Author Topic: Litter boxes  (Read 2505 times)

Offline rlynn1025

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • rawr! >;3
Litter boxes
« on: February 08, 2013, 03:29:02 PM »
Okay so I have cats that are almost 3 years old and 9 months old.
They used to live with my boyfriend about 6 months ago. He used to clean the litter boxes once every 5 days. (There are 2 of them, and yes I know I should have another one but they only use one of them anyways.)

I live in a much...cleaner environment and I had one litter box upstairs and one downstairs. They used the one upstairs for a while and then decided to share the other one, which got filthy quickly so they kept having "accidents" on the floor. So I brought the other one down here. They've had the same litter for forever, and I tried using another one and they don't care, they'll use whatever.

It's come down to me cleaning the litter box (the one they use) everyday. Which is fine. But they still have accidents. Right next to the litter boxes. I got NEW litter boxes, the same exact kind they had. And I'm still having issues.

I hate inviting people over because I'm afraid my cats will embarrass me and I have no idea what to do anymore. Please help. \:
"Son, life just ain't that hard."

Offline Marybelle

  • Magic Wizard of Everything
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 25655
  • Weird, and proud of it!
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 04:23:33 PM »
Have you had them checked for possibly urinary issues?   UTI's can cause pain, which the cat then associates with the litter box, and so they'll avoid the box because it hurts.  That would be my first step.

If you find nothing wrong, then a REALLY deep carpet cleaning is in order, along with an enzymatic cleaner to get all the urine smell out of the carpet.

Offline gramma2jaakk

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4338
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 04:47:51 PM »
This is the same subject I'm talking about with another friend of mine.  She has been complaining her male kitty (1 year old) has recently started peeing on her bed, or missing the litter box when he uses it.  Several of us have told her she needs to have him checked for UTI, and someone else mentioned having an extra litter box, one more than the number of cats she has.  She has 3 cats, 2 females and 1 male, and she is not liking the idea of 4 boxes.

I would also have then checked for UTi and give them an extra litter box.  Cleaning the carpet also is a good idea.  It the cats can still smell their urine in the carpet, that tells them it is ok to use that place again.

Offline rlynn1025

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • rawr! >;3
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 08:26:42 PM »
I should have specified, they won't urinate on my carpet. But I do have a carpet cleaner that I use after I pick up everything else too. ):

Does this make a difference?
"Son, life just ain't that hard."

Offline missamy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 428
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 08:57:29 PM »
Are they pooing outside the box?  What kind of litterboxes are they?  Is it possible that they are getting IN the box and squatting but missing and it lands outside the box?  I've seen this happen with average sized litterboxes.  If that sounds like a possibility, I would get a larger litterbox. Really, I would recommend a larger litterbox anyway if you're using a regular sized one.  Most potty problems I've had with cats have been solved by using larger boxes.  More space for them to dig, move around to find the right spot to go and all that.   Plastic storage boxes are great for a variety of sizes and they are much cheaper than actual litterboxes. 
I am only one, but I am still one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.  - Edward Everett Hale

Offline rlynn1025

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • rawr! >;3
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 09:12:49 PM »
Yeah, but I don't think they're missing it.
They're covered litter boxes, about 1 foot wide and 2 feet long. I could try bigger litter boxes. I thought about moving them again to see what that does but I don't know if that would help.
"Son, life just ain't that hard."

Offline missamy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 428
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 09:38:22 PM »
I would try a variety of litterbox scenarios to see what they prefer.  Try different locations, larger boxes, uncovered boxes.  Since you have covered boxes another possibility is that something caused them to be afraid to go into the box (since in covered boxes they are basically cornered) and they don't always feel safe going in, but they know that's the area they're supposed to go in and that's why they go beside it instead.  You could also try either Cat Attract kitty litter or Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Litter Attractant, which you sprinkle into regular litter.  These have worked great for just about everyone I've recommended them to.     
I am only one, but I am still one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.  - Edward Everett Hale

Offline Marybelle

  • Magic Wizard of Everything
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 25655
  • Weird, and proud of it!
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 09:45:33 PM »
I should have specified, they won't urinate on my carpet. But I do have a carpet cleaner that I use after I pick up everything else too. ):

Does this make a difference?

What sort of surface is next to the litter boxes?  Is it tile, linoleum, wood?

Also, I second what missamy says about the covered boxes.  It's possible something spooked them at one point, and now they're unsure about going in where they're essentially trapped.

