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16 Jan 2006

kitten weeing on beds
Hi there,

We have a 4 month old pedigree kitten we got from a breeder. The kitten first went to his new home, where he was terrorised by another cat (of the same breed), two dogs and a toddler. Subsequently he was taken back to the breeders to be rehomed as he wasn't happy there. He stayed with the breeders for about a week, and I then took this kitten, and he seems to have fitted in really well. We have two dogs and a baby, but he gets along well with all of them, including the cat.

Our cat is an older cat of the same breed (same sex, both males, but the breeder assured me this wouldn't be a problem as these cats aren't territorial and the older male has been neutered- the kitten will be neutered at 7 months of age). The kitten took a while to settle into his new home, although he seemed to have a problem using the litter box. He would do his business wherever he pleased. My older cat (whom I got from the same breeder), had no problem using the litter trays right from the word go.

At first I thought it was just a kitten thing, that perhaps he had waited too long before finding the box, and he'd just not got there in time, but as time went on, I realised that he just didn;'t seem to care. Even if the box was right next to him, he'd still squat and do his business wherever!

I called the breeder and explained the situation, she said that it had to be a behavioural problem (rather than medical), as he'd been traumatised at his 'first' new home. She explained that he shouldn't be punished for doing this, rather he should be rewarded for doing the right thing (I had not punished him for the previous messes, the most he got was a NO, and then I'd put him in one of the boxes, he had 2 at that stage). So I put 7 litter boxes all over the house, and every 2hrs I'd find him and put him in the tray. If he did a wee or a poo I'd give a treat (not whilst in the box of course). This seemed to work for a while, but I think it was rather because he didn't have any available wee or poo because I put him in the box so often!

Now however, we still have the 7 boxes, but he STILL wees on the bed!! I just don't understand it. He wee's is on our bed in our bedroom most often (like twice a week or so), and he has once weed on the sofa cushions. Neither cats sleep with us at night- they have their own nests in the lounge which they use, but sometimes they sleep together.

After each wee I have everything professionally cleaned- dry cleaned as the duvet is down.

When he weed on the sofa cushions, we had been playing with him, and he just stopped, squatted and did a wee, right in front of us! It was almost as though he didn't want to interrupt the playing to find a box!

This morning, for example, I let him into our bedroom, and put him in the box where he did a poo. Then he hopped onto the bed to do a wee!! I just don't get it. Right in front of us! The litter boxes are always clean for him, with fresh litter regularly. I am even using the same litter the breeder uses. The breeder assures me that when he left her, he was indeed trained to use the litter box.

Please help me understand this problem and rectify it. He is a lovely little cat and he really is a super addition to our family, but I can't live forever with 7 litter boxes in the house and I simply cannot afford to continue having everything dry cleaned every week!

I would appreciate any advice you could give me on this issue please.

Answer 342 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Jane

I would consider getting him to a vet and just having a health check done. He might have an infection. The other solutions is to close access to the bedroom and continue taking him to his sand box. Please make sure the sand boxes are in a quiet place where nobody will come around a corner and give him a fright for example and also not close to any feeding area. If he got a fright, he could associate negative with the litter boxes. Spray on the surfaces that he has messed on some Pheroma Odour neutralizer. This will help take away all posible traces of cat urine.
Just be patient with him. He might have had a bad experience at the previous home. Help him a little bit. At night you could also close him in an area where he would only be able to go to the box.

Hoop jy kom reg.

Animal Behaviourist
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