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Builders + new babies = cat now pooing in the house?

(22 Posts)
WildflowerMarmalade Sat 02-Apr-16 09:17:25

Our cat has suddenly started using the house as a litter tray and weeping and pooing on the carpet on a couple of 'favourite' spots. We have 7 week old twins and we have had building work going on for the last 10 weeks or so. I can understand that all of that upheaval might be upsetting her, but how can we stop her from using our home as a litter tray?

Previously she would reliably go outside - but the building work was going on around her cat flap and I think that is when she started her dirty tricks. But now most of the work is completed and she still doesn't go outside to relieve herself, even overnight when no builders are on her way.

We put a litter tray out for her when the building work started but she has used it just once or twice. She has previously used a litter tray happily -eg. When she first came to us or if we needed to lock her in overnight to get her to the vet etc.

She is around 14 years old and we have had her for about five years. She came from a friend who moved abroad and has always been perfectly well behaved until now; no scratching people or furniture and always clean unless unwell.

We need to resolve this as my DH is muttering darkly about the poor cat's future. Any ideas?

FantasticButtocks Sat 02-Apr-16 09:26:03

I feel your pain, I really do. I'm sorry, I haven't got a solution, wish I had. Will be watching this thread very closely and keen to hear any advice as our cat has started pissing and shitting on the bath mats in our bathroom! He has always been an outdoor cat, 17 years old, has a cat flap but likes us to be his servants open doors for him constantly. We have got a second dog which he's not impressed with but have had him two months and this has only started happening in the last two weeks. I cannot live like this, I really can't.

Let's hope some cat experts get on here SOON!

WildflowerMarmalade Sat 02-Apr-16 09:31:00

It's awful isn't it FB? Really the last thing we need with tiny babies to look after. We have enough shit going on already - both literally and metaphorically.

Also, forgot to say that we replaced her cat flap last week as part of the building work. We got one of those flaps which read the cat's microchip. She can definitely use it but it takes her two or three goes to get in. Could that be putting her off going outside now?

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 02-Apr-16 09:43:05

That's a lot of change for a cat to adapt to.

New flap that clicks when she approaches.

What sort of litter did you put in the tray?.

FantasticButtocks Sat 02-Apr-16 09:46:26

I suppose it could be, so maybe things will improve when he's used to it. When ours started peeing inside we took him to the vet in case something physical was the cause. Apparently he's quite fit and well for his age, with a bit of arthritis. She suggested Feliway plug in pheromones and gave pain killers. All was ok for a while. She said if painkillers improved things he might be able to be on them permanently, but would have to have his kidneys tested first to see if he was able to do that. So, probably back to the vet for us.

After he shat inside the other day, we put him out. A well meaning neighbour spotted him knocking on our door knocker (part of letter box) and let him into the space between our two front doors! We were trying to ignore the knocking. Did wonder how he managed to break through first door until I received an email from neighbour telling us about her kind deed! I really don't want a shitting cat living in my house, do not know what to do at all.

thecatneuterer Sat 02-Apr-16 09:46:58

OP how long are the builders likely to be around for? If it's only a couple of weeks more or so can you confine her to one small room which feels safe and which has at least two trays? Or maybe get her a large dog crate to stay most of the time in with a tray just until the work is over.

Fantasticbuttocks your solutions is quite easy probably - just don't leave bathmats on the floor! Only put them down when you are actually having a bath/shower.

FantasticButtocks Sat 02-Apr-16 09:53:05

I thought that, but then wondered where else he would choose. At least the bath mats can be thrown away. I seriously don't want my cat shitting in my bath or shower!

FantasticButtocks Sat 02-Apr-16 09:55:30

Also, I want to get to the bottom of the problem, resolve his stress if that's what this is, and somehow get him back to being a cat who shits outside.

WildflowerMarmalade Sat 02-Apr-16 10:03:24

Err Fluffy it was some new knee me of litter which we'd never used before. Possibly made out of recycyled newspaper. Might be worth switching back to something more familiar?

