One of My Cat's Is Thinking OUTSIDE the Box....Help!!!

By
Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

I have two 5 year old cats that I have had six then were 10 days old.  A male and a female.  They tussle sometimes, but it's never anything major.  They just, seriously, don't do anything wrong.  Sure they throw up sometimes, but they don't claw the carpet, the furniture and so on.  And they always use their boxes.

Five months ago we adopted 3 kittens (2 girls, 1 boy), six months of age.  They were feral and it was getting cold.  I'm a sucker.  Anyway, things have been fine during the transition.  A few fights, but nothing major.  All seems to be going well.

Last night while scooping the litter boxes (a daily event with five cats), the two boys were standing in the room behind me.  Wasn't paying attention to them. No fur flying.  All seemed calm.  I get up to leave, having collected my "treasure" and there was a mess of urine beginning to soak into the carpet.    Now I have two male suspects and absolutely no idea why this happened.

I have thoughts though.  We were in the master bedroom where there is one litter box, which I was obviously occupying.  Down the hall is what we call the "kittens' bedroom".  We still keep the kittens separated at night in a room with food bowls, beds, toys and two litter boxes.  But these litter boxes, to my knowledge, have never been used by my older two cats.

I have a feeling it was the older male who peed, but can not be sure.  It was more the look of shame when we noticed the mess and started cleaning it up with the steam cleaner.

Do you think I am facing a behavioral issue, or do you think this was just bad circumstances and bad timing?

Comments (42)

Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

That's funny.  For now, I only have my Marci.  But what I don't like is my chihuahas digging in her box looking for a treat.  The litter goes everywhere.

Jan 17, 2009 12:45 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Angelina:  The joys of havng cats AND dogs...something I don't know.  That's funny.

Jan 17, 2009 01:18 PM
Deborah "Debbie" Carolla
Savva Realty - Lodi, NJ

Hi,  you didn't say if the cats had been spayed and neutered.  It may have been just an accident, or the litter somewhat dirty or the one they wanted to get into you were cleaning.  Just keep an eye on them.  My dogs go on wee wee pads and sometimes they miss the wee wee pads.   Just watch them in case there is not an underlying issue e.g., bladder problem.  Good luck -

Feb 18, 2009 11:53 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Debbie:  Thanks.  They are all spayed and neutered.  And since it was something that happened forever ago, without a second incident, I think it was a timing problem.

Feb 18, 2009 02:23 PM
Michael S. Mackey
CENTURY 21 All Islands - Mililani, HI
REALTOR ABR, CRS, GRI, RSPS

I just found this group, and just joined. I had to put down my 15 year old Sheba just over two weeks ago. She started peeing on the carpet, more and more frequently. Turned out she had become diabetic, and would sometimes just get confused. We had been on insulin for nearly 7 years, two shots daily. I really miss her. Glad I found this group, just wanted to share.

Mar 04, 2009 02:36 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Michael:  Really sorry to hear about your loss.  I can't imagine.  There are plenty of animals that need good homes.  So many being forced to abandon their pets.  Might be a great way to honor Sheba's memory to bring in another furry soul to love.

Mar 04, 2009 05:24 AM
Morris Childs
PEP source - Spartanburg, SC

From reading all of the comments, sounds like the kitty is going to the vet.

Apr 01, 2009 05:11 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Morris:  Everything ended up fine.  Was an accident and hasn't happened again, nearly a year later. 

Apr 02, 2009 03:30 AM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Now that is just way too many cats. >.<  I have one that was half feral when I found him, while showing a vacant house. The owners had moved out and left him there >=I  Now he's a sweetheart. But he does have some bad habits that the one we've had since she was a kitten at the pound, has never had. For starters, he's a boy. Boys will be boys... *sigh*.  And he's a butt-scooter.  lol. It sounds funny, and I call him Scooter sometimes, even though that's not his name, but I sure do get sick of cleaning up his skid marks.  LOL.  I guess he just likes a clean butt. Can't fault him for that!  =^.^=

Jun 10, 2009 04:10 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Lisa;  My long hair female is a scooter when something is stuck in her fur.  It's funny to watch, but a pain to clean up.

