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QUESTION: Dear Mr. Auspitz:
I have two cats. Both are box trained. One will consistently use his.  The female has taken to prefer our dining room carpet. First it was for pooping only. Now she has also chosen a spot on the other side of the room for peeing too.  If we can keep her out of the dining room, she will use her box consistently.  We don't want to lock her in the basement where her box is (on a different floor than our male cat's box) but when we do, she uses her box.  We want to find a cat gate to cover the entrance to the room so she can't get in and can't jump it.  Can you recommend one?  Will that work?

ANSWER: Cynthia,

I have done a fair bit of research and I know of no device you can use for a cat gate that the cats cannot overcome!!!!!!!!!

If you want I can suggest a few things that might help.

Best regards... Norm.

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

QUESTION: Dear Norm,
Yes please.  I welcome every suggestion.  I have tried so many things already that obviously haven't worked.  We even give "calming" drops to the kitty who has lost track of her box.  She's calm but still pooping and peeing in the dining room.

I appreciate your assistance!

All the best,
Cynthia

Answer
Cynthia,

This is a tough one and I have seen many problems of this type, but no one solution works for everyone!

Problem # 1 is that she now associates the odor of where she pooped or urinated inappropriately with where she should do it again. So, the area where she went needs to be rid of any of the odor. The fact that we may not be able to smell the odor does not mean it is gone.  Cats can smell much better than we olfactory deficient humans. So, the carpet may have to go, and, if it wall to wall, the underpad as well. Any good product out for getting rid of cat odors and stains is going to be enzyme based. There are lots of home remedies on the Internet including baking soda, vinegar, etc. Again, we may no longer smell it, but your cat might!!!!!!!!! Personally, new carpet may be the better way to go <sigh>.

You might also check out the following web site:

http://jacksongalaxy.com/category/cat-behavior-and-care/

Jackson Galaxy (of "My Cat from Hell" fame on Animal Planet has a bunch of really good tips on litter pan problems.

Something as innocuous as buying a different brand of litter can put the cat off its litter pan. So, you might want to get some ideas for getting to the root cause of the original problem. Things like an addition to the household (2 legged or 4 legged), a medical problem, a strange cat hanging around the house, etc. can cause a cat to stop using its litter pan.

Check it out, and see what you think.

You might also try using Cat Attract litter, which actually does attract cats back to their litter pans.

Anyway, I will try to get back to you more quickly in any follow ups.

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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