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tonedef's avatar

Cat follow up: Inappropriate Elimination?

Asked by tonedef (3935points) September 12th, 2008

Jesus… this new cat is causing quite a stir in my household. I am now using Feliway around my home, and it has helped ease some of the tensions between my two cats, but…

My new cat poops on the rug in the guest bathroom every night between 3–6 AM. Right on the middle of the rug. I took the rug away, and she pooped right where the rug WOULD be.

I’ve resorted to just trying to close the door, but I don’t want to be embarrassed by a guest finding an unwelcome surprise when they forget to close the door. Are there any behavior modification techniques that you have tried to stop inappropriate elimination? Any leads are welcome. Thanks, flutherers.

Addendum: My cat DOES use her litterbox for everything else. The problem is just this one early-morning BM.

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19 Answers

poofandmook's avatar

Try something I suggested in another question. take a few big pieces of tin foil, crumple them up, and then spread them out again, but don’t smooth them out. Just so they lay pretty flat but still have lots of bumps and ridges. Place them over and slightly around the area of the rug. Cats generally stay away from places where there is tin foil for some reason.

gailcalled's avatar

Are you cleaning the cat’s litter box daily and washing and sterilizing it weekly? Some cats are really fastidious. Or perhaps set up a second litter box?

tonedef's avatar

@poofandmook I considered this, but I’m not sure what’s more awkward in the guest bathroom- crumpled tin foil or cat poops :(

@gailcalled Yes, I’m keeping it clean. It’s so bizarre… this behavior, alone with another question I asked, almost seem like rituals.

I was considering putting her litter box in that bathroom, but is that rude to my guests?

syz's avatar

Place a litterbox exactly where she poops. Give her a few days to get used to using it. Then gradually move the litterbox in the direction that you want the cat to go…just a few feet a night. Over time, you should be able to get her to relocate to the appropriate room.

You may need to keep multiple boxes. The “experts” say one box per cat plus one. That’s a lot of boxes for a multiple cat household. I have had cats, however, that prefer to pee in one box and poop in another.

poofandmook's avatar

@tonedef: One is awkward. The other is awkward and stinky ;)

fuda_luver's avatar

well take your cat for a walk…...

Seesul's avatar

I’ve also had the problem with one cat that she didn’t like the scented additives that they put in litter. She also preferred the softer kind to the rocky kind, but both had to be unscented. My newest cat was allergic to the additive, so we buy her hypoallergenic litter, scentless and as dustless as possible. The brand I buy is Dr. Elsey’s and I can only seem to find it at PetSmart.

I keep it in the guest bath, in the tub. I clean the box whenever I find it is soiled and disinfect it once a week.

Harp's avatar

A couple of other possibilities:

Keep a fan trained on the cursed spot; most cats hate anything that blows.

Turn it into a feeding spot by placing a bowl of kibble there at night. Once cats associate the spot with food, they won’t want to use it as a litter box. I’m pretty sure that even if you gradually stop putting the food there, the association will stick.

stratman37's avatar

Your cat is obviously trying to tell you something. Call the Pet Psychic.

gailcalled's avatar

The cat who now lives with me had two “accidents” in the same spot=- – one where I was likely to step in it. I think it was “early days” anxiety. Here is The World’s Best Cat Litter

My daughter, the world’s best researcher, found it…made from corn – odorless, dustless, clumping and not perfumed. I had to mix the old litter and this equally and make the shift to all World’s Best slowly. I am able to buy this locally at the Feed Store (a farming community here.)

I have friends who keep the litter box in guest bath room. They have arranged a little towel arrangement so the cat can get to the box easily but it is not front-and-center with neon arrows.

Poof has experience and I am the novice. Listen to her.

poofandmook's avatar

Gail is right on with the cat litter… I’ve been using it since my roommates introduced it to me about a year ago. It’s seriously the most incredible cat litter ever, and I’ve had cats my whole life. The dustless thing really makes a big difference for you to clean it but it’s also way better for kitty’s health. The dust in cat litter can cause urinary tract issues, urine crystals, all kinds of stuff that cats are already prone to… so this is really terrific litter. I can’t stress it enough. Oh, and it’s completely flushable and biodegradable.

Edit: I was wrong on the sizes available. 7, 17, and 34.

gailcalled's avatar

No flushing down toilets in California…on front of package. And since I have a temperamental septic system, I throw the little bundles on the poison ivy in the woods.

marinelife's avatar

The cat is still showing stress. This behavior should subside. Does this cat have a box in a place in which it feels safe from the other cat? That would probably help.

Seesul's avatar

,,,but Gail, MY guests get a kick out of the neon arrows…

and you can’t throw medication down California toilets either, you have to take them to a pharmacy that accepts orphan drugs.

Mitsu_Neko's avatar

your drugs are orphans?? Poor pills

gailcalled's avatar

Milo’s previous foster parent said that she kept the litter box in the only bathroom in apt. She and Milo often shared the experience. When I accidentally walk in on him squatting over box, (box is in laundry room), I reflexively turn off the light and apologize while backing out.

And yes, what IS an orphan drug? An unfinished RX that might well end up in the water table?

tinyfaery's avatar

I third The World’s Best Cat Litter.

Mitsu_Neko's avatar

I can’t say as it’s been years since I have had a cat but it sounds similar to the Aspen shavings I use for my gerbils

Seesul's avatar

You guessed it, an orphan drug is one that you either no longer need or has expired. I guess you would say that, in California at least, flushing them down the porcelain god is inappropriate elimination.

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