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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone.

I have a couple questions, but let me give my background first.

I have two cats, both I believe are Domestic Shorthairs (basically adopted when kittens) that are six and a half and six years old respectively. Both are male indoor cats, neutered, front declawed. They get along with each other great, and I've never really had any problems.

In July I moved in with a couple roomates who had two cats of their own. We became a four cat home, and my white cat, Montecore, didn't get along too well with the others. There was hissing at waterbowls and an occasional fight, but nothing too bad. At their house, we had two litter boxes on the porch, and my cats continuted to use their box and brand of litter, whereas the other two cats used their box and litter.

In September, I moved up to New Jersey to an apartment. I've "given" the cats their own room basically, (my spare bedroom) all that is in there is their litterbox and toys (and I use the closet for storage). Since moving up here, one of the cats had some dihareea, so I took them both to the vet to have them de-wormed. I've since re-visited the vet and he says they are both in good health, if not a bit overweight :)

My problem is in their room. I have the litterbox in one corner, covered box, with a mat in front of it. However, every day I come home from work and one of them (can't tell which) has decided to leave me a #2 somewhere else in their room. At first it was in the opposite corner of the litterbox, so I placed a cardboard box over there with some computer supplies. Then the bonus #2 would show up near the litter box, or over by the window, or what not. It's never outside their room, and luckily its never in the closet where I have my things. However, I do not know how to fix this problem. Every time it happens I pick up the stuff, spray carpet cleaner, vacumn, and then spray Oxy-clean odor remover. And then the next day it happens again. I'm pretty sure I'll be treated to some of it when I get home from work tonight. Any suggestions on how to curb this behavior?

My other problem is more of my own. Over the last six years I've always installed a cat door and let the litterbox on the balcony or porch - however this NE apartment doesn't have a balcony or porch, hince I've set up the litterbox in a spare room. Since I'm not opening windows with the temperature so low, and I'm in an older building that does not have central air, is there a good way to remove the "cat smell" from my apartment? I usually light a candle every night, and keep the door to the cat room kind of cracked open a bit instead of wide open, but I can def smell the "cat smell" every night when I return home from work. Since I'm inviting guests up to visit for the upcoming holidays, I'm looking for ways to curb the odor problem.

Thanks in advance for your help. I really appreciate it.
 

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It might be that your problem and your cat's problem are one and the same, namely the smell. If the smell is bothering you, it might well be bothering the cats, particularly since their sense of smell is hundreds of times better than ours. And they too are used to having the open air deal with the smell. In addition, with a covered box, the cats have no way to escape the smell. So, first, I suggest you uncover the box, although I recognize that might make the smell even worse for you. So, you then need to deal with the odor issue.

Jan Rebecca asked a good question as to what type litter you're using. You might want to try a different litter, with better odor control...which might solve both your problem and the cat's behavior.

Finally, here is a link to a helpful article that discusses the most common reasons for litter box problems. You might find other relevant suggestions in it: The Litter Box From Your Cat's Point of View by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM
 

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I sympathize. I live in a fairly small condo, with two cats (and thus two litter boxes) and the ventilation in here is terrible, so if we've been gone all day, there is usually a distinct "cat smell" when we get home.

I've found when I am extremely disciplined about cleaning the boxes at least twice a day (morning and night) it really helps. If I do it any less than that, it tends to start to get smelly (and the stuff in the boxes piles up, which I imagine is unpleasant for the cats too).

I also use World's Best litter, which I find has a more pleasant smell than typical clumping clay litters. Beyond that, it makes me far less nervous about the potential serious health effects of silica-based clay litter. I was having severe asthma problems a little while back and we determined the litter we were using to be the cause (as I'm the one who always scoops the boxes). My coughing and the overall smell seemed to improve when we switched to World's Best.

Not to mention it clumps so nicely. Clay litter would always form these giant cement bricks at the bottom of the box that had to practically be chiseled off. But the World's Best litter gently flakes off the bottom while still holding its shape. I love this stuff.

I do use a covered box, mainly for mess rather than smell though. My cats tend to scatter litter everywhere when digging, and the covered box keeps it more contained, but as long as you're cleaning the box frequently, covered vs. uncovered shouldn't make a huge difference, smellwise.

Edit: I also notice you're using 1 box for both cats. You may want to try getting a second and see if that helps. I was told that having only one box for multiple cats can be problematic for a few reasons. One is obviously that the mess builds up faster, meaning more smell and a more unpleasant experience for them if it's not cleaned quickly. The other is that even if they get along fine, they may have issues if say, one needs to go while the other is in there, resulting in the cat possibly making a mess somewhere else since he can't get into the box when its occupied. My cats will not go in the litterbox at the same time, so having two ensures that there's an alternate option if they both suddenly have to go at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone, to address some questions:


I also use "World's Best Cat Litter" I scoop once per day, usually right before bed and change the litter completely once every two weeks as suggested on the bag.

Based on the article, I'll attempt to clean out the box twice a day and I'll go out and get another litter box and hopefully that will alievitate the going out of the box problem. I don't think I'm going to go so far as to change to wet food and all of that. Hopefully this will fix the smell problem, but I'm worried about those days where I travel for work and will come hope to a three day old used litter box, so I'm still open to suggestions for the smell.

Also, for the times they have gone on the carpet, do you think I need additional cleaning beyond the carpet cleaner and oxy-clean spraydown?

Thanks everyone!
 

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Yeah, that's the kind of box I use too (and I just use a regular small towel as a mat, although I have to vacuum around it often as it looks messy fast). It's possible, since you're only scooping once a day and they're both using the same box, that the smell just builds up quickly, as their waste builds up in there quickly.

I think aside from getting a family member or friend to scoop the box for you when you're gone, there will be an inevitably smelly box on those days. :[ I would recommend having someone check in on them if you're going to be gone for several days anyway though. I've let the box go while gone overnight before, but three days is probably a bit much for it to go without cleaning.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey everyone, just to bump an old topic. I've since purchased a new litter box and placed it across the room. I've removed the dome from both litter boxes. And I scoop them twice a day, once in the morning around 8am and once when I get home from work, between 6pm and 9pm.

Unfortunately, one (or both?) of the cats are still leaving #2's in the room, sometimes right next to a litter box, sometimes in the corner that neither litter box is in. Someone is doing it right, and both of them (as far as I can tell) are urinating in the correct place.

I love my cats to death, but I can't stand to come home (or invite someone over) to a mess like this every day (and it is every day). I don't know if they are protesting because it's cold, or because I'm not home as often, or because they are on the 16th floor of a building, but I'm at a loss and I really really don't know what to do. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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It could be due to the stress/change of the recent move, along with your being home less. You could try a product called Feliway, which is a plug-in designed to relieve stress and aid inappropriate elimination. I had a lot of success with Feliway (although my cat's issue was not related to the litterbox). Also, have you cleaned the various spots with an enzymatic cleaner designed for cats? If not, chances are the smell still remains, which could be attracting them back to the same spot.
 
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