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The litter tray

Cat can't cope with her tray...what do you do?

14 replies

RoooneyMara · 14/06/2013 17:18

I'd be really glad of some advice from cat experts, if anyone has a moment.

Our elderly cat (14 and a half) is healthy, normal weight etc and doesn't usually have any problems going out to do her thing...we have a big garden which is all hers.

Recently we had to replace the back door. The old one was falling apart and so I managed finally to get a second hand one which is very very thick and solid.

I tried to fit a cat flap in it but failed epically. I have cut through worktops before with my jigsaw, but this door is resistant and the cuts were going off at such an awful angle that I had to give up as I was butchering it. The wood is very dense I think.

Anyway we now have no flap. So I bought her a covered tray, took the flap off that as she didn't like it - and she is having real trouble.

She has pooed on the carpet, not sure where else she has weed but though she tries her best I think she has resorted to other places once or twice. She scratches around in the night, trying and failing to go - she has had cystitis twice - an old problem she used to get when stressed. (it's only been a few weeks)

She is also being odd in the sense of being sick next to it from time to time, also stress I think. I don't know what to do.

I am here most of the time so can let her in and out but that doesn't seem to be enough and obvs at night it's risky.

I don't want to lock her out all night, especially when it gets colder - I'm not sure what to do. She has always been an in and out cat and this new lifestyle is not suiting her at all.

Any thoughts appreciated. Thankyou.

OP posts:
RoooneyMara · 14/06/2013 17:21

Oh and fwiw we have a baby too - who will soon be crawling - and I am currently snowed under trying to keep up with the housework (and failing miserably) and I cannot cope with the tray very well either. I have got some different litter to try, but other than that I am stumped.

I don't want to let her go to another home - firstly no one is going to take in an oldie, and secondly, I adore her.

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 14/06/2013 17:51

Just a thought, Rooney, but in light of her age has she shown any signs of arthritis such as not jumping much or being a bit stiff to groom her back and backside ? I know that you're thinking 'door' but Seniorboy started dropping poos in odd places because he couldn't manage his tray squat properly and it was all sorted by some arthritis meds. (Going outside would be easier for her in that regard because she would be able to just poo or pee at will without squatting and would still have a clean house.)

Maybe a visit to the vet to check it out?

RoooneyMara · 14/06/2013 17:53

Well, as far as I can tell she is grand with her back legs and so on, but I could have missed it...I'm going to watch her a bit and see how she is.

Many thanks for the idea, it's well worth looking into. Poor old girl.

OP posts:
RoooneyMara · 14/06/2013 17:55

I'm trying to think of another place to put a flap -
.maybe buying a shed to have a flap in, so she could go in there when it was cold, but that wouldn't solve it really. I like her being in the house. I just wish she could get in and out at will as she is so good at that.

OP posts:
FrogsgoLaDiLaDiLa · 14/06/2013 18:18

Try using an uncovered litter tray. That did the trick with our old cat. I felt terrible when I realised that he liked to go at jaunty angles with his front paws out of the box and the restriction of standing in just one place with the covered tray didn't work for him! I know it might not be ideal with a little one crawling but is there somewhere you can put it out of the baby's way? My cat also won't use it unless it's spotless!

RoooneyMara · 14/06/2013 20:07

This is the thing. I have tried to keep on top of the wees but she is now not going out at allif she can help it - not asking to, anyway - and she seems to want to use it all the time, but then, I miss a wee or two and she is getting upset and going elsewhere.

I can't keep up with it - perhaps that is the issue, rather than her being rubbish at it Sad

I used to keep very messy (ill, often) indoor cats before having children (I fostered them) and it wasn't much of an issue but now, I am just way too busy to be scooping litter every couple of hours.

I wish there was a place for the tray that wasn't accessible for the kids (it's in the hallway as it is - nice!) but there's not.

Hmm...we might have to move house.

OP posts:
RoooneyMara · 14/06/2013 20:07

But I did smile at your description of your poor old chap, Frogs Smile

Thanks for the suggestion anyway. I'll keep it in mind though I think it's likely to be the fact I can't empty it all the time.

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 14/06/2013 20:28

Can you find a place for another tray, Rooney? One wouldn't be enough for Seniorboy, I know.

RoooneyMara · 14/06/2013 20:48 won't be easy!! Thanks for all your help though x

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 14/06/2013 21:00

I'd give it a try, anyway - if only for a day or two. Always useful to have a spare tray in any case.

Good luck whatever you decide.


QueenStromba · 15/06/2013 15:31

Could you afford to get someone in to install the catflap?

RoooneyMara · 15/06/2013 18:35

That is a fantastic idea and yes, I could. However I have done a fair bit of DIY and I'm thinking, if I can't do it, no one can...which may be a little bit delusional of me Grin

It is a bugger of a door though...I stopped before too much damage was done andhave filled the bits I tried with filler, I think it's sound, but if anyone else tries again I'm terrified it'll be wrecked.

I have a few issues around security too and that was one of the reasons for getting a good door.

I'll try the suggestions first and see how she goes with her new litter. then maybe I'll have to give up. I keep thinking, I could easily put it in the panel by the front door but as we're renting I don't think that's allowed!

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 15/06/2013 20:23

Landlords can be surprisingly accommodating if you agree to make good when you leave/put down some extra deposit for it. Might be worth asking?

QueenStromba · 15/06/2013 20:27

I bet your landlord would be happier with that than having to deal with the smell of cat pee once you leave.

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