Jun 12, 2009 02:22 AM
Aaron Vaughn, REALTOR© 830-358-0455
eXp Realty - Canyon Lake, TX
My knowledge is your power | eXp Realty

We only have 4 cats now, but have had as many as 6 before (but 2 was "transitional")! Missing the box is usually behavioral unless it's an access issue. Here it sounds like an access issue -- the strike against the new cats should have happened by now.

Nov 08, 2009 04:47 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Kyle:  Turned out to be a crystal problem that has been changed with a new food.  No more crystals, no more accidents.

Nov 09, 2009 01:57 AM
Barbara Raley
The McNelis Group,LLC - Solomons, MD
When you think of Real Estate, think of me!

Chris, we had a cat named William, who around 9:30-10:00 would start making noises at the foot of the stairs that it was time for bed. My husband would go to bed and when i came up William and he were sound asleep both had their heads on the pillow and snoring.Thank goodness all he did was snore. no accidents. have a wonderful evening Barbara

Dec 02, 2009 11:19 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Barbara:  We have a female that follows me up to bed every night and sleeps right beside me all night long.

Dec 03, 2009 08:46 AM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

So can we start calling you "The Cat Lady?" =P  I just wanted to mention that our oldest cat, who was the first pet in this home, aside from guinea pigs, has had a tendency to pee where she shouldn't. When we had our rabbit, (whose cage was on the pool deck, with a side door and a section with a pile of towels where she could dig and burrow) this cat decided to start peeing on those towels rather than come inside to use her own box. Even when I put a seperate box out there for her (which contained the guinea pigs cedar litter instead of cat litter, due to the humidity), she would sometimes use it, and sometimes not. And it took we a while to figure out why the rabbit was huddling in the corner of the exposed section of her cage when the weather was poor, instead of going into the dryer, warmer part. I literally didn't notice until I decided to wash the towels. When I piced them up, the stench was horrible! My poor bunny =(  Stupid cat was trying to mark her territory in the bunny cage.

Then, just last week, after scoping the cat litter box in the utility room, I couldn't figure out why the room still smelled like cat urine. Then I realized that a towel on the floor, which was placed under some art that had been on the walls before we did some redecorating, was wet on the section that was sticking out a few inches from the frames. I have no idea why she does this. But it gets old, fast!!! The rabbit and territorial stuff I can understand. But peeing on a towel instead of in the box, for no apparent reason? I don't get it!

Jun 13, 2010 04:22 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Lisa:  There's always a reason.  I've learned that.  Sounds like the cat is marking territory.  I had a male that had some incidents (this being one) and when we took him to the vet, he had a UTI.  Keep an eye on it and if it persists, take the cat to the vet just to be safe.  Sometimes they pee outside the box to let us know something is wrong.

Jun 14, 2010 01:48 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

We are having a problem with our youngest cat, who started out OK but now has be pooping on our basement carpet(no urine) ? We've been told to havemore liter boxes than cats in your home .

Oct 02, 2011 01:55 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Michael:  That's the situation in my home. More litter boxes than cats.  Feliway is a good product too.  Phermone therapy for cats, kind of like  a plug in.  If it's an anxiety issue, it can solve it.

Oct 03, 2011 03:43 AM
Linda Greco Rich, ABR, SRES
Exit Preferred Realty - Bel Air, MD
Harford County Specialist

I have 2 cats and 3 litterboxes. Funny how they both use one as the main and the other as a back up and ignore the 3rd. I would get more boxes.

Mar 21, 2014 11:41 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Linda:  I swear nowadays I could start an YouTube Channel called Litter Box Wars.  They are very territorial over their own boxes.  They get used but I have seen one cat go in and another right behind that one, trapping the first one in (we use covered boxes.)  Or one day, one male goes into to the other males preferred box and the one not doing business jumps on top and starts swatting at the one inside.  It's funny, but a little troubling that some of this behavior could end up with problems.  Thankfully, our problems were solved a long time since this post.

Mar 22, 2014 02:47 AM