Offline rlynn1025

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • rawr! >;3
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 10:10:03 PM »
It's actually just carpet. I don't have any floor anywhere in my apartment.

I'll try uncovering them once and see what happens. Then I'll try moving them. If that fails I get bigger ones. If that fails I'll take them to the vet. I just lost my job and JUST started a new one today so needless to say I have like, zero money.
"Son, life just ain't that hard."

Offline Marybelle

  • Magic Wizard of Everything
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 25655
  • Weird, and proud of it!
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2013, 11:16:22 PM »
I'm confused.  They're peeing next to the box, but not on your carpet, but your whole place is carpet?  How does that work?  It could be I'm just tired and not processing right, but that confuses me...

Offline rlynn1025

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • rawr! >;3
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2013, 11:18:51 PM »
They're peeing in the boxes. They're pooping on my carpet. I shoulda been more clear.
"Son, life just ain't that hard."

Offline Marybelle

  • Magic Wizard of Everything
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 25655
  • Weird, and proud of it!
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2013, 11:42:07 PM »
Ah, okay.  I interpreted all as peeing for some reason.  Now it makes more sense.

Have you switched litters?  I've had cats refuse to use a litterbox to poop because they didn't like the texture of the litter in the box.

Offline nakedrats

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 06:22:44 PM »

It also might smell less in a covered litterbox when the poop doesn't end up in the box.

I have 3 litterboxes with 2 different litters for 3 cats.  One box tends to be the "poop box" and the other two get primarily peed in.  Perhaps if you could get them to use another box, it could help establish a good place to poop.  You might try offering multiple boxes, some with new litter (I use Tidy Cats scoop and World's Best scoop, and I add Litter Attract).  Also, try moving the floor poop to the other boxes.  Cover the poop with some litter so that it doesn't smell bad, but it demonstrates what the cats should do.

Offline Ebonyraven

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 249
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 08:47:47 PM »
These aren't 'accidents' they're marking their territory because they both share a box now. Try bringing the other one downstairs and putting it somewhere near, but away from the other one. :) They're just trying to show whos boss. For the pooping thing, our cats did it for a while, too. Cat's are little buttheads! :P

Offline piratejennish

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Rats=<3
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2013, 04:05:41 AM »
I'm a vet assistant at an animal hospital and I hear about this a lot in the rooms with clients, our general recommendations for these type of things is having 1 litterbox per cat +1. And yes, cleaning daily. There are some cats that will tolerate dirty litterboxes and others that once they are dirty won't go in them and if you have cats of that nature then you are forced to clean more regularly. As for cleanup around the house get a good enzymatic cleaner (Natures Miracle is a pretty good one, or check with your vet to see what brands they have) regular household cleaners won't do the job well enough they cover the smell up good enough for us but cats have a much better sense of smell and the enzymatic cleaners really break it down well enough. And after that awesome lecture I just came up with I just realized that you said they were defecating out of the box, not urinating.  :doh: Now I feel like a dummy but don't feel like erasing all the crap I just wrote. ;) As for the defecating issue possibly adding another box may work, but I have that problem with my male - when I had him separate from the other cats he defecated and urinated in the box, as soon as he had to share with the girls he started defecating outside the box. He goes RIGHT next to it. And urinates in it fine... but will NOT defecate in it anymore. I have just given up and kept newspaper in the usual 'hit zone'.
Currently owned by: 1 ratty loving boyfriend {Kelly} 1 dog {Mokie} 5 cats {Missy, Diva, Celeste, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Squid} and one little ratty {Tulip}

Offline forkyfork

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 9665
    • DANANI
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2013, 02:05:07 PM »
With 8 cats litter boxes were an issue. I have 2 litter robots now and love them. I had one so long that I needed parts for it and while waiting having a regular scoop box was horrible and expensive in litter. They are expensive but the savings in litter over the past 3 years has paid for them. I use only $12 in litter a month with 8 cats. With regular boxes I was going through more than that a week.  :eek:

Offline KellyNZoo

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1461
  • Moo!
Re: Litter boxes
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2013, 09:24:37 AM »
We had similar issues, and what worked for us was a few things at once... 1) getting bigger boxes (not covered) - infact they are under the bed storage totes! HUGE! We have three cats and have two totes.. when we had 5 cats we had 3 totes. Each tote is about the size of 3 large litter boxes. 2) cleaning daily - even with all that room, some cats really need a clean box... I always say "would you want to pee/poo in a toilet full of ....?