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Cats/Litter box problems


Dear Kate,

I have 2 cats, Miss Kitty age 13 and Ebony age 4.  Both are spayed females, have been declawed in front and are totally indoor cats.  I never had a litter box problem with Kitty.  I acquired her first.  Her litter box could be filthy and she would always go in her litter box.  When I adopted Ebony, no problems there at first.  One day, I caught Ebony spraying in my hallway which has vinyl on it.  I have caught her doing this repeatedly since.  Kitty recently became very ill and is diabetic.  Since she has been sick, she has developed the habit of relieving herself, both urine and stool, wherever she feels like it.  Together they have ruined my house.  My carpet is a mess.  I am thinking of having Kitty put to sleep simply because she is elderly and has expensive health problems.  I don't want to get rid of Ebony but I see no other choice.  My vet said he thought she might do well in a house where she was the only pet.  I also have a dog.  Why did Kitty start acting out since she became sick and what can I do to stop her?  Thank you.

well first of all let me say she is not acting out,that is a human trait not a cats. It is more likely that she is either cannot help herself or she is in some distress and is using her urine etc as scent markers to scent the house. this is done for two reasons one as a territorial signal to other animals and two because if helps to calm the cat down, if the house smells of them then everything must be ok.

I know it is difficult for us to understand this behavior but cats are far more driven by scent, its their communication.

If it is distress then it may be caused by the other cat or dog , ie now that she may not feel like top cat in the house due to her illness she is desperately trying to reassert herself. I would give her a period of a week at lest of litter training using the confinement method described here


Unfortunately not all animals are happy to live with other animals, that is why when you rehome a cat from a shelter they usually test for this and so can recommend which cats are happy to live with other pets or not.

of course what you decide is entirely up to you, i cannot advise on whether or not you should rehome your cat or not. Perhaps yui could also try the litter training with your other cat afterwards, perhaps it would help both of them.

best wishes Kate


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Kate Tilmouth


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.


I run my own cat website at 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.

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

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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