Outdoor cat suddenly using the litter tray to poo

(6 Posts)
RiverRocks Wed 16-Oct-13 19:23:27

We've had our cat 4 years, and he's always been an outdoor cat.

Other than when we first got him and when we've kept him in after a move, he's never used the litter tray.

Before we moved 10 weeks ago, he didn't have a cat flap so would wait until we came home/got up to go to toilet. We let him out after 2 weeks here (he really doesn't like being cooped up inside), and he'd not used the litter tray since.

We went on holiday for 2 weeks and just got back on Sunday. He went into a cattery for the first time (lived nearer my family before so my cousin stayed at the house with him). When I picked him up, he was a bit clingy at first, but went out within an hour of getting home and apart from wanting more cuddles seemed back to normal.

Tonight he seems very skittish, shying away from me (although currently climbing all over the keyboard); he sat in the rain waiting for me to come home from work and let him in (cat flap is open) and then went straight to use the litter tray. When I emptied it, he's been before as well.

My partner thinks he's worried because we left him. Has anyone else come across anything similar?

Sorry for the long post, just didn't want to drip feed.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 16-Oct-13 19:28:09

It does sound like anxiety, i am sure it will pass, things have been a bit unsettled for him. You could maybe try a feliway diffuser or collar (do they do the collars?) Which often helps with stress related toileting issues in cats.

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 19:33:12

I've had two boys who went outside and who used indoor trays - for peeing and pooing both. I can't guarantee, clearly, that they didn't go outside if they were caught short but both would ask to come in, use their tray, and then go back out to strut their stuff if they felt like it.

The last one, The Lodger, was an ex street cat who 'discovered' trays and decided that he liked them. He'd never used them with us before but Hey - dry, warm, safe, self-cleaning (Huh!) - what wasn't to like?

Maybe your boy now thinks the same having re-learned their use at the cattery or maybe he has just come to like them.

It's not something I would regard as a problem and it certainly prevents confrontations with the neighbours over poo in among their roses.

smile

RiverRocks Wed 16-Oct-13 19:53:57

Thank you. I'm a first time cat mum, so I worry.

Guess I'll have to invest in better air fresheners for the bathroom grin

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 19:59:59

smile

The weather isn't helping in many areas. If it's wet and cold with you, inside may seem preferable. Things may change over the months and particularly as spring comes around.

(He may also be just a little of a homeboy after his cattery experience but if he's been used to going out, that could change as well.)

Agree with Cozie. Even though litter trays aren't much fun for the owners they are really quite good for your cats. You'll know if they're constipated, or the opposite, or if there's blood in their poo for example and you can get them treated accordingly.

If they toilet outside then quite severe problems can remain hidden from the owners for some time.

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