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Just won't use the litterbox

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Within the last 2 weeks, one of our 3 cats has stopped using the litterbox for elimination. He poops anywhere else - carpet, bag, etc.
Hank (that's our cat w/the problem) has been to vet and had any medical condition ruled out. So, we added another litterbox in a different location. We've been using the same litter for years. We even moved the new litterbox downstairs so that we have 2 upstairs and 1 downstairs. We keep them very clean. In fact, we scoop them several times a day. The boxes are washed regularly and the litter is replaced. We've even sprayed these areas with Feliway, but that hasn't helped. Nothing else has changed -- we haven't added any cats or invited people over or bought anything new. We can't figure out what's going on. What do we do?
post #2 of 10
Hi. I'm not an expert on cat behaviour, so maybe you need to put this thread in other forums as well to catch the expert's attentions. I don't know why this would suddenly start happening, but perhaps your cat is trying to atrat your attention. I have heard of lots of cats who have developed odd habits such as not using their litterboxes, because they either feel left out, or they are maybe feeling insecure and want your company. Maybe you should take her to the littertray often, and wait with her to reasure her. Hopefully she will begin to use it again. Also, you might want to put a tray in all the rooms that she can go in, as well as the ones you already have one in. Put them in a prominant place so that she will be able to see them. I hoep some of my ideas will help, but like I said, I'm not an expert, so I hope you get some more suggestions from others on this site. Good Luck!
post #3 of 10
I just had another thought, perhaps your cat would prefer to use a litterbox of her own, and not have to share with your other cats?????
post #4 of 10
Sorry, I said 'her', not realising that your cat is male. Apologies!
post #5 of 10
post #6 of 10
Actually this one might help more:

Litterbox issues
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the good suggestions. We've tried most of them. We haven't tried waiting with the cat at the litterbox. He tends to freak out when we carry him to it.... I think he's afraid he's going to the vet.
post #8 of 10
You don't want to force the cat into the box. If "forced" he will associate the box with being frightened and will then avoid the box at all costs.

Is your cat being ambushed by one of the others when he is on the box?
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
We think he might have been ambushed by our other male cat, Shelby.
That's one of the reasons we added a third litterbox in a cat-neutral room that has several escape routes.

He did poop about a foot away from this new box today. If he can do that, then why can't he go in the box?
post #10 of 10
Sadly, if he was attacked while on the box, his mind might view the box as a dangerous place which must be avoided.

Try buying a completely new box with a new brand of litter. This might be different enough not to have the dangerous connotation in his mind.

Also, try putting a bunch of fake or real plants around the box -- tall enough to hide the box, but low enough for him to see over the plants while he is doing his thing. This might make him feel safer while sitting and concentrating.
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