Pooping & peeing outside box whilst still using box daily

dlmd52

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
9
Purraise
1
Anyone any advice pleeaaasssseeeee, gratefully received.  Have read other posts but nowt working at mo. My cat is not declawed, she healthy & no illness / disease / arthritis, 9 yrs, constant fresh water, dried food swopped often as doesnt like owt (wont eat wet, fresh chicken, tuna, salmon etc.) & has been like that since 12 wks old. She eats only wot she needs small amounts at any one time so she grazes through the day. 3 cats together a long time. At home 24/7 & no fights or bullying as such. Litter trays changed every time a poop occurs rather than daily or x 2 a day basis, & generally fully changed a couple times a day maybe more dependent how often they pee. She uses the litter on a frequent basis every day to poo & pee as needed. HOWEVER occasionally she is now using my carpet (same place each time) to both pee &/or poo even when the litter tray is completely fresh & clean & then goes back to using her litter tray next time round. Heelllppppp this is driving me mad. I currently don't react at all to what she does cos I dont want her distressed. Nothing changed in house vicinity that I am aware of. 
 

eb24

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Apr 14, 2012
Messages
1,417
Purraise
128
Location
USA
I know you say that she is healthy, but anytime there is a change in a cat's bathroom habits you really do need to have them evaluated by a vet to make sure it's not medically related. If she has something like a urinary tract infection or urine crystals she may be going outside the box because she is starting to associate it with pain. It may also be her way of waving a flag at you saying that something doesn't feel right!

In addition to having her evaluated by the vet, be sure you are cleaning the area really well each time with an enzyme remover like Nature's Miracle. Just using soap and water or other cleaning products won't get rid of the ammonia completely, and even if you can't smell it she likely still can and will continue to re-mark.

So, get her in with the vet ASAP and let us know what they say. If she checks out healthy then we can start brainstorming some possible behavior correction techniques but there is no point in trying any of these until you are sure it's not a health problem. 

 Vibes that you can get her in soon and that it's nothing serious. Please keep us posted and Welcome to TCS!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

dlmd52

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
9
Purraise
1
HI should have said in post vet said everything fine, hence my saying she healthy & free from illness. If she was using carpet all the time  & stopping the litter I could understand but its confusing the hell outa me that she uses carpet occasionally  then straight back to litter tray.
 

eb24

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Apr 14, 2012
Messages
1,417
Purraise
128
Location
USA
How recently did she see the vet? I'm only asking to make sure it's not something that developed since she was last seen. 

If it's been very recent then you are looking at a behavioral situation. As I mentioned, the absolute first step is to make sure that you have cleaned the area thoroughly with an enzyme remover to make sure she isn't just re-marking. Something else to consider is if you have enough litterboxes in the house. You said you have three cats- how many litterboxes do you have? The general rule is you should have one more box than you do cats (so, in this case, 4 boxes). Is it possible she is going there when the other boxes are 'occupied?' Adding another box or two may be necessary. 

Once you have it cleaned and have enough boxes try asking yourself what is it about that particular spot that is so appealing to her.  Is it an isolated corner? In the sun? Away from the main area of the house? It's not that she is just peeing wherever, but rather, there is something specific about that spot that she likes so try and see if you can figure it out and then duplicate it in a more approaperite area. You also make a good point that she still is using her box in addition to peeing on the floor. I would recommend starting a log and making a note each time she does it and what was going on then. You may start to notice a pattern, like she only pees there at a certain time of day or when something specific is happening. And, knowing that may be the ticket to stopping it! 

While you compile your log there are other things you can try. Essentially you want to make it so that 1) she can't access that spot or 2) she starts to associate it with something else. One good technique is to buy another litterbox and put it right on top of where she keeps going. Then, each day, move the box a little bit (just a couple of inches). Slowly, over time, you will be able to move it back to where you want it to be. Another option would be to cover the area with something else that makes it so she physically can't access it, like a bookcase or coffee table. You could even try putting a toy or scratching post there, or her food and water dishes as cats are way less likely to eliminate where they eat. If the spot is just too central and none of these are options, consider making that her 'treat spot' and feed her treats there so she associates the location with eating and not peeing. You will need to do this frequently and consistently but over time the association should stick. 

