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Cat...elimination (eew, gross--not on the...) problem





JBotAlan
Well, the title just about sums it up.

My family has 5 (yes, I know, that's a LOT) cats. 3 males 2 females all fixed. They have been well-behaved for months. They haven't been fighting, they've been quiet when we're trying to sleep, and they've been...going...in the litterbox. That is, until a few weeks ago.

My parents have their bedroom on the main floor of our house. It's the same floor the food is on. The litter box is upstairs, in the bathroom. The location is quiet; not near any loud appliances or other major disturbances. The floor is tile. The litter is changed every other day; it isn't too nasty when I change it.

Now, one (or more) of the cats is going in my parents' bed, right near where the pillows go. Actually, right near where my mom's face goes. The cat we had years ago did the same thing. It's not the smell in the matress because my parents rotated it 180 degrees so the head became the foot and vice versa and the cats did the same thing in the same spot.

I don't know how to make it stop. The solutions I read about are not viable (to cover the area in tin foil is pretty stupid and a waste, to perfume the area won't fly--my dad is allergic to most fragrences. To put a litter box near the area would make their bedroom smell like litter box. We can't very well bring all five cats to the vet as this would cost a ridiculous amount of money; finances are bad enough as it is. What do I do now? We can't be around all day to figure out which cat is having the problems. It is a sudden problem; why would it just start? The cat is pooping as well as peeing and has done both more than once in the same spot.

I don't want to see these cats put down. However, it's going to happen if it happens very much more--my parents are fed up. How do I cure it?

Thanks,
JBot
furtasacra
As a veteran multiple cat owner, I can think of three possible reasons for this behavior.

1. The cat is trying to tell you it is unwell.
2. The cat is very angry with your mother for some incomprehensible cat reason.
3. (Most likely) The cat is fed up with sharing a single litterbox that only gets cleaned every other day, with four other cats. GROSS! I'd crap on somebody's pillow, too, if my bathroom floor was covered with day-old doodoo and I couldn't walk in there without getting it on my precious paws. LOL!

You should have one litterbox per every two cats. With five cats, you need THREE litterboxes, and scoop daily, for goodness sake! If there's one box upstairs, put another one right next to it, and a third somewhere downstairs. If you can't afford to get two more boxes right now, try dumping out and washing the box, replacing the litter with fresh, and scooping the litter at least once a day, although twice would be better.

Try clumping litter, too, it costs a little more than regular litter, but lasts a LOT longer before you have to change it completely out, so moneywise, it comes out about even. It also controls odor much better because you can remove the pee from the box, and that's really where most of the smell comes from, anyway. Scoop daily and voila! almost no stink at all. Also make sure you dump out and scrub the boxes with disinfectant at least once a month. Covering the bottom with baking soda before refilling it also helps keep it from getting stinky. Cats don't like using a stinky box.

I have three cats and two litterboxes, and trust me, scooping two lightly used boxes is much less unpleasant than cleaning one nasty one. And not one of my brats I mean cats goes anywhere they shouldn't.

Hope this helps. If it doesn't, somebody probably isn't feeling well. Watch for poor appetite, barfing, weight loss, or changes in disposition and you might be able to figure out who it is.
JBotAlan
furtasacra wrote:
You should have one litterbox per every two cats. With five cats, you need THREE litterboxes, and scoop daily, for goodness sake!


Gosh, I wish someone had told me earlier. I didn't think that...well..I guess I would get sick if I had to touch my brother's / sister's crap in a similar situation...

Alright. I will talk to my mom and see if she'll try it. As much as I didn't think this was necessary, now that I think of it, it makes sense. Other cat owners only have one box......for one or two cats! DUH!

Thanks,
JBot
vertigoflow
I've seen a couple of places saying cats will not use an unclean kitty litter box, so i would agree that would be the the first bet to try and clear it up.

If that doesn't clear it up, they might need to be checked out by a vet. One of the symptoms of Feline Cystitis is peeing outside the litterbox. They think it might be an autoimmune disease that causing crystals to form in the urethra. In male cats Feline Cystitis could be fatal because the crystals can block it off and cause an obstruction. Luckily it can be detected by testing the urine and can be treated medically.
Captain Fertile
Not sure if I am reading this right but I would say yes you need more litter boxes also how about preventing the cat's access to that room?

If a cot of mine was soiling my bedroom (especially right next to my pillow) then that bedroom would be off limits to them.

This seems a very simply solution so I am guessing maybe I have not picked up your problem correctly.
JBotAlan
Captain Fertile wrote:
If a cot of mine was soiling my bedroom (especially right next to my pillow) then that bedroom would be off limits to them.

This seems a very simply solution so I am guessing maybe I have not picked up your problem correctly.


No, you read correctly. I failed to mention it's got 2 points of access, one has a double French door with no latch and the other point of access has no door. It's a little more complicated than shutting the door. My mom wonders if she put 2 baby gates in the doorway with no door and rubber banded the french doors shut if that might be sufficient. We just might try this if the problem continues, but we are definitely getting at least one more litterbox and cleaning both more often.

JBot
furtasacra
Simply blocking off the "wrong" place to go potty may just cause the cat to choose another bad spot. It's probably best to make sure the "right" place to go is clean and uncrowded.
bonestorm74
We have a similar problem except our two cats are spraying or 'marking' their territory all over the place. I think it's a different issue to the one you are having. Very difficult to fix in our case.
furtasacra
bonestorm74 wrote:
We have a similar problem except our two cats are spraying or 'marking' their territory all over the place. I think it's a different issue to the one you are having. Very difficult to fix in our case.


The only remedy I know for spraying is having the animals neutered. My boys don't spray, and never have, but I had them fixed before they reached sexual maturity. Getting an adult male cat fixed might or might not work; sometimes they stop spraying, sometimes they just get fat and sulky and keep right on doing it (though usually less frequently and, er, pungently).

If the cats are already neutered and still spraying, I don't really know what to tell you except invest in a good pet odor deodorizer, preferably the kind that contains enzymes that break down the odor-causing biological warfare agents in the funk the rotten little beasties are squirting around.

Good luck, that's a truly exasperating problem, particularly if you love them dearly and prefer to keep them indoors so they can't get hit by cars, infected with vermin and/or diseases, murdered by dogs, or tortured by sadistic weirdos.

And yes, all of the above has happened to outside cats of mine, which is why my kitties are now not allowed outdoors unsupervised, whether they like it or not.
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