Adopted Cat Won't Use Litterbox

I adopted a 7 year old male cat (neutered) about 2 weeks ago. He has adjusted beautifully to me and my dogs. He's a wonderful cat. Impossible not to fall in love with him. Except for one major problem.


He refuses to use the cat box.

I have the same box he had at his former home and the same litter. Have it situated in a similar situation (up off the floor to keep dogs out of it) as at his former home. He will jump down from where I put him in or next to the box and pee and poop on the floor.

Today he's peed in the box once, but then pooped on the floor next to the box. I need help or he's going to have to go back to the lady I got him from. (She's agreed to take him back if I can't get this figured out.)

By Cricket from Parkton, NC

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November 15, 20090 found this helpful

I forgot to add that the vet says he has no physical reason for not using it. Said it is definitely a behavior problem.

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November 16, 20090 found this helpful

Cats often adopt bad behaviors as a reaction to stress, and then it becomes a habit. Ask your vet to prescribe stress reducing medication, and then you may need to keep the cat in a cage (one big enough for the cat, litter box, food dishes and a bed while he gets used to using the box again.


If you do cage him, make sure you still give him love and attention and supervised play time out of the cage. Otherwise, you'll be creating even more stress.

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November 16, 20090 found this helpful

I tried the cage trick. OMG! What a mess! He dumped his water all over the place then got himself all wet from it. Then he proceeded to sit in the cat box (even tho there was more than enough room outside the cat box and his bed was in there too). It took me almost an hour to get the cage, box, bed, dishes and floor around the cage cleaned up. Then another 20 minutes to give the cat a bath and get all that clumping litter out of his fur! Won't do that one again with this cat! I know, it usually is a good solution but not with this one!
The vet checked him out and doesn't believe it's stress or anything other than behavior, and stubbornness. He's got till this Friday then he's going back to his original owner.

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Pets CatsNovember 14, 2009
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