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Litter box trained cat pooping on carpet...

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by jglovicz, 08.06.09.

  1. jglovicz

    jglovicz

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    I'm hoping a cat expert can help me out. I have two indoor cats that are nearly 4 years old (I've had them since they were ~3 months of age). I'm not exaggerating when I say that I have never found pee or poop in the house (not even on day 1 when we brought them home from the shelter). To preface, 2 years ago I moved from the east coast to the west coast (5 days of driving) and my 2 cats stayed in a travel box while in the car and were let out overnight. Fast-forward to last week. My boyfriend and I woke up really early the morning we left (~3am) to find a small amount of poop on the carpet...okay, weird but we thought it was a fluke (or maybe due to stress because everything was packed up).
    Travel day 1) both cats in the carrier, a small amount of poop and pee found
    Later that night, female cat is a b*tch to other cat and I'm seriously concerned that she will scratch out his eyes...we decide to separate cats in car for remainder of the trip (they're still together in the hotel room, just not in the car).
    Travel days 2 and 3), poop found in male cat's carrier and promptly cleaned up
    Again, this wasn't bothering me too much because it was a stressful situation (but it was weird because our 5 day trip yielded no problems).
    We have been in our new home since Sunday night and I have found cat poop on 4/5 days. The first thing I did when I arrived was set up a room with the litter boxes (which I have seen both cats use). I haven't changed their diets or litter (there are 2 boxes that are cleaned regularly). One (weird) thing that comes to mind is that the girl who lived here previously had a couple of dogs so I wonder if the cats smell soiled carpet...
    I am wondering if I should take him (I'm assuming it's him, but it could possibly be the female) to the vet for an exam...the poop is completely normal looking and he doesn't appear to strain when he uses the litter box. I'm more concerned that this is going to become (more of) a habit. Can this be caused by the stress of moving? And might it stop once we're settled in...or will it become a habit?
    Sorry for the novel, but I'd really appreciate any advice!
  2. starlene45

    starlene45 UC Davis SVM c/o 2013

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    there was a thread on here a while ago (sorry too lazy to find the link) about how cats love the smell of bleach.... someone posted on that thread that cleaning a litterbox with some bleach may help encourage a cat to start using the litterbox again. i actually did that a while ago with my cat's box (she randomly pooped on the carpet one day) and it seemed to work, she had no more "accidents."

    as long, of course, as there's nothing medical going on ;). but it couldn't hurt to try it, right? only take a few minutes and a bit of bleach!

    good luck!
  3. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers Throw the ball throw the ball THROW THE BALL Gold Donor

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    There's also CatAttract and Feliway, that sort of stuff.

    Honestly, I think it might just be a big adjustment... poop on the carpet isn't cool, but give him a bit more time to adjust before you pull out the big guns.
  4. sofficat

    sofficat AU CVM c/o 11

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    Wouldn't it be a really bad idea to clean a litterbox (think urine) with bleach? Doesn't urine and bleach make a really dangerous compound (even a little bit?) I thought I learned about that once... but I might be wrong. I'd look into it before I clean though.
  5. jglovicz

    jglovicz

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    I believe you're right-ammonia and bleach make chlorine gas...although in this case it would probably be trace amounts
  6. jglovicz

    jglovicz

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    I agree completely...the poop situation now wouldn't bother me that much if I didn't think that it would become a habit:confused:.
  7. sumstorm

    sumstorm

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    I clean all litter boxes with bleach monthly. I do rinse with water first, then a 1/10 solution of bleach, then sun dry. I haven't had problems with urine/bleach issues.
  8. JustCats

    JustCats UC Davis SVM c/o 2013!

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    The aggression issues combined with the inappropriate elimination would lead be to believe it's behavioral. Your kitties are stressed.

    Here are a few of my favorite helpful links for this type of problem. The first is most appropriate for you, I think.
    house soiling 1
    house soiling 2
    main portal

    If I were you, I'd use Cat Attract in one of your litter boxes, use urine-off to clean up (works well for feces as well), Feliway plug-ins, and perhaps get a scrip for one of the pharmacological behavior modifiers. I've had good luck with either 3 or 4 of those in combination. I've only had to use pharmacological remedies a handful of times.
  9. sunshinevet

    sunshinevet

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    I would also try placing a few more litter trays around the house, so one is always near by, and then, as you notice the problem regressing, slowly move the litter trays back to where you want them to go all the time.
  10. jglovicz

    jglovicz

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    Thanks everyone! To clarify, my female was a b*tchy only during travel...she actually seems to have completely forgotten about it, and my male is quick to forgive.
    I made a point of staying at home most of the day yesterday while I unpacked (when I got here, I was gone running errands all day for 2-3 days). The kitties seemed perfectly relaxed and I used some febreeze on the carpet and put a fan on it (just in case there was something in that corner that smelled like a litterbox). Normally when I get in bed and call the kitties, my male cat comes and curls up behind my legs...he didn't do this, but I got up in the middle of the night and he was happily stretched out in his new favorite spot. This morning I haven't found any accidents...I know I'm not out of the woods, but both cats were surprisingly social with me yesterday, so hopefully they just needed to feel at home. I'm definitely going to read all the resources so that I can be prepared. Thanks!
  11. Kat0303

    Kat0303 UTCVM co 2012 WOOOOOOO!

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    ok at least the troll is funny:laugh:

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