I'm sure others will be along to add even more insight but hopefully one or more of these techniques will work and keep her from peeing there. Keep us posted as to what you figure out! 
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

dlmd52

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
9
Purraise
1
How recently did she see the vet? I'm only asking to make sure it's not something that developed since she was last seen. 

Saw vet 2 months ago after her 2nd misplaced poop. 1st was around  3 months ago. Saw vet just over a wk ago after 3rd but said she ok

If it's been very recent then you are looking at a behavioral situation. As I mentioned, the absolute first step is to make sure that you have cleaned the area thoroughly with an enzyme remover to make sure she isn't just re-marking. Something else to consider is if you have enough litterboxes in the house. You said you have three cats- how many litterboxes do you have? The general rule is you should have one more box than you do cats (so, in this case, 4 boxes). Is it possible she is going there when the other boxes are 'occupied?' Adding another box or two may be necessary. 

Used a pets at home enzyme cleaner with a vax wash rather than by hand to get deep & also use a feliway smell diffuser due to 3 cats (hence I dont think its stress)  Have 2 litter trays as have always had, would have thought she would use elsewhere most of time if that were the problem. Will get another couple & observe

Once you have it cleaned and have enough boxes try asking yourself what is it about that particular spot that is so appealing to her.  Is it an isolated corner? In the sun? Away from the main area of the house? It's not that she is just peeing wherever, but rather, there is something specific about that spot that she likes so try and see if you can figure it out and then duplicate it in a more approaperite area. You also make a good point that she still is using her box in addition to peeing on the floor. I would recommend starting a log and making a note each time she does it and what was going on then. You may start to notice a pattern, like she only pees there at a certain time of day or when something specific is happening. And, knowing that may be the ticket to stopping it! 

Not isolated area, not in sun (litter boxes are) & part of main house on stairs next to front room. I clean litter boxes with steam only, always have, no cleaners partly for their safety (I like natural cleaning no toxic chemicals/synthetics, thats why only use pets at home enzye cleaner wen I have to i.e. wen she poos & pees on the stair) & vet many years ago with 1st cat said cleaners can send animals elsewhere as its no longer their smell & a smell they dont assoc with or like. Change trays every cople months. Where she messing is middle of stairs so cant put litter tray food water there sadly. Tried putting toys in the way but she moves them. She pooped once 3mon ago 1st thing in morning after watching me wash litter trays out n refill. She got in started to scratch n use, stopped, got out, went to stair instead. then hour or so later went to same as yet unused litter tray & used it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Once in eve 2 mon ago walked outa lounge pooped n peed, other girls also in lounge with us (no kids so quiet home just us 2), came back down into lounge straight back to where she left. 3rd middle night 2 wks ago but 1 tray clean not used, other tray a little  pee only. Final time (to date) this am as we were getting up, came into bedroom, walked round, walked out peed n pooed, walked back in got on bed n went to sleep argghhhhhh. Litter trays again rleatively clean & usable. HAve also often observed all of them to see how easy they toilet as always conscious of constipation potential due to dried food diet altho water dishes dotted around house filled daily. Never seems to be any straining from any of them. 

While you compile your log there are other things you can try. Essentially you want to make it so that 1) she can't access that spot or 2) she starts to associate it with something else. One good technique is to buy another litterbox and put it right on top of where she keeps going. Then, each day, move the box a little bit (just a couple of inches). Slowly, over time, you will be able to move it back to where you want it to be. Another option would be to cover the area with something else that makes it so she physically can't access it, like a bookcase or coffee table. You could even try putting a toy or scratching post there, or her food and water dishes as cats are way less likely to eliminate where they eat. If the spot is just too central and none of these are options, consider making that her 'treat spot' and feed her treats there so she associates the location with eating and not peeing. You will need to do this frequently and consistently but over time the association should stick. 

