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Not Using Litterbox!!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My cat Sebastian has been having a problem not using the litterbox when he poops. He had a urinary tract infection 9 months ago that has been succesfully treated and I have recently taken him to the vet to see if it has come back and he was perfectly healthy. He is still pooping everywhere but the litterbox. The vet says it is behavioral, but I am wondering. After he poops, he runs through the house like he has been shot in the tail and then claws the rug violently. He even poops in his kitty tee-pee that he sleeps in!! The vet recommended that I lock him in a room with his food and water and the litterbox when we are not home to reintroduce him to using it. This seemed to work for a short time, but now he just poops everywhere in the room but the litterbox. He urinates in it, I clean it once a day, and I have not changed the type of litter I use. The vet gave me a subscription for Valium to give him once a day. I have hesitated to use it until now. This is getting to be such a problem. I don't want to keep him locked up, but I don't want him to continue to ruin our furnitur. Have any of you had this problem, and have any of you given your cat Valium. HELP!!!!!
post #2 of 8
Usually when they poop out of the box it's because they are unhappy about something or they are being territorial. Is he neutered? If not, he may be smelling other cats in the area or just defending his territory. If he's neutered and no other cats around, then he may just be unhappy about something. I would try getting a bigger box, or if it's a covered box, try taking the cover off. I would experiment when he's in a single room. This way he's not being effected by anything around him. Can you think of any changes in the house, even subtle about when he started this?
post #3 of 8
Since I'm not familar with the situation with your kitty it's hard to give any advice.

Some cats, including my Fallon will not poop in the box if one of the other cats has gone in it and I have not scooped it out yet. She'll go next to the box or her favorite place, the bathroom rug. I'm not sure if you have other kitties, if so this may be the problem. Or some cats don't like to poop in a box they have already peed in.

Had you recently changed the place of the litter box? If the box is too close to his food and water bowls he may refuse to poop in it. Or if the box is in a high traffic, noisy area he may feel uncomfortable about this too.

Also if the litter level isn't high enough, he may find else where to go. Has there been any major changes in the household that could have stressed him out? New pet or baby?

Some cats will not urinate and defecate in the same box. Have you tried placing another box?

Is he an older kitty? As a cat becomes a senior he can get cognitive dysfunction and house soiling is a common syptom.

I know I asked a bunch of questions but these are all things that could be causing him to do this. I don't blame you in not wanting to put him on meds but it sounds like you're down to your last ideas. Discuss with your vet(if you haven't already) if there's any other options and if you do decide on the meds ask about the side effects(and yes there are side effects) and make sure that you know the signs incase need be. Good luck with your kitty!! I hope you can find a solution that works for the both of you.
post #4 of 8
I was wondering if you where using a strong smelling chemical when you clean the litter box????? If so, maybe this is part of the problem?????
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
This site is great! I thought I would check this morning to see if anyone replied and was I surprised to see how many responses I had received. Here are the answers to your questions. Yes, we have had a major change in our household- we have added on a second floor. The first floor has not changed and there is a door to the second floor that we keep closed (no heat yet)all the time. But, after all the major construction that went on from September to October, there has not been anything going on at all. We are waiting on a few things before we start up again. That is what is baffling me, I guess it takes cats a longer time to get over a trauma/change than I thought. The other factors are as follows: we have no other cats, he is an indoor only cat, he has been neutered at a young age, he still has his claws, I don't use a strong smelling cleaner, and his box is in a room with lots of privacy. There are so many factors that could be causing his problem. I have a feeling it is the construction. When we start up again, I will put him at my mom's house. He lived there with me for a year and loves my parents. What are the side effects of the valium if any of you have experienced it with your cats? Thank you all again for your help!!
post #6 of 8
I would almost bet it's because of the major change to the house. Cats for some reason are very particular about the set things in thier lives. When something even simple sometimes happens, they react in different ways. It may be best if you go ahead and use the valium for a little while to see if it helps him to recover. I would also work with him a little more in setting daily routines, such as giving him a quick pet when you walk in the door each time. Little things like that when done on a daily basis can help them to feel a little more control over the daily routine.
Valium in cats is not quite as harsh as when used in humans. As with any drugs it can have some side effects like liver damage, allergic reaction and it makes them quite hungry. I have used it in the past with some sucess. I have never kept any of them on it for long periods of time. Usually for this kind of behavior they keep them on it for a few weeks to a few months and then gradually take them off of it.
post #7 of 8
Well the side effects that I know of can cause sedation and the cat may become weak and uncoordinated. The drug can even cause the opposite effect of what it's supposed to do and may make the cat hyper. Although it's rare it can cause a liver problem in cats that can be fatal. There may be more but that's all I know of.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your advice! I feel a little better about Sebastian now and will work more closely with him to make him happy!

Thanks again
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