The Politics of Litter

Jackson Galaxy, your friendly neighborhood Cat Daddy, on why you should think twice about…

  • toilet training your cat
  • using an automated or self-cleaning litter box
  • obsessively cleaning your cat’s litter box
 
  1. Karen Johnson   January 19, 2012 at 1:00 am  

    Love you & program, have told several people who are happy! Big problem- 2 different tortoise cats unrelated both poop/pee on guardian’s beds men,women & kids only only sometimes. Clean litter, happy cats no problems, but sometimes choose the bed instead. What can be done? Cannot find info on “tortoise” cats – can Maine Coon be included?

    Reply
    1. Lynne   January 24, 2012 at 9:31 am  

      Not sure if I believe it or not, but my vet told me that peeing on someone in bed is a sign similar to “marking territory.” She (the vet) has a cat that frequently pees on her husband during the night; she said the cat really favors him. One of our cats used to do that the me during the night, but I managed to reinforcing to her that I didn’t appreciate it.

      For your friends, if their cat(s) keep this up, my suggestion would be to make the bedrooms off-limits – or at least when they can’t be supervised.

      Reply
    2. Deb   May 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm  

      We don’t let our cats in our bedroom at night and try to keep them out during the day, also, partly because we have mild allergies to cats. But, I think usually when they pee on beds they have an infection and should be seen by a vet. We had one pee on a bed pillow before.

      Reply
    3. Diane Siorano   December 26, 2012 at 10:44 am  

      I have a 15 yr. old mail cat. Had him since he was 9 mos. old. He was always good in the litter box.Hes a tall cat and stands when pees. So we hav elawas used a large storage box cut down in front.. In May we had to put our female down. ahe missed her terrible. In march my son-in law was dying. We had to make a trip up north. We couldnt take Baxter. I had no one to leave him with. We would be gone a day and a half. I left plenty of food and water for him, the litter box was plenty big. The day after we came home is started going on the floor. All around the litter box but never in it. Ive done every the vet said, everything Ive read NOTHING works, Even a 200.00 hour phone call. Which was a waist of money. HEs still going on the floor.. Any suggestions?

      Reply
      1. Dianne   December 26, 2012 at 11:31 am  

        Hi Diane, Did the vet give him a clean bill of health? Usually if they pee on horizontal surfaces (the floor(, it’s physical, if on vertical surfaces (wall), it’s behaviorial. Let’s start there…

        Reply
      2. judy   December 26, 2012 at 11:51 am  

        box entirelly its probably the cat that passed away and clean the floors in the room a couple of good times odor nuetralizer and i have alot more than 2 cats so they smell the others

        Reply
      3. kaalomai   January 11, 2013 at 11:37 pm  

        theres a litter called cat attract. when my cats have gone astray when stressed this litter has always gotten them back on track.

        Reply
        1. Dianne   January 15, 2013 at 7:54 am  

          Modko makes a great high-sided litter box that solved this issue with 2 of my cats
          Expensive, but worth it
          Don’t use the liners with it
          To reduce the stress and break habit, put out extra litter boxes — goodwill usually has some available for practically nothing
          Modko.com

          Reply
  2. Bonnie   January 19, 2012 at 6:26 am  

    I agree, the toilet training is just unnatural. I have read several reviews on this subject and people have tons of trouble training them, and it is because it’s not NATURAL, like you said. Where’s the digging, where’s the marking, the covering? We have 3 cats, and 4 boxes. We rarely have problems. We change them with liners each week, but for the most part let “things” remain untouched by human hands throughout the week. Due to the amount of boxes, everything is spaced out, reducing odor. I think ours are so used to the change each week, they’re cool with it! Let cats be cats you neat freaks!!! LOL

    Reply
    1. Jim   July 29, 2012 at 8:19 am  

      How unhealthy that you only change your cats box once per week. It is not only unhealthy for humans, but it is also unhealthy for your cat.learn something from the so-called “neat freaks.!”

      Reply
      1. Melissa   August 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm  

        I use ‘World’s Best Cat Litter’ that clumps so much better than clay. Other than scooping, I only totally replace the litter every few weeks. My litterbox stays very clean & there’s nothing unhealthy about it.

        When I was using clay litter–even though it was clumping, the ‘other’ litter became soiled more often, so I started over about one a week. I’m so glad I found better litter & I have no odor problems. My cats love it.

        If someone uses non-clumping litter, that should probably be changed daily. Ick.

        Reply
        1. Carrie   August 21, 2012 at 11:33 am  

          If you don’t clean out the soiled clumps, they can turn into an infectious bacteria if left long enough, bad for the cat.
          I use Dr Elsey’s kitty litter for Respiratory Disease (from Petsmart). One of my 2 cats has allergies. This litter is low in dust and it’s hypo-allergenic.
          Also, when I scoop their clumps, I put it in a ziploc baggie which cuts down the smell in the garbage. Before tossing the baggie though, I examine the clumps for anything suspicious like blood or worms. Using the baggie lets you do that without getting your hands messy.

          Reply
    2. izzie   August 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm  

      We once had a kitten who was totally fascinated by the toilet! He accompanied everyone in there,watched intently as we did our thing then jumped up on the back of the toilet in anticipation of us flushing it.He would watched in pure delight as it all went down the toilet. He LOVED it! (he would get upset if we closed the lid prematurely.We kept it closed when not in use BECAUSE of his fascination with it!) After awhile, when he jumped up on the back of the toilet, he would try batting at the handle,watching for the flush. I started thinking he was a good candidate for “toilet training” since he was fascinated and trying to figure it out anyway.Though our 2 older cats liked to keep us company in there, they seemed to regard his over enthusiasm as an oddity. I started reading up on the subject of toilet training a cat. I had never considered it before…but hey, he LOVED the toilet! Unfortunately I never got a chance because our sweet little bathroom buddy died quite suddenly of something the vet said “may have been FeLV”. :(

      Reply
  3. Angie   January 19, 2012 at 8:01 am  

    Thank you for covering these issues it is an on going debate in our house. I know it will come up again so could you also mention how often you feel the box should be cleaned out, and the debate about women, and/or people with respiratory problems and cleaning out the cat box.

