UK Pet Forums Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year, at great expense, we had a sunken coconut mat fitted inside the front door. Now, suddenly, we find that our Russian Blue, Sam. has decided that this is an ideal place to pee.
Whereas our Siamese, Max, uses a cat litter tray - and even comes in from the garden to use it - Sam will have nothing to do with it and prefers to go outside.
As the days are getting shorter and both cats stay indoors overnight, it seems that Sam has more difficulty holding it in till morning and has decided that the front doormat is preferable to the toilet tray.
Sam is a very fussy cat in other ways too and he certainly does not want to share toilet facilities with Max. They are half-brothers and are nine years old.
We've already tried hosing down the doormat and spraying it with cat repellant but to no avail. In our climate, this operation takes a few days to complete and Sam ignores the empty mat recess during that time.
Any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,781 Posts
If there is only one litter tray between 2 cats, you need to increase the number to at least 2. Cats often do not like sharing trays, or they don't like to pee and poo in the same tray. Also, what type of litter are you using? The types that most resemble sand are more likely to appeal to most cats, (clay type litters), or one of the cereal ones like OKO Plus.

But in any case as Sam usually goes outside to toilet and is only going indoors at night, the best thing is to put an extra litter tray at night on top of the door mat once the cats are shut in. You can put it out of sight in the morning, when Sam will not be needing it.

Unfortunately I have found again and again that cats like scent marking door mats! And it is interesting you say Sam does not toilet there when the mat is missing. It may be Sam is not toiletting as such on the mat, but scent marking. Although the end result is the same (urine on your mat) the cause is different. In which case, as well as putting out an extra litter tray for Sam in an area of low "traffic" indoors, also put one on top of the mat every night, as before, but it will be as a deterrent to scent mark spraying, as cats do not usually toilet in the same places they scent mark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good advice chillminx. We use Catsan for the tray that Max uses and I guess Sam has always managed to hold on overnight until recently. We have tried usisng two trays but Max is not fussy and will use both so that defeats the purpose. Sam, though, is very fussy and is scent orientated. For example, whenever we stroke him, he spends quite some time sniffing our hands until he's ready for us to touch him.
The tray on the front doormat sounds like a good idea but I suspect Max will just use it. On the other hand, it would save having to lift the doormat at night.
You've given us some good ideas anyway, so many thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,781 Posts
Just wanted to add another thought -- the ideal number of litter trays is actually one per cat + an extra one. (in your case making 3 trays).

Thinking what you said about Max possibly using the tray you put on the mat as well as the other tray, I believe if you were to put out a third tray (just at night) this would inevitably give Sam one tray to himself, as I doubt Max would get round to using 3 separate trays in one night.

The trays don't have to be large ones, just medium size, and most types of tray can be stacked one on top of the other (with the litter) for putting away out of sight in the daytime.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The latest development is that, since putting the doormat back in place, Sam has twice asked us to clean out the toilet tray as he needed to use it and Max had already been there.
So far so good but we're keeping a close eye on the situation as both boys come in at nightfall and the longer nights in the winter will be a challenge for fussy Sam.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,781 Posts
Good, at least you have identified the problem now -- i.e. that Sam dislikes using a tray that's already been used by Max. This is not unusual with some cats. Time for those extra trays methinks!:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is another solution. A few years ago, we were at our wits end because Sam had started stripping leaves off one of our houseplants and tearing around the house with them - great fun. I discovered a gadget on the Internet called SSSCat. It's an electronic device mounted on an aerosol can of compressed air. It has an IR cell that detects the approaching cat and squirts a short burst of air. The noise, more than the actual jet of air is enough to send the cat running.
Well, I dug this device out of the garage and it works fine.
At least it should stop Sam from using the doormat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,781 Posts
Brian -- the gadget sounds very useful! Definitely give it a try. But (not wanting to be a kill-joy), it is possible Sam may find somewhere else in the house to wee, instead of the doormat, if the underlying reason for his behaviour is not addressed. Cats' behaviour is always logical, even if we can't always interpret their logic:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Brian -- the gadget sounds very useful! Definitely give it a try. But (not wanting to be a kill-joy), it is possible Sam may find somewhere else in the house to wee, instead of the doormat, if the underlying reason for his behaviour is not addressed. Cats' behaviour is always logical, even if we can't always interpret their logic:D
The thing is - they are both nine years of age. This behaviour has only just started so I'm hoping it can be nipped in the bud just like the leaf stripping was. We still have that plant but he doesn't go near it any more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,781 Posts
Well, I really hope you are right and the compressed air will be the answer:)

Can only say that tearing leaves off a houseplant might be seen as "boisterous" or kitty's idea of having fun, but inappropriate toiletting is to do with health issues, or the cat being unhappy about something, and trying to tell you what.

