TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Pooping on the carpet
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Pooping on the carpet

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
So, I thought my kitten had the whole litter box thing down.

Last night, around 4 AM I woke up and she wasn't on my bed. I freaked for a second at the thought of her falling off the bed, and looked around. I found her in the closet sleeping. I wasn't sure what to make of it at the time, so I put her back in bed (it's too cold in my room for her to not be covered up).

This morning, I smelled poop. I went over to her litter box and saw it had beend used. I cleaned it and figured she must have used it when she wasn't on the bed.

During the day, I witnessed her jump off my bed (which had me concerned since it's a good 2 1/2'-3' jump). So I figured she must have done that in the middle of the night to use her litter box, but couldn't get back up so she went to sleep in the closet.

Fast forward to tonight. I let her run around for a while, and when I walked in my room, I again smelled poop. I checked the litter-box.... nothing. I looked around and eventually found two little worm shaped (sorry for the details) poops. One was dried up and the other fresh. It was then that I figured out that the poop I smelled last night must have been the dried up one and that she is not using her litter box now.

My guesses as to why:

1) I may have had too many litter-boxes. I had 2 downstairs and 1 upstairs. I've been reading online that perhaps this was too confusing for her and I should have had 1 downstairs and 1 upstairs.

or

2) A few days ago I switched 2 of the boxes to wheat based litter media after somebody at work recommended it and advised me as to the dangers of clay and specifically clumping clay litter (which I was using). I noticed she would use the wheat litter, but definitely preferred the 3rd box which still had clay. I assume this is because it was of a finer consistency.

What I have done. I have put her in her little area for the night where she has to use the wheat based litter to force her to further try it out. I have also gotten rid of the 3rd box which had clay litter so now there are only 2 boxes, one upstairs and one downstairs, both of which have clay litter. Her little area is on tile, so if she wants to eliminate on something soft that she can bury her excrement in, she'll have to use the litter-box.

My question - was it (1) or (2) that is responsible for the problem or was it both? Anything else I can do to nip this behavior in the butt before it gets to be a problem?

ETA: bear in mind that she is not even 2 months old yet.
post #2 of 14
it's possible she doesn't care for the new litter - but no one understands why they do what they do!
if the confinement doesn't work, you might look for some KittenAttract litter. it really helped my Firefox learn to pee [she would poop, but not pee] in the litterbox! it is a clumping clay litter, but since it's made for kittens, i would assume it's a safe[r] one? again, - i got the attractant, too, which works ok in the corn based litters [i haven't tried any of the wheat ones].
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by LawGuy View Post

ETA: bear in mind that she is not even 2 months old yet.
Aww she is still a baby. I think the incident was an accident. She just didn't reach the box on time. Too busy playing and exploring perhaps?
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
If it was an accident... no problem. My dog is a senior citizen these days and he has lots of accidents as a result so we have pet cleaner liquid in every room of the house.

I just was concerned because of the fact that the two mounds were adjacent to each other (separated only by inches) and were the result of two incidents separated by about 15 hours or so. It appeared at least superficially to me to be the beginning of a pattern and had me concerned that there was an underlying issue that caused them.
post #5 of 14
Make sure when you pick up her "accidents" to completely clean and sanitize the area, preferably with an odor removing cleaner like "anti-icky-poo".

Apparently she's decided that's her 'spot' for these things and she's likely to do it again in the same place if she can smell that she did it before (even her little nose is much more sensitive to these things than ours.

It took me 2-3 weeks of work to train little Aya-chan, and a lot of frustration at finding she'd peed on my bed again. Now at 11w/o she's finally got it down and a let her roam the living kitchen are while I'm not home.
post #6 of 14
The bad news is that although your motivations for using the wheat-based litter are all for the good, having been an outside cat for a while, it may be that she will do best with a nice, fine clay litter. That's what will feel the most like "dirt" to her delicate feet.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Is there a middle of the road approach? Something that feels to her as natural as possible, but isn't as potentially harmful to her health as clay litter?
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by LawGuy View Post
If it was an accident... no problem. My dog is a senior citizen these days and he has lots of accidents as a result so we have pet cleaner liquid in every room of the house.
I suspect this may eventually be a problem for you. No matter how much we clean, we can't be 100% certain we got all of the scent up - our noses are simply not sensitive enough to tell. You kitten will be able to though, and her accident spots may encourage the dog to reuse those spots.

So the kitten is around 8 weeks old or less? This is very very young. She should still be nursing on her mother. I hope you're providing her with formula and kitten wet food.
Since she's so young, she shouldn't have a large area to wander around in. One room would be enough and should help prevent some accidents till her memory is better. You can still take her out on supervised play but you may want to make sure she uses the litter box first - simply put her in it. I've also noticed very young kittens going right near the edge of their "nest", so you're lucky she's not going on your bed at night...

