(Virginia Beach, VA)
My 4th cat and baby, Sasha just started going in the house a couple of weeks ago. She has gone in the dining room 3 times which is only steps from the cat door to the garage where the litter boxes are.
I don't understand this because Sasha is spoiled. Any suggestions?
Well, the first idea with inappropriate elimination is always that you want to rule out a physical problem.
If the physical problem (such as constipation, bladder infection, stones, virus, and so on) still exists, then you have to address that first with your vet since nothing will change until that's fixed.
That physical problem may or may not still exist, but has probably caused a bad association with the litter box. So, after the physical problem is gone, you need to go through the appropriate retraining steps to get Sasha using the box again.
If it's not a physical problem, then either your cat has developed a new preference for texture/location (this can happen and we don't always know why), or something has changed from your cat's point of view.
You need to thoroughly clean the area where Sasha is eliminating with an enzymatic cleaner or Atmosklear in order to get rid of the cause of the odor. Remember that your cat can smell it even if you can't, and will be drawn back there again and again.
You can also make the area off-limits if this is feasible, or place a litter box right there on the spot where your cat is doing her business. If you want to section off the area, you can either block it, or use aluminum foil or something else your cat won't like to walk on.
If anything has changed in your cat's life lately... around the house, pets, neighbor's pets, daily habits, etc. or anything specifically related such as new cat food, different litter, box, or cleaning supplies you use, then that may be the cause.
It might be that someone in the house is treating her differently? Or maybe she's being ambushed by another pet? If she got spooked by something when she used the box it might cause this. Hard to say as sometimes cats get stressed by things we aren't aware of.
If you can put a box in another spot where your cat will always use it and retrain her, this might work. Then slowly move the litter box to where you want it eventually. The recommendation from Dumb Friends League
is an inch a day I believe.
I hope that gives you some ideas.