When your cat has litterbox issues... (about you, the owner) - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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When your cat has litterbox issues... (about you, the owner)

This is assuming all medical/vet issues are not present or sorted out:

How long does it take for you to trust them again? (aka, not walking around suspicious to step in anything or watching where they go with suspicious thoughts, making a point of getting up to see where they are and what theyre doing, etc). Can they tell that you have temporarily lost some trust? Do they care, at all? (lol, cats seem to not care about alot of things at times).

I was just wondering how you all deal with your own emotions when something like this happens?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 05:57 AM
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It only takes as long as you noticing them consistently going in the litter box. At least it does for me, anyway.
When I first got the kittens, Belle had her own little issues. She had a bit of a rough start and being rejected by her mum, didn't help any.
By the time I got them, the only living thing Belle trusted was Sadie her step sister.

While Sadie had no issues going in the litter box, Belle would just seem to go where she was. I had just about covered my whole lounge floor in tin foil (rolls eyes). I followed her as much as I could but catching her in the moment was really hard to do.

Finally, I just decided that after every meal I will sit her in the box till she goes. That seemed to miraculously work! We would celebrate, make a big deal of her success and reward her with a nice juicy treat!
Life was good.

A couple months later, I was beginning to allow them to go outside. Everyone had to learn to use the great outdoors. Eventually they did, B U T Belle seemed to forget where the litter pan was when it was time for them to be inside!! ARRRGGHHHHH!!

Now she was older, and I had to catch her in the act and relocate her to the box. After a few days I managed. She only had 3 places she would go, so when she would "wonder off" I followed her. I caught her and just calmly picked her up, put her in the litter box, let her do her thing and again, reward her for her efforts.
I did the follow thing for a week, maybe two. But everytime I scooped the litter box, Belle was always watching me (she's my helper lol) so if there was anything in there, I didn't care who did it, I would tell her what a good girl she was, pointing at the box and the poo and generally let her know I was well pleased. I usually snuck in a little treat as well.

It seemed to work for us. I mean to this very day I will still tell her what a good kitty she is whenever I am cleaning out the box. Odds are she is the one who has used it anyway, everyone else seems to have bladders the size of an Olympic pool.
But I don't go around looking for "stuff" anymore, I trust her to go where she needs to go.

On them noticing if you trust them? I don't think it's that kind of an issue for them. I think they are busily trying to figure out what it is you are wanting from them. I believe they struggle, like we do at times, trying to figure out what is being communicated.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 06:33 AM
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With 5 indoor cats, the majority of them elderly now, I really never let my guard down completely. My nose is the best indicator I have. I can smell a wayward turd from upstairs - a stench of misplaced urine almost immediately. Over the years I have taken out 90% of the carpeting and refinished the hard wood floors underneath. I have rugs only in the LR and a small one in part of the MBR. There was a time when someone peed on a section of the LR rug but I cleaned it thoroughly, added a 5th litter box and placed a sheet of plastic under that section of the rug to protect the wood floor but it hasn't happened again. That was over a year ago but I still watch anyone that lingers in that spot too long. Only Zipper will look at me looking at her. Her eyes are so expressive I can almost read her thoughts; it's like she's saying, I really have to go mom but I don't think I can make it all the way to the box, and this place looks pretty convenient. Last time that happened I just picked her up and put her in the litter box.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 05:11 PM
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I don't really believe in getting angry with animals for their behaviour. Frustration is sometimes unavoidable, but I know that overreacting or letting it affect the way I relate to a cat is counter-productive. Litterbox issues can be especially frustrating, but cat's don't think like people; they don't rationalize their behaviour, or pee on things specifically to bother their owners, they just react.

My current foster is staying in my bedroom and has had some issues with going pee in inappropriate places. You can read about Choco-cat and the ongoing socialization process (including inappropriate toileting issues) here. She's doing so much better now, but I'd be lying if I said that I was no longer concerned about her peeing outside of the box; I just don't let it affect my interactions with her. If she pees, well then she pees, and I'll have to clean it up, but, at this point, it's important that I be willing to trust her--I'm expecting her to learn to trust me and other people, after all.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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I have tried my best not to let it effect how i interact with them. Whenever i have seen simba use the box (which is many nights, he is often my helper) ive been just saying whatever i could think of in that high pitch relaxed tone... usually just "good" then his name over and over lol. But really, i dont know if it makes any difference, i dont know if he cares if i was saying those things or not/if i was around to witness it or not. I usually stick around to not scare him with my movement (thats all i'd need!), and to scoop out whatever he did afterwards.

Being honest i really cant stay mad at them for long, i love them both too much... but the trust issue is still there. i hope the feliway makes a difference. it seems like a month or so would go by, and id trust him again, then something else would happen to break it. so im hopign maybe the feliway will stop that pattern...
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 08:12 AM
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Claiken, when I happen to walk in on someone using the litter box, I normally just stop and turn my back so they know I'm not watching them. Cats HATE to be watched using the litter box. They like their privacy. Yes, it does help telling them they are good kitties - using your "I'm happy with my cat" voice. Even reciting the Gettysburg Address using that voice would be good. It's the verbal communication and the tone that matters. All the cat hears is "blah, blah, blah", but the tone is inescapable. Cats do recognize when you are happy with them or not.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 12:19 PM
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We keep the litter box in the bathroom. Sometimes when I use the bathroom Yuki will follow me in there and decide to use the litterbox at the same time. You know how girls like to go to the bathroom in groups!


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki'sMum View Post
We keep the litter box in the bathroom. Sometimes when I use the bathroom Yuki will follow me in there and decide to use the litterbox at the same time. You know how girls like to go to the bathroom in groups!


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HaHa!! Good one Yuki's Mom!!

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An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki'sMum View Post
We keep the litter box in the bathroom. Sometimes when I use the bathroom Yuki will follow me in there and decide to use the litterbox at the same time. You know how girls like to go to the bathroom in groups!
Haha!!! too funny.

I guess my cats dont have any pride then... they will intentionally come down when i have just scooped or am still scooping and know im right there. but i just stay off to the side where i was, i dont directly go right up to them... i only use the voice from a decent distance. and usually although facing them, i am looking around at other things most of the time.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki'sMum View Post
We keep the litter box in the bathroom. Sometimes when I use the bathroom Yuki will follow me in there and decide to use the litterbox at the same time. You know how girls like to go to the bathroom in groups!


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Hahaha had to chuckle at this...when I get up in the am gizmo follows me to the bathroom...their litter box is outside the door and when I "go" so does gizmo hahaha
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