    Reply
  4. Sherry Kelly   January 19, 2012 at 8:43 am  

    I don’t consider my cat to be trained exactly. In fact it is more like I am the one trained to accomodate her! I just provide a litter box as a convenient place for Zooby to do her business. It is automated for my convenience. If you read the book – A Cat Named Zooby – you will see that Zooby and I both had to compromise in order to accept each other. She is very independent but that all changed when she got shut in the garage door and was paralyzed. She then had to depend on me to carry her to the litter box, etc. and that was extremely difficult on her. Fortunately, at age 13 years, she is back to being independent and we have all learned to get along and enjoy each other’s company! I think cats are smarter than they are given credit for. I have had several over many years and they all learned acceptable limits. I love the show even though I don’t agree with everything.

    Reply
  5. sandra   January 19, 2012 at 10:25 am  

    Never really thought about the fact to let there be some litter in the litter box. I know the problem with most people is not keeping them clean enough, but this has helped me not to be s-o guilty if my cat boxes arent clean clean. It makes sense, and as long as you don’t let it get bad, I agree.

    I also use this time to see what there urine quantity is, blood etc. I have a lot of cats and the litter box is one tool in keeping them healthy!

    Reply
  6. Robin   January 19, 2012 at 11:18 am  

    Jackson has such good sense about cats, insightful comments about why they do what they do, and explains it all so well. I’m starting a new cat family (after a year without, since the death of my last elderly guy) with a 10- month old male and 5 month old female. They are gradually getting used to each other and I know I need some refresher lessons in feline best practices. So glad I discovered the show and the website.

    Reply
  7. SJC   January 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm  

    I have a litter-robot. Yes, it’s super expensive, but worth every penny to me. And the customer service is incredible. I have 5 cats, but I also have a spinal injury. To go around cleaning the recommended 6 litter boxes every day is just not possible for me. Plus, once I got it, it helped stop most of the inproper, outside the box, elimination that was taking place (my problem now is with urine marking). It has made a DRASTIC change and improvement in all of our lives. And the cats honestly seem to like it and took to it immediately. But there was some good info here and maybe I won’t worry so much about removing the odor, when I clean it.

    Reply
    1. Jen Hughes   April 23, 2012 at 8:33 am  

      I love the litter robot. We have three, and one of our boys won’t use the litter box unless it’s spotless. Hence, the robot. We tried traditional boxes before.

      Reply
      1. Raquel   September 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm  

        I adopted my cat one year ago. She had always been very interested in the toilet so I tried toilet training about 5 months ago. She then started peeing on my bath mat, bed, and any piece of clothing on the floor. So I switched to a litter robot. I made the mistake of turning it on when I first got. She was then afraid of it. It took awhile but as long as I only turned it on to clean it at night and in the morning she would use it. She still continues to pee on my bed daily (just this morning with me in it). I took her to the vet and he put her on meds for uti, gave her a calming collar, and suggested isolation while I’m gone. Is she trying get attention, marking her territory, I don’t know. It’s very frustrating. She’s trying to tell me something because she’ll look at me and cry while she is digging to pee on my bed(if I’m there). I tell to her to go use her litter box and she does. Please help!

        Reply
      2. Pauline Huber   June 1, 2013 at 11:27 am  

        what is the litter robot and how does it work and where do you place it?

        Reply
  8. Marie   January 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm  

    Wow. You just addressed a problem of one of my cats peeing outside the litter box after “me” being obsessive of over-cleaning the box. (He does use it to poop still) I will do a 160 on this and see what happens. Hopefully he’ll stop peeing on the carpet and tiles in front of the box. My other cat Rocket has become a bully ever since Chowder stopped using the litter box. I’ve ordered your cat essence bottles and wait on pins and needles for them to arrive and put them to use.

    Reply
  9. CALady95661   January 20, 2012 at 9:17 am  

    My cat and I both enjoy watching “My Cat From Hell” every week. Yes, she sits by my side and watches every minute of it. :o}

    Just a comment about her three litter boxes. She will only use her litter box one time and if I don’t scoop out her “present” she will go to the next litter box. One for #1 and one for #2, and one for just in case. If there is a drop of urine or “poop” in any of the litter boxes she will go outside the box. When I got her at six months old she was sharing a home with an alpha male cat and he would bully her when she tried to use the litter box. I believe this is her way of telling me she doesn’t want any litter in her litter boxes, since she had to put up with a male cat, or she will go on the floor. Just a thought. Kind of like your husband leaving the toilet seat up. lol

    Reply
  10. mg   January 20, 2012 at 9:20 am  

    ok, i hear you … i love you … however there are circumstances … hear me out … where the toilet is actually less stressful on the cat.

    i recently moved to a country where indoor cats are pretty unheard of. if you want to buy a litter box, you have to special order it. so, the litter is WEIRD to say the least. there are only 2 brands (meaning 1 kind that comes in a different color bag). it’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen. if it gets slightly wet, it turns into this gray liquid!!! no clumps, LIQUID, more so than pudding. so, the litter available here is something my cats HATE & they didn’t like the weird litter in a box either. my cats use the toilet with a tray & a small sprinkle of litter pretty well.

    so, there ARE some cases where a toilet is the better option. when i lived in america, i used the natural pine chips & was happy with that, but i worry about the chemicals in this weird stuff … & them licking their paws. plus, THEY hate it.

    Reply
    1. joanna   January 22, 2012 at 8:33 am  

      So 8 years I used shredded newspaper and my cat had no problems. He was 9 years old when I switched. He was able to dig too, which was great. And if you have a lid on it and dump the whole thing every two or thre days, it’s fine. I recommend using one whole newspaper. One and a half if the paper isn’t thick. Don’t use any glossy pages or computer paper, it won’t absorb the moisture and its a mess. Good luck.

      Reply
    2. snuzzle   January 22, 2012 at 10:16 am  

      In a pinch, you can use chicken feed (just the plain, basic stuff) as kitty litter. It’s basically the same stuff as Swheat Scoop. It doesn’t clump beautifully, but it works, and you just have to make sure no neighborhood critters are having a snack in the box.

      Reply
      1. Kathleen Bass   August 14, 2012 at 8:11 pm  

        I discovered 16% poultry crumble for litter after seeing the exorbitant cost of The World’s Best Cat Liiter. The corncrumble clumps well for me, I use baking soda to mix in with it and there is no odor. Plus the cost, is approx. $14 for 50 pounds. I do rescue fostering and I’ve never had a cat or kitten who refused to use it. I change it out totally weekly, and scoop a minimum of twice a day. I totally agree with Jackson that toilet training a cat is not normal, most of my cats dig, do their business and then dig again once or twice to make sure it is covered. Any Tractor Supply or feed store will carry it, just be sure not to use anything that has added medications, just plain 16% crumble and to answer the unasked question, no they don’t try to eat it!

