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Question
My wife and I have 2 cats.  I have married into them.  Bother and sister.  The female overall is a very well behaved cat.  The male on the other hand...  he knows where to go to the bathroom but many times will poop right next to the litter box.  I thought maybe it was because it wasn't clean, so we tried cleaning it more often, didn't help.  We tried 2 litter boxes, on the advice of others... No help.  I know he knows it's wrong because I have tried punishment, similar to that of a puppy, rub their nose in it and give them a little swat on the butt and tell them it's naughty... nothing.  He does know it's wrong though because he will not do it unless he thinks I am going to be up after my wife and when I'm not home.  He will do it when my wife is home.  Many times I get up and I am out the door before her and he will wait until I am gone and then poop right next to the litter box.  I am at the end of my rope.  It is almost to the point I am going to have him put down but I don't want to do that to the female (his sister) because she would be lost without him.  He also like to splash water out of his water dish, when I am asleep, in the bathroom or not home.  He will not do it when I am within the line of sight.  Thank you for your time and I hope to hear back from you soon.

Answer
Mike,

Cats do not respond well to negative reinforcement, i.e. discipline.  What may work for puppies generally will not work for cats.  Have you changed the type or brand of litter?  Cats can get very particular about the litter in their litter boxes.

The two litter pan idea may not be a bad idea as long as they are not right next to each other.  Is it possible the female is not letting him go in the communal litter pan. Cats do have a pecking order with respect to litter pans.

Has the male been checked for any possible medical issues such as worms or impacted anal glands?

A solution may be to put the litter pan on a plastic, easily cleaned tray so that any mess is minimized.  

Please let me know what happens.

Best regards... Norm.

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Norman Auspitz

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.


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

Publications
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

Education/Credentials
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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