2 out of 3 pee or poop inappropriately

by SavannahSeana

My hubby and I are just SO frustrated!! Beyond words, ha ha. But, we really are not laughing. :(

We just cannot afford 4 litter boxes, litter, etc. AND do not have the room for all of those, either.

I have spent literally HUNDREDS of dollars trying to buy new stuff, etc. One urinates in different house spots. The other defecates outside the box. The 3rd is OK.

Since I suffer "Severe Recurring Major Depression Syndrome" it does not help matters, either, and I find it very difficult.

I am now down to one, very large, litter box (w/door), and the "best" litter that works for all of us. I am waiting for the money to also get the self-cleaning one, too. Two is all we can afford and have room for.

I am just so disheartened beyond belief. Please help.

Even though I read through all the articles and try many, nothing seems to help.


My thoughts: I'm sorry to hear that your kitties are having issues with the box. Since you've read through a number of the other litter box and Q&A posts on this site, you already know that a fair number of litter box problems are due to undiagnosed medical conditions, or stress.

If your vet has ruled out medical causes, then you'll have to do some detective work to figure out which behavioral reasons are at fault with each cat and why.

Not enough room...

You've mentioned not having room for more than two litter boxes. In an ideal world, we'd have four boxes for three cats, but if that's not possible, and the boxes are cleaned twice a day, and the litter is replaced often enough, and so on, two could work.

I don't know your situation or the layout/size of your home. My concern, though, is that if you've got limited space, then two things may be possible:

First, the litter boxes may not be in an ideal location. I've written a lot about litter box placement, and when things are going wrong (as they are at your house), placement becomes all the more important. Testing new box placements (or simply adding a box) can sometimes tell you a lot.

Second, sometimes having too many cats can lead to problems because there just aren't enough resources for each cat to go around.

Both of the above situations can cause stress, especially if the cats don't have lots of places they
can hide, or be up high, or simply get some alone time.

Do the cats get along?

The relationship the cats have is crucial as well, and small living quarters can create tension, sometimes even leading to box guarding or ambushes.

Is the box covered?

A box with a "door" may also be an issue, as that indicates to me that the box is hooded or has a cover. The great thing about covered litter boxes is they keep a lot of the odor inside the box. The bad thing about covered boxes is they keep a lot of the odor inside the box.

Some cats don't seem to mind a covered box. Others may develop an aversion to a covered box, and they can change their preference at any time.

As I've written many times, some cats may develop a preference for peeing in one box and pooping in another. If that's the case with your cats, you'll likely need more boxes or have to step up the cleaning schedule.

Self-cleaning boxes...

I would be reluctant to introduce a self-cleaning litter box into a household where everyone's litter box habits are not already 100 percent.

Why? Because the reality is there is no guarantee a particular cat will use it. Some cats will use them and some cats won't, depending on the type of self-cleaning box you get. You may have to try more than one before you get one all your cats will use.

Some cats may be afraid of the noise and/or movement a self-cleaning box makes and never use it, and this just compounds the problems you already have.

If they were my cats, I'd do these things:

Make sure the one with the poop problems didn't have a constipation problem as the root cause.

Get them checked by a vet with these problems in mind. If the vet finds no physical problems and recommends drug therapy, I'd first look to other solutions like Rescue Remedy, Jackson Galaxy's herbal products (such as Obsession Solution), or Feliway to see if any of those would help.

Clean the boxes twice day and rethink the covered box, as well as make sure I'm using an ideal location.

Monitor the cats to ensure they're playing nicely with each other and there is no box guarding or ambushing going on.

Increase their exercise level and involve them in group play sessions every day.

I hope that helps and please let us know how it goes with them.

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