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Discussion Starter #1
It's been going on for a few months. Penny goes outside of the litter box. Both pee and poop. It's always on blankets, towels and articles of clothing. I've also smelled cat pee on the towels that water fountains/bowls sit on. She isn't totally avoiding the litter boxes, but she isn't using them very often. I've taken her to the vet and we can't find anything medically wrong. The litter boxes are in quiet, private locations. They're uncovered.

Maybe she doesn't like the litter? It's chicken feed. I'm going to try switching litters. Or maybe she doesn't like open litter boxes? She's very skittish. I did take the cover off of one of the litter boxes but it was only a month and a half ago at the most. I'm just wracking my brain to try and solve the issue. Any ideas? I keep them super clean. I scoop two-three times a day, adding extra litter as needed. Once a week I empty litter into a container, scrub the boxes down, add the old litter back in and add some new litter.

They were inside/outside cats for about a year. When we discovered Rocky had FIV too and we had a problem with some nasty neighbors we kept them inside only, and have been doing so for about the duration of the problem. I don't know if this has anything to do with the problem?
 

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It's been going on for a few months. Penny goes outside of the litter box. Both pee and poop. It's always on blankets, towels and articles of clothing. I've also smelled cat pee on the towels that water fountains/bowls sit on. She isn't totally avoiding the litter boxes, but she isn't using them very often. I've taken her to the vet and we can't find anything medically wrong. The litter boxes are in quiet, private locations. They're uncovered.

Maybe she doesn't like the litter? It's chicken feed. I'm going to try switching litters. Or maybe she doesn't like open litter boxes? She's very skittish. I did take the cover off of one of the litter boxes but it was only a month and a half ago at the most. I'm just wracking my brain to try and solve the issue. Any ideas? I keep them super clean. I scoop two-three times a day, adding extra litter as needed. Once a week I empty litter into a container, scrub the boxes down, add the old litter back in and add some new litter.

They were inside/outside cats for about a year. When we discovered Rocky had FIV too and we had a problem with some nasty neighbors we kept them inside only, and have been doing so for about the duration of the problem. I don't know if this has anything to do with the problem?
The only times I've had cats pee and poo outside the litter box were for a few reasons:

Health, which you say you have ruled out.

Cleanliness, which you say you are on top of it and keep them sparkly clean.

Litter, they did not like the non scooping litter.

Behavior, something changed in the house. It could be what you stated or it could be something else. I got punished for being gone too long, another cat didn't like sharing the litter box with any other cat so I had to get a box for each cat, and another was when I got "new" (used and given to me by a friend), couches--one cat did not like them at all and peed all over them.

If health is fine, boxes are clean then I would try changing the litter and I would seek out what has kitteh so upset...try to find anything and everything that has changed recently and see if any of those triggered the response you are getting now. It could be something big or it could be something as little as not liking the change in laundry detergent!
 

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I would change the litter. You might want to consider something like Cat Attract to start and if that works, back into a regular clumping litter. Some cats just don't like the corn litters and using feed may be even more of putting.
 

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This may sound dumb but does he react to praise?
When Mow was having UT troubles I kept making such a big deal out of him using the litterbox *praising and petting and cooing* that for months after he was well he would 'announce' that he had peed if I wasn't there to witness it. He'd stand next to the box and yowl until I would come tell him how awesome he was. Maybe something good associated with the litterbox after that poor kitties horrible past.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She doesn't respond to praise. If I was to pet and praise her excessively she'd run off.

Okay, first thing will be changing litter.
Princess has what I believe is asthma (I'm bringing it up at the vets so we can run tests) and has had hardly any episodes since I switched off of clay litter.
Any suggestions? It has to be clumping and low to no dust.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I purchased Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra litter and changed out the litter boxes today. I'm crossing my fingers!

I know this may sound crazy, but is it possible that a cat may avoid the litter box if they are allergic to something in the litter? Penny is allergic to any grains, including corn.
 

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I purchased Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra litter and changed out the litter boxes today. I'm crossing my fingers!

I know this may sound crazy, but is it possible that a cat may avoid the litter box if they are allergic to something in the litter? Penny is allergic to any grains, including corn.
If I recall, that means you got the clumping litter, not the corn, right? Typically the reason cats prefer the clumping is because the texture is more pleasing to them.

As for allergies, if I was allergic to corn, I wouldn't want to have to use a bathroom that had corn all around. I'd find some place else to go. It could very well be what triggered that behavior of going outside the box.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If I recall, that means you got the clumping litter, not the corn, right? Typically the reason cats prefer the clumping is because the texture is more pleasing to them.

As for allergies, if I was allergic to corn, I wouldn't want to have to use a bathroom that had corn all around. I'd find some place else to go. It could very well be what triggered that behavior of going outside the box.

Yes, it's a hard clumping, unscented litter.

I have yet to see her pee or poop on anything or spot a place where she has peed or pooped. I'm hoping changing the litter solved it. But if it is the case I have an even bigger problem. I don't like using clay litter. I am aware of the problems that clay litter poses.
I'm not sure what natural litter I could use. Swheat Scoop is made of wheat and she's allergic to that too. I've tried Feline Pine Scoopable and it's clumping ability is pitiful and I am allergic to it. Yesterday's News just gets all nasty because it doesn't clump and doesn't control odor.

