My Two Cats Decided to Use My Sofa and Bed as a Toilet

by Theresa
(Ct, USA)

I have cat problems with my 2 yr old tabby and 8 yr old cat. About 6 months ago, the 2yr old pooped and peed right on my pillow in front of me. He started using my sofa as a litter box about 2 months ago and the 8yr old has followed suit.

My husband passed away 4 months ago and he was a cat lover who gave tons of attention to the 8yr old and tried hard to get the 2yr old to be as affectionate as our older cat. Prior to and since my husband's death, I've worked late and get home late. Typically, I do not pay too much attention to either cat, especially now, since they've started this behavior. I am at my wits end and am trying to look for another home for them, but how do I explain their behavior?

Reply from Liz (Editor): I'm really to sorry to hear about the death of your husband, and about these cat problems you're now having. I totally understand how frustrating this sort of cat behavior is.

As long as you haven't changed anything to do with the cat litter or litter boxes, and you're cleaning the boxes out regularly, I'm pretty sure the cats are doing this because they're upset and stressed about the fact your husband isn't there any more. He gave them loads of attention, suddenly that's gone and they don't understand why.

Litter box problems like these are often brought on by stress, and unfortunately they're the most difficult type to cure.

If you haven't tried a Feliway diffuser, it may be worth a go. It's a pheromone substitute which you plug into a wall socket, like an air freshener. Humans can't smell it but it can have a calming effect on some cats and can help stop this sort of behavior. You can buy it online or from good pet stores.

I guess it may be better, long term, for you to try to find them a new home. As they're used to lots of attention, if you're not able to give them this, then you may have problems curbing their inappropriate peeing and pooping. If they go somewhere where they get lots of attention, this behavior should stop.

Thank you for your question and best of luck with solving this.

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