Litter tray problems

by Lesley Dempsey
(Devon UK)

Hi, I have adopted 2 siamese that are 9-year-old siblings. 1 male 1 female, both neutered.

These 2 cats were indoor cats for the past 2 years & had NO litter tray.
Prior to that they lived in France & went outside.

Their elderly owner had cancer diagnosed at the start of the first lockdown. He was terrified of Covid and wouldn’t let anyone in the house, nor would he go out and became a reclusive agrophobic..
There was a small dog too and they all used the flat as a toilet.

His shopping was delivered weekly and left on the doorstep.
Apparently, he had been dead for a few days before he was found.

I have won the cats round with love and affection and they will now come out of hiding for a cuddle or grooming. They are beautiful cats.
My problem is they will not use a litter tray.

I've stopped them urinating on furniture by spraying it with mint Listerine. (they ignore it on carpet)

They poop on newspaper on the floor, but not on newspaper in a litter box.
They urinate (mostly) in the shower tray (which is fine by me as it is easy to hose down)

How do I encourage them to use a box?

Comments for Litter tray problems

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Aug 23, 2021
Litter Box Problems
by: Lynn

Hi Lesley,

What a sad story about the previous owner.

You are not alone in this. This is one of the main problems people have with indoor cats. One of the things they try to illuminate as a problem would be physical or medical problems, like a urinary tract infection. This doesn't seem the case with your cats... So it's a behavior problem. Cats may use the litter box fine for years, then suddenly they do their job outside the litter box, I have been through it several times. It happens most often with a multi-cat home. And that does not seem to be the problem with yours either, since they are siblings.

Any kind of disruption in their life can cause this problem.

To start out, you should have more than one litter box. Its good to have a litter box for each cat... plus one.

One of the first things I do is put the litter box in the area where they are illuminating. I would even suggest putting one in your shower, temporarily, and see if they will use it.

Do you use cat litter? Cats love to dig. When there is a problem with the cat litter, or if cats do not like it... I heard of people putting some outside dirt with the litter, especially if the cats are used to going outside.

I'm also going to give you the links to my site that cover this.

This is a solvable problem. You just have to understand why they are doing it.

Thanks for finding my site


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