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Not turning around in the tray

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by baxtersaurus, Aug 28, 2018.


  1. baxtersaurus

    baxtersaurus PetForums Newbie

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    Hi. Baxter is our 8 year old, neutered house cat. He has always used a hooded litter tray (with only one accident ever), and while we have used different types of litter in the past, we do tend to use a very popular brand. The tray is generally the same make too... but about 6 months ago, he started doing a poo as soon as he walks into the tray... and his bum may or may not be sticking out (the flap doesn't close behind him because he hasn't gone in properly)... which means that occasionally the poo is right at the front of the tray or down the front side/on the mat. He mostly still pees "correctly" - ie. he'll go in turn around and pee at the back. This used to be what he did for pooing too, so I'm not sure why he's changed behaviour. The tray is in the bathroom. Our regular tray was always quite big (he's about 5.5kg) but we have been trying an even larger one, but his behaviour hasn't changed. The tray is always emptied on the day and cleaned completely every week, with fresh litter. I have tried cleaning the errant poo with different sprays (bleach, cat deodorising ones) to try and convert his behaviour, but I don't know any other tricks. Any advice?

    I can't pinpoint an exact trigger for the change in behaviour, but I think he may be associating with bowel issues - he did have some blood in his stools, but the vet gave him an all clear for this and it resolved a while ago.
     
  2. SuboJvR

    SuboJvR Joey’s Mummy

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    Have you tried leaving the flap off?

    It puts my dad's cats off a bit, so we took the door off completely. They have very large hooded trays and so once they get all feet in it minimises any problems. I wonder if he can feel the flap on his back, he may just think he's "in the box", or, if he can feel it on his back, he may just stop because he feels like he's too enclosed/almost trapped?
     
    ribbon and moggie14 like this.
  3. Bertie'sMum

    Bertie'sMum Obedient Cat Slave

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    I've always removed the flap for my cat and not had any problems - as cats are at their most vulnerable from predators when toileting I believe that they may feel "trapped" if the flap comes down behind them. I did have a similar problem with a previous cat but he had arthritis in his hips and couldn't stoop properly so he was in pain when he needed to go - maybe a trip to your vet to rule any similar issue would be helpful ?

    The only other suggestion I would have is to place a 'puppy pad' at the entrance to the tray which would 'catch' any errant poop and make it easier to clean up.
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi @baxtersaurus and welcome :)

    Hopefully the door flap was removed at the start of use as many cats hate being completely enclosed when they toilet (it's a instinctual security issue). My girls like covered trays but I always bin the door flap as soon as I get a tray home.

    My advice is to give Baxter an open tray, stand it next to the covered tray, and see if he prefers the open tray. i.e. give him a choice. If he uses the open tray without problems then remove the lid from the covered tray. The important thing is to give him choice at this stage, as this is part of the process of diagnosing what the problem is.

    Sometimes cats don't go right into the litter tray because they dislike the feel of the litter on their paws, e.g. the litter may feel sharp on soft paws. I would go for a litter that is fine grained like sand, and non-scented. Worlds Best usually acts like a magnet for cats, so if you are not using that one I would give it a try. But leave him with the litter he is used to in another of his trays, so again he has choice. (note WB can be bought in small sized bags from Pets@home but much more cheaply in large bags online from Zooplus and Bitiba)

    The other thing is - is the covered tray high enough to allow him to squat upright in the poo position? It needs to be at least 46 cm high. It is fairly common for cats to poo near the door of the tray, often so close the poo drops over the edge, when they can't get into a comfortable position in the tray.
     
  5. baxtersaurus

    baxtersaurus PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks all for the suggestions so far.

    Hi, thanks for the suggestion... and I tried it, and he has actually pooped clearly inside the tray... however, he still does that every now and again so I'm not sure if it's going to be a consistent result. Will keep you updated.

    I am just surprised though as this has never been an issue before - he has always used a hooded tray with lid. While I'll be happy he doesn't mess outside the box, we do use a hooded tray for a reason... the smell just pervades everywhere and without the lid in place...

    I will try this at a later date. I was thinking of introducing a second tray, although space for it has always been the issue.

