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Old 03-14-2010, 02:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Laying in Litter Box.. how can I stop this?

our new cat, boba, has this WEIRD habit of LAYING in litter boxes. he gets right in there.. hunkers down, and rolls about until he finds a comfortable position. then he just lays there.

I would REALLY like to discourage this, as it's disgusting, and my cats are on raw, which means their poop contains salmonella, and I would like that not to be passed to the humans in my apartment just though petting a cat.

but how do I discourage him from doing something in the litter box without discouraging him from USING the litter box? I don't want to associate the litter box with any kind of bad behaviour, but I also don't want him to do that..

some help on this would be REALLY appreciated! even just the slightest idea of what to do, I'm at a total loss.

I'm currently just lifting him out whenever he's clearly laying in there, doing nothing.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laying in Litter Box.. how can I stop this?

It's very common for cats that have been caged (shelters, pet stores etc) to lay in their box. It was the safest, coziest place in the cage! They usually just grow out of it.
I would try providing him with an alternative like a cardboard box. When ever you catch him laying in the litter box, pick him up and put him in the other box.
Also, I don't like them but, maybe a covered box would discourage him?
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laying in Litter Box.. how can I stop this?

my bengal at Conan did that for a few days after we got him, just because it was a new place. he stopped doing it once he was comfortable with his surrondings
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laying in Litter Box.. how can I stop this?

Cleo did that for the first day or two, also. Does he have an actual box he can curl up in? The trick is distraction, and being very careful not to "shoo" him out or in any way make him think it's a bad place.

On rare occasions, Cali curls up in the litter box when the sun hits it just right, as if she's sunning on the beach. I simply grab a toy and she jumps out and starts playing.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laying in Litter Box.. how can I stop this?

Yuck. Snow Cat used to do this too. I would add if yours is the kind with a lid, take it off. That was what Snow loved so much about his. Once the lid was gone, it lost its allure. I second the suggestion about providing him with an alternate box as well.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laying in Litter Box.. how can I stop this?

so I emailed him prev. owner to see if he had ever done it before.. and found out that he's never actually HAD cat litter before.. she used "wood stove pellets" which apparently he just peed on, they crumble to dust as they dry, and then when she had a box full of dust she just chucked it outside? sounds stinky to me.. but maybe that's why he's doing this a bit then, doesn't REALLY associate the sand with "litter box".

I'll just keep an eye on it for a few more days and just keep removing him from laying in the box, and hopefully he stops once he's more settled in!
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laying in Litter Box.. how can I stop this?

That does sound stinky! Have you had any problems with him actually going in the litterbox, since it's not what he's used to?

Like the others, I think you should get him another box for resting/playing in.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laying in Litter Box.. how can I stop this?

he's been using the box fine.. and I did get another one (much like the one in your sig, actually, mary!) which I'm lifting him out of and placing him in. he seems to be happy in the empty one too, and spends a fair amount of time there. maybe he just likes boxes.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laying in Litter Box.. how can I stop this?

so I'm bumping this up because it's been like a week and this is still CONSTANT behaviour. we're not using a box with a lid or anything, and it's not in the sun.. and I'm hoping someone else will have an idea for me.

I've just been picking him up and placing him into the other box every time I see him do it, but it doesn't seem to be getting the message across. I don't want to scold him or punish him in any way because i'm scared he'll start avoiding the box for bathroom purposes too... but I'm not too sure he's getting the point that I don't want him in there.. and he's gross! I mean.. medium haired cat rolling around in a litter box is pretty gross no matter how clean I keep it.

any help or even ideas that anyone can continue to give would be verrrry much appreciated.
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laying in Litter Box.. how can I stop this?

I don't know if I can help in any way... but I'll try.

Have you changed the litter into something perhaps a little less appealing? I use a mostly clumping, a little bit of newspaper pellet mixture.

LOTS of beds/sleeping places. My two fwuffies have... maybe twelve... maybe more places they are allowed and can sleep. Well, some are just cat trees but the point is that it's varied.

Again, changing the litterbox or getting a second one may work. Putting it in a very secluded place (the one he likes to sit in) so it's away from everything and harder to access.

A good thing to try would be this: whenever he goes to lay down in his literbox, pick him up without ceremony and place him outside of it. No other reaction. Walk away. When you see him do it again, walk over calmly, pick him up and put him down. Rinse and repeat. By playing with him for a distraction you may inadvertently teach him that -action- equals -play- or -action- equals -drama-.

Um... that's all I can think of really... I haven't had this problem before but with my limited knowledge I seek to help.
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