Help! Anxious cat and litter tray...(10 Posts)
My tortie has always been the most anxious creature. But we moved a week ago and despite using the litter tray really well previously (except when I have been away when she has peed on my bed and the door mat) she has regressed to pooing on the carpet. Unfortunately, I have moved into rented now and this is obv not ideal! Any ideas how I can get her back into using her litter tray? She has never wanted to go outside - literally sticks her head out then runs back in, so that's not the issue. I know she is stressed, but I am more so, having to sort out poo on rented carpet. Help!!
You'll have to confine her to one room containing the litter train and keep her there until she is reliably using it. You can't have her using your home as a giant cat toilet. She should get the message within a few days
You can also spend some time with her in that room. It will help her get familiar with the new place at a slower pace while knowing you are still there with her.
Good idea, thank you, she is very attached to me, so that would probably help. You'd think she was brand new and I was a total newbie, but my little cat is 12!
And obviously you can let her join you when she's used the tray - so she can be with you in the evenings for example she doesn't need to be in there constantly! But certainly for a week or so until she's reliably using it - just keep showing her the tray and popping her by it etc . Good luck!
Is the litter tray somewhere quiet and private where she feels safe enough to poo? If it's in a hallway where people might pass close by, or has a line of sight to outside where she might see other cats, or is near something noisy like a washing machine, then this might be putting her off using it.
Is there space anywhere for you to have two or three litter trays, just for a while to see if one in a different place would get used more? Might be a pain if you're in a small flat but better than poo on the carpet, and if she used one of the others then perhaps you could just keep that one. Behind a sofa might be good, or in a bathroom? Inside a big cardboard box might work if you have some left from moving, just lie one on its side with the tray in it so three sides of the tray are closed in and there's a roof - cats tend to feel secure in dark little caves .
Can you think of any other ways you could help her relax more, more of the time? Or can you think of specific things that seem to be stressing her out so we could try to help deal with some of those things? For example my cat had never lived in a flat before she came to me, and got freaked out by the sounds of neighbours climbing the communal stairs or moving around in the flat above. Anything obvious like that?
Just a thought, Catrin, as she's 12 - is there any possibility that she has arthritis? Some guidance. They seem to find pooing more physically demanding than peeing (that high squat) and I know that when Seniorboy started to have the odd poo accident, his vet did some judicious poking around and immediately suggested that in light of his age.
He was put on arthritis meds and stool softener/given an extra tray and we've had no significant spate of accidents since. (The odd one only if he gets real constipated and a poo becomes stuck.)
It might be worth thinking about if any of the symptoms ring a bell with you. I was considering the possibility that your move might have stressed her a tad and worsend any problem.
Where is she choosing to poo? Is she using the litter tray for pee? Look at the locations she is choosing to use, and where you are offering, compared to where she used to be happy to toilet in her old home, in terms of how secluded/overlooked they are, proximity to noisy, unpredictable or unfamiliar things etc. I'd start by putting a tray where she is choosing to poo and see if she is happy to use it there
And agree a house move for an indoor cat is a gigantic stress- her whole world has just disappeared and she's in a completely new one. Mild stress relievers like feliway plug in & a tryptophan supplement might help a little too.
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