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Author Topic:   serious problem- going to the pound soon :(
New Member

Posts: 2
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 01-20-2004 09:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jenny     Edit/Delete Message
I'm so upset, and I don't know what to do. I have had a cat that I adopted from the pound for four years. He has not used the litter box since I got him, but I loved him anyway and always cleaned it up. He will uninate in the box, but poops just outside of it. There are usually two piles everyday when I come home from work. The problem is that for the last year my fiance and I have been living together and bought a house. The box is in the laundry room and my fiance is fed up. He loves cats, but he can't handle the problem. We've had long fights about the cat, and I know if I take him to the pound it will be his death. The cat is very nervous and is scared of feet. I think that he might have been abused when he was younger. I don't know, because I got him from the pound he was already an adult. Now, the poor thing has starting to lose it's hair. I've changed litter brands a million times, the box is uncovered and usually stays clean. His food is even right next to the box, I thought that might help, but no change. HELP! I don't want to get rid of him, but my fiance is demanding something be done.

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Posts: 30
From:Cleveland, OH USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 01-20-2004 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bastet1066     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Jenny. I understand your concern and I feel for you.

You mention in your message that you put the food and water in close proximity to the litter boxes. Cats are finicky creatures and largely prefer their food and water to be completely separate from their litterboxes. I would suggest moving the food and water to a different room in your house immediately.

Though your kitty's problem seems to be more behaviorial, I would suggest you also rule out any physiological causes and take him to the vet immediately. There might be something wrong with him and you want to rule that out first.

Was the pound able to give you a history of the cat? Most of them keep records...especially if an adult cat was rescued from some situation where animal cruelty was involved. Even though it was four years ago, you might want to give them a call to see if they keep back records on animal histories.

Good luck...I hope you're able to solve the problem and live happily ever after with your fiance and your kitty.

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Posts: 43
From:Brunswick, MO USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 01-20-2004 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for catwoman     Edit/Delete Message
Oh, I feel for you so much. I couldn't imagine having to get rid of any of mine. And I had the same problem with one of my cats. He's a persian, and for unknown reasons, he started pooping outside the box. I made sure and kept it clean every day, even washing it out and he still pooped outside. I put down a plastic matt around the box so if when he did go, it would be easy to clean up.

Then he stopped going right outside the box, but went in front of my bedroom door. To this day, I still have no idea why he did it. But he goes in the box now. Perhaps he had a virus or something, I don't know. He didn't act sick however.

What type of cat is yours? Is it a big cat? Perhaps the litter box is too small? Have you tried a different type of litter box?

And, if it does come down to having to get rid of the cat, perhaps you could give it to someone you know? Or, perhaps a nursing home? A lot of elderly people love animals and it would give him a good home.

I just hate the idea of having to give it to a pound again :-(

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Posts: 201
From:Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 01-20-2004 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lucidity03     Edit/Delete Message
Bastet1066 has some sound advice.

Cats DO NOT like to have their food near where they eliminate. They are meticulously clean creatres. I would suggest you move the food to another room away from the litter right away.

Also, if your cat is very skitterish and scared... have you considered where the litterbox is located? Your cat would probably prefer the box not to be near anything noisy or startling. Could you move it to a place that's quiet and won't startle the cat (if it's not in a place like that already)?

One more thing, sometimes cats like to use covered litterboxes to feel a bit more secure. Have you looked into that?

I also would rule out any physical problems. Cats can't tell you if they're sick. So, they can do it by going to the bathroom outside the litterbox. I would consider taking the cat to the vet to rule out any problems.

I hope with some research and time, you can clear up the problem and be a happy, healthy family. Good luck

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New Member

Posts: 2
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 01-20-2004 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jenny     Edit/Delete Message
I really appreciate everyone's suggestions. I'm willing to try anything at this point. I think I will move his food and try moving the litter box away from the washer/dryer. I'm also going to make an appointment with the vet, but I have a feeling that will be fruitless. But, like i said, i'm willing to try anything now.
Thank you again. And I'm still open for more ideas.

