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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I'm one of those people who has joined just because I'm having trouble with one of my cats, but I really hope you can help me figure out what to do.

I've had my two cats, a brother and sister from the same litter, since they were about 10 weeks old. They came from the animal shelter litter-trained 10 years ago, and until a year or so ago they'd never broken their training. Even through a move and two children!

Last year, right before our family went on vacation, I did something stupid, and put a new rug right in front of their litter box, to help catch the litter crumbs. Well, of course my boy, Logan, was mightily angry with us for leaving and for changing something at the same time, so he peed all over the new rug. By the time we got back, it was saturated and had leaked through to the carpet beneath.

My MIL, who had been cleaning the box while we were gone, said she *thought* he might have peed on the rug, but she didn't move it or anything, so it just kept soaking into the carpet.

We went through a lot of trouble trying to stop his habit once it started, but the only thing that worked was cutting out that section of the carpet and setting the box on the tile underneath. (The carpet is a huge bound remnant that we use as an area rug, so cutting off the corner wasn't the biggest deal, even if it doesn't look so good now.)

After we cut the carpet, he went straight back to the box and everything was fine. Until, again, I did something stupid. I had a cold and wasn't thinking straight, and instead of gradually mixing a new food with their old one, I just filled their bowls with the new one. We were entirely out of the old, and it didn't even cross my mind to get a little bag of the old to mix with the new. I've changed their food a couple of times before, to try to find a food that the boy is not allergic to, and I've always done it that way with no problems.

But I didn't this time, and a couple of days later, I found poop on the floor right in front of the box. We've been telling him "no" and cleaning it up, no problem. I mean, after cat urine, poop is no big deal. Except that now he's started peeing on the carpet again, in the area closest to the litter box. I believe that the peeing is in response to a stray cat either urinating or spraying around our house, because when I'm outside, I get whiffs of urine, and I know the inside doesn't smell bad enough to leak out yet!

I should add that when this was going on last year, I took him to the vet, who said that it was probably behavioral as they couldn't find anything wrong with him. And it was pretty obvious what caused it, as it is this time also.

Currently, we're waiting to see if my husband will lose his job, either in January or another round of layoffs in June. So adding this on top of that really flustered me, and I didn't do anything useful for a couple of days. Finally I've gone back to confining him like I did when they were kittens. It's a lot harder in this house with two kids than it was back then!

Nights he is confined in the laundry room with the small litter box. The first night he pooped in both the box and the laundry sink and peed on the towels I'd made a bed for him with. The next nights I took the towels away and booby-trapped the sink, and he's only gone in the box.

Days, I've started shutting him in our bathroom when I can't be in the living room to watch for misbehavior. This is going to be more often than I'd like, because of all the housework and child care I've got to do. But he has only gone in the box while in the bathroom, so that's good too.

My current plan is to spend lots of money to clean up the current mess and hope that he can't smell it anymore. On my list I've got Feliway for the room the regular box is in, Cat Attract litter additive, a UV light to find the messes, and Anti Icky Poo pretreatment and cleaner. I've been using Nature's Miracle Just for Cats, but the flowery odor is disgusting, and I can't tell if it's actually getting rid of the smell or is just covering it up, because all I can smell is the perfume. So I'll try the new cleaner in conjunction with my MIL's spot cleaner vacuum, and hopefully a lot of elbow grease and biological warfare will fix this.

Does this plan sound like it will work?

I'd really appreciate input on the problem or my solution. I was at a loss on what to do for several days, and was so grateful to have found this forum and to read everyone's advice.

Thanks, and sorry for the length!
 

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You took him to the vet last year, I would take him again just to be sure you're not correcting him for something he can't help.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I will make an appointment with the vet, just to make sure.

But I want to get a head start on cleaning it up, either way. So if it's not a medical problem, do my other ideas sound like they will work? Because I'll order the stuff now, and hopefully it will be here by the time we get to the vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, good news! Confinement seems to be working well.

He's gone only in his small litter box for two days, and today actually got back in the regular box two separate times to both pee and poop. He's not fussing when he's put in a room and he's being very affectionate and much bolder when he's out.

So I'll keep that up and see how things go. I'll give the carpet a good thorough cleaning when the supplies get here, and hopefully the Feliway will help calm him down about the stray cat. I wonder if I could take the blacklight outside to find the stray's urine and either wash it off or spray some enzyme on it. I might try that if I have time and extra cleaner.
 

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The usual advice for litter trays is 1/cat + 1. Sometime cats just will poop in one and pee in the other. So if he starts eliminating somewhere other than in the litter tray, I'd get another tray and see if that makes a difference. The other things you've tried and plan to do are all good. Let us know how it goes.
 

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My Miu started pooping outside the box for god knows what reason. Confinement was the purrfect solution. I confine her when she eats so the others can't get at her food (she's a slow eater). She poops once a day so I make a mental tally and confine her a bit after one of her meals. She'll usually poop after the meal.
 
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