Cant persuade her for treats as not managed to find 1s she likes for more than a mouthful lol, but vet said shes a gud weight so I m happy with how little she appears to eat at any 1 time.  Stair makes it difficult to place anything there, tried toys tho as mentioned b4.

I'm sure others will be along to add even more insight but hopefully one or more of these techniques will work and keep her from peeing there. Keep us posted as to what you figure out! 

Hope all this info helps to put the missing jigsaw piece in place. Thanx for responding so quick by the way with info, if anything else strikes you in this & the penny drops please let me know cos im clearly missing it. I apprciate your help. Sorry if my reply seems long winded but I thought if I answered all your suggestions as we go then you guys can see wot I do / dont do from the outside. thanx
 

eb24

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Apr 14, 2012
Messages
1,417
Purraise
128
Location
USA
Well I wish I had some more advice for you but this is really all I know of to start with. I know it's not ideal but you may have to just deal with being inconvenienced for awhile by putting a litterbox or something else there while you sort it out. The bottom line is you have to find a way to change her association to that spot and that's usually the best way to do it. 

The only other thing I can think of is that she is being territorial. Is there a way to expand her space? Even just taking her through the front or back yard (whichever is closest to the spot) on a harness and leash can expand what she considers her 'turf' and may lead to her changing her behavior.

Other than these I am out of ideas, and I hope someone else will come along with others.  The only other thing I am going to comment on (and hope that you don't take this personally because it is not my intent to be insulting) is that I am getting a somewhat negative/defiant tone from you. Instead of trying the suggestions that have been given I think you are rationalizing reasons why they won't work. I too know what it's like to have a cat who isn't food motivated but somewhere out there is the thing that she will do backflips for- it's all about being open minded, patient, and willing to try new things. Have you ever tried giving her freshly cooked meat like steak or some shredded chicken (unseasoned of course)? Most cats will go bonkers for this and it's easy to cook off a batch and just refrigerate it for use throughout the next week. Or, try different treat textures and flavors? Most pet stores will let you return the ones she doesn't like so long as you only used a little bit. 

So, just keep your mind open and keep trying new things. They may not all work but doing something is better than doing nothing. The problem isn't just going to resolve on it's own so you have to be willing to get in there and give the situation the time and effort that it deserves. And, the more thing you try the  more we can all help you narrow it down. Keep going and keep us posted! 

Continued Vibes and Best of luck!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

dlmd52

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
9
Purraise
1
Well I wish I had some more advice for you but this is really all I know of to start with. I know it's not ideal but you may have to just deal with being inconvenienced for awhile by putting a litterbox or something else there while you sort it out. The bottom line is you have to find a way to change her association to that spot and that's usually the best way to do it. 

I can try putting at the top of the stairs but I cant put it where she poops as the trays are too big for the stair itself. 

The only other thing I can think of is that she is being territorial. Is there a way to expand her space? Even just taking her through the front or back yard (whichever is closest to the spot) on a harness and leash can expand what she considers her 'turf' and may lead to her changing her behavior.

They all go out as well as being in the house both back & front & there is a garage too to mooch around in, plus various bedrooms/other rooms to choose from. Sometimes they choose seperate areas & other times they will all lie in the same place.

Other than these I am out of ideas, and I hope someone else will come along with others.  The only other thing I am going to comment on (and hope that you don't take this personally because it is not my intent to be insulting) is that I am getting a somewhat negative/defiant tone from you. Instead of trying the suggestions that have been given I think you are rationalizing reasons why they won't work. I too know what it's like to have a cat who isn't food motivated but somewhere out there is the thing that she will do backflips for- it's all about being open minded, patient, and willing to try new things. Have you ever tried giving her freshly cooked meat like steak or some shredded chicken (unseasoned of course)? Most cats will go bonkers for this and it's easy to cook off a batch and just refrigerate it for use throughout the next week. Or, try different treat textures and flavors? Most pet stores will let you return the ones she doesn't like so long as you only used a little bit. 

