Not using litter box = washing of millions of towels!

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Lunasol, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Lunasol

    Lunasol New Member

    Jan 12, 2018
    So our guy Kalvin is still fairly new to being diagnosed, only since late December. He has neuropathy quite far along in his hind legs, though he seems to be getting a little better day by day. We ended up buying him a huge dog crate in order to minimize his pee accidents. He seems to like the crate quite nicely. We thought he wasn't using the litter box because he couldn't get to it on time. In the crate we have put a litter box and towel-cushion with a pee-pad underneath it, and so I'm pretty sure he can get to the litter on time, but chooses to pee on the towel instead. He has also pooed on the towel. He does this inconsistently -- I"m guessing some days his hind legs feel better than others?

    My thought is that he doesn't feel stable enough to squat in the litter box (very low sided, easy to get into) when going and as such he just voids when he is lying on the towel. This is creating so much laundry and I feel bad that he is sitting near/on where he is peeing. Should I just put out a pee pad and skip the litter? Any other tips to getting him back using the litter box consistently? I am hoping as his BG stabilizes and his neuropathy improves (ordering Zobaline soon, already on B12) that this issue will disappear? When I mention this to the vet she doesn't seem all that concerned or have any ideas to help.
  2. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    The edge of the box still may be too high for him. Try using a dog litter box. I had a similar issue several years ago when one of my cats had severe arthritis. Also try using either Cat Attract litter or the litter additive to help encourage him.

    If you are using the same towel all of the time, the odor from his pee still may be on it even though it is washed. I suggest soaking it in a strong vinegar/water solution before washing it to help try to eliminate the odor.
    Critter Mom likes this.
  3. Lunasol

    Lunasol New Member

    Jan 12, 2018
    Hmmm good point about the towels still having the urine scent on them. I do try to rinse most of them with vinegar before a full hot wash, but there still might be some left. The litter box we are using for him is actually a boot tray, with less than an inch lip on it, so I'm fairly certain that it's not too hard for him, considering I saw the monkey climbing over some chair rungs while trying to hide under the dining table :) I just find it strange that he is doing both, using the litter AND also the towels. . much. washing!
  4. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    You might also try multiple trays. Cats usually don't like to pee and poop in the same place. Many put up with it but it's not their natural behavior. In case of "tray" problems, I'd start by multiplying them in various parts of your living space.
  5. Tracey&Jones

    Tracey&Jones Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2016
    If the vinegar is not working I would use an enzyme product like Nature's miracle. It will help break down the urine before trying to wash the towels.

    When they don't feel good they may use other areas. Jones would use the litter catch mat outside the litter box. Drove me nuts but I switched the litter to something new...and lo and behold you used the litter box again.
    Critter Mom likes this.
  6. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2016
    Best pet offer remover I have found is Anti Icky Poo Unscented which I get on amazon. Are you giving Zobaline for the neuropathy?
  7. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2016
    You can also put some training pee pads (same they sell for puppies ) around the litter box on top of the towel that way when he pees around it at least the pee gets into the training pee pads that you just throw away, also the help a little bit to neutralize the smell, that's how I finally made peace with one of my cyvies who can get on the litter box, she actually does but aims so that the pee would fall outside (doesn't matter the size of the litter box)

    Amazon brand are quite ok and very resonably priced pee pads
    Critter Mom likes this.
  8. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2015
  9. JL and Chip

    JL and Chip Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    You might want to try Dr Elsey's Cat Attract litter, as others have mentioned. It's specifically formulated to entice cats who are having litter box issues. There's also an attractant you can sprinkle on your existing brand of litter, although my cats much prefer the Dr Elsey's Cat Attract litter over the additive. Be sure you read the handy flyer that comes with it for ideas and info.

    It sounds like you're already using a low-profile tray, which is good. Are you certain the cat isn't standing in the box and overshooting the edge? Unless you see it happen (or put up a trail cam to get video evidence) it's sometimes hard to know.

    If you're sure the cat is intentionally missing the box, then try using very little litter in the box. Sometimes even an inch of litter causes instability in an already unstable cat. You can put a pee pad in the box beneath the litter if it allows for easier cleanup, then maybe go to just the pee pad in the box if you're still having the problem. I'd put a 1/2 cup of litter on top of the pee pad, though, just to let the cat know that this is still the official litterbox.

    I have also used puppy pads to mitigate errant downloads, but be aware that training pads often contain pheromones that ATTRACT an animal to pee there (hence the "training" part). Walmart carries Assurance brand underpads in the pharmacy section of the store (where human incontinence supplies are located). They work like a charm and don't contain the pheromones. They also tend to be larger, thicker, and cheaper. You might want to take an extra large underpad and wrap it around the towel "cushion," absorbent side out, so that you're not constantly washing towels. If the cat "rearranges" the pad in an attempt to cover after peeing, then a little packing tape on the backside will hold the cover in place.

    Cats can develop aversions to litter or boxes or locations if they associate those things with pain or something negative. Trying the Cat Attract litter, using an enzyme treatment to remove odor from the towels and anything else that has been soiled, and starting zobaline are all easy things to try. Sometimes thinking like a cat is a bit harder (I assure you that what's happening makes perfect sense to the cat!).

    If your cat has never had litterbox issues before, then I'd think this is most likely related to the current medical and mobility issues, such as weak back legs. That said, it can also be a visible plea for help. Diabetic cats are prone to urinary tract infections. Has that been ruled out?
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    Critter Mom likes this.
  10. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Jul 7, 2016
    Good suggestions above. For neuropathy, Leo had it quite bad. The key to recovery is twofold:
    - BG regulation
    - Zobaline to rebuild the nerves

    Keep the spirits up. You need to get your kitteh's blood sugar regulated. Many cats recover from neuropathy. It was so bad with Leo we were considering the "decision". But we kept up with the treatments - and regulated his BG. He is 95% healed and can now jump up onto the couch with no issues.
    Stephanie & Quintus likes this.

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