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View Full Version : Litter Box problems -- advise desperately needed.


Owen Coughlan
September 22nd 06, 01:31 AM
My cat is 17 years old. He has had his fair share of adventures, but is
still in remarkably good health.

However, over the last year he has developed an odd aversion to the litter
box: he steps in just far enough to get all four paws in the litter, then
takes a leak, then exits.

Problem is, while his heart is in the right place his butt is usually
hanging over the edge of the box! This results in cat-pee all over the
floor!

I have tried changing the brand of litter, changing boxes (four varieties
now), and yelling at him, but he doesn't get it. He will not use a covered
litter box, and all the others let him hang over the edge. He has
arthritis, so a deeper box is out of the question.

I could live with this (newspaper, antiseptic, and regular inspections,
etc.), but I will soon be taking a month out of the country. I cannot leave
this cat with anyone while he is peeing all over the floor.

I need to figure out a way to make him walk all the way into the litter box!

If I can't solve this problem before mid December, I will have to have my
cat euthanised!

I would be grateful for any suggestions -- especially from those with
experience -- as to how I might solve this problem.

Thank you in advance,

--Bexley

Gail
September 22nd 06, 01:45 AM
Have you tried a very low, large litter box? Try putting a plastic carpet
runner underneath to catch if the urine goes over.
Gail
"Owen Coughlan" > wrote in message
...
> My cat is 17 years old. He has had his fair share of adventures, but is
> still in remarkably good health.
>
> However, over the last year he has developed an odd aversion to the litter
> box: he steps in just far enough to get all four paws in the litter, then
> takes a leak, then exits.
>
> Problem is, while his heart is in the right place his butt is usually
> hanging over the edge of the box! This results in cat-pee all over the
> floor!
>
> I have tried changing the brand of litter, changing boxes (four varieties
> now), and yelling at him, but he doesn't get it. He will not use a
> covered litter box, and all the others let him hang over the edge. He has
> arthritis, so a deeper box is out of the question.
>
> I could live with this (newspaper, antiseptic, and regular inspections,
> etc.), but I will soon be taking a month out of the country. I cannot
> leave this cat with anyone while he is peeing all over the floor.
>
> I need to figure out a way to make him walk all the way into the litter
> box!
>
> If I can't solve this problem before mid December, I will have to have my
> cat euthanised!
>
> I would be grateful for any suggestions -- especially from those with
> experience -- as to how I might solve this problem.
>
> Thank you in advance,
>
> --Bexley
>
>
>

Lynne
September 22nd 06, 02:38 AM
Get a cardboard box with high sides and no top that the litter box will
fit inside with little or no room around it. Cut an entrance for your
cat that goes all the way up to the top of the box, but is about the
width of the opening in a covered litter box. This will limit his
ability to hang his butt over the edge, and with the high sides of the
cardboard box, he will likely be inclined to urinate while looking out
the cutout opening. If this works, you will have the added bonus of
less litter scattered around your box.

Owen Coughlan wrote:
> My cat is 17 years old. He has had his fair share of adventures, but is
> still in remarkably good health.
>
> However, over the last year he has developed an odd aversion to the litter
> box: he steps in just far enough to get all four paws in the litter, then
> takes a leak, then exits.
>
> Problem is, while his heart is in the right place his butt is usually
> hanging over the edge of the box! This results in cat-pee all over the
> floor!
>
> I have tried changing the brand of litter, changing boxes (four varieties
> now), and yelling at him, but he doesn't get it. He will not use a covered
> litter box, and all the others let him hang over the edge. He has
> arthritis, so a deeper box is out of the question.
>
> I could live with this (newspaper, antiseptic, and regular inspections,
> etc.), but I will soon be taking a month out of the country. I cannot leave
> this cat with anyone while he is peeing all over the floor.
>
> I need to figure out a way to make him walk all the way into the litter box!
>
> If I can't solve this problem before mid December, I will have to have my
> cat euthanised!
>
> I would be grateful for any suggestions -- especially from those with
> experience -- as to how I might solve this problem.
>
> Thank you in advance,
>
> --Bexley

blkcatgal
September 22nd 06, 04:30 AM
They sell a dog litter box now. There are 3 sizes...the medium one might
work best for your cat. It has one side that is lower than the others so
your cat should be able to get in and out easier. You can find them at
Petco or Petsmart.

