Terms of Use

Topic Options
#552220 - Sun Sep 19 2010 12:16 PM Cats Who Go Outside the Box
robynraymer Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Sun Sep 09 2001
Posts: 199
Loc: Albany California USA     
We have four cats and a dog. Our cats are indoor, although we put them outside almost every day in a KittyWalk enclosure on the lawn. One cat, our problem child, Matty, has begun peeing outside the box (luckily on cleanable surfaces). All the animals grew up together, and there are no new pets. Matty gets along fine with the other animals. Our vet says we need to have more catboxes (we have two big ones) and that they shouldn't have hoods on them. But our dog is a poop eater. What can we do?? Already tried hormone spray. We might have to put Matty on Prozak, but I don't really want to. He is a smart, restless, anxious cat with an insistent, penetrating meow. Already tested him for UTIs--negative. Any suggestions?


Edited by robynraymer (Sun Sep 19 2010 12:17 PM)

#552251 - Sun Sep 19 2010 03:18 PM Re: Cats Who Go Outside the Box [Re: robynraymer]
pyonir Offline

Registered: Sat Apr 25 2009
Posts: 873
Loc: Minnesota USA
Did they test for feline diabetes? Urination outside of his box can be a symptom of that as well. How about putting the cat boxes in a room that would require the cats to go up and over a barrier? That the dogs aren't able to get around? How big are the dogs? Another option is to put the cat boxes in a room with a door and if the dogs are big enough, only allow the door to be open enough for the cats to get in (doorstop or something like that to keep the door from being pushed open).

#552263 - Sun Sep 19 2010 04:29 PM Re: Cats Who Go Outside the Box [Re: pyonir]
supersal1 Offline

Registered: Sat Jul 17 2004
Posts: 716
Loc: Essex UK
Have you changed anything else in the house? My Moggie became very anxious when we swapped the living room carpet for hard flooring.

Other than that, he may be getting a little fussy about cleanliness. When my cats were kittens, Tabitha would use all the grit to cover a teaspon of tiddle, which meant that Moggie couldn't possibly use the box and used to go just to the side of it. I'm sure with four adult cats you keep the litter boxes clean, but it may be a case of removing the used grit as soon as it's soiled.

#552304 - Sun Sep 19 2010 09:28 PM Re: Cats Who Go Outside the Box [Re: supersal1]
agony Offline


Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 13272
Loc: Western Canada
I had this problem with one cat, and finally the only solution that worked was to put a box wherever he peed. At one time I had four cat boxes in a little apartment with one cat (!) but within about a year he settled down to only using one of them and the problem was solved.

Another thing - is the box big enough? We've just recently put a box upstairs, as my old lady cat is finding the stairs to the basement a little difficult. We weren't sure she'd use it at first, so my son just picked up the smallest and cheapest cat box in the store. Well, she started using it, but it was too little for her, and although she probably thought she was going inside, in reality her butt was hanging over the edge, so everything went on the floor. I bought a bigger box, and the problem is solved.

We've always dealt with the problem of poop eating dogs (so gross, dogs, aren't they?) by having a barrier across the entrance to the place where the cat box is, so the cat can jump over, and the dog can't. Or a little cat door cut into the barrier - a big piece of plywood with a flap cut into it hinged with a rag stapled on will work, as it doesn't have to be fancy.

#552340 - Mon Sep 20 2010 01:07 AM Re: Cats Who Go Outside the Box [Re: agony]
Mink Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Fri Jul 13 2007
Posts: 150
Loc: Devon UK
One of my cats won't use a litter tray that has already been used by someone else - herself included. Mine both go outside so it's not a big problem but I always make sure that if the tray has been used the deposit is removed as soon as I see it. I was once told that you should have the same number of litter trays as cats so maybe you need more if you have 4 cats? Having said that, I've never had more than one tray and they manage!

#565024 - Thu Nov 11 2010 11:48 AM Re: Cats Who Go Outside the Box [Re: Mink]
robynraymer Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Sun Sep 09 2001
Posts: 199
Loc: Albany California USA     
Solved! We put out a third catbox and took the tops off the other two. Our vet said that the rule is the number of cats you have plus one is the number of catboxes you need, but we could not have five catboxes--that would be a little too gross.


#566954 - Tue Nov 16 2010 06:08 AM Re: Cats Who Go Outside the Box [Re: robynraymer]
funnygirl Offline

Registered: Wed Nov 10 2010
Posts: 21
I'm glad you solved that! Any suggestions on how to stop my little citty from destroying my flowerpots in the balcony? I think he is just doing it for the fun of it!!

#567374 - Wed Nov 17 2010 12:13 AM Re: Cats Who Go Outside the Box [Re: funnygirl]
Jakeroo Offline

Registered: Sat Aug 30 2008
Posts: 2064
Loc: Alberta Canada
Ideally, yes you should have as many litter boxes as you have cats (not always practical, but in my opinion one cat is enough - cats sleep more than 15 hours per day, they don't actually REQUIRE a companion LOL)

But if more than one cat has selected your house as a lovely place to live in, you should probably also have a separate food dish for each cat (this doesn't always work, but it helps if they aren't all allowed to feed at the same time, or if the dishes aren't all lined up in such as way so as the bully cat eats everything lol). Usually, if you FEED them at different times of the day, they generally visit the catbox at different times of the day (I mean, do YOU want someone in the bathroom at the same time as you? lol)

Cats are quite fastidious and in my experience, HATE to "be watched" when doing private things, but on the other hand are more "wary" (read: wild) than dogs by nature and really really dislike like the "hood" attachments because that means THEY can't see what might "stalking" THEM, plus the fact that there is only ONE means of escape (not good on the Darwin scale of survival tactics).

Dogs, on the other hand, really DON'T care about the PC politics of pooping and eat or roll around in excrement from EVERY known animal (dogs included, but for some reason absolutely love things left behind by cattle and horses. Perhaps this is due to the fact that cats are true carnivores - so stop feeding them starches! - while dogs will dig up potatoes and carrots out of the garden and eat them raw).

As for the cat tearing up flowerpots on the balcony? Several possible solutions:
1) don't let it out on the balcony unattended (i.e. you can't "discipline" if you're not there!)
2) grow some grass or catnip (indoors) JUST for the cat. It will soon ignore your flowers in preference for the other (in the case of grass, they seem to crave it, be prepared to clean up vomit that is 95% green lol)
3) give your cat more toys to play with, or be more interactive with your buddy - maybe he/she is simply BORED (or quite young).

Cats aren't stupid. They CAN be trained. Mine walks on a leash, comes EVERY time she is called, plays "fetch" EXACTLY like a dog does and "guards" the house by alerting me to everything that enters our yard (even if it's just a bird lololol).

Cat just love to mess with your mind in order to see how much YOU will put up with in your role as "servant" in his/her house. But it's a misconception that you have to let them get away with ALL of their demands : )

Edited by Jakeroo (Wed Nov 17 2010 12:22 AM)
Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense
- Gertrude Stein


Moderator:  bloomsby