No not defiant negativity, clearly not writing sttuff so you understand its done rather than cant do it because............. I already do alot of what you suggested & other stuff such as treats, cooked chicken etc . they are given. They love it but she literally turns her nose away & walks off & doesnt eat (as mentioned previously). Hence Im on here to ask for more idea's. At 1 point we took her to the vet for something to make her eat more but he said her weight was ok so she didnt need, as she grazes. She may occasionally have a mouthful of the above but not often sadly. We do try different stuff in terms of treats, foods, toys. I could feed her on that stair but she is so erratic in her eating I cant leave it there as the others will eat it. I dont want to segregate by locking them away from the stairs area for a while to see if she comes back to the food as I worry it will create friction between them. I could try a water or empty dish there see if that will help rather than assoc through motivation to eat.

So, just keep your mind open and keep trying new things. They may not all work but doing something is better than doing nothing. The problem isn't just going to resolve on it's own so you have to be willing to get in there and give the situation the time and effort that it deserves. And, the more thing you try the  more we can all help you narrow it down. Keep going and keep us posted! 

Continued Vibes and Best of luck!
 

eb24

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Apr 14, 2012
Messages
1,417
Purraise
128
Location
USA
 
 I could try a water or empty dish there see if that will help rather than assoc through motivation to eat
I think even that is worth trying. Even if it's not possible to change her association of the spot if you can physically make it inaccessible to her then she won't be able to pee there (even covering that stair with a piece of cardboard could work). And, doing this will cause one of two things. It will either 1) fix the problem entirely as now she doesn't have access to the place she liked and will go back to the box full time or 2) she will start peeing elsewhere. Obviously the second is not ideal but if it does happen then at least you will know that it's not the spot in particular but that for whatever reason there are certain times/situations during which she doesn't like using the litterbox. From there you can switch your focus to figuring out what aspect of the box is unappealing to her.

Since she's still using the box part of the time I think keeping a detailed log over the next few days/weeks will be absolutely invaluable. Make note not only of  when she pees on the stair but of when she pees in the box. And, be as detailed as you can as the reason may be something subtle ( I would note the time of day, where the other cats are in relation to her, who else is home, what else is happening in the house, ect)  Keeping these detailed notes will help you to identify where the problem is and how best to resolve it. For example, you may notice that she will pee in the box if it has the scent of one of the cats but not the other. Or, maybe she only likes to use the box during certain times of the day regardless of how clean or dirty it is. It also sounds like you clean it very frequently (which is usually a good thing) but maybe she prefers it when it's not quite so clean. Maybe she likes her scent to still be in there and that's why she keeps going back to the spot on the stairs. 

As for keeping the log a simple notebook is obviously fine. I have also heard of people using something like a whiteboard so that it's visible and everyone in the house can make notes on it. How you choose to track her behavior doesn't really matter so long as you come up with a system that you can easily adhere to without it being a total inconvenience (and other family members can as well if necessary). I would personally make some columns in advance so that when you do need to make some notes it's quick and easy. Have one for where she peed (box or stair) the time of day, what the weather was like (perhaps when it's really sunny it casts shadows on the box that scare her), who else was in the house, what the activity level was (loud, TV on, quiet, ect), where the other cats were, and what the condition of the litterbox was. If you prepare it in advance it will be easy to just jot in a few simple notes and hopefully a pattern will start to emerge! 

I know keeping the log sounds like a pain and like it's overkill, but I really believe that because she's only peeing on the stair sometimes and not all the time that she has a very specific reason for doing so. And, I think that blocking the area off and keeping the journal are going to tell you a heck of a lot about what that reason is. I do think it's going to take some time to figure it out but I really believe that if you are diligent and patient that you will find the answer and be able to correct it.

