What are you and your mom washing the litter box with? If you are using harsh chemicals like bleach that could be what is causing the problem. You see, it's not necessary to "sterilize" the box, we really do that for our own sake. We're like, "Yeah, it's nice and clean now", but the reality is that the minute they poop or pee in it, it's dirty again
Cats have a very sensitive sense of smell. Even once the litter box is rinsed out really well, the cat can still smell of the bleach or other harsh chemical that was used and that *repulses* them. To them, their litter box does not smell like it is supposed to and of course they don't like it. So that could be why your cat is pooping outside the litter box while it is being cleaned. She is trying to give you a message.Just use plain old dish soap and hot water and rinse it well and it will be just fine!
Also try not to take too long when you do clean it. If it takes you an hour that's not good. Animals are just like us, they can't hold it indefinitely.
The next time you clean the box try talking to her. Tell her you are going to clean out the box. Pick it up and see what her reaction is. Sometimes when I'm getting ready to scoop and poop my cats need to go and they get kind of excited like ... a little quivery almost ... and they look at me and then at the box and I can tell they want to get in there, so I talk to them and I back off from scooping and wait a bit ... and sure enough, they had to go.
Ilovestripey, with animals it's very important to *never* hit them. That includes tapping them when they misbehave.
You see animals don't think like us and they don't understand like us. What happens when they are physically hit, even lightly, is that they become afraid of us
. They also become confused because they don't understand they are doing something wrong.
To them, they are acting normally. So when physical discipline is involved they become afraid and confused. Yelling does not help either. It also can scare and confuse them.
The best thing to do is to *redirect*
their attention. Snap your fingers at them or make a *psst* sound, pick them up and put them somewhere else. Have you ever watched the Dog Whisperer? That show has many good examples of what it means to redirect their attention.
It took you a lot of courage to come on the forum and admit your mistake. That speaks highly of you. Your kitty will come to love you again, but as everyone else has said, it will take time. And it will take time to rebuild the trust, but it is possible!
Remember that you are these animals caretaker. They are very dependent on you for basically, well everything!
Food, brushing, playing, walks, love, etc. etc. The more patient and kind you are with them, the more they will come to love you and want to be near you all the time.
Sure, we can all lose our tempers occasionally, we are human, but we should never strike our pets, ever. You wouldn't hit your best friend or someone you really cared about and so it's the same with them.
This reminds me of something that I did many years ago. I was playing a game with my boyfriend who would later become my husband
Anyhow, I was losing the game. That really made me angry and I called him a name. I had anger issues too back then. Let me tell you, Ilovestripey, that when I saw the hurt look in his face, I immediately regretted it. It hurt me that I had hurt the one person that I loved the most
I *never* did something like that again because I never, ever, wanted to be a source of pain towards the one I love, or to do anything that would hurt him. Well, animals are the same you know, they have feelings too and we can hurt those feelings and even crush their spirits, which is not what we want for those little ones that count on us and trust us. Anyways I'm not trying to sound all "preachy" but just sharing what I have learned over the years
We all make mistakes but hopefully we learn from them and don't repeat them again and I think you have learned a very important lesson here
so take heart, in time all will be well.