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  11. June S   January 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm  

    Love your show and watch it every Saturday,You are right about the majority of cats and litter boxes.There are some bengals and other cats that still prefer to relieve themselves in water. Biologists tell us leopard cats and some other small felines eliminate in water so their odor is carried away as a protection against larger predators. I’ve seen particularly young bengals and other hybrids pooping in a wet bathtub or a basin of water or toilet and not really understanding what a litter pan is for and trying to eat litter and dig and sleep in until they see a domestic cat or kitten using it for what it is for and smelling it. Using the box is not nearly as natural as a domestic kitty. Some may switch to litter, but may go back to water when stressed, Others may always prefer water. By the way , I think City the Kitty is a Jungle Bob, a cross between pixie bob and junglecat hybrids. They are georgeous, smart, but some are high octane and not for everyone.

    Reply
    1. Gwen   March 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm  

      Cool! This explains why our boy kitten loves to pee in the toilet. I suspect that he is part Tabby/domestic and part Bengal (white and orange like a tabby but gorgeous mottled fur markings like a Bengal along with those long legs, long body, and webbed toes.) Oliver LOVES water to the point of hopping into my shower nearly every morning to play with the rivulets as they swirl down the drain…he also pees in the toilet at least three times a week (that I’ve seen). He’s also my insane jumper and climber…there is no place he won’t try to explore…and the constant high energy keeps me on my toes! He’s also the first cat I’ve ever had who loved walking outside on a harness from day one. All my others have to sort of ease into it. Minerva likes it (my good-as-gold-loves-her-humans-so-much black kitty no one else wanted) but she needed some time to adjust. And then there are my senior kitties McKennsse and Oro (both part Maine Coone and HUGE) who hate the harnesses at first and then once they get outside love being able to sniff everything. I think a catio is on my wish list now.

      Honestly I wish our cats were misbehavers so we could audition for the show but they are incredibly well integrated into our lives and home. And the couple problems we had (early morning wakings, being loud at night) were immediately fixed by using the play “hunt, catch, kill” exercise recommended on the show twice a day before meals. (Literally it worked overnight.) Our window sills are very deep and they already have a super highway using bookcases but I think we’ll be getting a cat tree for the living room anyways (all my cats are tree dwellers) and some new toys (I had no idea cats liked treat kongs!) for while we’re gone during the day.

      Can someone recommend (or maybe add it to your store Jackson Galaxy?) a good nail clipper for kitties? The one I bought from the vet (guillotine style) tends to crack their nails and I’ve had mixed success using human nail scissors and clippers.

      Reply
      1. Ml   August 27, 2014 at 3:26 pm  

        The martha stewart pets brand nail clippers work for me. Bought them at random though so maybe there are better ones out there

        Reply
  12. Becci Dougherty   January 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm  

    Love your show! I remember being so excited about Litter-maid boxes. At the time we had 5 cats. Stinky Sox. Would wait for it to move & swat at it. So the arm would go back & start again a few minutes later. Those things are LOUD. So we unplugged it @ night so we could sleep & pitched it a few weeks later.
    I’m just so happy that .org can hel:-P. So many cats to have better lives. We are down to 2 from 5. But they have passed from health issues & still lived longer than predicted by vets. One was diabetic & the other waskidney failure. The 2 we have left are 15 & 16 years old. I can’t imagine our lives without them. Cstsbr just wonderful. :-D

    Reply
  13. Janimal   January 22, 2012 at 7:21 am  

    I live on the East coast. I have a small apartment with 7 cats, 3 house and 4 ferals that decided to live with us. Number one boy named Jackson is my best indoor friend. Bob Cat is the alpha feral and does understand and respect Jacksons position. When I walk to the corner store (apx. 1/8 mile), I ask Bob if he wants to go with. He always immediately goes to the door and waits! We then go on our walk. Sometimes Nino or Cindy Lou will come along, but Bob always walks next to me. He then waits for me behind the store and walks back with me! There are no harnesses, leashes or treats involved. We enjoy being together, although Bob does like to walk with me alone he will allow Nino or Cindy come too!
    I am so blessed to have such good fuzzy friends. Friends call me the cat whisperer. I work at the local horse tracks and horse people call me the horse whisperer. Maybe too many people just don’t take the time to understand the creatures around them. Glad your out there Jackson, maybe I’ll take care of the East coast and you do the West!
    Love ya

    Reply
    1. dmazzei54   May 29, 2012 at 5:14 am  

      You’re a fool. One should never allow their cats outside !! Also, why would one take their cats, if they’re so loved, outside without a leash. You deserve what you get (heartache) when you lose one of your cats to your foolishness and ignorance. Shame on you.

      Reply
      1. Puck   August 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm  

        @dmazzie54. You don’t know Janimal’s situation or neighborhood. Your judgmental and hostile attitude will do nothing to educate or change anyone’s mind. How about you take it down a notch.

        Reply
        1. ICANOEWENONAH   August 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm  

          :-) Good reply Puck, you replied what I thought.

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      2. Jamie   October 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm  

        OMG – Cats are ANIMALS and many of them would go insane without the opportunity to go outside a little bit at least. Mine goes outside for 30 minutes in the mornings… suns herself on the porch, then comes back in. Good grief.

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      3. Lisa   August 29, 2014 at 9:08 am  

        What an awful thing to say to someone. Shame on YOU!

        Reply
    2. Mama Cat   August 10, 2012 at 9:37 am  

      You know it is good that your cats love you & you love them but it isn’t really safe to expose them to threats from other animals. Use a leash & halter if you feelm they really want to be outside some. I built a “catio” for my cats with 4 extra large windows so they can look around & watch nature to their hearts content. I have 10 cats & they never go outside. By the way a catio is a patio built just for cats. I got that from Jackson’s show. I adore him & how great he is with cats.

      Reply
  14. Lisa   January 22, 2012 at 8:07 am  

    I think every cat’s litter box needs/wants are slightly different. My cat wants the box cleaned once a day and wants a lot of litter in it. She will NOT use a covered box (I think she associates it with the cat carrier). I can sometimes get away with cleaning it every other day, but no longer than that. Other cats I’ve had have been less picky. And one or two I was just never able to figure out.

