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Hi all! (Alt Subject: Time for new litter?)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

That's her! She will be 6 years old in July. Our first and only, so far.

My wife (not sure what her log-in user name is) and I have been members for a couple months now since we brought Mesha home from the Animal Welfare Society, but haven't really had a need to post until recently because we have done searches through the forums and most of our questions have been answered already.

Now, for the most part, Mesha's an , but recently she's started doing something that made us register on here in the first place - going #2 just outside of her litter box. She was supposed to have been fully litter box trained, and it seems like for the most part, she was. When it first happened, she was going on the bathroom rug (her litter box is in the bathroom), or on the junk piece of carpeting we put down under her box. The first time she started doing it, we changed the litter, made sure Mesha knew this by putting her in it just after, problem solved. Just a week ago, she started up again, going #2 outside of her box on the junk carpeting piece (we don't dare put the new rug down), and I've read that if something changes with the owner(s)' lifestyle, that a cat may start doing something like this. However, NOTHING'S changed!! We can't figure out for the life of us why all of a sudden, she started doing it again. For a couple days, after using the litter box training technique of picking up the #2 and putting it in the box, and then putting her in it after, worked, but then today, we found she had gone again on the junk piece of carpeting.

She seems to like the food we give her, she gets plenty of treats, lots of play time, plenty of toys, and we have a big apartment. We have no idea why she started back up after a couple months of being so good.

We really could use some help, and all of it is appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 10
Welcome to the site, even though you've been here a while! Mesha's a beautiful girl! What stunning eyes.

On to your question....I'll actually move this to the behavior forum where our experts can help you out more.

My first thought would be to have Mesha checked out by the vet. Since cats can't tell us where they hurt, they often tell us in other ways, such as inappropriate litterbox habits. Usually, it is urination outside the box, but it can be this also.

Beyond that, is the box covered? How far away from the box is the poo? It could be that she is one of those cats who just "hangs" over the side of the box, missing it sometimes. (some of them like to be as close to the edge as possible, who knows why) Is the box big enough for her? How often do you clean it? Some cats like to tell us that their box isn't clean enough for them by going elsewhere.

Those are my initial thoughts, but I'm sure our experts will have more ideas for you.
post #3 of 10
This typically happens when the box just isn't quite big enough for the cat. When that happens the cat's body is inside the box, but the tail (and bottom) are outside...then oops...#2 ends up on the floor.

I would recommend going to WalMart or a similar store and buying a large rubbermaid under-the-bed storage container. Do away with the lid and then fill the container with litter. This will be plenty big for even the largest cat. I almost guarantee that this will work for you.

Also, some cats refuse to do #2 in a litterbox that has any #1 in it. Keep it scooped clean and there will be fewer problems or better yet, buy a second box...one for #1 and another for #2.

Good luck!
post #4 of 10

Well she could be feeling unwell or unhappy about something but since nothing has change in your household, this is unlikely for you. And this can lead to 'different' litter habits.

Mesha could be one of those cats that prefer one litter box for #1 and another litter box for #2.

Oh, on a last note...sorry my thoughst aren't completely together today. Even though nothing has changed in the household, have you introduced anything new to the household that may be causing this? Or had work done in the bathroom and the plumber left an unfamiliar and strange smell behind? Any unfamiliar scents can make the private litter area seem less secure for a cat and she may feel rushed to do her business.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Wow! So many questions and ideas... some we've already dealt with... As I said before, this is why we haven't posted yet is because we already dug up some answers on here.

It's not the 'oops' stuff, we've already been through that as well, and dealt with it accordingly. Actually, it was more like she learned the box isn't as big as she thought it was at first and adjusted herself. She's really smart. But no, this isn't the case recently. It's really weird. Like I said, she's been ok for a couple months, and then just all of a sudden...

Here, let me start from the beginning, and to answer the one thing I forgot to point out before, this is an uncovered box. We adopted her from the shelter a couple months ago (March I think was what I said before). We made sure we had plenty of toys for her to come home to, good food (which, she seems to eat just about anything anyway, including carpet fibers, but that's a different story), etc... She started out refusing to go #2 in the box, anywhere else but in the box (fortunately though, it never left the bathroom), so we realized, after some digging on here, that the kind of litter may be the cause, so we switched from 'cheapo brand' that was like minituare gravel to Cat's Pride, which has more of a sandy texture. She was fine with that, and then the oopses started. We knew these were oopses cuz they'd either be in the box, just off the corner of the box, or halfway in and out. This was actually cured quite easily. See, I realized she was really smart, so, I locked her in the bathroom with me, and she watched as I picked up the #2 and put it in the box. And she still watched when I scooped the litter over it with the scooper.

