use the litterbox anyway??

I'm getting really hesitant about letting her out now, b/c I think her time is getting close. But she still refuses to use the litterbox. My s/o & I took a trip out-of-town the other day to a bigger town which had a pet store (as I mentioned we were gonna do on his day off), but the pet store didn't carry the Cat Attract stuff. We even went to a feed store just for the heck of it (you don't know unless you try) and that was a dead-end, too. So it looks as if I'm gonna have to order it online, b/c we sure aren't gonna go all the way to Houston just to buy the stuff. The cost in gas would be more than it would be to order it online.

I don't know why she's being so stubborn about using the litterbox. I've NEVER had a cat that wouldn't use it -- even ones which were brought in as strays..

~KK~
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well I just ordered the stuff: I even had it expressed shipped, so hopefully it gets here in time. I sure hope the stuff works!

The things we do for our cats!

~KK~
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
Well I just ordered the stuff: I even had it expressed shipped, so hopefully it gets here in time. I sure hope the stuff works!

The things we do for our cats!

~KK~
worked really well for mine - Firefox would poo in the box when she first came in, but would pee on the floor. once i got the kitten attract, she used the box like a champ! has ever since. it also helped Chip go back to using the box after his UTI. even stopped the occasional 'bed dump' he used to take i now use the additive w/a less expensive clumping clay litter. works great!
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
worked really well for mine - Firefox would poo in the box when she first came in, but would pee on the floor. once i got the kitten attract, she used the box like a champ! has ever since. it also helped Chip go back to using the box after his UTI. even stopped the occasional 'bed dump' he used to take i now use the additive w/a less expensive clumping clay litter. works great!

That's encouraging to know. I don't know what I'll do if the Cat Attract fails. I've tried everything else...

~KK~
post #19 of 20
it sounds like you have not yet 'forced' her to stay inside, so she thinks she has the option of always going outside. i think it she has to stay in her room she will rapidly learn to adapt. when i've brought in feral cats before, i put them in their room with the litterbox and just walk away, hoping for the best. so far even the wildest tomcat has figured it out when the time comes!
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmylegs View Post
it sounds like you have not yet 'forced' her to stay inside, so she thinks she has the option of always going outside. i think it she has to stay in her room she will rapidly learn to adapt. when i've brought in feral cats before, i put them in their room with the litterbox and just walk away, hoping for the best. so far even the wildest tomcat has figured it out when the time comes!

That's usually how I go about it, too. And it's always worked before. But she's the most stubborn cat I've ever seen: she just doesn't want to use it..

I did go ahead and try using the catnip trick - even though I wasn't crazy about the idea. She just sniffed at it, and walked away. My s/o also found out where she's been going outside - in a pile of burnt leaves - so he brought a shovel full of it in to put in her litterbox, but that failed, too.. So hopefully the Cat Attract does the trick!

~KK~
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