After move, cat won't use litter box
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
We recently moved, and now my cat won't use her litter box at all. She is going everywhere else but inside it.
She is fixed. When we moved she wasn't eating and now that she is eating it is just the litter box problem.
She is almost scared to go down stairs but when she is down there she wont come back up. But I know she is going down there when we are not home because she is peeing and pooping in the down stairs living room.
The carpets were shampooed before we moved in. This is only the second home we have ever lived in and we have had her for 5 years now.
I don't no what else to do, my husband wont take much more and I'm afraid if we do not get this under control we will need to have to find her a new home.
I have a 2 year old daughter and can't have her finding poop! She has always had one litter box and been the only cat.
The previous owners did not have a cat but had dogs. But we also have a dog and I know it's not him because he can not go downstairs.
She has always had a problem where if you leave clothes in the laundry room on the floor she would use them instead of her litter box but it is now out of control and I need help!
I'm sorry to hear that you and your cat are having these troubles, Robyn. I'm glad she's eating, though!
I'm assuming that she's been given a clean bill of health and the not eating and the litter box problem are not symptoms of a disease...
Cats are extremely territorial. When you move a cat to a new home, you effectively rip their world away from them.
I believe it's possible that left over smells from the dogs that used to live there are making things worse than they would have been. In any case, as you can see, moving to a new house can be extremely stressful for your cat.
The proper way to introduce a cat to a new home is to start in one room that has been set up with a litter box, food and water, a bed, and favorite toys.
That one room will be your cat's only home for the first few days while she settles in. Let her get used to the new sights, smells and sounds from within the safety of that room.
Then, you can gradually introduce her to the rest of the house.
So, select a (preferably sunny) room, and follow the plan outlined at the ASPCA website in the article titled Introducing Your Cat to a New House
If you find that confining her and getting her slowly acclimated to the new home isn't working as expected, you can add in anti-anxiety measures.
Additional attention and playtime, Feliway
, adding Cat Attract to the litter, and possibly drug therapy are all options.
I hope that helps and please update us on how she gets along.