My cat poops in the litter box, but will not pee in it

by Stacie

My cat, Max, only pees in the litter box the first day of new litter, otherwise he refuses. The litter can be scooped daily and he will still pee on the floor. He always poops in the box, never outside of it.

We have tried various cat litter from the pet stores, none of which have helped. He is 4 years old and I am afraid that our only choice may be to get rid of him.....

Please help!!!!

Hmmmm... if he only uses the box the first day of new litter, I'm wondering if he's a poop in one box/pee in another box kind of cat? Some cats want separate locations for pee and poop.

It's weird I know, but that's what comes to mind. When he's got fresh litter to work with, he'll use the box. After he poops in there, though, he needs a separate location.

So, I'd try a second box, or if you already have a second box, move it to another location. I would clean everything and start with fresh litter of the type you normally use with both boxes. Scoop twice a day during this time to avoid any cleanliness issues.

Another thought is that some people say that Cat Attract helps. Others have said that it doesn't make a difference at all, but it's possible that using Cat Attract might work. You might also try using unscented litter and sprinkling in some baking soda.

Unless he has a physical problem that just happens to coincide with fresh litter every time, those are the ideas that hit me. You may want to try working through things with your vet or a pet psychologist if your vet isn't equipped to handle this type of problem.

I hope that helps some and best of luck with him.

P.S. Anyone else had this problem? Let us know how you fixed it.

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Dec 06, 2011
Cat will not pee in litterbox
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem. My cat does not pee in the litter box at all!! She will poop in there but not pee.

She pees in the tub, on the floor and sometimes in her water bowl when it is empty. I am at my wits end. I may try anti anxiety products because I got her at a shelter and she had been poorly treated and although she has come a long way, she still has a lot of anxiety.

To the person who wrote about her cat pooping on the floor after she got a second cat... I had that problem with a cat when I got a second cat and it is their way of "marking their territory" and displeasure with the addition of the second cat. We had to put the second cat up for adoption.

Editor's note: Did you try placing a box in the tub? Does she have two boxes? Some cats just don't like to pee where they poop.

For anxiety, Rescue Remedy or Feliway may be worth a shot before going to meds.

Mar 26, 2011
@Krista's Human
by: Kurt (Admin)

I admire your dedication to your kitty and I'm very glad to hear that you're willing to keep cleaning up after her. Without intervention from an animal behaviorist who could work with you and your cat, it may be hard to solve this one.

It's a difficult problem and the longer these problems persist, the more difficult it becomes to change the behavior.

I'm wondering if adding more litter boxes might help?

It's hard to know if changing things will make things better or worse at this point. With that caveat in mind, I do have some other suggestions, though, based on the premise that she might be experiencing some anxiety.

I could be totally wrong, of course, but the first one is to try Feliway spray to see if that perhaps relaxes her a bit.

The second idea is holistic anxiety treatments, kitty massage, and the like.

The third is medication. Normally, I'd be against this but in extreme cases anti-anxiety medication such as Prozac may work. It has been known to help with behavior problems so you might want to ask your vet about it.

One more thought. It's also possible that an automatic litter box that cleans after each use, such as the Littermaid may help. Some cats are afraid of the mechanical beasts, though, so proceed with caution.

Please come back and update us if you try something new and let us know how she's doing.

Mar 25, 2011
Same issue, no solution yet
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem with my cat, Krista. I got her from the rescue shelter about 9 years ago. She was already 2 years old. She will always use the box once with new litter. I have tried every litter, including the Cat Attract.

After it is used once, she refuses and finds a spot on the carpet somewhere. For some reason, she will use a box I have outside on my porch a few times (even tinkle). I scoop every day at least once or twice, but I just can't keep it clean enough for her. She is bratty that way, but I just continue cleaning the box as much as possible and putting in fresh litter every time I scoop.

I also just keep buying the enzyme carpet cleaners and using them on a regular basis. I think this is probably why she was in the shelter in the first place. Her previous owner probably just couldn't stand it. I love her too much to give her up, though.

Mar 05, 2009
My cat is the opposite
by: Shelly

I just brought a new cat into my home, we already have one cat. I set up 2 litter boxes because at first I was keeping the new cat in the bathroom while I was gone for the day. She will pee in the litter box but prefers my bedroom floor to poop. Grrrr. Any help will be appreciated.

My Thoughts:

Two main thoughts come to mind (assuming no medical issues exist, and assuming this was not a problem before coming to live with you). The first is general stress over a transition to a new home. Cats can take up to 6 months to become comfortable in a new house. Lots of reassurance can help.

The second is that it's extremely important to do the introductions properly. It's vital for cats that share space to work out their hierarchy, and either cat may feel threatened. If there's any tension (which you may or may not see) between the cats, unwanted behaviors can occur.

You need to work out any litter box problems with the new cat before introductions. If there are problems (with either cat), then you should go back to separating them. Is it possible you perhaps introduced the cats too soon?


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