How do I stop selective litter box use?

Sasha was put on a vet supervised diet recently to help her lose weight. She whines a lot about the lack of food but in the last 2 weeks she has begun leaving "presents" around my apartment - I'm guessing as a way to show her displeasure at the decrease in food. She uses her litter box to go #1 but #2 is now wherever she feels like and never in the same place twice (I make sure to clean up each location well). This morning it was right next to the bed. Any suggestions on how I can deal with this problem?

Best Answers

  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    Accepted Answer
    This is one of the most common and most difficult questions we get here on Catster. So many factors can contribute to what's going on. Firstly, make sure that Sasha has no health concerns. Infected anal sacs (she'll be dragging her bottom along the rug. It's like feline hemmorhoids), constipation (her stools will be small and hard) can both contribute to inappropriate elimination. A diet switch could very well have thrown off her digestion. Constipation can lead to straining and pain when using the box and cause her to avoid it. I've heard if you put her stool in the box and show it to her, she may understand that's where it's supposed to go. Of course, make sure you haven't moved her box, changed litter, etc. You can always try Feliway plug-in (expensive with limited success rates) or Cat Attract Litter. Try watching her and when she seems like she's about to pass stool, put her in the box. Praise her when she does go and don't yell when she doesn't.
  • Leanne FroebelLeanne Froebel Member Posts: 1,730
    Accepted Answer
    At 12 years old, it's possible Sasha has some arthritis. I had a cat once that started doing #2 outside the box and when I took him to the vet, discovered he had arthritis. My vet said cats are more particular about doing #1 in the box... doing #2 in the box doesn't seem to be as important to a cat. The lower back is a common place for arthritis in cats. Getting in and out of the litterbox was just too painful for my cat. He started using the litterbox again when he was offered one with low sides he could easily step into. If you have a covered litterbox or one with high sides, it may be too difficult for her to enter now that she's a senior.
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