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The plot (but not the poo) thickens - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
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The plot (but not the poo) thickens
Merlin is in solitary confinement at the moment, well, sort of, because he seems to have lost the ability to use the litter tray. Today we had first confirmation that it's not working, and we're going to have to imprison him in an even smaller area - the downstairs loo. (The idea is that you give the cat only enough room for litter tray and food, so they have to get used to using the litter tray.)

Only I go to prepare the new, even harsher prison, and what do I see but kitten poo next to the litter tray. I'm not certain whether or not that was there when Merlin went into solitary. Also, the new mess appeared when Nineve was visiting kitty prison. So now I'm not sure if it isn't Nineve who's the culprit.

So for the moment, they're still in the library (Nineve hasn't shown any signs of wanting to leave today otherwise I'd have let her out). Gods why do cats have to be so cursed difficult?
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lanfykins From: lanfykins Date: September 30th, 2004 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
The lovely mess in the kitty prison was there before visiting hours began.

Hopefully the one in the downstairs loo is just a sign that it's litter cleaning time again...
uitlander From: uitlander Date: October 1st, 2004 05:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
As you know, I have more experience with kitty-wee than I'd like to recall, or even think about.

FWIW I think you have to assume that its all of them - once a widdle has happened, the feline mind goes 'ooh latrine area', which amongst other things has to be personalised by scent marking from you-know-what. They will all keep using the same places until the scent is eradicated. That means that the flooring, furniture, anything they might have gone on has to be cleaned and disinfected to give you a level starting point.

I know from hard experience that you will probably not be able to identify all the affected areas. I couldn't smell parts of it in my house, and looked blank as people wrinkled their noses, pointed and said 'here'. Its a smell that builds up over time in the background and you become acclimatised to it if you live in the house. So you'll need a friendly, non-resident nose to help you identify all areas.

Once you've got everything clean. You can do things like put down pepper to discourage them from going in their now habitual places. Also verbally reprimand any of them that you see even start to crouch outside the boundaries of a litter tray. Water pistols can also be a useful training tool here. The other thing is to keep their litter tray as clean as possible - so frequent muckings out to make it an attarctive area for them, re-inforced with much praise whenever one of them uses it. I'd be tempted to put a litter tray in every room they have access to to start with - to start to get the idea across.

Its high maintenance, and not exactly a bundle of laughs, buit if you persevere it'll pay off.

I'll butt out now.
emperor From: emperor Date: September 30th, 2004 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gods why do cats have to be so cursed difficult?

You have to ask? :)

More seriously, I hope they start behaving soon...
From: suave_steve Date: September 30th, 2004 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do you give them a little ball when they go into solitary so they can do Steve McQueen impressions?
damianobf From: damianobf Date: October 1st, 2004 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
We've had various problems withoru cats makign mess in the wrong place and with 4 at the time it was very hard to tell if it was one of them or all of them.

I worked out one of them was Willup my female cat and I talked to the vet about it and she gave me spray which you can use to spray in areas where you don't want them to use as a toilet. She had been using my bed :(

The reason the vet though was stress of moving house into a house with 2 other cats and not knowing it and this seemed to work.

As we have now moved again but we are in a bigger house with 1 less cat (due to one having to be put down a couple of weeks back now) we don't seem to be having to major a problem. We do have 2 litter trays down for the 3 cats and I read somewhere you should really have 1 per cat. So fingers cross they are settling ok.

The point of my ramble was really it might be worth checking with a vet to see if it is stress and if you can get this spraty thoug I know it costs money.

hope my ramble helps/gives you some ideas

sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: October 1st, 2004 12:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, but Merlin is the least stressed cat I've ever come across. If he were any more laid back he'd be under the floor. Plus he went right next to his food, which is a very odd thing for a cat to do. I must admit the reasons for it are eluding me. We have 3 litter trays for 4 cats, but I agree that the likeliest explanation is being overly fussy about litter tray use.
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