My Cat Is Boycotting Her Litter Box

My cat Agatha goes through phases where she decides that maybe the Litter Box just isn’t her Thing. Maybe it’s oppressive–stick it to the man! I’m not using your tyrannical box! Cats are meant to be free to pee wherever!

Perhaps she feels the Litter Box is stifling her creativity–she wants a more creative place to pee. The other day, she peed on a roll of paper towels that my kitten Winnifred had viciously shredded. Maybe it was meant to be artistic?

Mostly, however, that creative pee place is right in front of the litter box, and I suppose I should be grateful. After all, some cats pee on their owners’ beds, or the couch, or in piles of laundry. I once had a cat who liked to pee in the heat vents. At least Agatha is keeping it in the vicinity of the litter box.

Over the years, I’ve tried many solutions to the My Cat is Peeing Outside the Box problem. The experts advise having one litter box per cat, plus one extra. For me, that would be seven boxes. I live in 550 square feet of space. There’s no place to put seven boxes. And when I tried that in my previous (much larger) house, it didn’t work.

Another solution is to change up your litter or get a different litter box. Nope. I’ve tried different boxes and brands–none of it appealed to Agatha.

Sometimes cats refuse to use the box because it’s not kept clean enough. That might be part of Agatha’s issue–her creative peeing happens less when the box is freshly scooped–but she still occasionally refuses to pee where she’s supposed to, even with fresh litter.

I suspect she just doesn’t like sharing. After all, she doesn’t get along with all my other cats.

Here is the solution I’ve been trying: puppy training pads. I put one in the place where she’s been peeing, right next to the box (and partially underneath it to catch the pee that runs under the box. Now that’s a terrible mess to have to clean.) I realize I’m rewarding her bad behavior, but I’m also protecting my floor. And it’s much easier to clean up if all I have to do is change the puppy pad. I have found, however, that the pee occasionally soaks through a little, so I’m trying a double layer this time. I’ll let you know how that works out.

litter box

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