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Cats/litter training


QUESTION: We have had 6 cats over the years and every one instinctively took to the litter box and none of them EVER had an accident. All the cats were rescued from shelters as kittens. About 18 months ago we purchased a full bred rag doll, Monte, as a kitten and he hits the litter boxes maybe 50% of the time with both urine and feces.  Monte was neutered at 6 months and is very healthy.  Monte will be 2 years old in March
We currently have one Tabby male who is 9 years old and he and Monte get along fine. We have two litter boxes for the two cats and had three boxes at one time, which didn't matter.
In addition to urinating in the litter box, Monte will urinate in a bathroom sink almost every day. Once every couple of weeks he would urinate on one of our beds, so now we keep all the bedroom doors closed.
We have changed the type of litter we use, as well as the litter box locations. He is a part time job when it comes to cleaning up after him.
We thought of trying the toilet seat contraption, but it doesn't fit our toilet seats in the house.
When he misses the litter box with feces, in most cases it is anywhere from 6" to 5'.  We do not want to give up on him.  Please help.


Usually when cats miss the litter box, it is for either medical or behavioral reasons.  Have you had Monte checked out by your veterinarian?

If kittens have problems hitting the litter box and we cannot pinpoint the behavioral issue, you can try confining Monte to a large dog crate with nothing but litter pans on the floor, so he cannot go anywhere else. Try this for about a week and then let him out in a small room with a litter pan. Just for him.  If Monte behaves, then you can try expanding his territory.  You can repeat this process until he gets it right.

You might also do some detective work and see if you can remember anything changing at the time he began making mistakes. Anything like a two legged or four legged addition to the family, a change in type or brand of litter, anything that might have disrupted Monte's routine.

Another thing you might try is Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract litter enhancer.  It is supposed to get cats back in the litter box.

Please let me know what you think.

Seasonal regards... Norm.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thank you very much for your response. We have had Monte to the Vet and he is very healthy. Hard to imagine locking up this 17lb, very vocal cat in a dog crate for an hour let alone a week.  I will try the litter enhancer and will try yet another type of litter we just heard about.
He was good for the last four days and then missed the litter by 2' last night.
He is our first long hair cat and I am wondering if these long hairs have different litter box behavior than their short hair cousins.
Thanks again for your insight.


Thank you for getting back to me. Long haired cats can be a challenge with respect to litter, since poop can get caught in their long hair around their britches.  It would be beneficial for Monte and you to comb him out at least once a week, or more often, especially around his britches.  We like to use a metal comb which is half wider set teeth and half narrower set teeth. We use the wider set teeth side first and comb the cat all over then follow up with the narrower set teeth side next.  See if this helps.

Also, where he misses, it is necessary to clean the area thoroughly.  We use an enzyme based cleaner specifically for pet stains and pet odors (like Odor-ban) followed by a mixture of 1 part white vinegar mixed with 2 parts water.

See if all this helps and get back to me.

Seasonal regards... Norm.


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Norman Auspitz


I can answer most non-veterinary questions about cats. My particular expertise is pedigree cats, breeding and showing. However, I am versed in feline behavior, cat breeds and their characteristics, general feline husbandry, and the like.


I judged for the Canadian Cat Association from 1975 until 1982. I am currently an approved allbreed judge for the Cat Fanciers'' Association (the world''s largets cat registry), and have been judging for them since 1991. I have been breeding pedigreed cats since 1971 and have been exhibiting pedigreed cats in shows since 1970. I obtained my first pedigreed cat in 1970 and have never looked back. In 1971, I obtained my first Abyssinian which has become my primary breed. In addition, I have bred Manx and Persians. Currently, besides the Abyssinians, I am also breeding Maine Coons.

Cat Fanciers'' Association, inc. (CFA) and the Manx, Maine Coon, and Abyssinian breed councils. I am currently Abyssinian breed council secretary.

Cat Fancy Magazine, The Abyssinian Chapter in The Cat Fanciers'' Association Complete Cat Book, and Articles for various editions of The Cat Fanciers'' Association Yearbook

I received a B.S. from Drexel University in 1968, a M.Math from University of Waterloo, in 1970, a Ph.D. from University of Waterloo in 1975, and a MBA from McMaster University in 1980. I received my approved allbreed judging status in the Cat Fanciers'' Association in 1999.

Awards and Honors
We have produced a number of Cat Fanciers'' Association (CFA) National winning Abyssinian and Maine Coons. We have produced a number of Abyssinian and Maine Coon Distinguished Merit females (an award for a top producing cat), including the first Distinguished Merit Abyssinian in the red (sorrel) color. I am the CFA Abyssinian breed council secretary and belong and/or hold office in a number of cat clubs. I am also a member of the CFA Judges Association.

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