Cat Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 2 adult neutered males sharing 1 box. They've always been ok with it, and had no problem when I switched to pine pellets last year. My original cat, the ginger tabby, never had an issue but this year he's changed. Most of the time when he poops he misses the box, which is almost as high as his butt (I've tried 2 different style boxes). He steps in & digs around with front paws, but he stands at the edge so that when it comes out it drops down to the floor. Then he tries to bury it, even getting out of the box and shuffling the non-existent pellets on the floor and seems to not understand why its not getting covered until he gives up and walks away. The litter box is the "jumbo" size so its not the size. There was buried poop from the other cat so I thought ok, I'll add a 2nd box so I put 2 boxes side by side...presumably there is less waste in each box but this morning he did it again. So 2 boxes didn't work.

I sift and clear the waste from the box each day, but I have seen him do it after cleaning when there was no waste in the box! One time I saw him do it further in where it dropped into the pellets and he buried it so I gave him a treat, figuring I would reward good behavior but that didn't work.

The other cat, a flame point, always buries his poop just like Jett used to do and they both get along just fine otherwise. One thing I've noticed is the other cat tends to squat more so his butt is closer to the pellets when he poops but Jett tends to stand higher so it can be over the edge. I'm not sure if there's anything to that.

I'm out of ideas. What can I do and why is he doing this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
It sounds like a possible dominance thing or a box size issue. The top cat rarely buries his poop. Also the rule is 1 box per cat plus one. Cats are very clean, don't like sharing in vulnerable moments, and sometimes prefer to use one box for pee and another for poop. I hate having 3 boxes for my 2 boys, but it has eliminated litterbox issues. I would rather clean up litter than pee or poop on my soft surfaces.

Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm. I don't think its dominance because he actually does try to bury it but doesn't seem to understand that the pellets are inside the box, not out. I've seen him try. As opposed to just pooping and walking away, which I've seen him do actually inside the box once or twice. When I cleaned the two boxes today I did notice that one of them didn't have any poop just sawdust from pee and the other had some buried poop. I don't really have a good place for another box. The rest of the apartment is carpet except for the kitchen and the poop is easier to clean from a hard floor than carpet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
It sounded like you only had the one box, sorry. I use 18gal sterilite bins for boxes. There's a hole cut in one side depending on where the box will go. My oldest boy has become a verticle peer. He starts squatting then rises as he pees. I don't think he likes the way the pellets turn to sawdust under him. I keep the lid on the bins but cut a large hole in the top towards one end of it. So they can sit on top of the box and enter there or enter through the side. This prevents any further accidents over the side of the box. My oldest is a very tall lanky cat, so commercial boxes were never big enough for him.

Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did have 1 box until just recently. I don't like the idea of making them climb to the lid and then down inside to use a litterbox, and if I cut a hole in the side he would probably just poop right at the hole unless I made it real high, then they'd have to climb to get in I think. I can't picture how that would work or if they would like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Putting a litter mat on top was something someone suggested to me since there are top only boxes to keep the litter from tracking as much. Never helped mine since my youngest practically bathes in it and uses his long hair to hold it before shaking it off about 5ft from the box. The bins are cheap and tall, so I decided to give them a try.






Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
Cats (and dogs) really don't have "dominance" issues. That's basically a myth, and that is not what is going on here.

It sounds as though your cat is confused, FatCat. How he got confused is unknown. I find that usually in a circumstance like this the most effective thing is to somehow prevent the cat entirely from doing what he or she is doing.

I think the only way to prevent it is to use a top-entry cat box. You can buy one at a PetSmart or similar place or online, and I have used them and also used a bin I cut the hole out of myself, and the commercially made one worked a lot better, and were much better accepted by the cats. I think because the lids on those are designed to have a 15 pound animal sit or walk on them and they are much stiffer and stronger than the lids that just go on storage boxes. Additionally, the opening is smooth and rounded, unlike any opening I could cut out of a bin. Also, it only has the top hole so if your cat uses it, he cannot poop outside the box.

When I first started using a commercially made top entry box, at a different time in my life and with a different cat, at first my cat was uncertain. But I put "cat attract" onto the litter, and just waited, and sure enough he used it. At first when he used it I praised him and gave a treat, but after a few days it was just normal to him. I found it was important to give him a lot of space, not go near the box while he was on it or thinking of getting into it, or in it, so he would never worry about being trapped in there.

I suggest you try this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think if I used one like this he'd stand just inside that opening and it would drop out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the most effective thing is to somehow prevent the cat entirely from doing what he or she is doing.
If I see him going into the box would it be wrong to kind of lift him a little and scoot him forward as he's digging in preparation to poop? He literally just needs a few more inches up and it would all be inside. I'm going to try cleaning the box of solid waste and see if it makes a difference to him. My regular schedule is due to my work being 2nd shift I completely clean and sift the box before I go to work - once a day. I've noticed when I come home late in the evening there's already poop in there so maybe if I get rid of those, leave the sawdust, it'll be ok till tomorrow. I wonder if he's spooked by possibly stepping in poop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
I think if I used one like this he'd stand just inside that opening and it would drop out.
That's a thought with just about every design. Maybe cut most of the lid out but leave a 2" lip or something like that. My Mainecoon mix is well over 15lb and can chill on top of it and fit in it without issues. My mainecoon before him was even bigger and was the reason we started using bins instead of XL commercial boxes. My Siamese mix is the reason we now use the tall bins.

Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
If I see him going into the box would it be wrong to kind of lift him a little and scoot him forward as he's digging in preparation to poop? He literally just needs a few more inches up and it would all be inside. I'm going to try cleaning the box of solid waste and see if it makes a difference to him. My regular schedule is due to my work being 2nd shift I completely clean and sift the box before I go to work - once a day. I've noticed when I come home late in the evening there's already poop in there so maybe if I get rid of those, leave the sawdust, it'll be ok till tomorrow. I wonder if he's spooked by possibly stepping in poop.
You could try the scooting thing to see if it works, but I don't know if that would actually change his behavior when you are not there.

Definitely scoop the litter box as often as possible during the time you are dealing with this problem. Often litter box issues are solved simply by keeping the box cleaner. During the time I had litter box issues with my cat (all of which is solved now( I scooped the box any time I saw anything in there, and checked it several times a day.
I also still recommend the top-entry box because if he would use it, it would solve the problem completely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just checking in with a quick followup. What I did was put a 2nd box right next to the original one. Both are identical. Now there's double the litter surface and the problem is nearly gone. I think there was one miss. So I think the problem was that the litter surface was too full or the litter had been scattered/redistributed around the box by the white cat who likes to dig in the stuff so it caused Jett to stand near the edge.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top