Just adopted Bubba and he's using the bathtub

by Anonymous
(Moreno Valley, CA)

I do not know what could be wrong. Could it be stressed related?

I just adopted him and he's not using his litter box. Instead he just poops and pees in the bathtub.

They told me he was trained so I was happy about that. I do not know what could be wrong and I am worried.

I mean I will not give up on him but I'm not sure my boyfriend is too happy that he is defecating in the bathtub.

My thoughts: Since you just adopted him, I'm guessing from a shelter or rescue, I'm going to assume he's been health checked and all is well in that department.

Yes, it could be stress related. More specifically, he's out of his element. I'm glad you're willing to work with him on this.

When a shelter or rescue says that a cat is litter box trained, that doesn't always mean that when the cat goes to a new environment that he will immediately adapt and begin using the box.

If you read the literature from organizations like the Petfinder on adoption best practices, confining a cat to single room during at least the first few days in a new home is recommended.

One of the reasons for this is to get litter box habits in order in a confined space where things are more under your control.

Plenty of people ignore this recommendation and are fine with it. I've just recently broken this "rule" myself here at my house with a foster.

So far, I haven't had any problems in the litter box department, but if I had, I would have immediately gone to the "safe room" method. I would also do whatever I could to lower stress levels, including trying Feliway if needed, as well as working to burn off nervous energy.

I hope that helps. Please read the Petfinder article and let us know how Bubba comes along.


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Feb 19, 2016
by: wendy

Well im using an uncovered i filled the tub with water just to make sure he doesnt poop in there but he started pooping on the floor took him to the vet they said everything is good. But that he may just be marking his territory. I got a second litter box and i havent had any surprises anymore.

Feb 19, 2016
cat using the bath as a toilet
by: Anonymous

My son had a cat like this it is definitely very stressed and very afraid. It is going to take time to unwind him. My son did it with nursing his cat at every opportunity and yes it took a while like 3 months and with him doing other things with his kitty (which we now laugh at and find it very amusing what he did).

My sons kitty was 4 years old when he got him so he had to convince the kitty 1 he was loved 2 that he came first for the time being 3 to sit with him at all times talking to him. He showed his kitty he was with my son to stay.

My son took the tray into the bathroom and put it into the bath then slowly weaned him away from the bath with the tray he also made certain that where he was so was his kitty, even to the fact that if my son went to the bathroom kitty did too.

He also had three or four litter trays. About the first time my son put the litter tray in the bath we filmed what happened. His kitty ignored the tray and as usual used the bath as his toilet. The second time my son got into the bath called his kitty up to him and then my son dug his fingers into the kitty litter as if he was a cat. The kitty looked facinated but still had his toilet directly into the bath. My son repeated this kitty litter scraping and after about 3 days my son put his kitty into the tray and out jumped kitty my son put him back into the tray and started scratching the litter which facinated his kitty.

The next day kitty wanted to play the litter tray game and started to scratch his litter. Then on the following day whilst kitty was scratching the litter it was if a light bulb had come on. He actually used the tray. My son always went to the litter tray with his kitty over the next few days. Then after about a week of this knowing kitty wanted to use his tray my son moved the tray which when kitty jumped up onto the bath to go into the tray it was not there my son showed him where it was and again started to dig the litter (yes it was clean).

His kitty sat watching my son sat watching his kitty in between scratches kitty used his tray. There were praises galore and every time he used his tray my son got his fingers licked as he my son was crafty enough to put fish oil on them after scratching cats love fish oil.

After about two and a bit months kitty was away from the bathroom with a designated place for kitty's litter tray away from the bathroom. Kitty still gets loads of cuddles sleeps under the covers on my sons bed follows him around like a dog when my son is home. My son by the way is now 16 years old and his kitty is 10 the same age as my son was when we got him his precious much loved by all kitty so it is the scratching but as my son adds he also had to hide some fish oil in the bathroom out of kitts reach so he could dip his fingers in it to reward kitty for using his tray. Hope this helps you with kitty's problem. Stick with him and get your partner to help.

Feb 19, 2016
litter box issue
by: Hope

Hello. Have you tried or are you using an uncovered litter box...I have a calico that used my bathroom sink as her litter box ugh. I had to get storage totes and use them as the litter box instead of covered ones.

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