Going outside litterbox when fresh litter

Pixel10

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 13, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
0
Our cat has used refined feline box (litter pan enclosure) for years, but has started going outside the box.. on the plastic runner right next to it.

This only happens right after dirty/used litter replaced with fresh litter. Then she continues until I change the plastic and move the litter pan outside on top of the plastic, and she resumes using the litter pan. After a few days I move the pan back into the box and she uses normally for days/weeks even.

Then, when litter is fresh, cycle repeats.

And recently read something stating that the litter should only be 2 inches deep and it may be more than that. But it always was.

Can you shed any light on why fresh litter would be an issue?
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
13,172
Purraise
16,458
Location
Nebraska, USA
She may be needing the scent of dirty litter to use the box. There is always a reason a cat suddenly starts going somewhere else, it is up to us to find out why. Maybe she had a scare inside the box and needs it moved for a while, but it sounds like a scent thing to me. Try taking a 1/2 cup or so of dirty litter and spreading it on top of the fresh, she needs to get out of the habit of avoiding fresh litter. Scoop Away at Walmart does an amazing job of concealing litter odor, I keep going back to it after trying other litters. Maybe find a good litter and not cleaning the box as much.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

Pixel10

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 13, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
0
She may be needing the scent of dirty litter to use the box. There is always a reason a cat suddenly starts going somewhere else, it is up to us to find out why. Maybe she had a scare inside the box and needs it moved for a while, but it sounds like a scent thing to me. Try taking a 1/2 cup or so of dirty litter and spreading it on top of the fresh, she needs to get out of the habit of avoiding fresh litter. Scoop Away at Walmart does an amazing job of concealing litter odor, I keep going back to it after trying other litters. Maybe find a good litter and not cleaning the box as much.
Litter is supposedly unscented, and same litter used for many years (Petco), but maybe it still has some kind of scent to her.

Meanwhile, I checked and litter is 4 inches deep and our cat is only 7 or 8 pounds. So I spilled out some of the litter and now is down to 2 1/2 inches, and will see what happens. ?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

Pixel10

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 13, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
0
I will try putting some dirty litter or changing brands if reducing the height doesn’t solve. But hoping maybe that turns out to be it.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

Pixel10

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 13, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
0
Thanks. I will.

Cane home now snd there IS a urine clump in the pan. —- of course the pan is on top of the plastic vs inside the box, but encouraging ….
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

Pixel10

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 13, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
0
Don’t want to jinx it, but moved the litter pan back into the enclosure a few days ago and no problems so far.

In fact i cleaned but did not replace the plastic that was peed on before I put the pan on top of it, so appears it was not residual odor.

Next time I change to fresh litter, I’ll make sure I put 2 inches or less in, and put the pan in the enclosure immediately and see what happens.
 

First sneakyblonde

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
Messages
16
Purraise
6
What we go through for our cats! If only they could talk, to tell us their needs. I don't know why you insist on an enclosure, but many cats hate covered cat boxes.
It's unnaural to them. In the wild, outdoors, the don't "go in a box" to relieve themselves.
Just a fact people may need to consider if the cat is going outside the covered litter box.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

Pixel10

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 13, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
0
I’m sure some cats do not like it, but our cat has been using the pan in the enclosure for 8 years before the problem began. Also… she is very small (only 7 pounds), so it’s not like she has to squeeze thru a small opening.

Still… I see your point if it was a new cat or new enclosure. Just that it’s not a variable that changed recently.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

Pixel10

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 13, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
0
Addl update:

Keeping litter level lower has definitely helped. Our cat had a couple of “accidents” just outside the box a couple weeks ago, but level might still have been a tad too high. Since then she’s perfect.

Also went to a different Vet, and she’s been diagnosed with irritable bladder syndrome (or Angry Bladder, as they called it).

The previous vet would prescribe an Antibiotic and her health would improve. Then 2 or 3 months later she would get sick again. She’s now on special prescription and so far seems to be feeling much better.

Don’t know how much of her litterbox trouble was related to the bladder issue, but I think it was a factor in addition to the litter being too high for her.
 

First sneakyblonde

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
Messages
16
Purraise
6
I'm using a phone to get online and I don't know how to start a thread. Maybe someone can copy these and move them, please?
Maybe "ONLINE VETRANARY REFERENCES-"
I prefer to seek VETERINARY medical advice online.
All of these are free, no sign up, just explore and enjoy!
I am in California where USDAVIS has the #1 in the world, VETERINARY SCHOOL. They have information online for the public for cats, dogs and other pets.

Vet Med Health Topics:
This is for CATS, for veterinarians to use.
The ASPCA also has great online help:
 

First sneakyblonde

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
Messages
16
Purraise
6
This has a link at UCDAVIS: to a lecture by an animal behaviorist "catifying your house". How important your cat's environment is, the need play, ideas to stimulate and entertain.
FREE to watch.
 

First sneakyblonde

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
Messages
16
Purraise
6
Cats have basic needs that must be met for their physical and mental health.
Many people don't think of all of these.
(Not meeting your cat's needs can cause neurotic physical problems, like excessive grooming, litter box issues and even aggression).
Could you be your cat's problem?
University of Illinois wrote,
The 5 pillars to ensure a healthy cat environment
 
Top