Sue
"Owen Coughlan" > wrote in message
...
> My cat is 17 years old. He has had his fair share of adventures, but is
> still in remarkably good health.
>
> However, over the last year he has developed an odd aversion to the litter
> box: he steps in just far enough to get all four paws in the litter, then
> takes a leak, then exits.
>
> Problem is, while his heart is in the right place his butt is usually
> hanging over the edge of the box! This results in cat-pee all over the
> floor!
>
> I have tried changing the brand of litter, changing boxes (four varieties
> now), and yelling at him, but he doesn't get it. He will not use a
> covered litter box, and all the others let him hang over the edge. He has
> arthritis, so a deeper box is out of the question.
>
> I could live with this (newspaper, antiseptic, and regular inspections,
> etc.), but I will soon be taking a month out of the country. I cannot
> leave this cat with anyone while he is peeing all over the floor.
>
> I need to figure out a way to make him walk all the way into the litter
> box!
>
> If I can't solve this problem before mid December, I will have to have my
> cat euthanised!
>
> I would be grateful for any suggestions -- especially from those with
> experience -- as to how I might solve this problem.
>
> Thank you in advance,
>
> --Bexley
>
>
>

Rhonda
September 22nd 06, 07:29 AM
Owen Coughlan wrote:

> I have tried changing the brand of litter, changing boxes (four varieties
> now), and yelling at him, but he doesn't get it. He will not use a covered
> litter box, and all the others let him hang over the edge. He has
> arthritis, so a deeper box is out of the question.

Trying getting a taller box and cutting part of one side lower as a door
for him to walk in and out.

> If I can't solve this problem before mid December, I will have to have my
> cat euthanised!

You've had this cat for 17 years. Please don't put his life on a
time-table because he has an old-age problem. Maybe that comment was
more for us -- to get us to help because this is such a SERIOUS problem.

Also, don't yell at him while he's in the litter box or you will have a
larger problem on your hands.

I caught one of our cat years ago not squatting in the box and peeing
over the side. Like a dummy I pushed her butt down inside the box. She
ran and would not get near the box again. We found out later she had
arthritis and that's why she had trouble squatting.

Another thing you could do is have a vet check, including an x-ray to
see if it is arthritis. If it is, he may need some type of pain killer
or acupuncture to help.

Rhonda

-L.
September 22nd 06, 08:16 AM
Owen Coughlan wrote:
> My cat is 17 years old. He has had his fair share of adventures, but is
> still in remarkably good health.
>
> However, over the last year he has developed an odd aversion to the litter
> box: he steps in just far enough to get all four paws in the litter, then
> takes a leak, then exits.
>
> Problem is, while his heart is in the right place his butt is usually
> hanging over the edge of the box! This results in cat-pee all over the
> floor!

He has arthritis in his spine and back legs. I am going through this
with my Mimi. It drives me insane!

>
> I have tried changing the brand of litter, changing boxes (four varieties
> now), and yelling at him, but he doesn't get it. He will not use a covered
> litter box, and all the others let him hang over the edge. He has
> arthritis, so a deeper box is out of the question.

Bingo - what did I tell you?

Mimi is using a Giant-sized pan and it makes no difference. She simply
cannot stoop to pee or poop.

>
> I could live with this (newspaper, antiseptic, and regular inspections,
> etc.), but I will soon be taking a month out of the country. I cannot leave
> this cat with anyone while he is peeing all over the floor.

You need to have him boarded with someone who knows he has this
problem.

>
> I need to figure out a way to make him walk all the way into the litter box!
>
> If I can't solve this problem before mid December, I will have to have my
> cat euthanised!

Ugh. No you don't - if you are dedicated to and love the cat!

>
> I would be grateful for any suggestions -- especially from those with
> experience -- as to how I might solve this problem.

I don't have any answers. Anti-inflammatory drugs help some cats.
Talk to your vet.

-L.

---MIKE---
September 22nd 06, 01:30 PM
You might try two boxes - the standard one inside a larger one. If he
stands in the inside box and pees over the edge, it will be caught in
the outside box.


---MIKE---
>>In the White Mountains of New Hampshire
>> (44° 15' N - Elevation 1580')

Elizabeth
September 22nd 06, 01:53 PM
Owen Coughlan wrote:
> My cat is 17 years old. He has had his fair share of adventures, but is
> still in remarkably good health.
>
> However, over the last year he has developed an odd aversion to the litter
> box: he steps in just far enough to get all four paws in the litter, then
> takes a leak, then exits.

My 14-yr-old Jasmine, with kidney disease and arthritis in hips and
spine does this same thing.
>
> Problem is, while his heart is in the right place his butt is usually
> hanging over the edge of the box! This results in cat-pee all over the
> floor!

yep... I know that scenario only too well!
>
> I have tried changing the brand of litter, changing boxes (four varieties
> now), and yelling at him, but he doesn't get it. He will not use a covered
> litter box, and all the others let him hang over the edge. He has
> arthritis, so a deeper box is out of the question.