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New Member

Posts: 7
From:Whitewright, TX USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 01-20-2004 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dfrancis     Edit/Delete Message
Perhaps try adding a second litter box. I have heard of cats who didn't like to pee and poop in the same litterbox. They don't even have to be in separate rooms. You can set them side by side.

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Posts: 49
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 01-20-2004 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kitty     Edit/Delete Message
By now, I bet your kitty is so used to pooping outside the box that he doesn't know it's wrong. Maybe you'll have to re-teach him? Have you tried putting the poop inside the litterbox and then moving it out to the spot where he usually goes? I think it's great that you're willing to get your kitty checked at the vet. Ask him/her if she/he has any suggestions? I hope so much that everything is worked out. Does your fiance understand that if you take the kitty to the pound, it's likely the end? Although you said the vet is fruitless, I bet there's a reason for your kitty losing his hair and the vet can help with that, which may be related to stress and/or the bathroom problem. I hope it all works out!

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Posts: 4
From:Woodford,Va, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 01-24-2004 11:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PreMedVa     Edit/Delete Message
You may want to try a bigger litter box. If he pooping just outside of the box he may THINK he is in the box and just be missing. Also try a covered litter box or a kitty screen for privacy. If all else fails just get newspaper and place it under the box so that it extends outside of the box far enough that if he poops it will be on the paper and it's really not hard to clean up, just roll it up and throw it away. As long as he urinates in the cat box you have it made. A little miss outside of the box poo wise is no biggie. I feel for you though. I mean I love my man but if he said me or the cat I don't think the cat would be at the pound

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Posts: 701
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 01-25-2004 11:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chessmind     Edit/Delete Message
Hello. Here is some information about the possible causes of your cat's hair loss. Another member posted this site a while back. It's worth taking him to the vet to treat it.

The information below is from the site:

There are several factors that may contribute to cats defecating inappropriately. Environmental or social stress, personal preferences or changes in personal preferences, or medical problems may cause this behavior.

Although most feline elimination disorders are behavioral, to rule out a medical problem, your veterinarian will need to do a complete physical examination, urinalysis, and a fecal exam. If your cat is middle-aged or older, then the doctor may also opt to perform bloodwork including a complete blood count and a chemistry panel. Cats with feline lower urinary tract disease or cystitis may begin to defecate and/or urinate outside the litter box.

It can be difficult to determine whether cats begin defecating outside of the box because they have developed a disliking to a certain litter, or to a location, as opposed to simply preferring to defecate in the new location.

The development of a disliking or aversion to a particular substrate or litter is much more likely than avoidance of a particular location. Cats can develop an aversion to anything from clumpable litter, to an odor, to certain noises, to extraneous smells, and many other things.

If possible, offer the affected cat a wide variety of different types of cat litter in a combination of different depths. You could try changing the litter and leaving the box in the same location. In addition, providing a second litter box in the area that has been chosen as the unwanted place to defecate may be helpful. Some cats require separate litter boxes for urination and defecation. Generally, if there are elimination problems in the house, each cat should have at least one box. And there should be at least one box per floor in multi-floored homes.

Cats typically do not develop aversions to locations, but they may if the litter box is associated with the presence of any undesirable individual such as another cat, a dog, or a child. Perhaps your cat had a bad experience while at the previous litter box. Another pet could have disturbed your cat while it was defecating, causing it to have a negative association with the box. Also, if the litter box is close to a television, alarm clock, or other noisy object, your cat may have developed an aversion to defecating there.

It is a good idea to place another litter box in a new location where your cat has begun defecating. You can use the same litter and the same box, or buy another box. If your pet begins to use the new box, then gradually move the box an inch each day until it is in a more desirable spot. If you move the litter box too quickly, however, the cat may relapse. In addition, if another pet begins tormenting the affected cat while it defecates in this new place, then the problem may begin again.

Something else to consider is the personality of your cat. Shy cats may need a covered litter box. Another idea is to place your catís food and water in the bedroom to see if this deters him; most pets will not defecate in the same area that they eat.

If your cat is medically normal, and other behavioral techniques have been exhausted, your veterinarian may recommend medical treatment with anti-anxiety medications. Consult your veterinarian about this problem for more information and suggestions. Veterinary behavioral specialists may offer additional insights.

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