Set Up For Success: Avoid Litter Box Problems

07/25/14 - by TheCatCoach

Litter box info-graphic

Litter box issues are the number one reasons people seek me out for a cat behavior consultation. Because of that, I created this info-graphic. Hopefully it will help stop litter box problems before they begin.

You are welcome to use and distribute it as is, without alteration.


Share this post

11 comments on “Set Up For Success: Avoid Litter Box Problems”

  1. I have the sweetest female Bengal cat that has litter box problems. All of the above suggestions I have already done. She has a lot of alergies and has chronic diarrhea. Cleaning the litter box, when she uses it has been a challenge. Cleaning up her mistakes has also taken a lot of my patience. She has been to my vet several times and has had more tests than I can name. She has food alergies and has to be feed special food, no grain and only chicken. I feel she was a breeder queen at one time and they could of cared less about her food alergies.
    Now she is paying for it with major elimination problems. I have considered go out side but she has been declawed before I adopted her. Yesterday she had diarrhea twice on my dinning room table and I have now reached the end of my patience. Not sure what to do now. Is there a special needs cat rescue that would take her or a Bengal cat rescue that would take her. I must place her some where so that my home doesn't smell like a toilet. My alternatives are to put her outside or euthanize. Can any one help?

    1. I just saw your post, my apologies for not responding sooner. The trick is to find a food, protein that she isn't allergic to. For years, Maulee, my IBS cat did great with venison and venison and pea. After she started having issues with venison, I went to a holistic vet who put together some recipes for me to try. I found that Maulee, did well with pork. Please do not punish your kitty, but keep working with trying to find a protein she can tolerate.

  2. We are at our wits end with a cat that urinates and vomits all over the house. Our vet says he has no identifiable illness. When my son brought Kobe home he had multiple health issues. He was loaded with fleas had an upper respiratory illness and would not eat. He is your common tabby and is a very loving animal. He gets along well with our other 4 legged grandchildren (all acquired courtesy of children returning home then leaving without them). We have a large house in the country with many windows, porches, nooks and stairs to climb. Overall it is a very good home for cats to roam, hunt mice in the attached barn, sleep on the couches in the sun and watch the myriad critters from the windows. We don't allow them outside because of the wilderness nearby and the birds we encourage to nest in our yard. All of the cats, 2 male and 2 female have regular vet check ups and shots and we groom them on a daily basis. This brings me back to our problem child. Kobe was not well when he first came to our house from my son's home in Buffalo. My son got him at a pet smart type place when he was about 6 months old. He brought him home to his house where he lived with his male kitten and his brother's puppy. Within days of arriving there, Kobe disappeared. The 3 guys that lived there at the time thought he got outside and gave him up for lost. Then suddenly he reappeared in the basement and eventually was acclimated to the living situation. He had an respiratory infection that he gave to the kitten but was treated and recovered from that. It left the kitten with a chronic weepy eye, but otherwise ok. Two months later our son brought Kobe and his other male kitten home to us. At the time we had 2 female cats who were well adjusted to our home. Sindri, the kitten adjusted to the move just fine, but Kobe did not. My son had said he was not eating well when he was in Buffalo, and within a few weeks here had a noticeable weight loss. We tempted him with all sorts of high quality foods but he just would not eat much at first, then almost not at all. I took him to the vet and found out he had severe oral inflammation. We tried a couple of medications and treatments but when this did not improve we had his teeth removed and the problem cleared up. For the last two years he has been quite healthy, although he is constantly begging for food. We try to limit his intake so as to avoid obesity but he is admittedly a couple of pounds overweight for his size. We feed all four cats at once but he will finish what the others don't eat. Most of the time he appears quite happy, plays with the other cats well, but occasionally scraps with our white female who is very particular about when and who she will allow in close proximity to her. The problem with Kobe is this. He almost always refuses to use the litter box to urinate and is making messes all over the house and barn. He poops in it no problem,. We have 7 of open large boxes in various places and keep them all very clean. The other cats use them without issue. Kobe also has been vomiting on a regular basis as well. Mostly it is hair, but sometimes undigested food. I attribute the food to overeating at times, but as a short haired cat I am amazed at the number of hair tubes in his vomit. We feed him a variety of foods, some indoor weight control formulas, hairball formulas and wet food once daily or every other day. We have 5 watering stations around the house also and I see him drink. We took him to the vet to rule out any infections. They said they thought it might be some kind of irritable bladder syndrome. We tried him on a special cat food formula the vet prescribed, but he won't eat it any more. We love this cat. We really want to try to get to the bottom of this. Can you help?

