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I can't seem to get my cat to use his litter box consistantly anymore. The past month has been really hard on him. His urinary tract was blocked twice and he had to have surgery to correct the situtation. During his recovery period we had to keep him in the basement, that way he would be away from the dog in his delicate condition. He peed everywhere in the basement, but he never actually peed on floor, always on other things, in a box, blankets we laid down there for him, on a fold out chair, even on a plastic bag. When I took him back to the vet to get his stitches out the vet said he had probably developed litter box avoidance and for a couple of days we should keep in a small bathroom or a large cage that way he would be forced to use his littler box. So we tried this and kept my poor cat in a very large cage for 4 days and he didn't have any accidents. Well two days ago I let him out of the cage and everythign was fine untill this afternoon when he peed on a very expensive chair. It's one of his favorite places to sit. So now he's back in the cage becasue I don't knwo what else to do. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

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I'm not sure if I'll have any great advise for you, seeing as the litter box avoidance stemmed from a medical problem originally, but I'll do my best. If he keeps repeatedly peeing on the same things, the odor from the urine needs to be completely alleviated...he'll be attracted to things that already contain his scent. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes that kill the odor...and make sure the area has been completely saturated. Sometimes these stains remain damp for 24-48 hours after being cleaned, but it's necessary if you don't want your cat revisiting the spot.

I know it sounds like a pain in the rear, but I'd also advise that you get a second opinion from another doctor as to whether his urinary health problems have truly been solved...he may still be having accidents due to continued health problems.


As far as re-training him to the litter box goes, I'd either try the cage method again (possibly while all of the places he's eliminated on are being cleaned and saturated in enzymic cleaning solution...you can get it from PetSmart, Petco, or from many smaller pet shops...but it must contain enzymes that will permanently destroy the odor for the cat), or confining the kitty to a bathroom with a litter box, water dish, food bowl, toys, a bed, etc. This way he won't have far to go (if it is a medical problem), and if he does choose to eliminate outside the box, it will most likely be on a surface that's easy to clean. I would very gradually introduce him to the rest of your house (and maybe even have a couple of extra litter boxes placed in different areas of the house...), after a couple of weeks of spending time solely in the bathroom.

Hopefully you can get the problem looked into again by another vet...you just never know. Good luck!
 

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Its a great idea to keep the cat in the bathroom like said above. It's easy to clean up and probably more roomier than a cage. It seems like you just had your cat in a confined cage and just let him out to go free. You can only let them out under supervision and put them back in the bathroom/cage after they roam around without doing anything. They have to re-learn the litterbox training and keeping them in the bathroom for a few weeks is what I would do. Of course just watch him carefully when you let him out and put him in the box when you see him about to do something he shouldn't be doing there. It's not his fault for having this medical problem so its not totally his fault for going to the nearest place convenient to him. Good Luck! :D
 

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A tip on the enzymatic cleaners- Nature's Miracle is a joke and will wind up frustrating you. Try finding Get Serious or Petzyme, usually at PetSmart or PetCo, etc. Also, remember to follow the instructions on the bottle to the letter, as each product tells you different techniques. One thing, though, they always leave out: it's like shampoo- apply, blot out, repeat! The stuff almost never does the trick all the way with one application.
You'd be best served getting yourself a UV light, as well, so you can make sure you're not missing any spots, or that once you've treated it, you can track your progress. Just wait till dark, and any remaining urine will light up like the 4th of July!
I totally agree about following up medically. Let's make sure the poor guy's not waving the red flag, saying "OUCH!" while we're running behavioral circles around him.
You may also want to change up the type of litter, depth, and the box itself you were using. Just try to trick him into making a new association with something he's made into a negative.
Keep us up to date!
 
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