Elimination Location

by Judy
(Virginia Beach, VA)

My fourth cat and baby, Sasha just started going in the house a couple of weeks ago. She has gone in the dining room three 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?

My thoughts: With inappropriate elimination, 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.

In order to solve this, you need to thoroughly clean the area where Sasha is eliminating. Some readers prefer enzymatic cleaners, like Nature's Miracle, others prefer carbon dioxide based cleaners, like Jackson Galaxy's (Fizzion).

Here's a short list of odor eliminating cleaners that are reader favorites:

Jackson Galaxy Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator by Fizzion

Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator

Mary Ellen's Atomsklear

Bubba's Rowdy Friends Pet Supply Company Pet Stain and Odor Remover Enzyme Cleaner Spray

Cat lovers may
disagree on the best way to clean soiled areas or the best products to use, but here's why this is important...

Remember that if your cat can smell it (even if you can't), your kitty will be drawn back there again and again. In order to get rid of the odor, you have to get rid of the cause of the odor.

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 per day, I believe.

I hope that gives you some ideas.

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Nov 10, 2015
Don't know what to do.
by: Sarah

My cat recently had diarrea and was literally pooping everywhere. With vet visit & changing food back to Royal canin it's started getting better. But now he won't poop in his tray. I thought it was just poop but in the night he came on the bed & peed. I quickly pushed him off the bed & then carried him to his litter tray & then he continued his wee there. Don't know what to do. I do think he is stressed cause I keep getting worried he's gonna poop somewhere so keep taking him to his tray which he doesn't like as he puts his tail down & runs off. I don't like locking him in just one room as he crys. His diarrea started a week ago but him weeing outside his tray has just started today.

Editor's note: I'm sorry to hear your cat is not feeling good. I would call the vet to make sure that his urination problems aren't either related to, or in addition to, his bout of diarrhea.

When you have two plumbing problems in a short span of time, it makes me wonder if maybe the plumbing needs more attention than we originally thought.

As for being stressed, if you're trying to get him into his litter box and he doesn't like that and is running away, then I would take that as a sign that he is probably stressed by that activity.

It's probably less stressful for him if you isolate him in a room, but I'm not there to witness all of this, so I could be wrong.

Keep in mind that he's also been out of sorts with his diarrhea. It's not uncommon for a cat to take a while to get back on a regular litter box schedule after being sick. Plus, you're saying that the diarrhea is getting better, so he's still sick. It sounds like you have a ways to go yet before normal is expected.

I hope that helps.

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