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Litter tray woes

(7 Posts)
ExpatHack Wed 14-Sep-16 05:48:01

I'm just posting in case anyone has any suggestions for tackling my cat's toileting issues. I'm sorry this is long!

We have a much-loved four year old boy (neutered) who has never got the hang of using his litter trays. He messes the floor at least every other day - though we sometimes have periods of multiple times a day, others when he goes for a few weeks without any accidents. We've tried multiple kinds of litter, trays (he currently has six around the house), of blocking the floor where he tends to mess (multiple areas) to encourage him to use his trays, etc. It doesn't seem to matter whether we're in the flat or not; though if you spot him scratching the floor in preparation, and tell him to use his tray, he will. (So he does seem to know on some level!) It's been consistent since we've had him as a kitten, so not in response to a particular event or change (and in two houses). We've had a behaviouralist come to see him, who suggested a very fixed feeding regime and more trays, which made no difference. She also suggested confining him in a very small room for a week, to 'force' him to use his tray, but we've not tried that.

He's our only pet and very sociable (loves to cuddle; comes running when he hears the doorbell), and in good health. We've had him checked by the vet multiple times in relation to this problem. He's an indoor cat and that can't change (flat, no garden, and live abroad in an area where it wouldn't be safe for him to roam). I don't think this is relevant, but just in case - he is a tortoiseshell boy, which I know is a bit unusual. Perhaps he skipped the 'litter tray' gene...

If we can't fix it, it's not the end of the world (just frustrating at times!) but I'd love to know if anyone else has managed to fix such a long-standing problem.

Botanicbaby Wed 14-Sep-16 17:22:27

Perhaps try what the behaviourist suggested and let him get used to the one tray for a week (or as long as you/he can bear it?)

I have always purchased HUGE litter trays they look like baby baths & my older boycat who went blind before he died never missed. Are you maybe giving him ( if this is possible?) maybe toooo much choice of both trays & litter? Maybe stick to one type did a while. Reward after he uses tray successfully? Is he trying to get more attention by missing? I cannot think of what is wrong if a vet has ruled out any medical issue.
Really hope you find a solution. Never heard of a tortie boy how lovely smile

ExpatHack Thu 15-Sep-16 07:39:07

Thanks Botanic - you might be right. It does seem to be the only thing we haven't tried yet! We too have enormous trays - they look like drawers smile. And we haven't tried rewarding after he uses the tray correctly either - will give that a shot too.
He is a gorgeous boy - really fluffy and such a sweetheart. We always have the same conversation when we take him to the vet: they correct us when we say he's a boy, and then look astounded when it turns out he really isn't a girl grin

FuzzyWizard Thu 15-Sep-16 07:51:32

I think technically you must have an intersex cat as he must have 2 X chromosomes as well as a Y chromosome in. I don't know if that could be affecting his toileting in any way. I think trying rewards could help. Is it happening in particular places like near doors or windows? That could indicate it being linked to marking.

ExpatHack Thu 15-Sep-16 08:08:34

Not really, to be honest Fuzzy. He has certain 'spots' that he prefers but most of the floor is fair game. We have tiles (hot country) so easier to manage than if it was carpet.
I'm assuming if he had any biological issues that could affect his toileting, the vet would have spotted it? He has been checked several times for this particular problem. One did ask to give him a general anaesthetic and bladder ultrasound but we declined that because (as she said) he had no sign of an infection or urinary crystals, and it would be purely exploratory. The benefit didn't seem to outweigh the risk of putting him under.
I'll try rewards - he's broadly unfussed by food so will get a range of treats and start experimenting.

FuzzyWizard Thu 15-Sep-16 17:15:22

You would hope that a vet would have spotted something physical. As a layman though I'm not really sure how difficult a physical problem with toileting might be to diagnose in a cat. Hope you find a solution!

ExpatHack Thu 15-Sep-16 18:02:55

Thank you. I've bought all the treats I can find. If he can be bribed into obedience, this'll do it grin

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