How do I get my cat to pee and poop in her litter box?

by Camryn
(Shreveport, Louisiana)

My one year old cat got fixed two months ago. Before she was fixed she was perfectly fine, an inside-outside cat.

While she had her cone on, we had to keep her in my daughter's bedroom with a litter box. After she got her cone off, she wouldn’t pee outside. She would poop outside, but she wouldn’t pee.

She peed in our chairs, on the floors in the bathroom, and on clothes laying on the floor. We noticed she started peeing a light red color, so we took her to the vet. The vet said that she was stressed and prescribed her antidepressants.

We couldn’t give it to her because she would freak out every time we put it in her mouth. About a month later, she was peeing yellow/ clear again, but she doesn’t pee in the litter box still.

Now, she is peeing red again. We managed to give her the antidepressant last night, but I just want the best for her.

We also have two dogs, but they are sweet to her and worry about her. We also have another cat that is about 7 years old, and she is territorial and corners Sage (the kitten) and chases her around the house.

I don’t think Cocoa (the older cat) will hurt her, but I’m worried. How do I get her to pee/poop in her litter box?

How do I calm her down so she’s not stressed anymore?

Why is her pee light red? And how do I get Cocoa to quit bothering Sage?

My thoughts: Wow, you've got a lot going on here. I'm sorry to hear your cat is having troubles. You'll probably want to separate Sage and isolate her in a room for a
while so you can reset the relationship between Sage and Cocoa. We'll get back to that in a minute.

First, though, while I can't diagnose your cat, and your vet certainly knows a lot more than I do, I think the color of her urine is suspicious. I'd ask the vet about the red urine, and see if she needs treatment for urinary or kidney issues.

I've only heard of light red or pink urine when there is blood in it. If there's blood in her urine, then retraining her to use the litter box is probably a "no go" until the medical problem causing the blood is dealt with.

In the meantime, as I mentioned, I would isolate her in a room again with a litter box for several main reasons:

1. She's peeing on the furniture and floor rather than in the litter box. She may have an infection or some other medical issue, and she's being tormented by your other cat.

2. She should be calmer when she's not being chased or cornered by your other cat, and it'll be easier for her to get back to using the box regularly.

3. She needs to be slowly reintroduced to your older cat after getting back on track with the litter box, and separation is the first step.

Please keep us updated on how she's doing.

P.S. You can try Feliway or Rescue Remedy to see if that helps to calm both cats.

P.P.S. When I've had to pill Jazzy, I hid the pill inside a small ball of tuna. That doesn't work on all cats, but it worked on him. For other cats, I've also crushed up meds and put the powder in some tuna juice.

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May 17, 2018
Thanks for the update
by: Kurt (Admin)

I'm glad to hear you have a diagnosis. It sounds like you're making progress so keep doing what you're doing.

Any change in the household, such as your daughter going off to college, can throw a cat off their game. It can sometimes cause them not to use the litter box, but at least you know what to do to get her back on track if it does. Hang in there!

May 17, 2018
update on sage...
by: Anonymous

According to the vet she has ideopathic systitis. As we have been giving her her pills, she is starting to be sweet again. I’ve noticed that she hasn’t peed in the bathroom but the other day she peed on my daughters clothes. If a droor to her dresser is open, she will hop in and pee on her clothes. for the most part she has been isolated in my daughters room/ extra living room but since we have dogs that like to go in her room, sage gets out sometimes. cocoa keeps coming into the room with the litter box because there is a litter box in there but cocoa has been using the restroom outside for all of her life. i try to keep them separated but it’s very hard. And my daughter is going off to college soon so i’m not sure if sage will get sad that she is gone.

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