Anyone know of any other natural litters?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Seems like most "natural" cat litters either have wheat or corn or they are made with pine. You do not want to use pine because it typically attracts fleas and while the smell may be masked for you and me, the cats can totally smell everything.

Maybe try this one:

Cat Litter | Yesterday's News® Brand Cat Litter

No corn, no wheat, no dust, no pine....worth a try.
I've tried the Yesterday's News before and didn't like it. It's been a while so I may just give it another try.

She's only gone outside the litter box once since changing the litter which was on the towel under the water fountain. I suspect because it was unplugged and not running.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
She's had two more incidents but I think I may have just discovered the real problem. I caught Princess attacking Penny while Penny was in the litter box. This would explain why it's so sporadic and why when she does go it's almost always when I'm near the litter box.

Is there anything I can do to stop this and correct Penny's problem?
 

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If the litter boxes are beside walls, in corners or in other smaller spaces, then you can try moving them more out into the open, which might make them seem safer for Penny, since she will see more escape routes. I'm not suggesting to put them in the middle of the room(!), but even leaving a foot or so all around might help...just enough so Penny can see many ways to jump out of the box if necessary, and doesn't feel like she might be cornered.

That said, the bigger and better problem is to determine why Princess is attacking Penny and to resolve that issue. How long have the cats been together? Do they usually get along otherwise?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
If the litter boxes are beside walls, in corners or in other smaller spaces, then you can try moving them more out into the open, which might make them seem safer for Penny, since she will see more escape routes. I'm not suggesting to put them in the middle of the room(!), but even leaving a foot or so all around might help...just enough so Penny can see many ways to jump out of the box if necessary, and doesn't feel like she might be cornered.

That said, the bigger and better problem is to determine why Princess is attacking Penny and to resolve that issue. How long have the cats been together? Do they usually get along otherwise?
They've been together since birth. I haven't caught Rocky doing it, but I assume he's attacking her in the litter box too. I know he does it a lot outside the litter box. She's walking by and he pounces and chases her. The problem started over a year ago. Penny became sick and I isolated her in a room for not even a day until the next day when I took her to the vet. She was at the vet for about 6 hours before we took her home. I kept her in there for another day or two until she was better. I rubbed rags on all of the cats and exchanged them to let them sniff each other and other things similar to how you would introduce cats so nothing would happen. There were no hostilities, hissing etc. towards each other when I let them together since first being isolated. But they sometimes attack her and bully her. I always assumed it was because she has FIV and they could sense that and saw her as weak. But Rocky was diagnosed with FIV this year too. They've never inflicted wounds. Ever. And it's not bad fighting. It's little scuffles.
The problem has gotten better over time. Princess has even attempted to groom and take a nap with her within the past week. But Penny woke up and freaked out. She hissed, panicked and ran out of the room. Princess just kind of stared at her and then started grooming herself and settled down for a nap.
 

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That's a shame. The only thing I can think of is to put the boxes more out in the open or, potentially, to add more boxes. Have you tried using Feliway? I had a lot of success with it, although I know some others have not had success.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm going to try adding in one or two more boxes. I have four right now, one on the second floor, one in the basement and two on the main floor. I'll try having two on the second floor and two on the main floor with one in the basement. One of litter boxes (the main floor box) is in a corner, so I'll try moving that. I hadn't thought of Feliway. It's worth a shot. I'm hoping one of these things works!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I moved the litter boxes around and got a couple diffusers to try out before buying as many as I really need, 'cause it's certainly not cheap. I'm not 100% sure yet, but I think it might be working. She's having less incidents.

Also, the Yesterday's News did not work out. I thought I was stuck as far as litter goes because the clay litter really started bothering my lungs, the room just smelled heavily like clay litter and Princess hated it. I decided to try something out. I put chicken feed in one box, WBCL in another and clay in the rest. The most used litterbox? The one with WBCL in it. I tried switching which boxes had the WBCL in it to see if it was possibly location, but it wasn't. I also noticed that WBCL has a lot less dust than the chicken feed. So now that I'm not doing full litter changes I'm switching back to WBCL.
 

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Aww, poor kitty getting bullied. I'm glad that things are getting better for you.

I like using Fresh Step unscented cat litter. I can't take the smell of the scented litters because of my allergies.

Shannon
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm glad to hear things seem to be working...fingers crossed that you're soon down to no incidents!
I've noticed less scuffles. Princess and Penny actually slept on the same bed right next to each other last night! :kittyturn

Aww, poor kitty getting bullied. I'm glad that things are getting better for you.

I like using Fresh Step unscented cat litter. I can't take the smell of the scented litters because of my allergies.

Shannon
I have a problem with perfumes etc. and I don't like scented litter myself, so I've never used scented litter. The problem is I still don't like the health issues that clay litter poses and even with the "best" unscented one it's still pretty dusty and the room still smells like clay. I don't have asthma but I was having breathing issues.

I'm just glad that I now have an option for natural litter, although it's not as cheap as what I was previously paying.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
There have been quite a few less incidents. They are starting to get along a little bit better but I still see Princess ambushing Penny in the litter box. There's lots of growling and hissing on Penny's part and Penny will make a run for it with Princess high tailing it after her. I've removed the hood on the enclosed litter box. I think I may splurge and finish getting the rest of the Feliway diffusers.....
 
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