Cat sometimes not using box

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by mzgarden, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. mzgarden

    mzgarden Well-Known Member

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    I'm stumped. I've had cats for over 55 years but this is new behavior for me.
    We have two adult neutered male indoor cats. They are 5 y/o now, we've had them since they were kittens - litter mates. We have two cat boxes that are cleaned every evening (sometimes morning too). No changes to food, brand of litter, location of boxes, feeding schedule, etc. Fecal sample taken to vet - all clear. No other behavior or physical changes. For 3 days now, one time a night, he poos in the house, nowhere near the boxes. Based on trail cameras we know which cat it is and we confirmed that other times of the day he is using one of the cat boxes. I've tried blocking the favored spot, so he picked another nearby spot. Always poo, never pee.

    Not sure what to do at this point - anyone have ideas?
     
  2. dorner

    dorner Well-Known Member

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    We had a older male that was doing that. Couldn't figure out why. We have more than 2 cats in the house. I did some research and seen suggestions that the cats can feel "trapped" inside a litter box that has a cover on it. So I started taking the covers off the boxes and I would take him to the box and show him that it is open, no chance of being attacked while he uses the box. It worked. I watched him and would notice if he was "looking" to go poo. I would quick pick him and go to the box, he would use it like a good boy. Yes, it is much more sweeping around the boxes without the lids, but I would much rather sweep litter than pick up nasty poo. Cats are funny creatures. Very entertaining and I love my babies, but they can stump you on some of their behaviors.
     
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  3. mzgarden

    mzgarden Well-Known Member

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    @dorner - interesting. Unfortunately (or fortunately) our boxes do not have covers. I have tried putting a third, brand new litter box near his area of choice to see if I can at least get him to use a box. Since he's doing this at night after we go to bed, it'd be a challenge to 'catch him' at it and move him to one of the existing boxes, but I may have to try that at some point.
     
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  4. Forcast

    Forcast Well-Known Member

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    Could be urinary tract infection. The cat not feeling well will try and tell you. Make sure the box is big enough and clean.
    If a cat pees in your bed they are afraid you wont come home. So they leave a scent for you to find your bed.
     
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  5. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    Perhaps put him in a carrier overnight??? Like crating a dog.
     
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  6. mzgarden

    mzgarden Well-Known Member

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    Update: We put a 3rd litter box in the area near his new spot. No poo in the house and he used the newest box. Changed the litter in all 3 boxes to the same litter, moved the 3rd box near the other two in the regular place they've been using boxes for years. Poo in the house again. Never pee, never more than once a day and only this particular cat. Gonna have to rethink this because it's not acceptable to permanently have a 3rd litter box near the area he's picked due to it's location in the house.
     
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  7. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Bet he'd make a grand barn cat.....
     
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  8. danil54grl

    danil54grl Well-Known Member

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    I saw where they grew up together, but do they like each other? We had a couple older cats that decided they didn't like the other for whatever reason and sometimes would not use the box but beside the box. Figured she didn't like his scent so tried that scent remover. Did not work. Talked to a buddy & he suggested adding in an onion peel. Not sure if she was attracted to the smell or what but she did start using the box again.
     
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  9. Waiting2Retire

    Waiting2Retire Well-Known Member

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    I've no suggestions, but I am curious about the onion peel? Did you just set it in the litter box? Ive never heard of anything related to cats and onions..
     
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  10. mnn2501

    mnn2501 Dallas

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    Why not? When we had 4 cats we had 2 separate areas for 3 litter boxes.
    It could be that he got attacked or even just startled by one of the other cats when he was in it and he now refuses to use it in that area. I've seen that happen and no amount of coaxing will ever work.
     
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  11. danil54grl

    danil54grl Well-Known Member

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    I just threw it in. Honestly I thought my buddy was crazy, but I was at my wits end. Since it worked for us, thought I would pass it along.
     
  12. mzgarden

    mzgarden Well-Known Member

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    Makes sense however, the only reason this particular 'chosen' location is not acceptable for a 3rd litter box is because it's in the middle of the dining room. I moved it to a less central location and kept a 3rd box and he seems to be using it now.
     
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  13. mzgarden

    mzgarden Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting, never heard of using an onion peel. Good question - they actually do like each other. They typically curl up together to sleep, have no problem eating from two bowls set next to each other, etc.
     
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  14. COSunflower

    COSunflower Country Girl Supporter

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    What kind of litter are you using? I've always used unscented and one day my DIL brought 2 containers of the lightweight litter to me but OH THE SMELL when I poured it in!!! It was scented with GLADE to freshen it I guess!!! My granddaughter's cat WOULD NOT use it and I don't blame her!!!! Be sure to get UNSCENTED - cats are sensitive to smells.
     
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  15. mzgarden

    mzgarden Well-Known Member

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    You're right about the scented litter - holy moly that stuff is awful. No change in the standard litter - regular, scoopable unscented.

    Here's what I've done and it's been about a week now since the last 'deposit.' I took one of the baskets the cats sleep in and put it right about where he had been poo'ing. I also started leaving a small light on in the room at night. No more issues so far.
     
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