Problem: My cat only makes it half way in the box!!!

by Ken
(St.Petersburg, Fla. USA)

Please help. Our cat KC has a real problem making it all the way into the box. She is healthy, well adjusted, loved, clean litter, not stressed, etc etc.

She has her own box, oversized, and open. The problem is that she gets the front two paws in the box and thinks that she is all the way in and she's not. Consequently, we have urine everywhere. This happens almost daily and we are at our wits end. Suggestions please!!!!!

My thoughts:

I have not heard of that particular litter box behavior before. My first thought would be possibly mobility problems? Does she have problems with jumping? If so, then perhaps a ramp would help her get in and out of the box. In the alternative, a flatter, but wider box would work better. Sometimes a plastic container does the trick.

Another option would be to try two open boxes side by side and see what happens.

Does she always do this? How long has this been going on? What about when she defecates? Same thing? If she only does this when urinating, then perhaps she wants one box for urination and another for defecation (some cats are that way, and this preference can develop at any time).

Another thought is that some cats will spray to mark territory. Is she lifting her tail and backing up against anything? That's usually the marking pose to try to get things at nose level for the next cat to sniff. Even full-time indoor cats who have been fixed will do this if they feel at all threatened. Threats can be from anything from an outside cat prowling near the house to an unwanted house guest to disturbances from home remodeling.

You can try Feliway Spray and see if that helps. I have no personal experience with this product, and I know that it does not work in all cases, but some people have said it works great to fix litter box problems.

Confined retraining may be the way to go, but in this case you may have to make it a very small area since she's in a half in-half out situation. One other possible solution is to get cat litter box furniture. These pieces hide the box and typically have a ramp and a platform, which would make it difficult for her to be only front paws in. She'd more or less be forced to put all fours in the litter.

I hope this helps some.


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Nov 18, 2008
Another Halfway to the box Problem
by: David Patrick

I have an older cat doing the same thing as Ken's. Two feet in and all over the floor. It's only with urination, as she has a routine of getting in the box and turning around a few times before defecating. But the pee on the floor is really a problem. She still jumps onto the bed (with footstool help, but she's not so infirm that she can't lift her back legs over a box rim). Her general health and appetite are great, even though she's a few months shy of 20, so it's difficult to think of euthenasia at this point. I just wanted to post this to say that it's interesting to see someone else has the same problem... just wish we could both get it solved! Thanx.

Sep 19, 2008
You're Not Alone in This...
by: Anonymous

My oldest cat, Jake, has started displaying this behavior as well. It's a big boy at about 16.5 yeas. I tried a new, taller box thinking he would know when he's in, but no luck. Poop's no problem but for the past 2 months... I've gone through a LOT of vinyl gloves. Should I have gone with a lower box?

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