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Question
We moved three weeks ago into a split level house.  At first our cat kept to the bedrooms upstairs where the dogs aren't allowed and tentatively explored the main level.  She is fed in the unfinished laundry room on the lowest level where the dogs are fed and watered.  We put her litter box in the laundry room to start, but discovered that she was using her kitty carrier that was left in one of the spare bed rooms as her box.  We then moved the litter box to the top of the stairs outside this room and left it there for three weeks.  She used it exclusively.  She has become more adjusted to the house and spends a lot of time on the top two levels and eats well in the laundry room.  We decided to try to make the move with the litter box again to the laundry room.  This morning, we discovered that she has been using a suitcase in the closet of the other spare bedroom for urination.  She did urinate and defecate in the litter box, but not exclusively.  We really want the box to live in the laundry room, but I don't want to create more problems!  I am afraid if I have another failed attempt she will start using the beds.  Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!

Answer
Hi
Cats rarely like to eat in the same area which they use for their toilet. the fact also that the dogs are allowed in this area could also be making her feel less happy about using the litter tray there as they like to feel safe and secure whilst using it.

The normal method of trying to encourage a cat to use a litter tray is to make sure that the litter tray is placed away from the food and is in a safe and secure area. i don't know if this is possible in your laudry room. The other thing to do is to give your cat some time with the litter tray to get use to it and its environement etc to help build its confidence, this does mean however confining the cat to this area for a few days and this may not be very nice in the laudry room. the process is described here

/cat-litter-box.html

The other suggestion is that perhaps your cat is still feeling a little uncertain about her new surroundings and is using her urination etc to scent the house which helps to make them feel more secure. This usually subsides after a while but it is important that all traces of the urine etc are removed otherwise it will encourage them to use these areas again.

The confinement method may help your cat to become more confident in their new home but it may be better to try and find another spot even temporarily for the litter tray in another room whilst the training is going on and then to confine the cat and litter tray to the laundry room for say half a day after that so that they can get used to the new location, but the dogs etc should be kept out during this time.

I'm afraid it will require a little juggling on your part, but it's all about giving your cat confidence. You my also want to tray one of the cat attract litters which may help your cat to feel more comfortable with the litter tray. /cat-litter.html

best wishes and good luck kate
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Kate Tilmouth

Expertise

I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.

Experience

I run my own cat website at http://www.our-happy-cat.com and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

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I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Education/Credentials
Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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