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New litter tray issues

(3 Posts)
ChatEnOeuf Sat 13-Dec-14 20:21:41

We have an older female tabby - rescued age 1 and now approaching 10. Adopted with her sister, who passed away some four years ago (lorry vs cat, killed instantly sad ) She was an indoor cat initially but has been allowed out from age 2-9. In the last year we have moved and we aren't allowed to put a catflap in this (rented) house. She is let in and out as often as she wishes, night-time aside when she sleeps in her utility room (she has always had a similar night-time set up due to DH's allergy and her tendency to sleep on people's faces).

She has always been completely fine using a litter tray - when she was young, for periods of injury and for the first 3 months here. But in the last few weeks she is completely refusing to use it. She pees on the floor of the utility room, which is where her litter is. She poos on the mat in mine or DD's bedroom. She used to ask to go outside, but she's now slinking off around the house and then I smell the result shortly after.

The tray is clean, litter changed very regularly, nothing has changed with the products we're using - though I have tried a different type of litter to see if it would make a difference. It hasn't. It has a roof on which she has always been fine with. Her diet is unchanged, she's eating and drinking normally, the poos look normal for her and her weight is steady.

The only thing that's changed is that I'm now 12w pregnant - the cat herself is being very affectionate and enjoys sitting on/drooling over my tiny bump. DH works away a lot and we live in a toxo-endemic country. I've been tested, despite having owned cats for all my life, I'm negative, so marigolds and scalding hot handwashing is getting me through, but I really can't keep it up indefinitely.

Is this her age? Her reaction to pregnancy? Could it be a sign of illness (we will be taking her to the vet for a check-up, but she was given a clean bill of health only a couple of months ago)? Any suggestion?

Leela5 Sat 13-Dec-14 20:39:00

First step is a vet check - soiling house can be sign of a uti or kidney problem. Get her checked for health first

Once health issue has been ruled out the next step is to look at stress. What might be stressing her out? Obviously you've moved and routine has changed as she can't come and go as she please. This could be upsetting her slightly therefore try a feliway diffuser or zylkene natural calmer. She really needs more than 1 litter tray, as cats can be so fussy. Put litter tray somewhere private and quiet as she might be not liking the position.

Leela5 Sat 13-Dec-14 20:44:51

Pressed send as battery going and didn't want to lose post!

Animals are so perceptive, it's absolutely possible she feels a change now you're pregnant. When I miscarried my cat sat by my side by my stomach for a week, never leaving me. It was like he knew. Remember they have a fabulous sense of smell so can detect changes in your smell that hormones may cause.

Make sure you thoroughly clean any patches of carpet or floor where she's soiled with a cleaner designed to dissolve cat wee. Otherwise she'll just wee where she can smell wee already and it's a habit. Also never tell her off - something is causing this and it's not her being naughty.

Vet check, feliway, scrub floor/carpet and an extra litter tray. If that doesn't work check http://www.icatcare.org:8080/ for more expert advice.

Good luck. I've been there and we solved the problem so it can be done smile

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