My cat is too stupid to understand how litter is supposed to work

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lucicat

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Do you have a bathtub? You could keep the litter box in the bath tub ( I know someone who does this) and then at least the extra litter that gets kicked out is somewhat contained and easier to clean.

I mean assuming you don't need to use this as a bath!
 

She's a witch

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Okay, I bpught a 20 gallon tote. I went for the 20 instead of the 18 for two reasons. The first is the size and shape at the bottom. There's about an inch on each side making it square, and it resembles a litter box. It also has latching sides on the lid. The plastic is thicker and will hold her weight better when she jumps out. Tabby cats tend to be big and mine is no exception. I still need to cut holes in it. I'm thinking I'll just take a triangular chunk out of the upper corner, so half in the bin itself and half in the lid. Jumping will also help with litter tracking because the force will knock more of it from between her toes.
I’m wondering, if there’s a hole high on the wall, if she Will directly jump out all the way to the floor. Maybe she will.

I’d probably just cut the hole in the middle of the lid - my cats usually dig towards the corners so I would hope that hole in the middle would contain more mess inside, in my case. Plus if she jumps up on the lid, she’ll leave even more litter behind that would not end up on the floor. You can create some more mini holes in the lid for a better air circulation and for the litter that she leaves on the lid go down through them.
And remember to soften the sharp edges after the cut.
Fingers crossed it will work!!!!!
If it does, After several years you may need to do some changes; when she becomes older, it might be difficult for her to jump. But that’s not the topic for today.
 
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Caspers Human

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Just to fill you in on my idea...

People say that cats know how to use the litter box by instinct but that’s not always true.
Cats also learn how to use the litter box from their mother.

If, for some reason the mother cat doesn’t teach the kitten or if the process is interrupted in some way, the cat might not learn and will have to figure it out on their own.

The reason I suggest you cover the litter box for your cat is, maybe, for some reason, she didn’t learn by herself.

What I’m suggesting is that you might have to teach her.
 

daftcat75

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Here’s a crazy idea that may just solve another problem too. How about getting a second box? A lot of cats like to pee in one box and poop in the other given the option. Further, I’ve noticed my Krista likes to pee in the same spot every time. But if there’s a poop in the box, that throws her routine off. Having an extra box means she can also have a pooping routine too. Routines help to prevent her from having to step in her own droppings. Your cat might be trying to fling dirty litter out in search of clean.

I said this might solve another issue too. When you buy the second box, buy a third or fourth of the same kind. When it comes time to clean a box more than just scooping it, you can simply take a clean box out of storage. Put some fresh litter in it. Mix in some of the old to preserve her scent. Dump the rest and clean the empty dirty box when you have time to do that. Sometimes I only have time to give my dirty box a quick spray in the shower and come back to it in the evening. But I can still swap in a fresh box without being on the cat’s clock for it.
 

danteshuman

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Hi & welcome!

First off do not punish her physically ........ever. (You have to do something negative in the second the cat is doing it consistently & somehow not get your cat to fear you!) Second, the very, very last thing you want is for her to fear the litter box and stop using it!!! It is better to create an environment where your cat does what you want, then punishing them.

Next I would move her litter box out of the shower(litter plus wet shower feet = hard to clean.) I would give her two tubs with a hole cut on top, that you clean every day. I would go bigger on the tubs, then the size you have now. I have noticed cats prefer to poop in one box and pee in another. At least she hang her but over the entrance of the box and poop over the floor like my mom’s cat does.
 
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Anajana

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Okay, regarding the manually covering her poo idea. It didn't go well. First she was confused, then she complained that I was in the way. When I moved she started digging down like she was setting up a spot to poo. It wasn't any worse than normal, but not better. I'm not sure what the thought there was.

And the other point of buying another box -- I have another one (bigger than the first) but I haven't left them both out at the same time. Her problem isn't using the box. It's the way she digs until it's literally empty. So I'll try it after the ideas I'm working on. I need to find the right tools to cut a hole on this new tote I bought. If it doesn't work I'll kkve on to the next thing...one thjng at a time.
 

Caspers Human

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The idea is to pretend that you are the mother cat teaching her how to cover her business.

Read from above:
Just to fill you in on my idea...

People say that cats know how to use the litter box by instinct but that’s not always true.
Cats also learn how to use the litter box from their mother.

If, for some reason the mother cat doesn’t teach the kitten or if the process is interrupted in some way, the cat might not learn and will have to figure it out on their own.

The reason I suggest you cover the litter box for your cat is, maybe, for some reason, she didn’t learn by herself.

What I’m suggesting is that you might have to teach her.

