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Old 01-15-2013, 10:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default More litter problems

Hi,
I am hoping someone can give me some advice. My sweet, sweet, incredibly affectionate and much adored 9 mo old kitten prefers to poop on hard surfaces like the bathtub, sink, or tile floor. She uses the litter box consistently to urinate, but stalks the house looking for an open bathroom door when she wants to defecate. If she can't find one she will usually use the litter box, although today she just went on the tile floor fairly near it.

She was a rescue. Her litter was kept in an empty bathtub and barely cared for until turned in to the shelter. When we first got her she showed a strong preference for the bathtub for both urinating and pooping. I retrained her by keeping her in a crate with just a small space and litter...she went next to the box until I finally had to cover the floor of the crate with litter. Finally she started using litter.

Since she always uses the box for urine I don't think there is a problem with the box itself. I clean it every time she goes (since it is near the back door so I check it), it's not covered, and she happily uses it several times a day. She never pees anywhere else. But the poop is a problem. She uses the box to poop only as a last resort. I have to keep all the bathroom doors locked and aluminum foil in the laundry room sink to deter her. Today she just went on the floor (in same spot, twice despite thorough cleaning. I've now moved her food and water dish to that spot).

I am wondering what I can do to solve this problem. I was thinking it might work to potty train her for pooping in the toilet since she's already attached to hard surfaces like the sink (although maybe that's a bad idea). A second litter box with tile (although that doesn't make clean up any easier) and I'm not sure how I would introduce it. It has been weeks since she's pooped in the tub (because the doors are locked) so I don't want to reintroduce that by putting the box in there. Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

I have searched the web and other threads in vain. It seems most people have problems with the cat simply not using the box at all, so suggestions are mainly about changing the box/litter/location and so on. Clearly the box is acceptable to Mopsy for peeing. She does appear distressed when she poops on the floor/in the tub: I caught her today desperately trying to bury her waste by scratching on the tile floor. Of course then she got it all over her paws and made a real mess. Lovely.

She is an inside/outside cat, and I'd love for her to poop outside but not sure how to accomplish that, plus she isn't allowed out after dark so needs to use the box if she wants to go then. I was just thinking this morning that she was getting better b/c I couldn't remember the last time she pooped outside the box, but then she went on the tile twice today.

Our dog just left us yesterday morning for a 3 week stay at a training camp, and Mopsy (kitten) has been needy today, and is clearly wondering where her pal is. He's never been away before. Perhaps that is what has caused her to poop on the tile again today, but either way I want to correct the behavior.

I don't know if it is possible to adjust her surface preference? Please help. Thanks.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You could try putting a box in the bathroom.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Tried that already but she just chose to go in the tub and ignore box, so finally locked her out of bathroom completely.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi,

I have a kitten with a strong preference for pooping in the bathtub.

My solution is to leave about an inch of water in the tub at all times unless I'm using it. She only had to get in the water once before she realized it wasn't worth it. I also used Precious Cat Attract Kitten Training Litter for the week I started with the water. (I have 2 litter boxes in the bathroom - I have more than one cat.)

This has worked for me. The only time she started going on a hard floor was once when she had diarrhea. I just put items on that spot (after it was cleaned) to cover the area, and she was back to using the litter box.

Good luck! I know it's a distressing issue.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi, my kitty Gypsie did the same thing when she was a kitten. She's 8 years old now and uses the litter box just fine. What I did was follow her around when I thought she was about to go and when I caught her getting ready to go I would put her in the litterbox as quickly as I could and spray a mild pet repellant anywhere I didnt want her to go. She's still very picky about her litterbox though. She'll always use it for pee but if I dont clean it often enough for her she'll still poop on the floor.
Another thing you could try is changing litter if you have a scented litter. I hear some cats dont like scented litters.
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