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Unread 01-25-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default retraining cat to use litter tray

I have 2 cats, I lock them up every night, and have just started building them an enclosure to keep them safe in the day. The problem is, although they are litter trained, I have had them since birth, 1 of them, not sure which 1, I use to blame poor Girlygirl, god rest her soul, but since she is not here, 1 of them is still using the washing, usually the clean washing, to go to the toilet on. I moved the tray to their new enclosure, and I almost think it is to get back at me for taking away their freedom, 1 of them poo all of the blankets in my bedroom. Now I do not know who it is, and really I am too busy with my 5 kids to be watching to see who it is, but I want it to stop because I am sick of having to rewash the washing to get rid of their accidents.
1. Why would they be doing this?
2. How can I stop it?
3. How do I get them to use the tray in their new area and not go where I use to keep it?
I love my cats and keep them in now because we have lost 2 kitties over the last year and I could not cope with another lose, but this behaviour really gets to me as I HATE the smell of cat poo and wee.
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Unread 01-28-2011   #2 (permalink)
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My advice is take the cats to the vet for check ups.

Stop locking the cats up, cats need to be able to move around and have mental and physcial stimualtion.

Set up a place for three litter boxes and keep the litter boxes clean. Use cat attract litter for a while to get them back in the habit of using the boxes, if necessary.

All soiled areas have to be cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner especially made for cat urine. Regular cleaners will not do the job. As long as a cat can smell it, they will continue to think it is okay to go there.

Longer version:

Unless the litter boxes are filthy, illness is the main reason for litter box avoidance. That's why the cats need to go to the vet.

If you aren't keeping the litter boxes clean, then you need to start.

You should have three litter boxes for two cats. Boxes should be scooped at least twice a day and dumped and scrubbed weekly, or at the very most every other week. Cats do not like dirty litter boxes, and dirty litter boxes cause illnesses too, like urinary tract infections.

I don't understand why your cats are "locked up" and find it offensive that you are doing so, to be frank. Cats need to be able to explore their environment, they need exercise and mental stimulation. I don't mean letting them out, I don't believe cats should be allowed outside, as there are too many dangers, but you can't keep them shut up in a crate or small room, it's just not healthy for them.

Being locked up will cause them a lot of stress, and cats under stress with do things like eliminate outside the box. Not because they are "getting back at you", cats don't think like that but because they are unhappy with their world and can't speak. Avoiding the litter box is their only way of communicating to you that:

"hey something is wrong in my world, please fix it"

Stress also causes illness, such as urinary tract infections. UTIs HURT. Cats blame the box for the pain and look for other places to pee, such a soft laundry.

Sorry if I sound a little snippy, but I kind of got my back up about you "locking the cats up".
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Unread 01-28-2011   #3 (permalink)
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i can sort out number 2 and 3 basically what i did was waited until they have had a pee on the clean washing and at this point you are going to loose a shirt hopefuly a sock but cut out a nice juicy sample from a item of clothing and put it in the litter tray with litter above it but still poking through and watch something amazing happen make sure they cant get close to the washing for a couple of pees job done !!
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Unread 05-02-2011   #4 (permalink)
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i have a similar issue, my 14 yr old cat has run of the whole house (besides the office and my bedroom) during the night, his tray is in the laundry and he used to go there religiously, however for the last couple of months he has just started peeing on the laundry floor, your idea for the smell been put back into the tray is great but as we are renting i dont imagine the owner been to pleased with me cutting up his carpet, i am unsure as to why he has stopped going as his last vet check showed that yes he is starting to go a tiny bit blind but not enough to start this, and he does use his tray at random times (it is also cleaned out everyday with the crystals been changed regularly), it is also normally in either 2 of the corners of the lounge, any ideas?
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Unread 05-02-2011   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy View Post
i have a similar issue, my 14 yr old cat has run of the whole house (besides the office and my bedroom) during the night, his tray is in the laundry and he used to go there religiously, however for the last couple of months he has just started peeing on the laundry floor, your idea for the smell been put back into the tray is great but as we are renting i dont imagine the owner been to pleased with me cutting up his carpet, i am unsure as to why he has stopped going as his last vet check showed that yes he is starting to go a tiny bit blind but not enough to start this, and he does use his tray at random times (it is also cleaned out everyday with the crystals been changed regularly), it is also normally in either 2 of the corners of the lounge, any ideas?

These are signs of serious illness, please do get Minty to the vet without delay. If he has been doing this for two months already he is extremely ill. If he has a UTI (urinary tract infection) he is in great pain, and can block at any time. Kidney disease may also cause him to avoid the litter box, and going by what you said about his coat in your other thread, I think he may be in kidney failure in addition to the UTI. Please get Minty to the vet. Today.
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Last edited by acerlt; 05-02-2011 at 08:55 AM.
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Unread 05-02-2011   #6 (permalink)
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i cant go now as its 11pm at night and emergency vets are in the thousands region money wise however i know the signs of UTI (he has already had this) and his signs are nothing like it, he is happy to eat and drink unlike last time, he is also more than capable of going, his tray is only a couple of metres from the loungeroom (as thats how close the laundry is)

according to the vet who has seen him since this behaviour started his kidneys were fine in the tests they did

could something show up in the tests if they did it again now?
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Unread 05-02-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Yes. Even if his blood work was a few weeks ago, he should have blood work again.

Avoiding the box IS a symptom of UTI. Regardless of what happened last time he was sick, he is showing symptoms of illness and needs to see the vet. I meant now as in today of course, not meaning the middle of the night, forgetting you are on the other side of the world.

Honestly, if this were my cat I would not go another day without having him to the vet. Something is wrong.
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Last edited by acerlt; 05-02-2011 at 09:23 AM.
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Unread 05-02-2011   #8 (permalink)
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yeah i might ring my vet first thing in the morning and see if i can get him in tomorrow arvo (and if not in the arvo then during the day and i will just have to sort something else out for prac for uni) his my baby (despite the fact his technically older than me hehe)

will let you know what happens with him as soon as i get some answers
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This is quite common actually. It happens when some new habit is introduced into the cat's life. I would wait and see if the problem still persists...
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