    Reply
  15. snuzzle   January 22, 2012 at 10:12 am  

    I emphatically disagree about “over cleaning” the box. I don’t think a litter box can ever be clean enough.

    A cat’s natural instinct is to bury her waste so predators won’t know “a cat has been here”. My own cat gets stressed and repeatedly tries to bury where she was sitting when she gets waste stuck on her fur until I catch her and clean it off. In the wild, they don’t stick around where they eliminate unless they are trying to mark their territory. Just like dogs, there’s a difference between territory marking and elimination. There’s a reason, after all, that a mom cat never eliminates near her nest. It’s not safe to hang around where there are bright red flags screaming CAT HERE.

    I used to have a cat who would “announce” when he was done using the box, and would not stop nagging us until we had scooped. There’s simply no way we could have gone even a day without scooping.

    Cats are stressed when when they have to eliminate in a dirty box. I wouldn’t want to eliminate in a dirty bathroom, and I know my cats don’t want to eliminate in a dirty box for more than just sanitary and comfort reasons. It’s a survival instinct to bury their waste. They do that for a reason. I’m helping my cat feel secure by removing her waste often.

    Reply
    1. Lynne   January 24, 2012 at 9:27 am  

      I don’t think Jackson was saying that you shouldn’t scoop often. My cats also let me know that I should clean their boxes (I use 3 litter boxes for 2 cats, which I clean daily.)

      I “heard” him saying that he didn’t support trying to teach a cat to use the toilet, automatic cleaners, or disinfecting litter boxes on a routine basis.

      I think that picturing the cat “in nature” gives an idea of what makes them most comfortable. A cat will go to the same place outside. Natural is dirt or sand (they love my garden), but no automatic cleaner and certainly no disinfectant.

      Reply
  16. Robin #2   January 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm  

    I applaud the politics of litter. My cat, Delilah, has megacolon (she had the surgery but the condition recurred in the inch or two of gut she has left) and it is absolutely critical that I monitor her output. It’s how I know if she’s OK and it’s how I know whether I need to adjust her meds or not. She did go through a period of peeing everywhere BUT the box but I found that putting a new litterbox in the area she pee’d most often seems to have calmed her. She has even started visiting the old box again. I think folks just get panicky about cat waste but that’s why our hands are washable.

    Reply
  17. Bilu   January 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm  

    I greatly appreciate you, Jackson, and I have learned a lot from your knoweldge of cat behavior. Thank you for the perspective on the importance of litterbox politics in marking and ownership in the cat’s domain.

    One thing I would like to hear are your views on cat nutrition and thoughts on optimal commercial foods and treats. Since I know that cats benefit from a quality protein-based diet (without soy, wheat, corn fillers); it would be useful to know what you recommend.

    Many thank,
    BLF

    Reply
  18. Cat Advocate   January 29, 2012 at 7:06 am  

    “Litterbox Secrets”, by Jackson Galaxy and Dr. Jean Hofve, http://www.littlebigcat.com/behavior/litterbox-secrets/

    Jackson noted in his video that when cats deposit urine and feces in the litterbox, we get important clues about their health. That is why clumping clay litter (with little or no scent) is recommended.

    [Despite the things us humans dislike about clumping clay, cats usually also prefer it over other types. Some non-clay litters like corn, pine and wheat, can even cause allergies in cats.]

    A cat with a urinary problem might be creating very small urine clumps. If the wrong type of litter or an automatic litterbox is used, if or if the cat is trained to use the toilet, these VERY important clues will be missed. If the problem persists, the cat could end up with a life-threatening urinary blockage, which is an extremely painful and very expensive to treat. (Dr. Pierson details Opie’s story on her Urinary Tract Health page, http://catinfo.org/?link=urinarytracthealth).

    Reply
  19. downfromtheledge   January 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm  

    While I agree that it goes against cats’ natural instincts, I still wonder if toilet training DOES work successfully for a large percentage of the cats. I was hoping the video would answer that question; couldn’t they be trained and given the *option* of using the litter box if/when they want to? Even if it cut down on 50% of the litter usage, that’s a drastic savings in cost and waste to the environment from all the litter that’s thrown away. Jackson’s philosophy on the issue makes perfect sense, but my lingering question is…can it work?

    Reply
  20. Sandra Lloyd   January 30, 2012 at 9:40 am  

    I have a cat rescue. I get many calls from people wanting me to take their problem cats. Since watching the show, I can more advise people on their cat problems so they can possibly remedy the problem and keep their cat. Other rescues call me to take their problem cats because they know I have a soft heart and will take them in. Sometimes it is a great challenge but now I have better knowledge to deal with them. One cat took me 7 months to let me pet her. She used to bloody me and now she plays with me and wants attention. Thanks Jackson for all the great tips!

    Reply
  21. Jennifer   March 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm  

    I really wish you could publish transcripts or use closed captioning on your videos. It’d make them more accessible to those of us who can’t always listen. :)

    Reply
  22. Becky   March 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm  

    Hi. I heard you recommend on one of your episodes that cats should have an all protein diet. I have actually been thinking that myself. What do you recommend? Thank you.

    Becky

    Reply
    1. Louise   April 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm  

      Gi, Becky! I know your message was meant to Jackson, but I just wanted to metion that I have two cats on a raw meaty bones diet and that it works great with them. They had no problem adjusting to it (although it’s not uncommon for a cat to need more time to do so), and I noticed improvement in a number of things. Do your research, read a lot about the subject (this site is of great help -> http://feline-nutrition.org/) and go for it! :)

      Reply
      1. Ml   August 27, 2014 at 3:30 pm  

        Same here. Chop up whole chixkens and grind them. Add taurine and other supplements, egg and water.

        Reply
  23. Anna   April 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm  

    I have four cats and four litterboxes. I did have five, but discovered they rarely used it. I scoop them twice a day and clean them out every 4-5 months. I just keep adding fresh litter and when I change the litter out and clean the boxes, I put some of the old litter inside them. My cats seem quite happy using their boxes. Each box is different and each cat seems to have a preference. If I switch the litter, I do it gradually. Sometimes, one of them may “overshoot” the litterbox with poo and, when they see me cleaning it up, they actually seem a little bit embarrassed. I just talk to them in a mellow voice. People that come over are always surprised that I have four cats and four litterboxes as they can’t smell them at all. I agree with you…keep the box clean and you won’t have a smell problem. And I would never purchase one of those automatic boxes….WAY too expensive!