But I sincerely hope I am wrong, and I look forward to hearing you have solved the problem:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So far so good. The SSSCat is effectively standing guard over the doormat and it is clear that Sam is using the toilet tray again. It is a large tray and there are two distinct areas of use. Fingers crossed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just to follow up on this issue - the SSSCat device worked perfectly. I still have it placed next to the doormat but switched off. Sam is very careful not to go anywhere near it.
Not only did its use stop him from peeing on the doormat, it also encouraged him to go back to using the litter tray where he uses one end and Max uses the other.
Cats are far more intelligent than people give them credit for. They do apply logic to situations and, although it may sometimes be difficult for us to work out how to interpret their behaviour, it can be done.
For instance, Max is not very good at personal hygiene whereas Sam is meticulous about cleanliness and gets very annoyed about Max's odours. In particular, Sam will stop using the shared bed when he decides it is no longer fresh. We change the bedding and he is happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,121 Posts
I have to say, that I am very entertained by the idea of a cat stripping the leaves off a houseplant and dashing round the house with them! What plant was it, was it cat-safe? Maybe my cats would pick up the habit (don't want the peeing on the doormat habit as well though, thanks anyway).

Hope problem does get resolved, seems like you need to keep litter trays fastidiously clean. Have you thought about a self-cleaning one (though they are expensive and a pain to maintain)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,781 Posts
I am not surprised the SSS cat device worked to keep him off the doormat!:D I am sure the noise of a such spray would scare the wits out of my cats too:D (btw, I hope the makers are correct that the gas they use is completely non-toxic to cats).

The problem with those kind of devices is they often frighten the cat off using his favoured no-go area to pee, and in his own logic he just moves to another no-go area!! I have seen it happen many times.

Luckily in the case of Sam he evidently decided the lesser of 2 evils was to go back to sharing a litter tray with Max, even though being a very fastidious cat he evidently dislikes having to put up with another cat's toilet scent in his litter tray. By peeing on the door mat he was telling you how much he disliked having to share a litter tray, but he has decided to suppress his
preferences in order to please you, bless him.

Fortunately Max and Sam have managed to compromise co-operatively with each other and divide up the litter tray between them, so each uses one end of it. All credit to them both -- cats can be very adaptable.:)

But if they had each had their own litter tray to start with, maybe Sam would not have started peeing on the doormat in the first place;):).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
But if they had each had their own litter tray to start with, maybe Sam would not have started peeing on the doormat in the first place;):).
We know from holiday experience, when we put down two trays, that Max will use both alternately so it doesn't really achieve anything. With the one large tray, there is enough room for them to each have their own zone - and that does seem to be clearly defined, even for Max.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What plant was it, was it cat-safe?
It's an exotic plant, about 2ft tall, with long, skinny leaves that hang down. It has 3 segmented stems. Sam only takes dead (brown) leaves and hurtles around the house throwing them in the air. I have not seen him take one in his mouth.
 

·
Mentored by Meeko
Joined
·
26,458 Posts
It's an exotic plant, about 2ft tall, with long, skinny leaves that hang down. It has 3 segmented stems. Sam only takes dead (brown) leaves and hurtles around the house throwing them in the air. I have not seen him take one in his mouth.
If its a Yucca Plant and it sounds like it might be then that is toxic to cats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If its a Yucca Plant and it sounds like it might be then that is toxic to cats.
It could be a type of Yucca. I've looked at many photos on line and none look like this. However, the segmented stems suggest that it could be from that family. Fortunately, Sam doesn't bother with it these days.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top