  3. Dear CatCoach,
    I have two 10 mo. old kittens that are sisters. We have two large litter boxes that are cleaned daily. About 2 months ago the calico started urinating throughout the house. Her sister now goes behind her and poops ontop of the urinated area. We have confined them to the basement where the litter boxes are but are afraid to let them back into the regular house. They both use the litter box without issue while confined. Do you have any guidance.

  4. I have a 5 month old female Bengal, that is much smarter than me 🙁
    She has had multiple accidents on all of the beds, AND will urinate in our sinks and even the toilet!
    While the last may sound "handy", it is definitely not. It's a mess.
    I don't know what to do 🙁

  5. Dear CatCoach:

    My husband and I adopted an adorable, personable, sweet, playful female Turkish Angora type kitty from our local shelter less than a month ago, in December 2014. Her name is Dia. The only background we received on her was that she was brought to the shelter as a stray in August 2014, and had already been spayed prior to her arrival. She was a bit skinny when we adopted her and had some hair loss -- probably from stress since she was not thriving in the shelter. Clearly she is a good cat, because the staff loved her, and were so happy when we said we wanted to take her home! She has since gained a little weight, has a very good appetite, and our holistic vet gave her homeopathy for her overall well-being based on her assessment of her.

    Our household also includes three male cats, each with own unique personalities -- very, very sweet, friendly, and social. I know, we sound like cRaZy cat people since four cats is a lot. We however have lots of love to give, and room in our home - two floors and full basement, no kids. There is cat harmony in our household. But we do have a problem that we would like to get your opinion on...

    We have ample litter boxes, at least one on each floor including the basement. Dia however chooses to poop on the floor rather than the litter box!!! She uses the litter boxes to urinate fortunately, and has pooped in them from time to time. When she uses the box, she does so - so quickly that she does not even take time to cover her doings. She literally pops our of the box once she goes - and runs. When she first arrived at our home, she was a bit scared and would hide, but would also come out to be social. She's beginning to explore the house more but still has not gone into the basement so we know she is not totally over her fears yet. She stays in our master bedroom mostly by choice (door is open, she can roam freely), and sometimes follows me into my home office when I am working and hangs out.. All in all, she seems to be exploring the rest of the house more and more.

    That said, not only has she pooped on our bedroom floor which is upstairs, she has also pooped in my home office which is next our the bedroom, a guest room next to the home office, and now the sunroom on the first floor. We put a litter box in the sunroom after she did her thing, and put her poop in the box as we did with previous happenings upstairs. Please keep in mind, she has seen the vet and been cleared of any health issues, so we are believe she is "marking". Aside from having multiple litter boxes, we also bought Feliaway - phermones.

    Would love to hear your thoughts what Dia may be thinking and how to teach her to use the litter boxes. We have read numerous articles online about the issue at hand, spoke to our vet, and are still at a loss. We are true cat lovers, have had cats for years, and have never had a cat until Dia that chooses to poop the floor! Not only is it gross, it's disturbing, and we want to fix the problem, keep Dia, and ensure our other kitty don't get influenced by her behavior. We give her a lot of love, she sleeps on our bed with us, and gets a long great with our other kitties. So really don't know what the problem is or how to fix it.

    Thanks so much.

    1. Before approaching this as a behavior issue, take her, along with a fresh fecal sample to the vet for a thorough examination. There may be a medical component.
      If it is a behavior issue, I will need to determine what the triggers are for the behavior before making recommendations. We would need to do a consultation.

  6. Hello friends, nice article and nice arguments commented here, I
    am in fact enjoying by these.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *