Kitty in heat refuses to use box
We just adopted a 7-month-old female tabby. She is sweet and quirky and we love her, but she has been in heat since we brought her home 6 days ago and has never used the litter box.
She will hold it for hours on end and choose a place to pee and a different place to poop. Is this behavior related to her being in heat?
Will it be possible to litter-train her after she is spayed (her surgery is this Friday)?
We have two different litter boxes set up in the house (one in our usual cat space in the laundry room and another in one of the first places she chose to pee) with easy access to both.
This is our fourth cat (second kitten), but we have never encountered a problem like this before. Any help would be greatly appreciated because we want to keep her but this behavior is a deal-breaker. Thank you!My thoughts:
ConCATulations on your new kitten! Some cats go off the litter box when in heat.
She could have some other health issue, though. Since she's getting spayed soon, your veterinarian might want to weigh in on that.
It's possible her current litter box behavior is a result of being in a new home. The combination of being in heat and sharing a new home with resident cats may be too much for her. A new environment, especially ones with other cats, is stressful.
The generally accepted wisdom on the best way to bring a new cat home is to isolate them in a room of their own at first. This does several things, including allow the cat a "safe" space and a territory of her own.
It also helps to cut out a lot of "noise" that might tend to alter your judgement of any problems.
If she had a litter box of her own, that might be more to her liking. This helps to rule out competition for the litter box as a possible factor.
I imagine most cats do us a favor and share, but some cats do insist on their own box, now and always. This can be the case even if they otherwise get along with the other cats.
Post spay, most cats tend to be more docile and appear more relaxed. See if she settles down as she recovers from her surgery.
I hope that helps and please let us know how she progresses.