Try this box.
http://www.petsmart.com/global/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=84552444180 8078&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302033737&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=2534374302023690&bmUID=1158927732560&itemNo=4&In=Cat&N=2033737&Ne=2
if the link doesn't work for you, go to petsmart.com and search for the
"Rubbermaid® PetsTM High Sided Litter Pan"

Since we changed to three of these bad-boys (we have mulitple cats and
multiple boxes), Jasmine has had only one accident! The box is large,
high-sided and... perhaps most importantly, has a protruding "lip"
where the entrance is [if you click on "view detailed image" under the
photo of the box, a larger view will pop-up and you can see the
entrance "lip" better], so if he simply gets his feet in, the odds are
his pee will stay in too. At least that's how it works with my
JazzyGirl ;) We thought Jasmine would have probems with her tail
placement, given the high sides and the stiffness of her tail, but
there seems to be no problem. Sometimes she comes in, turns around and
pees up against the back wall and other times she just steps in and
lets loose, but either way the pee is contained (all except that one
time she managed to overshoot the entry "lip").


Funny thing is, ALL the cats in my house prefer this type of box (which
is why we now have three of them!). The cats seem to find protection
in the high sides and enjoy the deeper level of litter which can be
placed in it, as well as the more roomy surface area.
I've added the "caddy & scoop" accessory that's offered at the bottom
of the URL-- and that's been a great convenience. I'm thinking about
trying the litter mat that is also shown as an accessory, just for that
once-in-a-blue-moon over-peeing accident.

Good luck!
Elizabeth

Rhonda
September 22nd 06, 06:37 PM
Wow, good idea!

Rhonda

---MIKE--- wrote:
> You might try two boxes - the standard one inside a larger one. If he
> stands in the inside box and pees over the edge, it will be caught in
> the outside box.
>
>
> ---MIKE---
>
>>>In the White Mountains of New Hampshire
>>
> >> (44° 15' N - Elevation 1580')
>

-L.
September 22nd 06, 08:27 PM
Rhonda wrote:
> Wow, good idea!
>
> Rhonda

Yesh, except the pee shoots out so far behind the box that another box
couldn't begin to catch it....

-L.

Rhonda
September 22nd 06, 08:39 PM
-L. wrote:
> Rhonda wrote:
>
>>Wow, good idea!
>>
>>Rhonda
>
>
> Yesh, except the pee shoots out so far behind the box that another box
> couldn't begin to catch it....


That's true. We do have one now that just hangs her rear over the edge
(we solved that with a box that comes inward at the top) -- but our
arthritis kitty did just stand up and spray straight out.

Rhonda

Owen Coughlan
September 23rd 06, 02:25 AM
WOW!

Thank you all for your great advice and excellent ideas! I was about to
give up hope, but now I have something to work on!

I'm gonna start with the cardboard box idea and work my way down.

A few more details:

1 - Over the last few months I've tried a larger pan, and one with a sloped
in cover -- no luck with either.

2 - I also tried one remarkably like the Rubbermade example someone posted,
although without the "lip", and this didn't work either.

It's even worse because last year he litterally cooked his back paws on a
space heater (3rd degree burns -- don't ask) and spent two months in
bandages. As a result he has an even greater aversion to the litter, so is
reluctant to go further in. He is also (a) senile (b) has a heart murmer
(c) blind (d) deaf (e) not that smart to begin with. Yet he keeps turning
up for work every day, and his disposition -- while often confused -- is
always pleasant and open.

Unfortunately he doesn't board well at the best of times, and the trip I'm
about to take cannot be postponed (serious family issues).

But this is something to run with. While I have an excellent vet, even she
didn't have advise this good!

Thank you all again. I shall keep you posted.

--Owen Coughlan

Wendy
September 24th 06, 12:51 PM
"Owen Coughlan" > wrote in message
...
> WOW!
>
> Thank you all for your great advice and excellent ideas! I was about to
> give up hope, but now I have something to work on!
>
> I'm gonna start with the cardboard box idea and work my way down.
>
> A few more details:
>
> 1 - Over the last few months I've tried a larger pan, and one with a
> sloped in cover -- no luck with either.
>
> 2 - I also tried one remarkably like the Rubbermade example someone
> posted, although without the "lip", and this didn't work either.
>
> It's even worse because last year he litterally cooked his back paws on a
> space heater (3rd degree burns -- don't ask) and spent two months in
> bandages. As a result he has an even greater aversion to the litter, so
> is reluctant to go further in. He is also (a) senile (b) has a heart
> murmer (c) blind (d) deaf (e) not that smart to begin with. Yet he keeps
> turning up for work every day, and his disposition -- while often
> confused -- is always pleasant and open.
>
> Unfortunately he doesn't board well at the best of times, and the trip I'm
> about to take cannot be postponed (serious family issues).
>
> But this is something to run with. While I have an excellent vet, even
> she didn't have advise this good!
>
> Thank you all again. I shall keep you posted.
>
> --Owen Coughlan
>

Have you tried different texture litter? Maybe something that would be
softer on his feet. Try an unscented litter if you already aren't using one.
It could be his feet are still sensitive after being burned. If he can be
encouraged to go in the box further that would at least minimize the amount
of clean up outside the box. You may want to try some of the strategies used
for cats who have been declawed and are reluctant to use the box because of
discomfort.

W