After this, we didn't have a problem at all until say a week to a week and a half ago. At first, she tried to make it look like an oops by making it near the corner of the box, but just outside, so we didn't think any different (in fact, we just thought that she may have forgotten to adjust herself), and just picked it up and layed it inside and covered it up. Then, every subsequent one after that was more off to the side on the edge of the piece of junk carpet that's half-tucked under the litter box. Then we knew it was no longer oopses, and started searching on here again, and came up with the same answers as before.

However, one post stuck out in my head. I don't remember who it was, but someone was helping their mother with her cats, and tried to deterr(*sp) her from using the potpourri things in the bathroom. Now, Mesha's been ok with the spray, even though she gets a little spooked from the sound of it when we use it, naturally as a lot of cats would, but we have also added one of those melting gel type things that sits on the back of the toilet.

Could this really be causing her recenty odd behavior? That's the only addition to the bathroom I can think of. We do try and scoop the litter box as much as possible, so I really don't think that's it, and she's actually one of the few cats I've heard of that accepts going #2 when #1 is in there, but only when mommy and daddy haven't been home in the time she went #1 to clean it out. Of course, if we're home it's a different story, lol.

Anywho, is that potpourri plastic cone thingy with the gel in it, the culprit here?

Thanks for all the help again.
post #6 of 10
I may not be awake yet, but I have a stupid question; how often do you scoop out the litter box? One of my cats doesn't seem to care much, the other demands a clean box. He doesn't have "accidents", but he does stand in front of the box and meow loudly if he considers it beneath his exacting standards. Fortunately, I figured out what he was complaining about.

And both cats are very happy with extra litter boxes - I have three boxes on two floors for two cats, and that seems to satisfy them. Your cat may just want a second box.
post #7 of 10
I just want to see I LOVE your kitty!! I want a black kitty so bad but i'm already over my kitty limit
post #8 of 10
It sounds to me the litter box is too small. I would try a bigger box.
Our cat out grew his box plus he liked to back up a few steps once he got in the box to go poop. We have had no problems once we got the bigger covered box.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, to answer everyone first off, our finances aren't exactly what they used to be, and it's being hard enough with the food, and litter, and stuff, and getting a 2nd box, and/or covered one just isn't umm... I guess the word is affordable, right now.

To Sammie, we try and scoop it as soon as we find something in it.

To Valanhb, I didn't say this earlier, but thanks for moving this to where it needed to be. I was trying to get the intro, and the question rolled into one, so I wasn't sure which one would have been better.

BUT, I'm happy (to say the least) to report that after getting back from taking Heather to work, Mesha went both (1 & 2) in her box while I was gone!!

So, I dunno... maybe she just wasn't being happy for some reason or another for those few (well, what seems to me like a few now) days.

Hopefully soon, we'll be able to get a 2nd box for her, or even a longer one, because I think you guys may be right about that one. Maybe that was her way of saying she was sick of using the same one for both, or that it wasn't long enough. I guess maybe they're like humans that way - when we get sick of something, we like to change it. I dunno... I'm just pretty happy right now to be able to come home to that. So, when I found it, I gave her some treats, and petted her all up, yanno, the usual praise you give a cutie-pie when they've been good, and then proceeded to make the journey to plug my nose, and scoop the box.

Thanks for all the suggestions, and I'll be sure to post to let everyone know how things are going in the next couple weeks.

Oh, and to Purr, how come you didn't get one before you got over your limit?
post #10 of 10
Hi Damien and welcome!

Thanks for adopting a rescued kitty!

i can understand how you feel.

i feel that kitties, just like humans, love clean kitty boxes. i am just doing guess work here. i am not sure why your furbaby is littering outside her litter box. However, here is how i ensure my furbabies do their private businesses in their designated loo area:

i wash and clean all the kitty boxes once a week. i scrub them with a designated kitty brush. i use dish detergent and extremely hot water to wash the boxes. After rinsing them off, i wipe the litter box dry with paper towels, then blow dry.

i refill the litter boxes with clean litter.

Also, every time i scoop their litter (with a metallic scoop - does not absorb odor), i wipe the inside of the boxes with a paper towel, dampened with hot water. i also use a hand vac to vacuum around the litter areas.

i think just like us, kitties love a clean loo.

Smiles and Cheers!
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