Cat Problems... Using our Bed as a Toilet!
(Chorleywood, Herts, UK)
Please can you help us with our cat problems? Our cat is 3 and half, we got him as a kitten from a rescue charity. He was neutered at the right age and goes to the vet on a regular basis for his injections and health care.
The problem is that since he was a kitten, he uses our bed as a toilet. Even if one of us gets up in the middle of the night, he creeps in to do his toilets! We live in a flat and during the day the bedroom doors are shut. He will then do it in the bathroom. We don't want to have him put down, but we are desperate as to what can be done - we still love him to bits.
His litter tray is in the cupboard. I always make sure that it's clean and fresh. I've always used natural wood pellets. He does go outside, but always goes to the toilet inside. He is more a flat cat... he doesn't like to go outside when it's cold or raining.
Please could you help us to find a solution to this problem.
Susan.Reply from Liz (Editor):
I really empathize with these cat problems, I know how incredibly frustrating it is to have a cat who insists on peeing and pooping where he shouldn't, despite an immaculately clean litter box.
There are a few things that sprung to my mind when I read this that I believe could be causing these problems. The only way to find out for sure is to try them systematically and see what works.
Firstly, you say the litter box is in a cupboard. Cats generally really dislike the smell of their own pee and poop, and the fact it's in a very confined space could be putting your cat
off using it. I appreciate you keep it really clean and fresh, but cats' noses are much more sensitive than ours, so he may be still able to smell his deposits quite strongly even when you can't smell them at all. Try moving it to somewhere more open in the flat where the smells don't concentrate.
Second, you've always used wood pellets. I've come across a number of cats who really
dislike these - I'm not sure if it's the smell, the feel of them or a combination of both. Try changing to a non-perfumed variety - as you live in the UK I'm going to suggest Sainsbury's or Tesco's Basic cat litters - cheap, perfume-free and liked by every cat I've ever tried them on.
If you're using litter tray liners, try leaving them out. Some cats don't like the feel of them.
And if you're using litter deodorizer, stop using this too. Many cats hate the smell of these.
You need to completely remove the smell of cat urine from the bed - if you think there are any traces on the duvet, wash it or throw it. If necessary, keep him locked out of the bedroom until he's got out of the habit of using the bed.
Here are some pages on my website that may help you further:Litter Box ProblemsWhat's the Best Cat Litter for you Cat?Location of Cat Litter Boxes - Important ConsiderationsThe Best Litter Box Design for your Cat
Please, please don't get him put down. If you decide you really can't cope with these cat problems you can take him for re-homing to a rescue center with a no-kill policy. We are lucky in the UK in that there are far more of these than there are in the USA. I wish you the best of luck.