I also do realize that you have tried many things and that none of them have worked and so the situation is especially frustrating and my other advice was not as helpful. Given all you have tried, I think there is some merit to just stepping back and observing for a little while. I know I said you should block off the stair so she can't access it but maybe it's best to just leave everything how it is and keep the log for a little while and see what that tells you. It actually might be better as it will minimize the number of factors you are needing to analyze, but it also takes away the possibility that, if the spot is covered up she will simply stop peeing outside the box. You know her best so just do what your gut tells you! 

If you decide to keep the log I will be very interested in hearing what it tells you so keep us posted! 
 Continued vibes that  you can figure out the reason and put an end to it! 
 

stephenq

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Messages
5,672
Purraise
943
Location
East Coast, USA
Hi @dlmd52

First I want to say that i agree this is a vexing problem!  And @EB24has given you some fantastic advice, very comprehensive and pretty much everything I could think of.

Going back through all the posts I saw something I want to check with you on.  You said you took your cat to the vet about 2 months ago when she pooped outside the box, but had she peed outside the box at this point and did your vet test the urine for crystals and bacteria?

And I know she is peeing in the same place, is she pooping there too or elsewhere?

And Have you moved a litter box to the spot where she pees yet?

I know your cats get along but have the dynamics of their relationship changed in any way?  Is there a new Alpha in the home?

Did anything change in your home or habits when this started?

Do you know its her doing it because you catch her?  If you catch her doing it what does she do when she sees you?  If you don't cat her, how do you know its her?

And I agree with EB24 keeping a log book could be very useful.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

dlmd52

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
9
Purraise
1
First I want to say that i agree this is a vexing problem!  And @EB24has given you some fantastic advice, very comprehensive and pretty much everything I could think of.

Going back through all the posts I saw something I want to check with you on.  You said you took your cat to the vet about 2 months ago when she pooped outside the box, but had she peed outside the box at this point and did your vet test the urine for crystals and bacteria? Vet has tested both ends last visit & said shes ok. We asked for general health check to all over, lumps & bumps, teeth skin, stiffness, gait, eyes, coat,  constipation, bloods, infections,  mites, fleas etc..  Only issue she always had is dandruff but doesnt itch or cause her issues. Something shes developed due to dried food diet instead of mixed dry & wet. Only thing for wet food vet said is chemical injection to make her hungry thus not fusy. Vet said weight is ok so dosnt need it. Vet also said doesnt need as doesnt cause her a prob, but, if  we want her coat without dandruff, only thing is chemicl wash which im against due to chemicals if  she not got problems (I wont use front line (theyve neva had fleas yet) after it did serious harm to my 1st cat). 

And I know she is peeing in the same place, is she pooping there too or elsewhere? YEp pee & poop together on same stair so its something about the stair itself clearly

And Have you moved a litter box to the spot where she pees yet? We cant as its on an actual stair & the tays are too big to sit on the stairs

I know your cats get along but have the dynamics of their relationship changed in any way?  Is there a new Alpha in the home?

Did anything  change in your home or habits when this started? They arent the best of friends i.e. they dont sleep together lying on or with one another, but they get on. Sometimes they will all sleep on the same bed but in their own space. All happy to use the cat climber pods/hammock together (in seperate ones each). Not noticed a change n behaviours of each or within ineractions. The alpha status hasnt changed as in the oldest down to the youngest & I dont see any challenges, as they all seem to stick to their pecking order.

