Feline Friday: Poop-alicious Remedies

kitten climbing into litter

When you have pets, shitake happens. (Hey, I figured the word “crappiocca” might have been over-used lately, so…)

One of the most common cat behavior complaints I get has to do with hit-or-miss litter box behavior. And it’s one of the most misunderstood. There are so dang many reasons for Cutey-Cat to snub the litter box and even the felines who are faithful to potty training can get their tails in a twist over “sctuff” and–(ahem)–let their opinion be known.

You can find some of the basics for solving litter box problems in my cats.About.com article on the subject.  And the updated and expanded book ComPETability: Solving Behavior Problems In Your Cat-Dog Household has explanations and step-by-step how-to-solve advice, as well (kewl new cover, too, eh? :))  This week’s Woof Wednesday advice about dogs snacking from litter boxes is covered in the book, with more details of course.

Thanks to one of my fav SweetTweet & bloggicity friends for sending me the Ask Amy question, below. It can be a challenge to offer advice in 3 minutes or less, so I hope the info helps.

So what other advice would y’all offer? Do you have kitties that baptize walls? Dig-dig-dig forever and then “get productive” behind the piano? How do you manage? I’ll be adding two NEW books to the ComPETability series (for cat-to-cat and dog-to-dog behavior problems) so who knows? Your specific comments might make it into the book. Please share!

Gotta run, I have someone calling to interview me about–(wait for it) litter box problems! Like I said, it’s been a week filled with crappiocca.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

Comments

Feline Friday: Poop-alicious Remedies — 8 Comments

  1. Thankfully he seems to have stopped his stressed pooping since I sent that in. Mostly now he poops someplace else when he’s sick (at which point he usually cries and makes a fuss and tries to show us where he went), or if he smells another animal at the back door and is trying to “protect” the house (oh man those territorial poops have a whole new level of stink to them – you can tell the difference). Oddly enough, he does actually have a longer memory and better understanding than ANY other cat I’ve ever known. Our usual standard is, if he walks in and sees us cleaning up, remind him “you go to the bathroom in the litterbox” and usually no special treats for the next few hours.

    We DID find out one mistake we were making though – he has an INCREDIBLE vocabulary as far as understanding human speech goes which can sometimes make it easier to teach him the rules… but also we’ve found has some pitfalls when words sound too similar (which to kitty ears can happen REALLY easily). See, his upset poop spot was also on the bathmat. Well, when he had been nosing around trying to figure out what the bath was, we started referring to it as the “water box” because those were words he understood, so he knew he did NOT want to jump in there. We realized later our mistake… because it has the same amount of syllables, and MOST of the syllables sounded the same, he thought we were saying it was a litterbox. We altered our wording and he stopped going there completely.

    This is why the smart ones are so much trouble. LOL I’m still blown away by how many words he understands. I mean, I’ve always figured most animals pick out which words matter to them, and figure out at least enough human speech to know what applies to them (“food”, “bath”, “out”, etc), but this kitty is like the Einstein of his species.

    Of course, now I’m just trying to tackle what the heck to do about his butt-dragging, It’s shedding season and, well… things gets stuck. We’re giving him more soft food to try and prevent that, but sometimes it still happens and, well… big brown streaks across the carpet are NOT what you want to wake up to in the morning. LOL Little butt won’t sit still enough for us to trim back there, and even then it’s not really getting stuck in his fur, it’s getting stuck in… well, THERE. I wish we could come up with a way to teach him a certain spot to do that, so we can give him a spot with a towel that he knows it’s ok to drag on, which we could then just wash and switch out. But any method I know requires catching him in the act and relocating him, and we almost NEVER catch him.

    …on the upside, Woolite makes an awesome carpet cleaner that takes those stains out. LOL

  2. Our Wilde Oscar hasn’t done any butt dragging since I have put him on the same regimen that our vet has his clinic cat on: hairball medicine a couple of times a week. I had gradually realized the butt dragging only happened when he needed hairball medicine. He doesn’t like the stuff but if I have forgotten he is more patient about it. He sometimes alerts me to the need for it. I put it on the roof of his mouth with my finger. He seems to understand the necessity of it but cannot make himself like it so will sometimes play chase — running from me — first.

    (Before he went on a special diet to save him from stones, we used to give him chicken stock at his request & that seemed to have the same effect that hairball medicine does — kept him running smoothly & he knew when he needed it. He can’t have the chicken stock now since it isn’t on the official diet but all has been fine with the regular hairball regimen, Hope that will help your kitty too, Karyl.)

    Happy Holidays!!!!!

    • Thanks! :) I’m rather hoping the addition of more soft food to the diet will help – it seems to be. Unfortunately Anubis kitten is toward the impossible end of the scale for giving him any kind of meds, so if he can’t be convinced it’s a treat, it’s a lost cause. Simba at least I can grab onto long enough to keep her from spitting anything out (though with her trimming claws is the big fun – finally gave in once and took her to the vet, took 3 techs and myself just to hold her squirmy butt LOL)

      The chicken stock, however, I’m SURE he will eat. I’ll have to try that out. How much did you give him usually?

  3. Great discussion! There also are “hairball diets” that can be helpful or you can add some nonflavored metamucil to canned food (about a teaspoon to tablespoon depending on size of the cat). To soften stools you also could give a small amount of milk–since most cats are milk intolerant that can produce soft stools. *s* And most cats love it like a treat.

  4. Okay, now that was REALLY weird–got a notification that I “liked” my own blog. So is someone posting for me? Cause I didn’t…Yikes!