    Reply
  24. Pam   April 18, 2012 at 9:34 am  

    Someone please help…I have a 3yr old male who has had some trama while trying to use the litter box. He ate some string and then as he tried to go poop the clumps stuck together and to him he thought the poop was chasing him all over the house. He got over the fear the first time. But it happened a couple of more times with hair. Now he tries not to go poop at all cuz he thinks it is going to attack him. He still pees in the litter box but won’t poop in it. So he ends up only pooping when his body finally forces him to let it out, I feel so bad for him and I don’t know how to help him get over his fear, I got him a 2nd litter box. I’ve tried to show him the box is safe…..any ideas??

    Reply
    1. Wren   January 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm  

      Maybe try changing the type of litter you use so that it’s a different texture and he won’t associate it with the first one? Yesterday’s News (newspaper litter) worked well for my senior cat many years ago who had some litter problems, and it’s pellets instead of clay texture.

      Reply
  25. debbie dockter   April 26, 2012 at 7:18 pm  

    please help i have a cat that sprays, i am at my witts end i have tried everything

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  26. debbie dockter   April 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm  

    help i have a cat that sprays i have tried everything i am at my witts end

    Reply
    1. Wendy Christensen   May 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm  

      I can help. Please email me at wendy@wendycats.com

      Purrrrrs… Wendy Christensen, author of “Outwitting Cats.”

      Reply
      1. Will   July 9, 2012 at 11:59 am  

        i have 4 cats, 1 from the aspca and 3 rescues. i have 2 males and 2 females. the 2 males vie for alpha and the younger of the 2 marks all over the house. i have 6 litter boxes but it doesn’t matter…he marks every transition point in the house. we love him but cant take anymore….HELP

        Reply
        1. Wren   January 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm  

          Have you tried Feliway?

          Reply
  27. Susannah Ayres-Thomas   April 28, 2012 at 6:42 pm  

    Okay, I hear you. Will discuss with my hub, the main litter-box attendant. I think youve made very valid points. And, while I’m at it, I understand today is your birthday. So, have a blessed and glorious birthday! God bless you, whatever face S/He wears for you.

    Reply
  28. Susan   May 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm  

    Help! I watch you show the time and enjoy it immensely. Anyhow, I have a new friend who has an Egyptian Sphinx who is 9, neutered male who had already been declawed when they got him. He goes to his litter box, but in it he sprays on the wall! What are your suggestions. He has an open clay litter box.

    Reply
    1. Rachel Smyth   September 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm  

      Just a thought….I have an 14 year old male cat who also gets in the litter box and ends up spraying the wall….I then noticed that he seems to have stiffness in his back legs and although he gets in the box, digs and then is unable to lower himself to get the urine in the box because of the stiffness. Pooping must be at a different angle as he seems to always hit the spot for that….also, something else to make sure of is does he have cystitis…he may be straining to pee and then it just shoots out at whatever angle he can get it.

      Reply
    2. Wren   January 13, 2013 at 1:21 pm  

      Have you tried one of those boxes with really high sides at one end (lower in the other end for easy entry)? If it’s just an angle/agility problem, maybe if the side goes up high enough, he’ll make it.

      Reply
      1. Patty   January 14, 2013 at 7:41 pm  

        Try using a covered litter box as I have one cat that a few years ago all of a sudden decided to start peeing as if he wasn’t a fixed male. Now there is no problem if he pees high cuz he goes in a covered litter box. I have 2 the same so when it’s time to wash the one I have another one that I can change right away.

        Reply
  29. Sue   May 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm  

    I have a beautiful main coon. About 1 year ago he started to deficate outside the litter box. He still urinates in the box. This has never been an issue for him in the past. 2 years ago we moved into a new home that had previuosly had a dog in it. Don’t know if this has anything to do with his current issues. I added a second litter box, but it did not help. I am open to any suggestions.

    Reply
    1. Pam   May 8, 2012 at 9:14 am  

      Oh good luck Sue in finding a way to get him to use his box again. I have been going through the same thing with my three year old Male….My post (it’s also on here asking for “help” ) His problem was caused by a trama he went thru a few months back. So if I have any luck or you do let me know and I will do the same for you.
      I am currently using a Bach remendy to help him with his fears and it’s been one step forward and two steps back….But I am happy I know the reason….just wish I could get thru to him that its ok to use his box.
      Good Luck!

      Reply
    2. Sherry   July 13, 2013 at 7:04 pm  

      I also have a Maine Coon boy about a year old. He recently just started pooping on the floor. I have a litter box with a lid and removed it. It helped for a week then back to the floor. Im thinking maybe trying a different litter and see what happens. I just dont know what is good to use. I also have a problem with him chewing cords and wires. Does anybody have any solutions on how to make him stop?

      Reply
  30. HughesClues   May 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm  

    I think anyone who enters into the commitment of a 14 to 20+ year co-habitation should ready themselves for anything. That being said, my first baby was given to me when she was 2, after living mostly outdoors because she “didn’t like” the caregivers new kitten. She was malnourished and flea ridden and would NOT use a litter box. I nourished her with safe raw food, a trip the veterinarian for tests and vaccines and the luxury of indoor living. The litter box issue went on and on. We replaced a mattress and a hall carpet before we really go what she was telling us. She loved a clean box. She liked a big box. She liked consistency. I provided her with two boxes (in a one bed, one bath) which were scooped 2x a day and washed 1x a week. The primary box was roomy, 2’x3′, and she loved it! It is a widely held belief that long-haired cats may prefer a regularly scooped box because of their compulsion to clean themselves. For those cats, whose hair hangs in a dirty litter box, it may become an unpleasant act. Also, it is common for prey animals to bury their excrement in an attempt to hide their location from predators and may feel safer defecating in an unknown place (at least until they are comfortable.) In my home, we have since introduced another adult cat and moved to a new dwelling without incident. They actually both use a toilet too, (but not exclusively.) It is entirely about patience, diligence, and understanding. When domestic pets have “problems,” it is up to us. We were willing to buy/adopt/take-in, now follow through and make that domestic pet’s life awesome!

