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Cats/Behavior problem in Cat


Hi Ali, recently I have noticed a strange behavior in one of the two cats belonging to our family. She is the youngest cat I believe at about 4 years old. We got her from an adoption agency when she was only a couple months old and she has always been really good about using the litter box(es) for those four years we have had her.

Recently though I have noticed that she has been peeing in cardboard boxes or even in the basket of dirty laundry I had in the basement. She has never done this before and it surprised us especially the fact she peed on the dirty laundry. She is fixed and normally the only bad behavior we had to deal with from her is the fact she bullies our older more timid cat. (They get along occasionally though)

The only big difference that has happened in the house which could be contributing to the bad behavior is about a month ago we had to throw out the old litter boxes because our basement had flooded with sewage so pretty much everything had to go. We only have one box at the moment so I wonder if having to get rid of the two boxes and getting the one covered has caused her to start this behavior.

We change it often because the older cat is very picky about the litter box and if they are to dirty for her she will go on the basement floor. We have not changed litter brands.



The first step in a situation like this where a kitty has recently started peeing outside of the box is to have a vet examine her and take a urine sample to determine if she might have a urinary tract infection. Cats with bladder infections tend to associate the pain they feel when urinating with their box and therefore they look elsewhere to pee in the hopes that it won't hurt to do so anymore. If your kitty has a bladder infection she will need a course of antibiotics. During the time she is on antibiotics you may want to consider confining her to an easy to clean room such as a bathroom with food, water, litter and a cozy place to sleep to make cleaning up any accidents easier for you. It's important that you NOT use any cleaner containing ammonia to clean up kitty accidents as ammonia is a component of urine which means that to  your kitty it smells like pee and she will mark there again, I suggest using enzymatic cleaners which you can find in most pet supply stores as the enzymes actually digest the components of urine that create staining and smell.

I would also suggest that you consider adding one or two more boxes of the same style that your kitty was accustomed to before the flood in the basement and filling one with the litter she's used to and perhaps choosing another option for the second - that way if she associates the box with painful urination she will be more likely to use the box with the new litter simply because it feels and smells different.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me again at any time - I'm more than happy to help in any way that I can.

Kind regards,



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I am the proud guardian of 5 mixed breed cats ranging from 12 weeks to 13 years old and one purebred ragdoll. I have 20+ years experience working with mixed breed cats from a variety of different situations. I have fostered cats/kittens with special needs/behavioral issues. I have rescued/rehabilitated/re-homed a variety of stray/abused cats. I can offer advice on managing feral cat colonies, rehabilitating strays and finding them forever homes. I can help you to determine whether a cat is stray or feral, there IS a significant difference. Improperly introducing a new cat/kitten can result in aggression between newly introduced cats because cats are territorial by nature and they don't like sudden changes in their environment. To learn more about a peaceful way to introduce a new cat into a home with other cats please check out my previous answers on this subject. Proper nutrition for cats can be confusing, I recommend checking out which was created by a veterinarian (Dr. Lisa Pierson) who takes a common sense approach to explaining feline nutrition. Cat behavior and instincts are different from those of humans, I can help you understand your cat's needs so that you can meet them adequately and have a balanced, psychologically and physically sound kitty. Cats vary in personality, energy level and intelligence, different approaches may be required to achieve results in terms of training and interaction with your feline companion. An intelligent, high energy cat must be kept busy or they will make their own fun. I am NOT a licensed veterinarian and I can't offer medical advice. If your cat is ill/injured my advice is always the same: get prompt medical treatment provided by a veterinarian. If finances are an issue I will try to find resources in your area that can help with medical costs or make other choices to ensure the welfare of your cat.


I have fostered feral and stray cats, rehabilitated and homed cats that many people recommended euthanasia for. I am willing to make an effort to do the research and ask questions because I care enough to find solutions to behavioral problems rather than giving up. I have an interest in the use of alternative therapies to help provide the best possible care for all cats and I can say in all honesty that I've seen some incredible things happen for some incredible cats and their human caregivers when the right alternative therapeutic modality is used by a qualified veterinarian with expertise and experience in the field.

I've earned my diploma as a veterinary assistant with honors.

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