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litter box problems

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My cat, which recently gave birth to 7 kittens, has begun having issues with not using the litter box. It started out a few days after she gave birth with her defecating in the bathtub. This was a nightly occurrence for a few days. She then started switching between the tub and the bat mat.
I clean her litter pan daily and even cleaned the pan with disinfectant. I have not changed her litter type or brand. I even bought a new litter pan and placed it in another spot, leaving her old one in its original location.
She thanked me by leaving a pile in the middle of the living room floor. With this be a carpeted area it’s a lot more involved to clean up. After working half the day shampooing the carpets I came in this evening to find a new pile on the other side of the living room. It seems to me that she is trying to piss me off.
She still uses her litter pan, as I clean both clumps of urine and stool from it daily. Right now I have had no choice but to lock her and her litter pan and food in the room she choose to give birth in. This is a large unused room in my basement in which she seems totally happy. It’s just that I would like to allow her to roam the house as she always did without having to clean up after her. As of now she is going to stay locked in her room until her kittens are old enough to find homes. Trust me, I plan to have her fixed as soon as she is done nursing. That is if I can put up with her for that long. Please any ideas would be helpful. I am open to try any suggestions.
post #2 of 4
Hi bgholmes and welcome to the forums.

First, please remember that she is not doing this for spite, aggravating as this may be for you. You should never punish her when you come home or even scold her - she doesn't understand why you're angry and it's likely to get her more stessed and make the problem worse.

Now, because she just gave birth, I would call the vet and cosult her/him about possible medical causes. I am no expert but I have read that prolonged labor can lead to protrusion of anal or rectal tissue (a bit like human hemmorhoids but not exactly the same). This can lead to painful defecation and to aversion to the litter box (which the cat associated with the pain).

Next - if the vet says she is medically well - you're actually doing something quite right by locking her up in one room. This is a good method of behavioral retraining. Make sure that the litter box is as far away as possible from the nest, the feeding area and the play area. Keep cleaning it regularly. As cats don't like to be in soiled places they tend to use the litter box more often in this situation. Remember that this is no punishment - she didn't do anything wrong. It's a method of retrainig. So make sure she gets lots of love and attention during that time.

Please let us know how she's doing and what the vet said!
post #3 of 4
Hi, and thanks for posting! After reading your message, I just wanted to say that I don't think your cat is pissed off at you. As I have mentioned in previous posts, cats are creatures of instinct and react to those instincts.

For example: I know a girl in Texas, a breeder, whose queen recently gave birth. (First litter for this little girl) This kitty then did not poop for the better part of 10 days. Just a small, hard ball every couple of days. Well, after three trips to the vet, enemas, and a bunch of fiber introduced into her diet, it was determined that this little momma wasn't going to the bathroom because her litter box was too close to the kittens. And ever the protective momma, she wouldn't poop near her kittens - as in the wild, this would attract predators who might kill the babies. Once the litter was moved to a location that this cat perceived as a safe distance, she was fine!

I am not saying that your cat will do the same if you isolate her in the room she mentioned, in fact, she will probably be OK with that since you mentioned she chose this room to have her babies, but each cat is different, and what might work for another cat may not work for yours.

It could also be that there is health issue to take care of, so maybe a trip to the vet is also in order. I would rule out health issues before I employed behavior modification techniques.

Continued best of luck to you, and please...let us know how things are going for you. We are here to help.


post #4 of 4
May I suggest trying a different litter? If she had problems or is a little tender "down below" it may be that the litter is irritating her. Try "Yesterdays News". a pelletized paper litter or even just some shredded newspaper to see if it helps. Just a thought.
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