I just got this in my email...
wonderful ideas...please read!
This is information that may save the life of any cat you know!
> > Please save this information should you need it or to pass along to
> > anyone who's at their "wits end" with litterbox problems.
> > Soiling "outside the box" is the #1 reasons cats are abandoned or put
> > down so this information could save a cat's life!
> > Last week I attended a lecture by Dr. Andrea Tasi of Kingstowne Cat
> > Clinic on "Litterbox Blues" and learned some very useful
> > information. You can print out more information about preventing
> > Litterbox Blues at:
> > http://www.preciouscat.com/WebPages/...Solutions.html
> > RULE OUT MEDICAL CAUSES FIRST: Dr. Tasi said that over the course of
> > her practice she has found that medical problems are the #1 reason
> > cats stop using the box. So she encourages cat people to always rule
> > that out first. (I had urine withdrawn externally with a needle from
> > my 14-year-old cat last month. It really wasn't that bad and was
> > over in about 3 seconds; the cost was under $30 and was well-worth
> > doing.) Cats are "associative beings." That means that if they
> > associate the cat box, or type of litter, with painful urination or
> > defecation, even after curing the infection, they will "still
> > associate" pain with the litterbox. Therefore, in order to break
> > the "associative disorder" its advised to buy a NEW box and perhaps a
> > new litter type, and go from there. REMEMBER: Cats aren't trying to
> > get back at you by soiling, they are doing it for perfectly logical
> > reasons -- you need to think like a cat in order to change your cat's
> > behavior. Never, ever punish your cat as you will not change the
> > behavior, but only make your cat fear you.
> > USE SANDY TEXTURES: As we all know, cats originated as desert
> > animals and, as such, they truly prefer SOFT, sandy textures. Dr.
> > Tasi said AVOID the new crystal products, and coarse litters, as they
> > are painful to the tender pads of many cats, and "just don't feel
> > right." Dr. Tasi generally recommends clumping litters, except for
> > kittens under 4 weeks, who can inhale or ingest the clumping
> > substance and develop health problems, sometimes fatal. She
> > especially likes a product called "Dr. Elsey's (unscented) Precious
> > Cat Litter." Dr. Elsey also makes another product called "Cat
> > Attract" that attracts them to the box. You can take a look at his
> > products at: www.preciouscats.com,
or call toll free at: 877-311
> > CATS (2287). If you want a clay free litter product, try "World's
> > Best" which is made with corn. Dr. Tasia recommends filling the box
> > 2-3" with litter.
> > TAKE THE HOOD OFF & DUMP THE SCENTED LITTERS: She said that cats
> > NEVER go into dark, enclosed spaces to eliminate because that puts
> > them in a very vulnerable position. So if a cat is avoiding a hooded
> > box, take the hood off or don't use one in the first place! It is
> > another "turn off" to cats and will often make them go elsewhere.
> > Dr. Tasi said that our cats' noses are 1000% more sensitive than ours
> > and hoods trap the odors and dust. Also, "out of sight, out of mind,"
> > may make us forget to scoop the box as often as we should (at least
> > twice a day). Would you want to go to the bathroom in a dirty
> > toilet? Your cat doesn't either! Cats also find the smells of roses
> > and cheap perfumes in the litter repulsive, so always choose
> > unscented litter. Try mixing about 1/2 cup baking soda into the box
> > if odor is a problem to your nostrils.
> > TRY A DIFFERENT SIZED BOX: Especially for those overweight cats, or
> > cats whose urine sprays outside the box; go to Home Depot, Walmart,
> > etc and buy a BIG Rubbermaid or plastic storage box. If s/he's a
> > sprayer, get one that's very high and cut out an oval entrance in
> > front. If s/he has arthritis, put a little ramp up to the entrance.
> > If they kick litter all over the place, buy one of those large
> > plastic washing machine liners and put your box(es) into it. It's
> > much cheaper to buy these items at a department store than from a pet
> > store. BEST, CHEAPEST SCOOPER: Best scoopers are flat metal
> > utensils with little holes or slits -- I've found the best ones at
> > the dollar store!
