I have a 5 month old kitten having difficulty with consistently using the litter box and I am looking for any insight of what could be going on. Before I get to her major issues there are some things that may be helpful for anyone who is experienced.
I have a total of 3 cats. Oliver 11 years old, Joey 2 years old, and now Layla 5 months. Layla was found on August 4th, hours old, abandoned in the bushes right by my mom's front door. She was wet and hungry. I am on the board of a animal rescue organization and rushed her to our bottle feeder volunteer who is amazing. She weighed in at 3oz. Layla was bottle fed until 5 weeks when she was weaned off. She was a very small, but a consistent eater, only drinking about 5-15oz per 3 hour feeding while on the bottle. She is a very petite kitten even now. She is NOT yet spayed because my vet wants to give her more time to gain weight (at 5 months she's about 4 pounds and tiny). Since I have had her since birth I have slowly increased her world...dog crate to bathroom, bathroom to house (CARPETED house at that). Since she was so little I added a few other litter boxes in the house (dining room, bathroom, and the main, very large one, in the office). As she has gotten bigger I have removed the box in the dining room. Since then she has occasionally still pooped on the carpet where the box was. After consulting with my vet, he advised me to put the box back and slowly move the box over an inch or so at a time so it would eventually be moved in the location of the main box to help her get used to going in there. That worked for two weeks with NO accidents and then one night she pooped right back in the dining where the box was. I sprayed some pet safe spray recommended to me. It worked when fresh, but it had to keep being replied and who wants to do that and over time I can't imagine it being great for the cats, me, and the carpet. After Thanksgiving we added a Christmas tree to the area near where she normally would have accidents. Again, great, no trouble she was doing well until last Friday night she decided to poop in the office about 4 feet from the main box and then pooped again the next night in the office 1 foot away from the main box. I cleaned up both areas well and prayed for the best. She did well all day Sunday and then Monday night, right in front of me, she peed on the carpet in the original spot in the dining room. Since our carpet is a light beige I would have never noticed she peed because it blends in and doesn't really have that cat smell that adult cats have yet. This is the first time I have ever caught her peeing. I didn't want to yell or punish her for her accidents as I have read that it doesn't help; however, when she has had accidents I have just quietly picked her up and placed her in the box where I want her to go in hopes it would click. Since the peeing accident I have done the following:
- Changed the cats litter from Dr. Elsie's Ultra Precious Cat Clumping (vet recommended) to Dr. Elsie's Cat Attract.
- Removed the plastic litter box liner.
- Opened the doors to the litter box cabinet in case she doesn't like it enclosed (my gut tells me that's not the issue).
- Scooped it 2 times a day.
I did all of this on Monday night and she was GREAT no poop accidents and no pee that I know of until yesterday evening she pooped on the carpet in the dining room again. My vet did say if the Cat Attract doesn't work to try World's Best Cat Litter as its texture is softer he says. She does have odd behavior while in the box such as:
- Rushes in, barely digs a hole if none at all.
- NEVER covers up her business, pee or poop. She instead scratches her paws on the edges of the box never putting paws in to try and cover up.
- And occasionally she will either balance ALL 4 paws on the edge of the box hovering over the litter instead of being in the box OR she has been known to walk as close to the walls of the box (facing it) lean into it, propping her paws on the edges of the box and pee or poop as close to it as possible and hop out immediately, again never covering it. My two male cats will go in right after her and cover it for her as if they are confused as to why she doesn't know what to do.
I am sorry for the length of this, but I want to be as specific as possible because I know litter box issues are puzzling.
Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I am desperate! I know the longer time goes the harder it will be to break her of this.
Layla's frustrated mommy