Do you know its her doing it because you catch her?  If you catch her doing it what does she do when she sees you?  If you don't cat her, how do you know its her? Caught her 1st time as I was puzzled as to why she left the tray unused & walked off so I followed her. 2nd time went upstairs & found she had again as the others hadn't left the front rm but stayed asleep in rm with us. & hubby had been upstairs earlier. 2nd cant say for defo it was her just ssumed, 3rd we both watched her do it but by the time we brought the litter tray up which we were gona lift her into,, it was too late :-(  She was very calm & acted as if it was her tray & the right place, scratched carpet to bury & walked off. Hope this all helps bigger picture form

And I agree with EB24 keeping a log book could be very useful.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

dlmd52

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
9
Purraise
1
Will log times etc & have currently blocked that stair to c wot happens (with an empty dish) We still try to feed her other foods with the otherr 2 in the hope that one day she will decide she loves it & eat it all. I know what parents feel like who have kids who refuse to eat. Its ot nice & makes you worry she is not gettng enough but vet says weight is ok. Its frustrating yes but also upsetting cos I cant work out what is making her unhappy & so I cant help her. that being said maybe she not unhappy but just likes the stair for some reason??????

She is much harder to work out than the others as everything has always been on her terms. If she wants stroking she will come & vocally let you know but then has you chase her to stroke her :-) The others are very much rub up against you and want attention without chasing lol. We feed her more as she eats so little each time (a mouthful literally). Am & pm feeds are all together at the same time as are treats so no-one is above the others other than who gets their dish first & that changes constantly to avoid anyone thinking they are the alpha as they always get fed first. However when the others are not around I will feed her again her standard food so she gets enough to eat. Will keep thinking thanx
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

dlmd52

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
9
Purraise
1
This ongoing convo has just triggered something which is wot I was hoping. We introduced a humidifier some time ago due to static issues with me & another cat sharing shocks all the time :-(   Moved it room to room on a dialy basis but stopped using it a while back as started being warm enough to open doors & get a lot of air circulating (not just windows) Wonder if its the stopping using it that has triggered it?????? Not sure wen we stopped tho, in relation to wen she 1st mistameannered.  We also put it at top stairs at night throwing out  vapour over the stairs. Thoughts peeps thanx 
 

mrsgreenjeens

Every Life Should Have Nine Cats
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
15,486
Purraise
5,504
Location
Arizona
As to the vaporizer, I suppose that could be the trigger
.  Try plugging it in again at the top of the stairs and see what happens! 

Also, if that doesn't stop it, perhaps you could find a 9 X 13 ' casserole dish that might fit on that step and put some litter in it.  If she's going to keep using the step as her bathroom, then at least the clean up will be easier. 
 

stephenq

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Messages
5,672
Purraise
943
Location
East Coast, USA
@dlmd52

Thanks for all thoses answers, and thanks for helping me realize it was the staircase, a most unusual location!  If you don't mind, a few more questions:

Where on the staircase is she going? Near the top, bottom or middle?

Is it a carpeted staircase and if it is, you have been cleaning well with enzymatic cleaners?

Is there any relationship to her going and her traveling up, or down, or could she be going in either direction.?

Is there a litter box on both floors of the home?

How many litterboxes are there in the home in total?  Some people feel you need one for every cat plus one.....

Given that she is both peeing and pooping in the same place and acting like its the right thing to do (she doesnt run away when she sees you  and she doesn't just do it when you're there) it kind of sounds like she has substituted this place for other litterbox locations and that this is her new happy place to go.

So if true, there could be 2 directions to go.  As @mrsgreenjeens has said, a well shaped pan with litter that fit on the stair, and if she started using it, then maybe moving it one stair at a time towards whichever was closer, the top or bottom might work.

The other direction especially if this didn't work is some careful aversion therapy.  Possibly sprinkling a heavy scented potpourri on that step to see if she avoided it, or booby trap the step with some stacked plastic cups or balloons....
 
Last edited:

mservant

The Mouse servant
Veteran
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
18,064
Purraise
3,442
Location
The Mouse Pad, UK
This is certainly a strange / interesting one.  Never easy when a cat decides not to use their tray/s, and I lived with poop ouside a tray for many years... but I did eventually figure out the cause and it was related to a long term health issue which helped me to accept why it was happening.  Very hard until you understand the cause and if there is some indication of how to change the behaviour.

