Cat Not Using Litterbox for Years? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Cat Not Using Litterbox for Years?

I have a male Siamese about 12-years old. A few years ago, we had to move into a very small apartment, and he started pooping just outside the litterbox. It became more over time, and occassionally he would pee in cat beds.

We moved into a bigger home, and over time he has started pooping further away from the box and anywhere it suits him. We did get him to stop peeing outside of the box, but the poop continues. He'll use the box about half the time, and not the other half.

We got Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract cat litter, which didn't really work. According to Dr. Elsey, we put the cat in an unused bedroom where no cat had been in before. He's got his own room, his own food and water, his own brand new litterbox, toys, the works, and we play with him and visit him many times a day.

He's happy. The vet says there's nothing wrong with him. There are no other cats to ambush him or bully him. We just don't know what to do next.

Dr. Elsey's literature says the next thing to do is put him in a cage with only enough space for litter, and a small clean space for his food/water/bed. He's been in that room 45-days, and I don't like the idea of a cage if I don't have to do it.

Is the cage going to work? Am I missing something? Everywhere I look on the internet, I get the same answers that don't apply to him. What can I do?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 08:13 AM
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Have you tried putting two boxes in his safe room? Some cats don't like to poo and pee in the same box. I'm not sure if that's the problem, but it might be worth a shot if you haven't already tried it.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 08:32 AM
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My brother Tom used the cat crate with great success to litter-train a cat. The crate doesn't have to be too small. He used a large dog crate.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 10:29 AM
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I have the same problem with Nebbie. She'll pee in one box, and poop just outside the other box. (usually she faces the box, with her front feet in the litter and her back feet on the floor... if only she would take two or three steps further in! - the box doesn't have 'walls' on all four sides, it drops down to the ground at the entrance because Paizly can't climb over sides)

However, I'm not going to fuss too much. Personally, I think it's much easier to pick up solid 'waste' off the floor... it's vomit and urine that's harder to clean because they soak in!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-20-2011, 02:59 AM
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Definiatly add another box. My cats have an agreement that one box is for pee, the other poop and the last two are only ever used if the desired box is occupied.

Also, make sure the box is a comfortable size for him. Most cat boxes on the market seem to be too small. It should be at the very least half again as long as the cat from nose to tail, and as wide as nose to tail. A good and fairly inexpensive option is under-the-bed plastic storage boxes. Lots of room for kitty to move around in, and easy for those older kitties to get in and out of since they're not too deep.

Is your box hooded? I've met a few cats that didn't like hooded boxes for pooping, but didn't mind peeing in them.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Well, we ended up putting the cat in the cage. It sort of works. He'll poop in the cage over and over again until he figures it out. He usually ends up with poop in his fur and then he has to be bathed. We'll let him out and he'll be good for a few weeks to a few months, then he'll start pooping outside the litter boxes again. Vet checked him out time and again, and had us put him on kitty Prozac, which sort of worked; then later doubled the dosage, which had little effect. He always comes back to his old habits after a few weeks to a few months, and we have to repeat the cycle.

We have huge litter boxes, no walls, low entry, well ventilated, cleaned regularly. The cats don't seem to have the poop/pee agreement, they use all the boxes equally. He's so weird. We've actually seen him poop in the litter box, then exit and finish pooping.

How to permanently correct the behavior? What is going on inside that little cat brain?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 12:48 AM
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Only A CAT knows what goes on in their brain tho I think a cat whisperer would not agree. But you don't have one of those....

I can tell you what I did and posted last month about bringing in another cat into the house.

What I ended up with was Eliza, the oldest 18yrs, starting to miss the litter box with pee and before she also missed with poop, I got smart. Since she has a room primarily to herself, bed, food, wife, computer, and window to look out, I added another litter box but I got a large container, maybe 1&1/2 times the size of the one she was missing and wetting the wood floor. It has low sides and I put a cat litter box in a corner with plastic cat litter containers to block two sides and with only a small space for her to enter. Seemed to solve the problem. I think our other two cats use one of the other three litter boxes and leave hers alone but I am not sure. So maybe it won't work for you but maybe it will for someone else reading this.

Now, if I was an inventor, I might dream up some kind of Pavlovian gadget that if a cat does #2 a treat would come out a tube and into a tray on the side of the litter box. Of course the mechanism to release the treat would be in your hand unless you really got inventive. No poop, no treat. #1 gets nothing but an empty bladder. I'm sure a Siamese would figure out this gadget faster than a Chimpanze and in a short amount of time would also figure out you release the treat and when you weren't around, it would treat itself. But this is only my conjecture.

How soon after he gets poop in his fur does he get bathed? Does he like the bathing? If not, I'm wondering if he won't figure out if he poops he gets the hose? Perhaps not good to wash him right after taking him out of the cage?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Well, we've switched to the bathing for a while. He gets bathed the instant we discover the poop. And he hides after he poops out of the box; it's as though he knows. He doesn't like the baths, but he's fairly tolerant of them. I don't think it's working.

Did make an interesting observation. We have other cats, but he seems to poop in some of the favorite floor spots of one particular cat. That cat is our older Maine Coon girl. She's not mean to him or anything, so I don't understand the connection if there is one.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 03:15 PM
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I would ask why he's getting poop on his fur when he goes. Sounds to me as if he's not having normal stools. Cat stool should be VERY hard and firm, with almost no smell. It should be almost impossible for a cat to get it on him.

For that reason, after getting a fecal sample checked for parasites by the vet, I would look to the diet. What is he eating?
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