And while it's not exactly what you're asking about, yet. Do you have another cat or plan to get one soon? Because she is a young kitten taken from her mother too early she may very well develop some behavior issues such as too rough of play and biting. If you want to nip this in the bud, so to speak, when she gets a few weeks older you could consider adopting a 14+ week old kitten to keep her company.


But right now you're biggest problem is just her age. It's like expecting a toddler to automatically be toilet trained. She'll get over the litter texture, once she's good at remember where her litter box is.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
So the kitten is around 8 weeks old or less? This is very very young. She should still be nursing on her mother. I hope you're providing her with formula and kitten wet food.
I tried to feed her KMR formula. She won't eat it though and will only eat wet kitten food. I don't know if she'd eat dry food, but I have no plans to try for quite some time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
you're lucky she's not going on your bed at night...
Already happened. She had an upset stomach the first few nights I had her. She was terrified to be alone once she adopted us as her family (which was quick), so I had her sleep with me to keep her company. Unfortunately, until her stomach got settled, I had two nights of waking up with both myself and my bed sheets covered in kittie pooh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
And while it's not exactly what you're asking about, yet. Do you have another cat or plan to get one soon? Because she is a young kitten taken from her mother too early she may very well develop some behavior issues such as too rough of play and biting. If you want to nip this in the bud, so to speak, when she gets a few weeks older you could consider adopting a 14+ week old kitten to keep her company.
It wasn't that she was taken from her mother early. Her mother either ditched her or died. She was a feral kitten (see another thread by me for the full story) that we rescued. I can't get another cat as of the moment, but in 6 months or so I may adopt a cat so the two of them can keep each other company.

Anyways, getting the thread back on topic - I'll just assume that it was an accident and will just be patient with her as she gets down the basics. I dealt with the same basic problems with my dog when he was a puppy, but with a cat obviously it's a bit different.
post #10 of 14
I have had several stray cats/kittens....and only ran into this problem once...At that time I was using the scoopable clay litter....all I did was confined her to one room with only one low sided litter box....and alot of puppy pads....I'd spend most of my time in the room with her...I'd just put her in the box thought the day and she eventually got it....Your little one is having stomach issues from the new food and such she is eating....She might not beable to hold it for those reasons...I've even gone so far as to add dirt to a litter box ...They have all "gotten" it eventually....
post #11 of 14
I'd switch back to the litter she actually liked - or, as mentioned earlier, try using Kitten Attract litter - it was developed by Dr. Elsey, a cat-only vet, who has a whole line of litters. I know the Cat Attract version worked great with my boy.

I've decided the deal with litter and boxes is not what we like, but what they like, no matter how good our intentions. I think she's trying to use that box, but doesn't care for the litter you tried.

You can always do experiments with a few boxes and different litters, to give her a choice - but in my experience, you can only present something, they'll do the deciding!
post #12 of 14
I do not buy into the "too many litter boxes" theory at all. However, there can be a problem if where they are moves frequently - or, even worse (and I know this isn't the case here) if a box has been somewhere for a long time and then gets moved.

I'd clean up the place she pooped with the enzyme cleaner - and put one of the upstairs litter boxes there! I'd use the clay litter for now. I know you've put her back into her "kitty area" with the wheat litter - but personally, I wouldn't force it. Let her feel comfortable peeing and pooping. Give it a few more weeks, and when you're confident she "gets" the boxes, SLOWLY start switching the litter.

Cats have very sensitive stomachs, and whenever you switch to a new food, their tummies will be upset unless you do it slowly - like over the period of a week or two, you slowly mix in the new food to the old one, slowly increasing the ratio of new food to old food. Same with litter. Do it slowly over time. But I'd wait until you're quite sure she's good with the box concept to begin with. She doesn't have her mom around to teach her.

As to getting back up into the bed..... We have a handicapped kitty who cannot jump. We have stuff to help her get up on the couch and the bed. You can get things like this: http://www.cozycatfurniture.com/pet_stairs_ramps.html. We bought one of those cat condos that is round and just one "story: high - almost all pet stores carry them.

Laurie
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Between this, and the going ons documented in this thread ( http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=184867 ), I have switched her to "Kitten Attract" litter media by Dr. Elsey. It's clay based, but at the moment I'm focusing on getting her settled and comfortable more than anything. I will try switching to wheat or corn based litter later once she's a bit bigger and healthy.
post #14 of 14
I use the "kitten attract" and my youngest is 7 months old. That is by far the most popular box in the house. All the cats love it and prefer it over the Dr Easley's regular litter even with the 'cat attract' added.

I think they all like the smaller fine granules. I used the wheat based litter before.

For cleaning up I had good luck with www.urineoff.com and www.weecleaner.com . The 'urine off' came with a black light to find all the spots that needed cleaning. I keep some on hand for the occassional vomit.

You are doing an amazing job and she will reward you many times over. Best of luck to you in the future.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Pooping on the carpet