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Our cats have been having 'accidents' outside their litter box recently. Why? Can you help me resolv

Recently our two cats have been using the floor around their litter box for toileting, rather than using the box. The only thing that has changed is that we have just switched to using plastic liners instead of newspaper sheets in their tray, as they make cleaning easier and lessen odours and stains. However, our Siamese sometimes gets neurotic and attention seeking, so maybe she is the culprit! Although, we aren't sure if they both do it. Please, can you help us find a solution to this problem so that everybody is happy? Thank you!

Best Answers

  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    Accepted Answer
    Cats stop using their boxes for a few reasons, and this can happen before you know it. Everything will be going along fine, and then you start to notice accidents. Firstly, have them checked for kidney infections. If all's clear, then they could no longer like their litter, the boxes, or sharing a box. I replace my boxes every six months because through scratching, the boxes are harder to clean. I also began using those plastic liners. What a mess! My cats tore them up (they're like plastic trash bags) and litter was everywhere! It was easier just to dump the litter and scrub the boxes (I use Pine-sol) once a week and replace the litter. Be aware the once a cat soils a place, it will continue to use that spot. Use an "oxy" cleaner like Nature's Miracle or a professional cleaning. Try getting them each their own box. There is also a litter called "Cat Attract" that might work. If your Siamese is "neurotic", then perhaps Feliway plugged in or sprayed by the box?
  • Christine BuehlerChristine Buehler Grand BlancMember Posts: 69
    Accepted Answer
    I had that same problem not to long ago, I have 4 boxes now, 3 in the back room and one in my office, took all of them and bleached them clean and used only the clumping litter, no liner or paper or anything, figured out that the 3 were jelous of Midnight and didnt want him to use their boxes so I put one in my office and made midnight go in there and the other stopped going outside their box to, it was a teritoral thing going on, Midnight was a stray I took in but after I got another box it solved the problem
  • Judy MurdochJudy Murdoch Northern Lower MichiganMember Posts: 8,717
    Accepted Answer
    You already answered your question. The Siamese is neurotic, plastic is different and probably crinkles a little. The obvious solution is go back to newspaper, but not to your liking. I don't blame you. I think newspaper would hold the odor. Yeesch! Does the plastic overhang the box much? Can you trim it closely? I don't use anything for a liner. Just wash the box when I change the litter. Sugar is such a Zen gardener, she would shred anything in the box without meaning to.
  • Sandra PerrySandra Perry MemphisMember Posts: 1,425
    Accepted Answer
    I bet it's the liners. Oscar J. is really picky about his box too. If anything changes, he won't use it. Period.
  • Tanya MundyTanya Mundy boulderMember Posts: 763
    Accepted Answer can i make a suggestion or caution about pine-sol? i've read from many internet sources (and if you know me, you know i like to be dubious of internet sources till it's backed up) that pinesol is dangerous for kitties. it contains phenol, and some claim that it is harmful for cats. We use a bleach solution in our house.
  • Moxie PopMoxie Pop Los AngelesMember Posts: 130
    Accepted Answer
    There are a huge number of reasons why this happens and I know from personal experience! The change to plastic liners is significant for them so I'm willing to bet that's it. Cats are P-I-C-K-Y. Sometimes if you persist, they will learn to adjust but in the meantime, you'll be cleaning up 'accidents'. If you wanted to test the theory, set up 2 litter boxes - 1 with newspaper and 1 with plastic to see which they 'prefer' and if the problems stops. Otherwise, just wait it out. Other causes - dirty litter boxes, not enough litterboxes, medical problems, old age, etc. but I think it's the liner in your case. Regarding torn liners - I use those ultra-stretch kitchen garbage bags as a base and the Tidy Cat tear-resistant liners on top. I basically double-bag. My kitty often shreds through the top layer but has NEVER torn through the outer layer. If the top layer tears I wrap up both and toss. If top doesn't tear, I just throw out top layer. This has worked for me for years!
  • Amanda CoxAmanda Cox Member Posts: 187
    Accepted Answer
    When Al was brought into the house, a coat just hanging up got a spray of something nasty! Neither one of us owned up, but we were both a bit stressed out at the time, it was a new experience for us. We also like to scratch about in our litter boxes (we have one each, and sometimes a third if one of us is having tummy trouble), they have no liner, I can imagine a liner might smell funny or be not nice to paw around on?
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