My cat poops and pees on my kitchen floor

by Stephanie
(Sussex, WI)

Hershey

Hershey

She started peeing on the dinning room floor in oct 07 a few months after I moved in with my husband. He has 2 cats also. My cat has been chased and even scratched badly by one of my husbands cats. We now moved and she was good for the first 2 weeks now she pooped on the kitchen floor and also there was a large puddle on the floor of urine. What should I do I want to fix this bad habit but I have had enough. What can I do ????


My Thoughts:

My usual caveat is that you should always make sure it's not a medical problem. Assuming it is not, it sounds like she's gone through a lot of changes and is stressed.

Cats are extremely territorial. A move is very stressful, as is the sharing of territory with other cats. It's been said that it can take up to 6 months for a cat to get used to a new location, and that is without the added stress of having to share. Also, introducing 1 cat to 2 is difficult as well as there is sometimes a "gang up" factor.

I'm assuming this is related to territory and sharing space with the other cats, although if you focus hard on one thing, you can miss the obvious. If you put cats together in the same house, especially if they haven't been properly socialized as kittens (most non-pure breeds have not since that is usually done by knowledgeable breeders), you often end up with problems.

Also, you have to get everything in place so that your environment supports success. So, I'm assuming you've got the right number and placement of litter boxes (following the one plus one rule)? I'm also assuming you have separate food and water bowls and toys and all those other things that cats have to keep separate when there are problems. If she's being ambushed or feels threatened there are going to be issues. She needs to be able to feel safe.

My next question would be, what kind of introduction process did you follow with the cats? How long did it take before you could let them interact fully? Even with kittens being introduced to an adult cat, it can take a week or more before you can safely open the door. Adult cats much longer. Maybe you didn't keep them apart long enough.

Is the fighting ongoing, or was it just during the initial "open the door" part of the process? Did they develop the right hierarchy or are they still trying to work it out? Somebody has to be "top cat" and they need to agree on that.

Would it be good to isolate them again and one, retrain your cat to the box by herself in a safe environment, and two, then slowly reintroduce the cats? I suspect it will be hard to retrain your cat with the other cats as distractions.

Please see this excellent article on introducing new cats. It's harder to introduce adult cats to other adult cats than kittens, and it can take more time. Even so, it's sometimes months before they get along well enough, and some cats just never really come to terms.

Other than setting up the right environment, isolation retraining, and a reintroduction process, the usual behavioral remedies apply. Give her lots of attention and love so that she feels safe. Praise her when she does what you want, ignore her when she doesn't (never punish).

I hope that helps some.

-Kurt

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