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Can you phase out a litter tray?

(22 Posts)
msrisotto Sun 07-Dec-14 11:16:22


Thanks to some good advice from cozietozie and others plus a lot of perseverance, my cat has been using the litter box consistently again! smile Turns out she wants as smooth a surface as possible to pee on. I lined a tray with puppy pads and it seems to be working, fingers crossed. I had put a few puppy pads in hot spots around the house and she used them at first, but stopped and I phased them out by folding them into smaller and smaller pieces until i might as well just take it away. Now we're left with 4 litter trays, 2 with proper cat litter in and 2 lined with puppy pads. She poos in the one filled with litter and wees in the puppy pad lined box. The other 2, she hasn't used in a couple of weeks. I can't think of a way to phase a litter tray out...should I just bite the bullet and remove one at a time?

Thanks in advance!

cozietoesie Sun 07-Dec-14 12:37:25

Your call - but if you think she's stabilized, I'd personally be inclined to remove one and see how it goes with that.

(The 'smooth surface' usually means that they like an ever-clean box to use. (Owners generally smooth over litter when a tray has been cleaned.) You've got a real fussy one, I suspect, so much will depend on your ability to keep them clean which will itself depend on household and work routines.)

msrisotto Sun 07-Dec-14 13:02:48

She's happy to go in a dirty box though? I'd love to get her back on proper litter, the puppy pads don't do anything for the smell.

msrisotto Sun 07-Dec-14 13:03:42

I can keep them clean though, that's not a problem.

cozietoesie Sun 07-Dec-14 13:28:45

Who can tell what goes on in their minds.

I know that Seniorboy spent many years going without much incident in a most indifferently cleaned tray - but now has two and is a right fusspot. (If I'm not immediately aware of it, he'll usually come to announce to me that a tray has been used so that I can dash off and clean it. (I work from home so am generally able to satisfy him on that.)) Maybe it's advancing years.

Perhaps remove one of the puppy pad trays and see how you get on for a while? You've been very patient with her and although you may have to remain so for a good bit, I think it's worth a try. You can always revert quickly if she has a relapse.

Well done so far, anyway.

msrisotto Mon 08-Dec-14 20:24:51

The cat can read. I hadn't made any changes when she started to squat somewhere she shouldn't. I intervened and now we have another puppy pad out. Thanks for your advice anyway. This sucks.

cozietoesie Mon 08-Dec-14 21:31:03

It does suck.

Can you think of anything different about your behaviour/the household routine prior to her near-accident?

chockbic Mon 08-Dec-14 21:32:27

Does this help at all:

They can be fussy bunnies fsad

msrisotto Tue 09-Dec-14 07:13:32

Christmas decorations including tree had recently gone up and wrapping presents was going on at the time. It was a weekend day and we had been in for most of the day. That's all I can think of!

Thanks for the interesting link chockbic.

cozietoesie Tue 09-Dec-14 07:55:27

I'm suspecting that she's a desperate stickler for her routine - some of them are. (Seniorboy likes his life to be 'just so' and as he's elderly, I pretty well give in to that. (Not to mention that peeing and pooing are areas where they rather have you by the short ones.) I know that I can almost hear his sigh of contentment as I go upstairs, grab the laptop and go under the coverlet in bed - life is 'as it should be'.)

I guess the notion of getting rid off one of the trays needs to be parked for the duration or at least until she's reassured that all the goings on don't have some deep and terrible foreboding for her. Try and do some normal and relaxed things over the next few days and see how it goes? (Sit around and watch a movie/read a book etc.) She might calm down.

Useful link, chockbic. I need more caffeine to do it justice I think but I'll give it a good read a little later.

chockbic Tue 09-Dec-14 14:24:05

Third time a charm! Having problems posting...

Hope it's useful smile

msrisotto Tue 09-Dec-14 17:17:22

Thanks, yeah i'm 'parking' the idea of phasing more stuff out, we'd already done a good job getting rid of 3 puppy pads. She hasn't relapsed so i'll keep things stable for a bit before giving it another go!

She does have a clean litter tray filled with regular fine grain litter, available at all times, but she has shown no interest in it so I really don't think it is about having clean litter. I wish it was but it just isn't ringing true in this case...

limitedperiodonly Wed 10-Dec-14 18:02:28

Are you thinking of litter-training your cat or phasing out a litter tray altogether?

msrisotto Wed 10-Dec-14 18:18:15

Well I was hoping to phase out one or two of her four litter trays. I feel like she is kind of litter trained as she always uses one tray for no.2s and now I've changed the litter out of another tray to a puppy pad, she has gone in that tray consistently.

msrisotto Wed 10-Dec-14 18:20:53

But then there was this near miss the other day which makes you wonder.

limitedperiodonly Wed 10-Dec-14 18:22:24

The propensity of some cat owners to let their cats shit everywhere is what makes some neighbours feel really angry about cats and hurt them.

The cats can't understand. They just shit where they shit. But I can understand so I provide a litter tray and encourage him to use it because I don't want people to hurt him.

Why not do that? I don't want my cat to be hurt and I don't want to provoke my neighbours.

They are your pets so why not have a litter tray for at least some of the time and negotiate for the rest?

limitedperiodonly Wed 10-Dec-14 18:25:48


Do you think it's okay not to have a litter tray and let your cat shit in neighbours' gardens?

Because I have a cat and I don't.

cozietoesie Wed 10-Dec-14 20:05:59

So the near miss seems to have been a one-off?

msrisotto Wed 10-Dec-14 20:16:03

Don't get your knickers in a twist limited, she's an indoor only cat.

Cozie - maybe, it happened on Sunday I think and there hasn't been anything since.

cozietoesie Wed 10-Dec-14 20:38:35

Well I think mention may have been made previously of ignoring the odd accident? Maybe she had a 'moment' set off, perhaps, by all the present wrapping goings-on. I don't think it's a cause for despair when there's been nothing since.

Maybe stick with the existing arrangements for the time being rather than reducing ? (I'm thinking that with Xmas coming on apace, you don't need too much change for her right now.)

limitedperiodonly Wed 10-Dec-14 20:40:54

Very sorry for getting my knickers twisted msrisotto. Mine is an indoor cat too.

I also had two outdoor cats who had a litter tray that they used. I'm sure they went outdoors too but I wouldn't like my neighbours to be forever cleaning up.

I hate it that cats get hurt for doing what comes naturally to them because their owners cba to have a litter tray.

But that's not you. So sorry for getting mixed up. smile

msrisotto Wed 10-Dec-14 20:42:27

Yeah, thanks cozietozie. I'll just hope it is a one off and leave any other changes for now.

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