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Litter box association

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
We have a 7 month old kitten that came to live with us at 8 weeks. He used the litter box flawlessly for 2 months after that, until he had his first bad case of diarrhea. He started defecating on the floor from that point on 1-2 times a day. He does urinate in the box all of the time, and still defecates inside of the box the rest of the time. We have given him new litter boxes and now have a total of three for two cats, one is covered and medium sized, one is small and covered, and the other is large (an "under bed" rubbermaid storage container) and open. We have tried several litter types, currently are using World's Best, and the boxes are scooped about every time it is used. We use an enzyme cleaner when we clean up the messes. After seeing a vet about this issue and he has been diagnosed with multiple food allergies. The vet suggested that he was going out of the box because he has probably associated it was bad things, like cramping, etc. While she is helping to find a diet that works for him, she did not have many suggestions for getting him to use his litter boxes again.

My question is, while we're in the process of figuring out his allergies, what can we do to encourage him to use the litter box all of the time? We want to prevent this medical issue from becoming a behavioral issue.
post #2 of 12
Hard to make recommendations without more info.
Does he target the same areas?
How far from the boxes is he?
Is the medical condition taken care of yet?
What enzyme cleaner are you using?
How large of a house do you have?
Where are the boxes located? Are they throughout the house?
Marilyn Krieger, CCBC
www.thecatcoach.com
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Does he target the same areas?
Most of the time, yes. He usually goes in the bathroom (right near a litter box) or by the front door.

How far from the boxes is he?
The front door is about as far from a box as he can get.

Is the medical condition taken care of yet?
We are still trying to find a protein that doesn't make him ill, so not yet.

What enzyme cleaner are you using?
Nature's Miracle.

How large of a house do you have? Where are the boxes located? Are they throughout the house?
It's an 800sf apartment, so he is never far from a box. They are all in the bathroom and a room off of the bathroom, about 10 feet apart from one another and around corners (so not in viewing distance of another box). Putting a box by the front door where he goes is not an option, unfortunately, because we wouldn't be able to open our door if we did that. It's a very small space. Also, they are closed off from the bedroom apart from when we are sleeping, so that limits his "free space" a little more.
post #4 of 12
I have a cat with food allergies also. She can eat only the Dick Van Patten Natural Balance Venison and Pea canned. She can not have any dry food, and she can not have any food with corn or other grains in it. You might want to ask your vet about this food.

Like your kitty, she had very bad associations with the litter box because of the pain. After I found the food she tolerated and liked, it was easy to change her assocation with the box back to something positive. Only after resolving the medical problem, the food (IBD) allergy problem, could the litter box issues be successfully resolved. At that time, she no longer had any pain when going to the bathroom.

Though... another problem you are having is that you need to use a really good enzyme cleaner. I highly recommend Anti-Icky Poo. You can find it at small pet stores, on-line and at vets. There are some enzyme cleaners that are availble at most pet stores that are not very effective. Cats will target the same areas unless you get the area really clean and odor free. Only good enzyme cleaners accomplish this.

Marilyn Krieger, CCBC
www.thecatcoach.com
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
We are actually trying venison next with him. I have ordered canned 95% meat EVO, so with any luck that will agree with him more. Once we have sorted out his diet, will I need to purchase new litter boxes again, or is there another way I can alleviate the problem while using the same boxes and litter type?
post #6 of 12
Boxes should be uncovered and large. I recommend the 66 qt. Sterlite Clearview storage containers that have no lid.
Use the same litter, but add Cat Attractant.

Marilyn Krieger, CCBC
www.thecatcoach.com
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much!

Just some additional questions for the sake of knowledge...

I looked at the cat attractant online and it says that it is not intended for use with wheat, corn, paper, pine, or conventional litters. In your experience, is this just to promote the Precious Cat litter, or will the other types of litter actually interfere with the effectiveness of the cat attractant?

Also, is there any specific reason why you recommend the storage container with high sides over the large storage container with low sides? With the higher sides, do you cut an opening for an entrance?
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
Thank you very much!

Just some additional questions for the sake of knowledge...

I looked at the cat attractant online and it says that it is not intended for use with wheat, corn, paper, pine, or conventional litters. In your experience, is this just to promote the Precious Cat litter, or will the other types of litter actually interfere with the effectiveness of the cat attractant?

Good question. I don't know the answer to that one. It would be interesting if someone experimented with it. I have had clients who mix it in with their wheat litter with good results.

Also, is there any specific reason why you recommend the storage container with high sides over the large storage container with low sides? With the higher sides, do you cut an opening for an entrance?


Yes there are many reasons:
1. Cats need large litter boxes, most commercial boxes are too small
2. Cats need uncovered boxes, I specified why either in this thread or another
3. Translucent sides allow cats to see out of the boxes
4. Tall boxes make cleanup easier for those cats that like to stand and urinate and/or dig to China.

I do not cut an entrance in the side, unless there is either an elderly cat or a special needs cat who can't jump. Then I cut a U shape in one side and sand it down (wear a mask when cutting and sanding).
post #9 of 12
Uh oh... part of my reply to you ended up in the quoted area. I tried to put my own html codes in for itals, but it ignored them and italicized everything... sorry about that.
Marilyn Krieger, CCBC
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you again. Your expertise here at TCS couldn't have come at a better time for me, and it's much appreciated!!
post #11 of 12
if it helps... i mix the additive w/regular clumping clay litter & it works just fine.
i also put it in the WBCL i used when Firefox was a wee one. worked there, too.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
if it helps... i mix the additive w/regular clumping clay litter & it works just fine.
i also put it in the WBCL i used when Firefox was a wee one. worked there, too.

Thank you for that. WBCL is what we're using.
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