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scared of litter box - pee problem

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've been reading this forum and other online sites for litter problems.
Our kitty Phantom did not have any litter problems until a month ago.
Here is what I've tried already -

-made sure he does not have medical problems ( saw the vet, had urinalisis and no problem)
-cleaned the box, and clean everyday
-added a new box and placed it in a different location
-changed to clumping litter instead of crystal mix

we think that something is really scaring him in the litter box. He would approach, stare at it for a while, but walks away. He would poo, but darts out before the last drop. He has ruined our coach, and pooped in several locations in the apartment. Luckily has not peed on the carpet yet. He would eventually go, but he could go more than a day without peeing and several days without pooping.

Anyone have similar cases, or any idea what he is afraid of..??

post #2 of 13
Are these open litterboxes so he has the ability to see 360 degrees around him?

Have you tried feliway to see if perhaps that helps;


post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
His litter box is located on a corner of the bathroom, and it is not covered.

The Feliway products says that if you spray it, it will make the cat avoid peeing on that spot. If I plug in the Feliwain the bathroom, will he relax and go in his litterbox or have the opposite effect?

post #4 of 13
Have you checked to make sure there is nothing "getting him" in the box? I mean like, bugs or something? There was another person on the board who found spiders in her litter box (which really freaked me out!). Maybe a buggy got in there and bit him while he was doing his business one day and it scared him. Just an idea!!
post #5 of 13
don't get the feliway spray, but the diffuser that you plug in. if you plug it in in the bathroom (and maybe one or two other places in the house), it should make him feel comfortable there. you can get feliway pretty cheap on ebay or amazon, but be sure you ask the seller about the expiration date!
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

I went out and got the Feliway plug in.. It cost me $45 at Petco!!

I am starting to wonder if he is not liking the cleaning pad I used to clean his litter box. what is the recommended litterbox cleaner?
what ever it is, he is holding in pee and poo for days and it can't be too good for him..
post #7 of 13
I would throw out the litter pans and buy new ones if it were me. Make sure the pans are in a good location, they should be private, secure with an easy escape route. Either buy a bag of Cat Attract litter or go to www.zero-odor.com and order their product. Use plain clay litter and spray the top of the litter with this spray. See if that helps. I would also get a large piece of astroturf and put it underneath the litter pan, maybe he will drop his stool there instead of on the couch.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
thank you for the suggestions

I went out and got a new litter pan and "Dr. Elsey's Cat attract". I also placed it in a new spot. It seems like he likes it and I saw a clump of pee in there.!! However, he has not pooed yet.
Hopefully the new litter and the Feliway plugin will do some magic
post #9 of 13
Heres some information that might explain why your cat is frightened by the litter box. It was written about poop problems, but it applies to pee problems as well.

The following is from Dr Patricia Simonet:

Cats experience discomfort when they have diarrhea. Their bottoms become irritated and raw. Cats will learn to avoid discomfort. Sometimes this avoidance behavior becomes part of the cat’s repertoire of behaviors. Also, sometimes animals (including humans) develop what is called superstitious behaviors (that is a real term in animal behavior).

Superstitious behaviors appear when the animal accidentally associates a behavior with a stimulus or outcome. For example, the cat potties and it is painful. The cat happens to be in the litter box. Hmm. The cat does this again, potty and pain in the litter box. The first association develops – litter box and pain. Then on one occasion the cat potties, there is the accompanying pain but right as the cat leaps from the box (before the poop drops from his bottom) there is relief. The poop drops to the floor. The cat sniffs it. The second association is formed and the superstitious behavior develops. Poop outside the box and there is no pain. Another example of a superstitious behavior in cats is avoiding a certain yard in the neighborhood because at one time a dog, that nearly killed the cat, used to live there.

Think of all the poor black cats; I am pretty certain they do not impart bad luck onto people. So you see, their superstitions are pretty harmless compared to ours!

So knowing the cause of poor kitty’s litter box blues is little consolation to you, of this I am sure. However, cats can recover from this incorrect association very successfully. One way, which is easy on the cats but difficult for the human, is to isolate the cat into a quiet room (a spare bathroom is ideal). The bathroom should be big enough to place the food and water at least five feet away from the litter box. Keep the cat housed in this bathroom for 3 days while you retrain your cat to use the box. Each day you will enter to clean and feed. Make your visits quiet without a fuss. On the third day, invite the cat into the entire house. If kitty uses the box appropriately, then all is well. If kitty poops outside the box, place kitty back in the bathroom for one more day. The next day invite kitty back into the house.

This litter box training is most difficult for humans to endure because we want to be with our kitties. But you must be strong. Invite kitty back into the house with the rest of the family. Encourage little kitty with praise anytime he poops inside his box. When you see him smelling and sniffing before he poops (and he is not in his box) then gently pick-up your kitty and place him in the box.
post #10 of 13
Be sure that the litter itself in UNSCENTED! I've always had problems with the fragrances, and after being on this site for a bit, have discovered that many people, and more so, the CATS don't like the fragrances! I get asthma -
imagine how awful for a cat with it's sensitive nose!
post #11 of 13
Festie had that problem briefly. I'm sure it was after worming her, and she had noisy diarrhea in the litter box which scared her. She ran off without even burying it!

She started pooing in the kids rooms-diarrhea from holding it so long. It was becoming a real mess. She has always been such a clean kitty, I know it bothered her, too! I have a nice big cage, but a bathroom would work as well. I caged her for a few days. She was always locked up, except when I could watch her. She hasn't had another accident, since.

I personally think it is more cruel to live with a normally neat animal who is pooing all over, than to try to retrain them to trust the litter box again. Just a day or two is all they need to become their normal fastidious self!
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Wow.. I am not sure if I can lock up my kitty.. he is going to scratch the door like hell and meow like no tomorrow. I don't think I can be strong enough to ignore that!!
We have a tiny area outside the bathroom where we can isolate him. Today, since I noticed him going to the litter box and running out several times, I locked myself in there with him. After a while he went to the litterbox and assumed his position, but before the first drop, he ran out and pooped on the bathroom floor instead.
The litter should be perfect - new pan, new litter with no scent ( Dr Elsey's cat attrack ), 2 locations both quiet and safe.
I am more worried about his health from holding everything in so long.
post #13 of 13
Perhaps you should get a second opinion from another vet.
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