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litter box woes...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm at my wits end and I'm hoping someone here can help.

I have a very nervous kitty, Freakazoid. When I went out of town for 3 weeks in December, leaving her with our trusty cat sitter, she stopped eating. She's prone to constipation, especially when she doesn't get 20 mins of love from me every day.

By the time I got home, she was diabetic.

We seem to have gotten that under control, but ever since that time, she's been litter-box phobic. She'll pee in the same area every time (a corner of the bathroom). The vet suggested that Freak associates a normal litter box with the pain she was in while I was gone, and she wasn't eatting and very blocked. The vet went on to suggest that I use something that looks nothing like a litter box.

I've tried the water pan that goes under flowerboxes; she wouldn't use it. I made her a very shallow litter box out of plexiglass, plastic elbow brackets and lots of caulk. Her pee is so chemical-y that it eats through the caulk. I've tried clumping litter, but it clumps next to the edges making a big, muddy mess. I'm currently using the crystals as it seems to control the oder better than the other.

Even though her diabetes is under control, she still drinks and pees more than she did before this began. My whole house smells. I buy Nature's Miracle in 2 liter jugs and use about a quart a week. I have to daily clean up this mess of particularly stinky pee.

I love Freak. I don't want to get rid of her. But she's destroying my bathroom. I'm desperate for a suggestion.

Thanks in advance,
post #2 of 8
Hey Rebecca...I read a thread once that suggested that if your cat was going to the bathroom on a wood floor or ceramic tile..that you provide an empty litter box in the area and slowly over time add litter. Have you tried one of those boxes you can stick sweaters into that fits under the bed (but without the top). See if she will use that without any litter in it and in the exact place in the bathroom that she has normally used.

Welcome to TCS by the way.
post #3 of 8

Is she only allowed in your bathroom? That is the impression I got from you? If you are confining her to such a small space, she could be stressing out just from that. If I misunderstood that part of your post, I apologize.

I use the large flat containers that store under your bed, that you can put sweaters and stuff in? Maybe that will help her.

As far as stain control Nok-Out is good as it destroys the smell quickly and breaks down the enzymes. You should probably look into getting a black light flashlight through petsmart and use that to find the urine stains. They travel pretty far.
post #4 of 8
Have you seen those disposable litter boxes that are made of the same material as egg cartons? One of my students was having the same trouble with her cat, and her vet suggested using disposable cardboard litter boxes, and that has worked for her. Her cat seemed to associate any plastic container with the pain he'd had. Barring that, you could put a flat cardboard box on top of a plastic garbage bag. If litter is the problem, buy disposable diapers (the cheapest brand), strip off the plastic, and cut them into small chunks to fill the litter box (or cardboard box), or use "incontinence bed pads" or "super plus sanitary pads". It sounds strange, but our local shelter is using that technique with a "problem wetter", and thus far she has been using her "special litter" religiously. I don't know who came up with the idea, but I find it ingenious. We had a cat that preferred potting soil. We started out with a big flower pot full of potting soil, then switched to a litter box with potting soil, and then gradually added litter until she accepted 100% litter.I think the trick is to have a "litter box" that is nothing like a regular litter box, at least until she forgets her fear.
post #5 of 8
wow, you guys are so smart. I would never have thought of all that.

What about using a different filler? Like wood pellets or newspaper pellets? Or just lining something with flat newspaper?

Good luck. Please keep us posted on how she's doing.

Hey Hissy, how do you get rid of the pee stain once it's on your wall and you've discovered it with the black light?
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. I like the idea of a disposable litter box.

She pees anywhere she pleases, though she's found her favorite spot in the bathroom on the tile. Occasionally, she'll pee on the hardwoods in random places and it's not out of the question for her to pee on my bed. So my room is the only area off-limits while I'm not home. Other than that, she has the run of the house, including the balcony.

She'll use litter, just nothing that *looks* like a litter box (ie: 3-4" deep, OR dark colored plastic).

I thought of a two-layer box, with a shallow top that has slits or holes that are too small to let the litter crystals through but lets the urine drain into a bottom tray, and just pour out the urine every day. I found the perfect model in a microwave vegetable steamer, but it's too small. Anyone heard of such a thing? Or other such ideas?

Thanks again!!
post #7 of 8
Rebecca, they do make such a box. I have one, though for the life of me I can't remember where I got it. I think Petco. My cat's kept getting their claws caught in the slats, so I made it into a toybox for their many cat toys. Works great for that.

Tammie, there are several really good products you can use to get rid of old stains-


Check out the listings here and see if you find one that will help.
post #8 of 8
Great suggestions! I hope you can find something that works for your kitty!

Moving this to Behavior for you.
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