Stubborn cat and litter box

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Sheila, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. Sheila

    Sheila Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2007
    NW MA
    Have a 1 1/2 yr. old Maine coon cat, altered male, who used a litter box until spring, when he decided he would be an outside cat. He and a stray I feed think the garden is the litterbox, but now that it's turning cold, my cat (Arlo) wants to come inside in the evening.

    Trouble is that in the middle of the night, when nature calls, he wakes me up, generally by scratching the side of the mattress, which he know results in my jumping out of the bed to voice my displeasure, followed immediately by the door opening to let him out.

    I have a hard enough time sleepin through as it is. I love this guy, but even though I have nice big litterbox filled with clean litter by the door, he won't use it. I've put him in so he'll get the idea, but he jumps right out.

    Anybody have a solution? I have considered locking him in for a couple of days until he uses it, but I'm afraid he might do something else for revenge.

    I once had a spayed female who did the same thing. There were cobwebs on the opening to her box, and she only began using one again when I moved to an apartment that she wasn't used to.
     
  2. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would lock him in a small room with the litter box until he starts using it.
     
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2007
    NW MA
    I'd lock him in a bathroom, except that I live in a camper, and there is really no way to partition anything off.
     
  4. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    I would just try and ignore him during the night ...if your awake place him in his litter box.It may be a couple nights of doing this.
    Then again knowing cats and how stubborn they are hopefully he wont get angry and leave a deposit on the floor instead ...because after all you were placed on this earth to cater to him ...lol Good Luck !
     
  5. Andi

    Andi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like he's got you trained well. There is the possibility that when he scratches on the bed its not necessarily because he has to go to the bathroom. He may be just trying to get your attention out of boredom or simply want to go outside.

    Try putting soil in the box with the litter and refusing to let him out. It will make for a muddy box for a while, but the intent is a transition. If he seeks revenge....get out the vinegar and clean it up. Its likely only a temporary feline temper tantrum.

    I'd be more worried about the bed getting wrecked. So far you've reassured him that trashing your bed gets results he likes. What's next to get clawed to get a favorable reaction, the living room furniture? (I speak from learning the hard way and having someone else point it out to me.) The trick that worked to stop the clawing on furniture was every time my cat clawed I'd trim at least one nail. She hated getting her nails trimmed and soon made the connection. I didn't scold or be angry. I simply trimmed.

    If he continues to not use the box, consider bringing him in to the vet to make sure there's not an underlying issue such as constipation, urinary tract infection or kidney problems.

    I just gotta say, Maine Coons are my favorite breed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2007
    NW MA
    Thanks everyone. Yes, Maine coons are something else. He thinks he is a dog, rolls over for a belly scratch. Loves snow, and doesn't mind being wet. As for my cutting his nails in the middle of the night, hmm, it might cost him a toe. As it is, he doesn't mind a manicure, and having had cats that you can't touch, I want to keep this going so that when he is older and doesn't wear them down, I can still cut them.
     
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Another simple solution (I'm taking it the camper doesn't have separate sleeping quarters that you can close off???) is to stick his butt outside before you go to bed. That way he can be inside with you for the day or evening, but out he goes at night. I have one (a mutt kitty) who'd do the opposite, beg to be let IN around 1:30 am. So now we have to be careful that she doesn't sneak OUT in the evening, because we'll definitely get a wakeup call of meowing/scratching if she does...
     
  8. Andi

    Andi Chillin' With My Peeps

    The idea is not to actually be trimming his nails, its more so he isn't getting the results he was expecting. You can substitute just about anything.
     
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2007
    NW MA
    Lately I have been putting him out when I go to bed, but next week is supposed to be single digits at night, and there isn't anywhere warm enough out there. I'm thinking of throwing him out late afternoon so that he gets some exercise, then call him in around 9:00. Maybe he'll get the idea and sleep through. May have to put the squirt bottle by the bed to reenforce the point.

    Had a chicken go missing for at least a month and survive in the woods. Here's the blog entry that describes it.

    http://penandplow.net/?q=node/21

    Yes, I have crazy animals.
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    First, it is possible he does not like the litter you are using -- if it is scented, try an UNscented type, if that doesn't work try dirt (seriously) or a combination of dirt and pine shavings, either of which an outdoor cat may be happier with. Also he might not like the location, or might want a larger box, or if yours has a lid many cats aren't keen on that and will prefer the box to have the lid removed. Experiment.

    Alternatively, would it be possible to put a cat flap (they make weatherstripped ones now that are fairly decent vs the cold) to let him go out at will? If you don't want an open cat flap all night b/c of raccoons and such -- and *I* sure wouldn't want that! [​IMG] -- then build an enclosure outside (accessible from the cat flap) where he can be 'out' and hopefully do his necessary functions but raccoons etc can't get in to enter your house.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     

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