    Reply
  31. Christa March   June 5, 2012 at 4:33 pm  

    Love your show and I just finished ‘Cat Daddy’. It was a fantastic read. At the end when you lost Benny, hit me harder than I expected. I just lost my cat Dax at the beginning of the year and it brought all of that back. Personally, I found wheat litter is better at contolling catbox odors than clay (better for cats and people too).. Also, what you feed the cat matters. If the food is grain based cats have a harder time digesting it and it can be pretty nasty in the box. Thank you for doing for cats what Cesar Milan has done for dogs…. help us understand them better!

    Reply
  32. Mary   June 13, 2012 at 4:00 am  

    About 3 weeks ago my brother was moving into a house and his cat stayed with me. And she laid in a certain spot on my bed. My kitten (Mystic) is 6 months old and is now peeing in that spot. Now, I know she’s marking territory, but when I have to change my sheets everyday, and I’m in the bed when she does this it kind of gets on my nerves. I love my kitten, but there has got to be a place where we can meet.. What can I do to show her that Its not good? I’ve tried to flip my mattress over, however it doesn’t work. Whenever I tell her it’s bad and put her in the litter box (if I catch her) she just gives me a blank stare. I don’t know what to do. Can someone help?

    Reply
    1. Deb   June 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm  

      The only thing I can say is clean that spot with a urine remover and then keep her out of your bedroom. Sorry I can’t be of more help. I have a problem with a cat marking lots of places in the house. We have 6 cats and she is the only one doing it.They are all fixed.

      Reply
      1. Melanie   June 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm  

        I recently adopted a Siamese male, neutered, I thought everything was fine but he has started urinating all over the house. Nothing is safe, even clothes baskets, dog blankets, nothing! I have 3 cats, 4 litterboxes. – keep the boxes tidy but not spotless. My main problem is my home smells like a litterbox! His urine has gotten into my tile grout and what can I use to clean it that really works??

        Reply
        1. jc   June 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm  

          Melanie, I have a calico female, had a similar problem with her. She urinated everywhere, even off the top of the fridge and on counter tops. With three cats, it took a while to identify the culprit but I finally caught her in the act. She now lives in a space by herself and in the years since being moved to her own room has never once failed to use her litter boxes. Because the cats seemed to get along, we didn’t know that she really doesn’t get along with other cats and urinating was her way of letting us know. As long as she has her own exclusive territory, she’s a sweetie. I don’t know if this was helpful to you, but I hope you can find a solution for you and your new guy. It’s so stressful having this problem, I know! Hopefully you can figure out what he’s trying to tell you, good luck to you all.

          Reply
    2. Wren   January 13, 2013 at 1:25 pm  

      I would try a few things:
      -clean the spots on the mattress with enzyme cleaner.
      -maybe (if you don’t mind the scent, I love it), once it’s clean, douse it with orange essential oil (cats generally don’t like citrus smells)
      -alternatively to the orange, douse it with feliway spray.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  33. Eve   June 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm  

    I completely get and agree with most of the video, but the part where you say to not clean out the tray too often is where I find it difficult. I try as much as possible to just scoop clumps of urine and faeces out, then add fresh litter, but after a week, the smell of ammonia is just too strong, to the point where I find it hard to breathe when I go to scoop. I’m not squeamish when it comes to animal smells, I’m an animal technician at an agricultural college farm, so most smells don’t bother me, but that ammonia smell from cats is just so incredibly strong and pungent that I find that I have to empty and wash out the tray every week, or I start to smell it from my desk about a metre away. It doesn’t really help that my two cats use one tray to urinate, the other to defecate (I have a third, but they don’t use it very often), so the urine tray is eye-wateringly bad after a week, and I don’t even want to think about what it would be like after one month, let alone 6.

    Reply
    1. Louise   June 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm  

      Hey, Eve.
      Have you tried to change their diet? I noticed that feeding my cats a raw diet improved the smell of the ammonia dramatically. Even the feces have diminished – both in amount and the odor.

      Reply
      1. Eve   June 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm  

        Interesting. I’ll keep it in mind for the future, but I honestly can’t afford a raw diet for them at the moment. Most of our household income is from my gentleman, since I’m a student, and my part time job really pays horribly. I’d love to feed them raw, though. On that note, I was reading the information on a website that was about completely raw feeding, and didn’t see any mention of any real facts, such as nutritional requirements, particularly the need for taurine in the diet. I was quite put off by that, and the page dedicated to “Vaccinations are bad because…”. If you know somewhere I can get my hands on raw feeding information with more facts and less “This is good because I say so”, I’d really love to check it out.

        Reply
        1. Louise   June 23, 2012 at 8:28 pm  

          Well, being brazilian I do most of my research on a website in my native language – it’s written by a vet, and she proclaims that you don’t have to worry about adding taurine as long as you keep the food raw and as fresh as possible. Cooking it or letting it sit in contact with air starts the deterioration process and will decrease the level of taurine in the meat.

          She encourages ‘raw feeders’ (is that even an expression? lol) to enrich the food by adding fish oil, cocconut oil, cooked vegetables – they will add fiber to the lot – and probiotics such as yeast and yogurt. If you want to read any of these ‘recipes’, I’ll be glad to ask the author permission to translate them for you.

          In the meantime though, there’s a website in english that I find very helpful: Feline Nutrition Education Socitey (you can find it at http://feline-nutrition.org/).I don’t know if that was the page you mentioned before, but I doubt it, because they have lots of info, guides, articles etc there. I believe that you will find there the answers to your questions – and I’m glad that you have those, because changing the cat’s diet (even if it is a plan for the future) without fully understanding how it works is putting yourself at risk of doing it the wrong way.

          Oh, and let me know your impressions on the site. :)

          Reply
          1. Eve   June 24, 2012 at 1:46 am  

            Thank you so much for your help, I would really appreciate it if you could translate that for me, it’d be a massive help. Also, the website I found was this one: http://www.rawfedcats.org/ It’s not really that the information is bad, but it does seem to be from the perspective of a cat owner, rather than a vet/dietitian/nutritionist. There’s just something about the way it’s written that seems really fanatical, rather than calm and informative. And, as I said, the vaccinosis thing left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The link you gave me is brilliant, thank you again!