    Both litter tray and litters are ones I've used for the majority of his life so I am not suspecting a problem here. The height of his current larger tray measures 46.5 cm according to the Zooplus website.

    I have tried World's Best and it's not one I particularly liked using despite the environmental concept - Baxter seemed fine with it after initially attempting to eat it... (the only time he's ever done so with litter!)
     
  6. SuboJvR

    SuboJvR Joey’s Mummy

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    Which litter do you use?

    Not so much for Baxter but you, if a poop is covered it shouldn’t really need to smell with the right litter. We use one called Felipure now which is brilliant for smells and for keeping tracking minimal, the only mess we get is when I throw it everywhere pouring it in lol.

    I sometimes don’t notice when my kitten has done a poop and he covers it well. To be honest sometimes if he doesn’t cover it, amazingly it doesn’t smell in this litter! If something hasn’t quite agreed with him though it can smell worse.
     
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  7. baxtersaurus

    baxtersaurus PetForums Newbie

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    We mostly use Catsan - I'm not convinced it is the best and am always open to trying new ones, but it always seems to be the one we go back to as we feel it does the job adequately for the price (compared to the ones we try). [I felt World's Best didn't offer anything better for the higher price - I always used just as much as Catsan and as often.]

    What I haven't mentioned though is that he's never covered his poop - even as a kitten. We didn't know how to instil this in him, and it just got left as an outstanding issue... because of the hooded tray, we just lived with it.

    edit: just looked at Felipure. Looks good enough to give a trial run. Thanks for the suggestion
     
    #7 baxtersaurus, Aug 28, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
  8. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

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    Isn't that quite harsh underfoot? If it's rough on his paws he isn't going to be keen to tread on it and move around in his tray. If you like a mineral based litter the finer Canadian clay ones might work better for you both.

    I'm not a fan of World's Best, I like a good clumping clay litter. I use this.
    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/cat_litter/tigerino/635568
     
  9. moggie14

    moggie14 PetForums VIP

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    I'd defo give a different litter a try, Catsan isn't economical compared to clumping litters, also imho clumping is more hygienic.
    My boys have Cats Best OKO and as others have already mentioned, I don't usually know when there is a poo, no smell at all! Perhaps Baxter would be more inclined to bury with a decent clumping.
    Diet also plays a major part in how smelly they are, what do you feed him? :)
     
  10. SuboJvR

    SuboJvR Joey’s Mummy

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    I buy it from Pets Corner if you have one local - they always have demo stations set up where you can see it for yourself. Or of course order online.

    The thing I like about it which I imagine Joey does too is that it has really fine grains, like sand. He seems to really enjoy digging in it (he proper goes for it!) and, without fail, every time I put some fresh litter in the box - whether a top up, or a clean out - he jumps in and does a little wee. I'm not sure if he's telling me he likes it or what, probably just scent marking, but I take it as "I approve" :D
     
  11. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @baxtersaurus - not all cats bury their poo. Some cats bury it sometimes....some never bury it...some bury it all the time.

    In the wild cats may leave their poo unburied as an instinctive form of scent marking, or they may bury it as a means of hiding their scent from their predators. It depends on the circumstances. Our domestic cats have retained these instincts.

    However, the added factor that Havoc has raised is that cats may dislike burying poo (or pee) if the litter is harsh on their paws, as Catsan is. For the same reason they may want to avoid treading in the litter. Catsan litter is non-clumping and non clumping litters get smelly very quickly, because the soiled parts get mixed with the clean parts. This means the whole tray needs emptying out and washing once a day. If not the cat is likely to want to avoid stepping in it so as to avoid soiling their paws.

    If you were not too impressed with Worlds Best I would give Cats Best Oko Plus a try as Subojvr suggested. It is clumping and made of shredded fir timber, (so not edible!) and it absorbs smell efficiently. If cost is an issue then Super Benek from Zooplus is a lot cheaper and almost as good as Cats Best Oko Plus. Certainly much better value than Catsan.

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/cat_litter/super_benek/461099
     
    moggie14 likes this.
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