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Cher
Cher, Cat Behavior-expert
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 21064
Experience:  40+ years Cat Behavior Consultant; Vol. Vet Asst.
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I have a 3 year old spayed female cat who lives with 4 males

Customer Question

I have a 3 year old spayed female cat who lives with 4 males who until recently was fine. she had created an area in the back of my house that she used as her toilet. She seemed to take pride in it, and the other cats used it as well. I decided to clean and lay pavers in the area and Luna began to do her toileting in the bath tub, then on my bed.
The litter boxes are in the basement of a 4 story city house. There were no problems until she could no longer use the outside.
I have tried carrying her down to the boxes each time she goes on bed. she always will pee when placed on box. She will go a day or 2 before reverting back to the bad behavior. Help I am at my wits end. i do not believe it is a urinary tract problem.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Cat Behavior
Expert:  Cher replied 5 months ago.

Hello, and welcome.

My apologies that you did not receive an earlier answer. Various experts are online at different times and I recently signed on and was notified of your question. Your patience is greatly appreciated!

My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help with your question about Luna.

I'm sorry she's not always urinating in the litterbox. I know how frustrating this can be. Even though you don't believe this is a urinary tract problem, in cases such as these, a in-person exam, urinalysis and urine culture, is always recommended first, to rule out any underlying medical problems.

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_information/UrinaryConcerns.cfm

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With 4 cats, you should have 4 or 5 boxes, if you have the room, as the general rule is 1 cat per box, plus one. None of them should be covered and use an unscented clumping litter. You can try 'Cat Attract' litter or 'Cat Attract' litter additive, which you add to her regular litter, as it contains herbal attractants that encourage use of the box. Here is more info:

https://drelseys.com/product/cat-attract/

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Many times, the cause for eliminating outside the litterbox is stress or anxiety, so get some Feliway plug in diffusers, which emit cat calming pheromones and are effective in helping with inappoprirate elimination.

http://www.feliway.com/us

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Because you have a 4 story house, in addition to the boxes in the basement, there should be a box on every level of the house.

Make sure to clean all areas outside the box that she has soiled, with an enzyme based product like Nature's Miracle, Zero Odor, Odor Mute, or many others that are available in y our pet supply store. If the areas are not cleaned well enough to completely remove the odor, she will return there, thinking it is an okay toileting place.

The fact that she goes in the tub and on your bed (Nature's Miracle makes a laundry detergent and laundry 'booster' additive for washables) may mean she is experiencing pain, because she is seeking out a soft surface and a hard, cool surface, thinking if she feels that under her paws it won't hurt to go; she could be associating the box itself with discomfort/pain when she uses it.

Cats who are used to going outside sometimes have difficult adapting to the litterboxes inside. Some cats like the feel of sandy soil to scratch in, when they go. You could try to fill a couple of boxes with sand, sold in major children's toy stores, as used for sandboxes. She might prefer this substrate.

I usually prefer to advise the use of a prescription medication as a last resort, but discuss with your vet, Clomicalm and other medications that help with stress/anxiety and inappropriate elimination. Here is information about Clomicalm:

http://www.petplace.com/article/cats/behavior-training/normal-behavior/feline-urine-marking

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I hope things improve with Luna and remember to have her checked out by the vet, first.

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback, because that is the only way I receive recognition from the site for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed, at no additional charge.

Warmest regards,

Cher