          2. Louise   June 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm  

            Hey Eve!
            Write me at melle_lane@hotmail.com, I think it’s easier for us to chat. :)

    2. Wren   January 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm  

      You could try changing litter brands, but if the smell is that strong I would first have them checked out by a vet. That sounds unusually strong. Also, are they drinking enough water if it’s that concentrated? If not, kitties tend to drink more when they have a fountain than standing bowls, and canned food has more water content than dry. Also make sure your litter brand is unscented. I once bought the regular (read: scented) brand of my litter because the store was out of unscented, and thought, how bad could it be?
      Answer: bad. My whole apartment (three cats, three boxes) smelled like – wait for it – cotton candy cat piss. It was not pleasant.

      Reply
  34. Greg   June 21, 2012 at 12:46 am  

    Years ago I had a cat that learned to use the toilet on his own. This cat always seemed to be vary inteligent and the best I can figuer is that he used to love to sit on my lap when I was using the throne and I guess he heard the water sound and figuered out what was happening. He would only pee in the toilet though, he would never poo.

    Reply
  35. Amber   June 21, 2012 at 9:28 am  

    I have a very overweight and ill-mannered cat, so it’s my least concern when she “misses” the litter pan. That hardly concerns me at all….I used to love having visitors at my house, and I still do, but no one comes anymore because they’re afraid of my cat. Even my best friend is nervous when she stays over. My cat looks adorable and does cute things all the time, so everyone wants to pet her and all that, but I constantly had to tell people not to touch her. They learned their lesson and almost never visit any more. I can only touch her when I’m about to feed her or when she’s asleep and even then I have to back off quickly before she wakes up. I’d never even dream of trying to pick her up or pet her anywhere else other than on the head and she even attacks me for no reason at all, like when I’m on the computer and don’t even know she’s in the room. She’s come within an inch of clawing one of my eyes out twice already, and I don’t remember doing anything to provoke her either time. My friends at school even thought I cut myself because of all the deep scratches on my wrist. Once before I got so frustrated and angry after she attacked me when I was lying down that I actually choked her. Someone, I don’t care who, please give me some advice! I’m honestly AFRAID of my cat I’ve had for over 7 years(who never goes outside) and I don’t want to become an abusive pet owner at age 16!

    Reply
    1. Anna   June 22, 2012 at 9:13 am  

      Amber, you’ve written that your cat is very overweight and ill-mannered. Have you taken her to a vet to see if there are any physical problems associated with her being overweight? Or if she has any problems at all? If she is 7 years old, did you have her from when she was a kitten or did you get her as an adult cat? If you got her when she was no longer a kitten, she may be older than 7 and have a problem or problems that need addressing. A good place to start would be a visit to the vet.

      And wear oven mitts when you have to pick her up and put her in a carrier to take her to the vet. My cat, Whiskey, was 25 years old when she passed away but, before she did, the last ten years of her life were spent with me donning leather gauntlets whenever I had to put her in her carrier to take her to the vet.

      Choking your cat will only make her afraid of you and she can become more aggressive. After all, you are far bigger than she is and that alone can be intimidating to a cat. And cats don’t respond to punishment or yelling like dogs may. When one of my cats would start to claw the furniture, I say, “Hey! Don’t do that,” while I pick that cat up and put it by the scratching post. It takes a lot of patience, but now I only have to do it once in a great while. Now, all I do is look at whichever cat is starting to scratch and say, “What are you doing?” and that cat goes directly to the scratching post.

      Reply
    2. Dion   July 19, 2012 at 11:07 am  

      Anna,
      Have you done any research on cat aggression on the Internet? If you haven’t, that may provide you with some answers – there is a lot of information out there! I have seen Jackson Galaxy address this issue on a couple of his shows. Its seems that he suggests that playing with your cat regularly with toys that are on a wand (NEVER play with your cat with your hands) might help your problem. He uses a toy called “da bird” and you can get it easily from his website. I have the same toy in my arsenal of toys here and the cats really like it. Please don’t choke your cat, it not only scares him/her, but it won’t work and may make things worse. I understand your frustration, but your problem is not impossible to solve providing you put some effort into it. Bless you for caring enough to write asking for advice. Its a good first step. Playing with your cat will provide an outlet for his natural need to hunt, and it will tire him out. A tired cat is a happy cat!

      Reply
  36. Donna   June 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm  

    It took six weeks to toilet train my boy. The first time he went by himself he was so proud.We now have a bond like mother and child. I think because I taught him something with love and patience.

    Reply
    1. Anna   June 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm  

      That’s all it takes.

      Reply
  37. Kaylee   June 30, 2012 at 3:45 pm  

    Hey Jackson.
    My friend’s cat is is crazy. You can be petting him and than he will start hissing. He also HATES men. Can you please help.
    Your friend Kaylee

    Reply
  38. Karla K   June 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm  

    I just added a kitten (5-6 weeks old) to my 10 yr and 6 yr old cat family. Are you telling me I shouldn’t clean their box everyday?

    Reply
    1. Eve   July 1, 2012 at 2:37 am  

      He means a FULL clean out, as in a full scrub down, emptying all the litter out completely. You should still scoop.

      Reply
  39. ALEXIS   June 30, 2012 at 8:24 pm  

    dear jackson galaxy im a big fan u r my role modale i have 2 cats and a rabbit i just recently got my 2ed cat its still a working progeres so the reson im on your site im taking notes to help me make my cats happy together well got to go bye

    Reply
  40. Martine   June 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm  

    As a long-time cat guardian, I have used all kinds of litter boxes (small, large, corner, igloo, tumble, etc) and cat litters (regular, clumping, newspaper, wheat, pine). The bottom line is: they all smell (on their own, and of course even worse after use). They’re messy and heavy to transport. And more importantly, I find them bad because of all the dust they produce (can you imagine what that does to cat lungs?)

    Last year, I moved into a new place and decided to try the Breeze system (it’s done by Tidy Cats). I wasn’t sure how it would go as I have cats that are 17 and 10 yo, and who had never used anything but clumping litter and related (I had tried putting the Breeze litter box in service, but as I had not removed the regular litter box, none of the cats used it.) This time, I only put the Breeze litter boxes (two of them) in service. To my great surprise, both cats used them immediately, which was a great relief. Why? Because I now live in a 2-bedroom apartment and I didn’t want my place to smell like cat litter.

    I cannot praise this system enough (the only thing that’s better, imo, is training your cat to use the toilet, but that’s a bit late in my case.) There’s basically no smell (except if you’re around when a #2 happens; you just clean it and the smell is gone very quickly; if you’re not around, it all dries out and there’s virtually no smell). There’s no dust. The amount of pellets used is much, much smaller than the pounds of clumping litter. Costwise, I calculated it’s virtually on par with clumping litter, particularly if you get it delivered directly at home on a repeat order.