Catneuterer should be just two more weeks with the builders (thank the Lord). The cat has been spending most of her time under the desk in the study - where I guess she feels safe. We could put a couple of litter trays in there. Her food as well? Do we need to shut her in, or could we leave the door open so she can get out if she wants to? She still sometimes has an afternoon nap on our bed.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 02-Apr-16 10:05:51

Yeah mine hates that one too. Ultra clumping goes down well because of the little grains.

thecatneuterer Sat 02-Apr-16 10:12:54

Fantastic - at least shit in a bath or shower is exceptionally easy to clean. It might just be that he can still detect a slight smell from the bath mats which encourages him to do it again. Removing them is worth a try.

OP - well try putting her tray (perhaps two - one with the old type litter) and food there and leaving the door open and see what happens. Failing that shut her in until the building work is finished.

FantasticButtocks Sat 02-Apr-16 10:37:00

But he kind of folds the bath mat afterwards so you don't actually have any contact with the actual shit, just pick up the whole mat and throw it, and contents, into the outside bin. If he did it in the bath I'd have to actually scrape it off!!!!!

FantasticButtocks Sat 02-Apr-16 10:37:57

Also I'd like him not to get into this habit!

WildflowerMarmalade Sat 02-Apr-16 10:51:11

Thank you for the helpful advice. I've just had a chat with the cat and explained the situation to her. Fingers crossed the strategies work.

ttbray Sat 02-Apr-16 11:03:25

Sorry is this has already been mentioned (didn't notice it when I had a scroll through the thread). Make sure you use the right sort of product to clean the carpet. An enzyme product is best as it breaks down the chemicals in the urine which completely remove the smell. You won't be able to smell it but your cat will and she will continue to go in the same spot. I use Simple Solution, they sell it everywhere. And I tend to soak up a bit of the urine on some tissue first and then put it in the litter tray so they're drawn to that first. It didn't take my cats long to get back to normal after that. Also, Pet Remedy sprays! (I think I should get a sponsorship deal for how often I recommend it!) it has been a life saver in my house!

WildflowerMarmalade Sat 02-Apr-16 11:54:42

Interesting TT - didn't know the feline nose could be fooled

MissElizaBennett Sat 02-Apr-16 12:09:12

I second changing back to your original brand/type of cat litter. Turns out our little bugger prince is incredibly fussy about what lines his litter box. He's 4 now and he'd never had an accident in the house until our DS was born last May...

At first we thought he was unsettled by the new baby and not being Top Cat anymore, but we then realised that my husband had been buying a different type of pine scented litter... a mad dash to the shops to find the old unsmelly stuff and he/we were sorted. Boom!

The enzyme solutions are brilliant for cleaning up afterwards - we used one called Urine Off, which has a great fresh smell to it.

Good luck - I really feel for you having to deal with this as well as your new arrivals. I vividly remember frantically scrubbing cat per out of the rug minutes before the health visitor made her first appearance!

MissElizaBennett Sat 02-Apr-16 12:11:26

*Cat pee, not cat per. Not sure what the autocorrect is getting at there...

FantasticButtocks Sat 02-Apr-16 12:17:14

Right. Have removed bath mats and discovered I can lock bathroom door from the outside....

WildflowerMarmalade Sat 02-Apr-16 22:07:28

Thank you for the sympathy Eliza. It's not great to be clearing up cat pee on top of everything else. The cat isn't terribly popular around here at the moment.

We've changed the cat litter and put the tray in her safe zone and she has now used the litter tray. Hurray! Also got the enzyme spray which has helped with the smell. My friend who dislikes babies but loves cats came over this afternoon so the cat got some much needed attention.

Thank you everyone for good advice.

piglover Sat 02-Apr-16 22:36:49

If she will wear a hormone-infused collar, this might calm her down some. Apparently it's the same hormones as mother cats send out to their kittens to soothe them. We have a serial shitter and though it hasn't solved the problem, it's certainly helped.

MissElizaBennett Sat 02-Apr-16 22:42:03

Well done your cat! smile

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