replied 2 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks so much for your very helpful reply about Sassy.
First, I would either add another box in a different area of the house, where it is low traffic and quiet, or take one of the boxes in the living room and move it to this other place.
You can add Cat Attract litter to her regular litter in all boxex and this contains herbal attractants to encourage use of the litterbox. It's a scoopable litter, too and shouldn't be too hard on her paws. Also, if litterboxes are covered, open them.
Because her stools are sometimes mushy, this may indicate an intestinal problem going on, and this may be causing her some discomfort when she defecates. When a cat feels pain upon elimination, she will seek out softer places to 'go', hoping this will take away the pain. There may be an ingredient in her current food that is disagreeing with her, especially if it contains corn, grains and artificial preservatives or additives, as these are common allergens for cats. Some well recommended brands are Wellness, Wellness CORE, EVO, Felidae, Blue, and many others available in your pet supply stores. Read the labels and real meat should be the first ingredient. Here is a great guide on how best to feed our cats, written by a feline veterinarian:
If you can't keep her out of the room where the couch is (no door), put you can put sheets of aluminum foil on it, or strips of double sided sticky tape, because cats hate the feel of that under their feet and won't be able to scratch before and after eliminating. I know it's unsightly and if you use the couch every day, you can lay a towel or sheet on top of these items, before sitting on it. The puppy pads were a good idea, to save the couch, but she may be used to going on them now, and thing they are the 'correct' place to defecate.
Make sure to clean any areas she's soiled with an enzyme based cleaner for pet stains/odors, like Nature's Miracle, Zero Odor, Odor Mute, or any other type sold in your pet supply store. This will remove the smell completely, so she doesn't smell the scent of her 'deposits' and won't want to return there.
Also, get some Feliway plug in diffusers and Feliway spray. This is a calming pheromone that makes cats think they marked in a certain place, already, so you can lightly spray Feliway onto the couch, but don't allow the cats access to it until the feliway has dried for at least 30 minutes. First, check to see that the cleaner and Feliway won't damage the material of your couch, before using. Here is more information:
Don't spray her or flick her ear or yell at her when she goes on the couch; this is not effective and unless you catch her in the act and quickly remove her to the litterbox, she will not know why she is being yelled at or 'punished;' cats just don't think that way. You can take a solid stool and put it in the box so she knows that's where it belongs--show it to her and let her sniff it.
I would first recommend a visit to the vet so she can be evaluated and also bring a fresh fecal sample with you, if possible, to save time in the office, for analysis. It's possible she has an intestinal parasite or other problem, that the vet can diagnose and then treat.
If necessary, discuss with the vet a prescription medication to help with inappropriate elimination......I always like to recommend that as a last resort, so consider all other possibilities first.
If you should consider re-homing her, please don't give her to the Humane Society, unless it is a 'no kill' shelter, or else she will be put down and I know you wouldn't want this. Look for Cat Rescue organizations in your area, if it comes to that.
I hope all will be well with your Sassy, and the situation will improve, soon!
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