There being a possible link to static and the dehumidifier makes sense to me so I hope you have some result trying this out.  I was also thinking along the same lines as @mrsgreenjeens with a baking tray that would fit on the stair and some litter in it - I use the foil disposable ones in my cat's carrier and you might prefer to try this than a proper baking tray.  A nuisance on the stair but hopefully not needed for long if it indicates whether it makes any difference in the behaviour.  

My only other thought is with you comment that the cats are not close but do get along.  My cats got along pretty well when they were younger but became less friendly as they aged, and eventually one bullied the other.  Are you aware of where the cats are when this happens?  It may be an attempt to give a message about boundaries to your other two cats.  Or another animal?  Is there any chance there could be another animal in your home? Be that a rodent or an intruding cat? Do you have open windows or a cat flap as it is very common for other cats to come in to the home unseen (a research documentary in the UK recently demonstrated this very nicely!) and that could cause all sorts of issues and a stranger getting up to safe sleeping areas would be one of them.

Hope you find a solution very soon.
 

mrsfpmister

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
77
Purraise
11
Location
Washington, USA
I feel your frustration! It's vexing, and obviously you care a lot and have taken all steps to make sure this isn't just behavior!

My cat often randomly like or dislikes treats, and not being food motivated can be harder.

I went through this with my male, Mister. (Along with some other stuff which is why I'm on here) but I fixed this behavior by trying this:

Most cats dislike tinfoil (my mister won't touch it) so lay it on the stair (or if they need to use the stair, and can't jump it safely, maybe leave room to walk around it on the edge) make sure they can't move it if possible.

After some time, about a week, I removed it and only left it in his spot of potting at night.
After another week, I removed it and watched. No more issue!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17

dlmd52

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
9
Purraise
1
Also, if that doesn't stop it, perhaps you could find a 9 X 13 ' casserole dish that might fit on that step and put some litter in it.  If she's going to keep using the step as her bathroom, then at least the clean up will be easier. Most cats dislike tinfoil (my mister won't touch it) so lay it on the stair (or if they need to use the stair, and can't jump it safely, maybe leave room to walk around it on the edge) make sure they can't move it if possible. Its so difficult as she does it so infrequently ie 4 times in 3 months, hence I thought it was not her favorite place to go now if that makes sense. The tin foil would work better than the casserole dish to avoid accident prone people & cats lol. I want to know what it is (future avooidance) but I want to stop it. As she is so infrequent I may never find out why but hopefully manage to stop it.

Where on the staircase is she going? Near the top, bottom or middle?near top of 1st flight. Near top of 1st flight stairs

Is it a carpeted staircase and if it is, you have been cleaning well with enzymatic cleaners? carpeted & yes cleaned with a pets at home one & vax cleaner rather than by hand

Is there any relationship to her going and her traveling up, or down, or could she be going in either direction.? No idea on that one  but looking back both as on 2 occasion she went up, one she went down, 1 unknown as it was the middle of the night (Im still assuming that was her)

Is there a litter box on both floors of the home? No litter box upstairs only down as we encourage them to use one area on tiles for ease of cleaning with litter being scooted everywhere when thy bury 

How many litterboxes are there in the home in total?  Some people feel you need one for every cat plus one..... was 2 now got three. Its not been used yet & one of the other 2 is not often used, they all seem to go regularly in the same one. They all get emptied wen pooped most of time (sometimes not as I may be busy thus unaware Pee wise dependant on how much used. May get total clean out once a day, twice .... Even though they g out they still use litter trays & rarely use outside 

Given that she is both peeing and pooping in the same place and acting like its the right thing to do (she doesnt run away when she sees you  and she doesn't just  do it when you're there) it kind of sounds like she has substituted this place for other litterbox locations and that this is her new happy place to go. I didn't think she had subd due to such infrequent use, I expected a daily occurrance if she had or much more often if subd???????

