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Cat and the litter box - March 28th 2015, 06:26 PM

I've had my cat for close to two years now? I've never had this issue with her. The environment in my household has changed a bit. I got a boyfriend and as such I've been more preoccupied with that. I've been busier on the weekends. I don't devout as much time to my cat.

She's been acting up. She will intentionally knock things off this desk thing we have in the kitchen. She'll swipe at me when I walk by to get my attention. These things are cute and I do try and spend time with her. I'll bring her in my room but the weekends are the main time I can spend with my boyfriend. However, she just recently (last night) started doing something else. She started to not use the litter box. I brought her into my room because I had been ignoring her all night and I didn't want her to be alone. I wanted to devout some time to her. She ignored me and went a laid on my vanity. This was fine but then she got down on my floor, rummaged around and pooped. I was like 'okay that is odd' but it was a one time occurrence. Then, just now she had been laying on my vanity again. She got off of it and went into my laundry basket and peed. I only had socks and some underwear in there (thankfully).

I did a google search and it says there are a number of things that could be causing this. One of the things did list stress or changes to the environment. I have been noticing changes in her behavior and I am trying to be attentive to her but I am busy with school, TH duties and life.

I don't really know what to do. This is only the second time she has done it but I can't have her continue to poop and pee outside the litter box. There are other reasons she could be doing it which could be medical issues but she seems perfectly healthy so I am leaning more towards it being a stress thing.

I don't really know how to change it though. I cleaned her litter box out. But, a dirty litter box has never been a problem and it wasn't even all that dirty.

Like I said this has never happened until last night. I am at a loss on what to do and if she keeps doing it I know my dad will be annoyed. The laundry basket she peed in usually has my clothes in it too but I just did laundry. So I was lucky.

Any advice or insight would be helpful. For the past, almost two years, this cat has been the center of my attention so I think that could be the issue. IDK really. I am starting to feel like a bad cat owner but what am I supposed to do?


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Re: Cat and the litter box - March 28th 2015, 10:16 PM

It does sound like kitty stress, however, have you taken her to the veterinarian? I would just to be on the safe side in case it's health related.

Cat's can get really emotional when they aren't paid enough attention to, they're just like children - they'll act out when they don't get their way. Perhaps there are other things that you could do? Like maybe getting your cat a companion so that way she doesn't feel as alone?

If you choose to get a companion for her, make sure that the two get along well.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help, but if you can, I suggest getting her a companion, because some cats are just naturally sociable.
   
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Re: Cat and the litter box - March 30th 2015, 05:09 AM

Well, as it turns out she might be getting a companion. I have someone that can no longer have their cat and was going to have to give it to the pound (had no where else to take it). I couldn't let that happen so I, reluctantly, said I would take the cat. I am going to see how it goes with my cat and this cat. If they get along I will be keeping it but if they don't there is an organization I can give her to that is no kill.

I don't, technically, want a second cat because it is more work but I can't let an animal go to the pound.

I suppose this could, potentially, help my cat because she is a pretty social animal. I guess we'll see if it makes things better or worse.


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Re: Cat and the litter box - March 30th 2015, 05:18 AM

You should post pictures of your new cat.

It's nice of you to take the cat in, though! Just a suggestion - you might want to get another litter box because your cat may become territorial of hers. My cats can be kind of like that sometimes and we have to make sure they don't bother the others when they're using the box. And you might want to consider putting the new cat into a different room so they can sniff each other under the door. You can also leave the new cat in its carrier for a while so that your cat has a little time to adjust to the changes. Cats don't usually like cat carriers, but you can leave it out for a while so the new cat has a safe place to hide. You can put it somewhere away from the door and put some toys or treats nearby so it becomes a safe place.

I think a companion might help your cat out a little bit. I know my kitten does a lot of the things that you mentioned. I know he does it at night when the other cats are too tired to play with him; it's his way of getting attention, I guess.

Keep us updated!


