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Getting over new litterbox fear.

I just bought a new self cleaning litterbox a week ago and my 3 year old female has used it once since we got it. She is scared to death of it and I don't think she's gone into the bathroom (where we keep it) since. We've been cleaning up after her each morning and we're trying to be patient and let her adjust to it at her own pace, but today she pee'd in the bed and I'm a little frustrated with being patient. I took her in the bathroom and sat her in the litterbox while petting her for a bit trying to create some good associations with the thing. Then she got a few treats and I put a few more near the litterbox. She didn't touch them. Any advice on getting her to use the new box? She's great at using the box normally. Only other times it's been a problem was if she got locked out or if I didn't clean it in time. Perhaps locking her in the bathroom while we are gone? Although I'd feel horrible doing that... can't even lock her out of the bedroom...

Best Answers

  • kathy loftkathy loft BellevilleMember Posts: 2,200
    Accepted Answer
    Miss Meany is very picky about where her box is, she likes things calm. I can't even imagine her litter box making even the slightest bit of noise, it would scare her enough not to go near it. I am assuming this is what happened to Stella, the noise scared her and now she wants nothing to do with it Humans may think it's great and it makes our life easier but cat's don't always share our views and we need to respect that.. I would simply get rid of it and go back to the basic litterbox. Sometimes things aren't worth fighting for or worth the frustration for cat and human, especially when it's something that is so simple to change. It's obvious she is quite uncomfortable and scared of using it, so giving her back her old litterbox should put her at ease. She might need a bit of coaxing to ensure her the litterbox won't make noise. I personally have never really understood people spending the money towards such a fancy litterbox when it takes a matter of minutes to scoop daily.
  • Julie VentrigliaJulie Ventriglia Member Posts: 2,923
    Accepted Answer
    I know you want her to use this box, but it is not healthy for her to "hold it" like she has been and she is probably stressed. If it were my cat, I would go back to the old box. I have found this site extremely helpful in looking at the litterbox from the cat's point of view: http://catinfo.org/litterbox.htm Good luck.
  • Sandy NenningerSandy Nenninger PlainvilleMember Posts: 1,975
    Accepted Answer
    What you need to do is unplug it and scoop it manually for a while. Get her used to using that box without the noise and then after she is succesfully using it, try turning it back on. If you are also using a different brand of litter because it has to work with that type of box, try adding some of her old litter at first to keep things familiar. I have multiple boxes because I have so many kitties. But when I want to try a new litter I just put it into one and leave the others available as they are used to things. Kitties don't like sudden change especially when it comes to their litterbox. Good luck!
  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    Accepted Answer
    Allie's advice is excellent. I purchased a Littermaid for my first cat several years ago. He. too, was terrified of it and started peeing in the dining room. Unfortunately, since cat pee is so hard to eradicate, each cat I've had since then has also used that area. I wound up throwing the box out (you'll find it's also a giant pain to clean) and getting him a good, old-fashioned scoop the poop box and he was happy as a clam.
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