QUESTION: Our cat keeps marking its territory and will not use the litterbox. We have tried everything and have no other ideas. What can we do?
ANSWER: Do not use
RULE NUMBER ONE: You must have one litterbox for each cat in the house. Three cats, three litter boxes.
RULE NUMBER TWO: Use a different type of litter in the litterbox or boxes. If one cat out of three does not use the litter box, then give them their own litter. When you bring home the new litter box or litter, place it in a bathroom or room that can be closed. Place the other two cats in another room until you set up your training room and find the problem cat. Fill the litterbox with the problem cat in the training room. Place a bowl of water and food along with a towel or bed to sleep in and place a catnip toy in the new litterbox training room. Play with the cat in the new litter box room. Now, leave the cat alone with its new litter box. Feed it and refill its water bowl for three days. Do not let it escape or let the other cats get into this temporary training room. Making sure the other two cats do not get into the new litterbox room. If the cat has an accident, clean up the mess with only Dumb Cat Anti-Marking Remover. Do not scold the cat.
RULE NUMBER THREE: Spray everywhere the cat marked with Dumb Cat Anti-Marking Remover and let it do its stuff. If you do not remove the sticky mucous and marking scents the cat will go back to marking outside the litterbox.
RULE NUMBER FOUR: Buy a dozen mouse traps. Set the trap to snap and place one inside a paper bag and seal the bag with a staple or tape. When the bag is hit the trap should release and make a poping noise. Place these bags all over the areas where the cats mark while the Dumb Cat liquid removes the scent. This will train the cat not to go in this area. Some folks sprinkle a little catnip inside the bag to attract the cat. Your call as to whether you need the attractant. I find the cats instinctively go to the bag and soon learn to stay away.
RULE NUMBER FIVE: Be patient. Cats stop using their litterbox for a reason. Our rules usually cure the problem. Health problems can also cause litter box problems, even if a cat doesn't necessarily appear sick. For this reason, it is important to check with your veterinarian first. Some medical problems that can result in this behavior include painful urination or bowel movements due to bladder infections or intestinal disorders. Because of the discomfort associated with eliminating, your cat may avoid the litter box and begin to seek other places, hoping to find a location where it does not hurt. Only a trip to the veterinarian for a thorough physical examination - which may include a urinalysis - can rule out a medical problem. Animals also develop preferences about where they like to eliminate. These preferences may be established early in life, but they may also change overnight for reasons that we do not always understand. If your cat often reaches out and scratches the carpet after using the box, he may come to prefer the carpet over the litter box. Many cats seem to develop a preference for soft surfaces, such as piles of clothes or the bed, while others may prefer slick surfaces such as the bathtub or the kitchen sink. Cats with an outdoor history may prefer dirt or grass (try using potting soil in the litterbox). To resolve a surface preference problem, the litter box needs to be made more like the textures your cat prefers for elimination. Likewise, the inappropriate places where your cat is soiling need to be made less attractive. For example, for a soft-surface preference, try the fine-grained, clumping litters. If your cat has been using the bathtub, provide a slick surface in the litter box by placing very little, if any, litter in the box. If your cat has been outside (feral), try generic potting soil in his litter box. If they prefer potting soil and this corrects the problem, afer a few months begin introducing a small amount of cat litter in the soil. Increase the litter over months until the box is mostly litter. Contact us if this does not work and perhaps we will have other answers.