My only other thought is with you comment that the cats are not close but do get along.  My cats got along pretty well when they were younger but became less friendly as they aged, and eventually one bullied the other.  Are you aware of where the cats are when this happens?  It may be an attempt to give a message about boundaries to your other two cats.  Or another animal?  Is there any chance there could be another animal in your home? Be that a rodent or an intruding cat? Do you have open windows or a cat flap as it is very common for other cats to come in to the home unseen (a research documentary in the UK recently demonstrated this very nicely!) and that could cause all sorts of issues and a stranger getting up to safe sleeping areas would be one of them. Ours have never been the best of friends sleeping side by side right next to each other since we got them. I havent seen any bullying or signs with behaviour to date although we always observe (past experience of younger cats up thro the ranks ot be the alpha)  changes in behaviour & how they interact. Thats one of the reasons why food bowls always go down together. Have seen no trace / smell of another cat & highly unlikely in ours, as most cats dont last long outside the house lol. Our 3 have a tendency to all be inquisitive together (not aggressive) which terrifies other cats as they have a habit of descending as a threesome to say hello. They go out to the front & back but dont stray far due to a very busy main road they hate. We get more visits from the birds feeding than other moggys. Not sure what the birds make of cats lying down watching them feed & not coming after them. At least I know they have enough to eat inside as they are not motivated to chase birds (said cat has also neva been toy motivated either).  

Thanx everyone
 

mrsfpmister

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
77
Purraise
11
Location
Washington, USA
My kitty did it very rarely too (maybe once a month?) 90% it was urine, which is a pain because it was in a spot I didn't normally walk by and after long breaks I didn't catch it super fresh (the longest was probably a day or two by my guess). For him it started about 4 days after we moved, and continued for SIX months altogether. Maybe the move triggered it for him, but he had long since settled in when he continued.
It was strange because like yours, he still used litter box and had no other behavior changes or bathroom changes. Vet check (just to make sure!) was absolutely fine, and he is only 6yrs old!
But it really only took me about two weeks, as I noticed he would sniff at the aluminum then never go near it. To be sure I gently set him on it. The look I got was not pleasant (LOL), and he jumped off it after about half a second like it was somehow texturally unpleasant. I did not do it to punish, trap, or cause fear. My idea is he would say "ewww" to the tinfoil and then associate it with that spot. I didn't yell or force him to stay on it.
After that, he never went near it again, and I removed the tinfoil.
I still check it once a week, but as far as I can see and smell he hasn't relieved himself there or anywhere other than litter box, again.
While I can't tell you why she's doing it, just know that your not alone and have done everything right so far. Worse comes to worse, and it doesn't stop (ewww), at least you know she is not in pain or sick in some way. Adding the extra box is nice, and I believe you said you checked to make sure climbing in and out of them wasn't a problem (sore or older cats sometimes have problems).
Oh how I wish they could talk sometimes lol
 

mrsfpmister

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
77
Purraise
11
Location
Washington, USA
I'm not saying it will be that fast for your kitty, but maybe putting up with the tinfoil for a couple months is worth it to see if it doesn't occur in that time?
 

stephenq

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Messages
5,672
Purraise
943
Location
East Coast, USA
@dlmd52

EUREKA! (Maybe!)  NO LITTER BOX UPSTAIRS AND SHE'S PEEING AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS! 

"No litter box upstairs only down as we encourage them to use one area on tiles for ease of cleaning with litter being scooted everywhere when thy bury...." 

Also you say that she pees near the top of the first flight of stairs. "Near top of 1st flight stairs"  There is more than one flight of stairs or are you referencing a landing?

So my advice is to immediately put a box either at the top of the stairs or in a nice location suitable for a box on the upper floor and see what happens. I've seen cases before when there wasn't a box on every floor and the cat couldn't make it all the time.

The fact that she does this only once a month or so, (which makes it feel that she isn't acting out) and that its near the upper floor where there isn't a box  makes a strong case.  It's worth trying this solution, even if it doesn't work (and I bet it will) we will still learn something important.
 
Last edited:
Top