Cat Won't Go in Litterbox

Old 01-15-07, 10:34 AM
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Cat Won't Go in Litterbox

Help! My male cat will only use the litter box to urinate. He defecates on the floor surrounding the box. I've tried different litter, cleaning the litter box often, etc. He continues to mess on the floor. Any suggestions?
Old 01-15-07, 05:30 PM
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Hi lhewitt,

You don't say if this is a new behavior in a cat you have had for a while or a new cat that just won't do both bathroom needs in the same litter box. That would help.

Some cats don't like to do both bathroom needs in the same box. Try a second litter box next to the one you have now and see if that makes a difference. You don't have to purchase a new box as you can use a disposable aluminium roasting pan.

Another possibliity, if this is a new behavior in your cat, is some type of medical problem which should be checked by a vet.

Some cats get stressed if they don't like where their litter box is placed. Maybe it's in a busy or noisy area, too close to food and/or water or it's on a different level of the house where he normally hangs out.

Have there been any changes in the household like a move, addition/leaving of a family member, etc. That can sometimes stress a cat and change their behavior.

Any of this sound like it fits?
Old 01-24-07, 11:05 PM
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Observe the cat's pawing behavior at the box. See, he's not exactly conscious about this instinct, he has no goal. We know the set of behaviors should be linear, but Kitty gets mixed up.

In the wild, it works out because cats have plenty of space, and places tolerable to their delicate noses in which to go. Wild cats don't need to think, "Now I get on the box", "Now I get off the box".

Give the housecat a larger box, with more room to paw and turn.

Keep it clean. Cats bury on instinct. When they do this and the smell fades, they no longer feel compelled to bury. Imagine Kitty's confusion when the whole box smells bad (to him) already.

Even so your cat may have picked up some wrong habits from previous boxes.
Old 01-24-07, 11:28 PM
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Posters have pointed out some very important issues for you to consider. If defecating outside of the litter box is a new behavior, something is stressing the cat. Beginning with a visit to the vet will rule out any underlying medical condition that may be causing stress.

The following article may be helpful in identification of environmental stressors:

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