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Re: Cat and the litter box - March 31st 2015, 09:29 PM

I tried introducing the cats today and it didn't go well. I kept the new cat in my room all of yesterday. She hid under my bed most of the time. Today I let her into the living room and my cat saw her and freaked. I'm not really sure what to do. I was really scared my cat was going to hurt her. I could try the carrier suggestion but right now the new cat is barricaded in my dad's room and my cat won't let me go in there to check on her. She's being really clingy and if I go back towards the room she runs toward it to try and get in.

We are trying the carrier idea. The new cat is the one who is freaking out.


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Re: Cat and the litter box - March 31st 2015, 11:20 PM

Hey.

I'm going to respond to each of your posts, just because I'll feel like I'm slacking if I don't.

The people who have already responded to this thread basically covered what I was going to say. Since this is a relatively sudden issue I would take a minute to think about what's changed recently, including the situation with your boyfriend. But it could be something separate. Did you recently change your cat's food? Have there been other disruptions to the household? Has anyone in the house been especially tense or grumpy lately? Cats are really sensitive animals and can definitely pick up on that. If possible, I would definitely recommend taking her to the vet. Sometimes pets act out because they're trying to tell us something they can't communicate with words - like the fact that they're in pain or uncomfortable. It may not be an immediately obvious medical cause, which is why it's important to get her checked out. It could be an internal issue, something with very few actual signs.

Since she seems to be demanding more attention lately, I would also recommend making a point of including her in your day-to-day routine. She probably wants some reassurance as she might be feeling insecure since you've been busier. It's up to you to make sure she knows that she's still an important part of your life. Does your boyfriend come over to your house often? If so, does he interact with your cat at all? If not she might see him as an intruder or at least a stranger and that could make her feel stressed. If he doesn't already deliberately interact with your cat, you might like to ask him to; that way your cat might be more likely to accept him.

As for the idea of a dirty litter box, that could still be it - just because it's not dirty to you doesn't mean it's not dirty to your cat. Maybe there's something about the litter box that doesn't feel right to your cat, and it could be as simple as it smelling different/bad to her - something you wouldn't be able to pick up. You could try using some kind of specially designed odor-neutralising cleaning product to make sure that it not only looks clean but smells clean too.

I think it could be beneficial for your cat to have a companion - but don't feel bad if they don't get along. She may be social, but that doesn't mean she'll want to share her person with another cat. I like the carrier idea; it's okay that the cats aren't happy with it all yet. This is a big change for both of them and it's unlikely they'll become best friends overnight. The important thing during this process is to ensure that your cat doesn't think she's being replaced. Give her lots of attention, especially when the new cat is around. If you had some kind of gate - like a baby gate, something you can use to keep pets or children out of certain rooms - you could set it up so the cats are close but can't touch each other; but they can smell and see each other. You could also try introducing them to each other's scent, like putting a blanket that smells like the new cat in the room of your resident cat. Overall, remember to take it slowly and give both cats time to adjust.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!


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Re: Cat and the litter box - April 1st 2015, 06:11 AM

We got my grandmother's cat about a year and a half ago, and we saved my kitten about eight or nine months ago. Cats definitely get jealous when you get new pets, but they especially get jealous if you introduce another cat because the new cat is one of their own. I know males in particular get jealous. Introducing my two cats to my grandmother's cat was hard. They hated each other and they fought for hours. Now that we've had her for a while they still occasionally fight, but they've adapted to each other and they look out for each other, especially if one gets hurt. I think it might take some time for your cats to get comfortable around each other.

Like Chess said, since she's been clingy lately I think you should try to give her attention whenever you can (if she wants it). Especially since you have a new cat. She needs to know that you still love her and you're not replacing her.

I was thinking about the litter box and what Chess said. Have you changed the litter recently? Some cats can be particularly picky about the litter that they like. Cats can also get pretty embarrassed, too, especially if their box doesn't have a hood on it. Some cats like to feel secure and covered so no one sees them while they're using the box.

Do you have anything from your friends house that your cat might find comforting? Maybe you can ask your friend to wear an old t-shirt and then give it to you so your cat can have that. Or just something in general from their house could be helpful. You can also look into this spray. Different companies make it and it can get expensive, but this is what we used when we moved and it helped calm my cats down a lot. It can also be used on furniture that you want your cat to stop scratching. The only thing is that you need to be careful when spraying it because the fumes go right down your throat.


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