You don't necessarily have to be right there while she's taking a poop, ready to spring into action.
Just be nearby. Don't do anything until she's done making her deposit and starts to build a sandcastle.

When you're finished, pet her, praise her and take her to her treat spot for a kitty cookie.

Weirdly, this is a lot like you might do when potty training a toddler.

This isn't going to work the first or second time. This is Operant Conditioning. (Action begets a reward which begets a new reaction.) It's repeated over time.

After a while, you should be able to fade off, into the background while she goes to the litter box and you just watch. Eventually, you won't even have to be there.

So, it doesn't sound like things went too badly with her first "Potty Training" session. ;)

It's probably normal for a cat to be confused at first.

I feel confident that this will help but I think that the other ideas are important, too.

Problems like this are rarely solved by a single, "magic bullet."

Just give it time. :)
 

CatLover49

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Okay, I bpught a 20 gallon tote. I went for the 20 instead of the 18 for two reasons. The first is the size and shape at the bottom. There's about an inch on each side making it square, and it resembles a litter box. It also has latching sides on the lid. The plastic is thicker and will hold her weight better when she jumps out. Tabby cats tend to be big and mine is no exception. I still need to cut holes in it. I'm thinking I'll just take a triangular chunk out of the upper corner, so half in the bin itself and half in the lid. Jumping will also help with litter tracking because the force will knock more of it from between her toes.
Cute kitty
 

Talien

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pour in about 1 Tablespoon of bleach and add in some water.
Be very, VERY, careful about using bleach to clean a litterbox. Urine will leave ammonia in the box even after it's been scooped out, and mixing ammonia and bleach causes a reaction that produces 3 different kinds of toxic gas that can make you (and your Cat) very ill or even kill you with prolonged exposure. If you're going to use bleach to clean your litterbox make sure you do it outside so it can disperse. Personally I use antibacterial dish soap, and as long as it's not too cold or raining I do take the boxes outside and use a dash of bleach as well.

Using large high sided totes is a good idea and may help, if the sides are high enough she may not be able to kick the litter out at all.
 

Caspers Human

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Rinse and scrub the box using plenty of water first. This removes as much of the offending material as possible before the bleach goes in. There will be far less risk of producing hazardous gasses.

I use chlorine bleach at work to neutralize empty containers of cyanide before disposing them. You have to use a similar procedure. Otherwise you risk creating hydrogen cyanide gas.
 

jefferd18

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Hi, and welcome to the site.

After observing your first photo I am going to say something that may not be too popular, it doesn't look like it is being scooped very often. There are way too many clumps in there for it to have been cleaned several times a day and to be coming from just one cat.

I would suggest two litter boxes, less litter in them, and if you can, get a self-cleaning litter-box.
 

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There's a lot of good advice on this thread. This may sound weird but I think if I was going thru what you are, I would give up struggling against the kitty's behavior and get a really big litter box, even bigger than your picture, make sure it's filled with a lot of litter, at least 4 inches deep, then put that in something else even bigger around, like a huge shallow plastic tray, let her throw the litter out and let the outer tray catch it and not the floor, then scoop it back in the box couple of times a day. And make sure the litter box is scooped out every morning and evening.
 

kittenmittens84

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My cat is a flinger, I think he gets a visceral joy from flinging litter around. I got a large top entry box and never looked back. He loves his little bathroom hidey hole and can fling litter to his heart’s content. The only litter that ever comes out of the box is the little bit he tracks out on his paws. It might help your sanity a little to have a box he can dig around in without making a mess that you have to clean up.
 

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You can use a tote with no lid and no holes, as long as she's young and able-bodied. Then she can dig all day and all night and not throw any out. If she still manages to throw some out, just cut the middle part of the lid out and use it as a ring around the top---same concept as a travel water dish. That should really take care of the problem.

If you do want to cut the tote or the lid, a hot knife is best. A box cutter will work on most plastics, but that's a bit risky. I've also used a serrated knife as a saw, but that leaves a fairly unsightly edge.

Don't scold or punish her for anything involving the litterbox. That can cause litterbox avoidance, and you think you have troubles now. . .!
 
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Anajana

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Okay, it's getting to a point where ideas are being repeated, or my points are being lost. I have a tote. I need to put a hole in it. That's where I'm at and what I'm doing. I'll post again when I have something new to say. At the moment it's still the same. I will keep you posted. Chillax and breathe. The cat isn't dead.
 

Willowy

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I'm just saying, you don't have to put a hole in it. I know several cats who use totes with no holes. As long as they're physically able to jump in, it should be fine, and then there are no holes she can kick litter out of, lol. Because you just know cats will find a way :runaround:.
 
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