> > LOCATION OF BOX: Please put a box on EACH LEVEL of your house in a
> > quiet, out of the way location, that's not next to a heater, washing
> > machine or applicance that could suddenly start up and frighten your
> > cat. Be mindful of older cats who may suffer from arthritis and
> > bladder problems and might find a long trip to the basement painful
> > and difficult (put a ramp or phone book in front of the box entrance
> > to help them step up). Though cats see better than us in low light,
> > CATS CAN'T SEE IN THE DARK, so please don't put their box in a pitch
> > dark basement. Also, the general rule of thumb is to have one box
> > for each cat and put each box in a different location so they aren't
> > competing for the box. And don't place them next to their food or
> > water. Would you want to eat next to your toilet?
> > CLEANING THE BOX DOESN'T JUST MEAN SCOOPING OUT THE POOP!: Again,
> > back to that 1000% nose, look at the box itself next time you clean
> > it. After scrubbing it with soap and water and perhaps a bit of
> > bleach, rinse it out thoroughly. You may want to place it in the sun
> > to dry as sunshine is a natural disinfectent. Then put your nose
> > into the box and take a deep sniff. If there's a lingering odor or
> > it's covered in scratches and discoloration, throw it out and buy a
> > nice new one at Walmart or Home Depot.
> > CLEANING STAINS & ODORS OUTSIDE THE BOX: You've got to use an
> > enzymatic cleaner to get rid of those stains and odors. Remember
> > your cat's 1000% nose will bring him back to previous elimination
> > spots and s/he will pee/poop there again. There's some great
> > products available, including "Simple Solution" Stain & Odor
> > Remover. Dr. Tasi's favorite product is "Anti-Icky-Poo" in
> > Veterinary Practice Strength (she doesn't like it in "regular"
> > strength) . Check your vet's office for it or order online at:
> > http://www.mistermax.com/products.html
Dr. Tasi said you must first
> > SATURATE the spot with solution and KEEP IT WET for 24 hours,
> > covering it with pastic & spraying it several times. Remember that
> > the urine soaked in deeply and then spread horizontally throughout
> > the fibers, so you must get the product deeply into whatever is
> > stained or smells. DO NOT USE ANYTHING THAT IS AMMONIA-BASED,
> > because of its "urine-like" scent to a cat.
> > OTHER TIPS: Dr. Tasi also recommends another product
> > called "Feliway." http://www.feliway.com/
This smells like friendly
> > pheromones to a cat and when sprayed in a cat's environment, it
> > creates a comforting, reassuring feeling that reduces the impulse to
> > urine mark or scratch. (A cat's pheromones are between his eye and
> > ear; when s/he rubs his head against you, s/he's putting friendly
> > pheromones on you.)
> > PLAY WITH YOUR CAT - STRESS CAN CAUSE ELIMINATION PROBLEMS: Dr. Tasi
> > says that many elimination problems stem from boredom. Cats are
> > designed to be hunters and become incredibly bored and frustrated
> > when they are denied the opportunity. She says to spend at least 15
> > minutes each day playing with your cat. Toys like "da bird" are
> > excellent (ask for it at your local pet store); anything interactive
> > that makes your cat run and chase. Dr. Tasi says laser toys are OK --
> > NEVER shine in your cat's eyes -- but can frustrate the cat as they
> > are never able to catch anything. Be sure your cat has plenty of
> > toys to stalk and chase. Here's a great site for toys:
> > http://www.cattoys.com/
You might also want to consider acquiring
> > another cat or two so your pet has somebody to play with. CAUTION:
> > Do not leave string toys lying around as your cat can choke to death
> > on string or it can end up wrapped around his internal organs and
> > intestines.
> > WONDERFUL FINAL TIP FOR ACQUIRING A NEW CAT: Apart from "Introducing
> > a Cat to a New Home" instructions which are another topic in itself,
> > I learned this simple new tip: While keeping the cats separated in
> > different rooms, try wiping each cat's fur with a separate towel
> > daily. Then place each cat's food dish on top of the other cat's
> > towel. They will associate each other's scent with the positive
> > experience of being fed, and grow tolerant of each other quickl!