    Apart from pbs like a cat having a liquid stool, this system is very superior to anything else out there. I’m surprised it is not more widely known and advertised (my vet had never heard of it!) I have no interest in the company that produces it. I’m just a very satisfied client of their product and I want to recommend it to as many people as possible, since I think it’s a great improvement over everything else I’ve seen/tried. I think it would be a particularly good system for people who don’t want to deal with messy cat litter (I hadn’t realized there were so many people that really disliked that.)

    Just my 2 cents and suggestion to the people out there who are looking for a solution.

    Reply
  41. Sheila   July 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm  

    I have a 4 yr old black n white “barn cat”. Everyone warned me that she couldnt be trained, would never learn her name and would never respond to me. For the first year of her life (I got her at 8 weeks) she and I lived alone. She was then and is now my lil diva, her name is “Killer” because of the damage her nails did to me when she was tiny.
    She learned her name within a couple weeks and still responds accordingly, even coming when she’s called. She also knows what it means when I say “go tell Dad”…and will promptly run her chunky little heiney down the hall to find him
    Killer knows how to play “dead cat” and falls to the floor flat out when I say the words. She knows what “Pretty Kitty” means (sits pretty like a dog begging). She fetches ball with such great pride I cant help but to be proud of her. She knows “get to your condo” and never has to be told twice. She knows “let’s go n’nite” and will beat me to bed every time and then stand on the bed waiting for me to get in, cover up and hold our favorite minkie up so she can climb in and sleeps in my arms ..fully covered til she gets too hot. She doesnt like anyone from outside to come to close to me. When it happens with my adult kids she puts herself between me and them until I tell her they’re ok. She knows so many commands and is so attentive to me alone. She can detect when my blood sugars get too low and will harass me til she wakes me. If she senses Im not breathing good, she climbs on me and pats me gently to stir me. Shes never ever had a behavior problem of any kind…thankfully.
    Her litter box issue is so funny. First off….she will tell me if her box needs to be cleaned….or rather she tells my fiance’. She wont “go p” if it’s storming and the wind is bad. She’ll come get me…(y’all know that “hurry come quick Timmy fell down the well” of the old Lassie days) She comes to me and meows loudly then trots off towards the litter box and keeps doing this til I get the picture. Then she’ll crawl in the litter box and peak out to make sure Im there.
    Since she was little when we’d clean out the litter box she’d push us away and crawl in and spread out over the entire litter….meowing loudly. This happened every single time. She is better now, she’ll sit by and watch us clean it but cant hardly wait til it’s before she gets in and hasta “p”. We’ve tried every litter on the market and she, and I love the Fresh Step. The litter box gets cleaned daily…but only dumped once a month. I did have to go with a covered litter box sitting in an unused closet so she wouldnt p over the side. Now she loves to get in the litter box and stand and bang on the door of it making it swing wildly.

    Reply
  42. Lynn   July 4, 2012 at 4:58 am  

    I have an 8 year old Siamese who, 50% of the time, will not use the cat litter to poop in. He goes poop on a throw rug or even once on my hubby’s jeans (bottom hanging on floor).

    He has been this way for a long time. I found out he is very fussy about his litter, no fragrances, regular clumping litter, no fancy stuff. About 5 years ago I got another cat. The Siamese had this problem before I got the other cat (who is SO good and wouldn’t care if his litter was almost totally nasty, he’d still use it.).

    I have had 5 cat litter trays, hoping that would help, but it doesn’t. I can’t make the other cat only use 1 or 2 of them and since the Siamese had this issue before, I don’t think that is it.

    Just today my hubby said the Siamese pooped on the carpet in the basement (about 8 feet from the cat litter and then he came upstairs and peed on his jeans that he had lain over “my” Lazy Boy.

    It was bad enough before, but my hubby said get the cat to use the litter box normally, or give him away. No one wants a cat who doesn’t use the cat box consistently, so he’d end up being put down. He is such a lovey cat and good natured in all other ways.

    Does anyone have any ideas? Today I’m putting him, his food, his water and a clean/new cat litter tray in our extra bathroom while I get some sleep. But its not fair if he has to spend most of his time in there for the rest of his life.

    Reply
  43. Mags   July 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm  

    I want to thank you for finally speaking up on something that has irked me to no end about myth and mis-conception about litter boxes! Hurray for an expert voice in regards to territory/marking and smell from a litter box point of view! I have 11 cats, 5 litter boxes, they are cleaned (scooped each day because I have eleven cats) but don’t have to empty, scrub, sanitize/bleach, but perhaps once a year if that! I keep a large amount of litter in the box, they like it, it absorbs the wate, it scoops easier and yes, you are part of a cats life and responsible for their care, feeding and hygiene! I love your no non-sense, street smart, practicle way of taking care of cat business. These are not Cat’s from HELL, they are Owners from La La Land that need a little knock up side the head and you do it so gently! I Love You!

    Reply
    1. DEB   July 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm  

      Don’t you ever get ammonia build-up in your litter boxes? I have to clean ours out every few days (at least once a week) in order to avoid ammonia.

      Reply
  44. Amber   July 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm  

    I have a female cat that urinates in the corners of my house. I have all the corners blocked at this moment and we haven’t had many problems recently. She seems to do it after she comes indoors. I think that the litter hurts her and I’m going to try and get some finer litter tomorrow. She isn’t declawed but has sensitive paws, even though she spends more time in the bark than in the grass when she is outside. Please tell me what to do, Amber.

    Reply
  45. Sue   July 15, 2012 at 8:50 am  

    A coulple of episodes ago, Jackson mentioned a CO2 cahrger to get rid of urine odors. Does anyone know the name of this and where to find it? The previous owners owned a dog that urinated all over the house. I have gotten rid of most of it, but still have some lingering odors along that baseboards in teh basement. I ahve tried Fision and Natures miracle which have helped a little.

    Reply
  46. Peggy   July 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm  

    EXCELLENT VIDEO JACKSON. LET ME ADD #3 point to your talk. Cat feces is harmful to humans AND otters… http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/19/chain-of-cat-poo-can-harm-sea-dwellers-humans/

    Reply
  47. Erica   July 17, 2012 at 6:59 pm  

    Anyone that can Help,

    We have two baby boys, one is 2 1/2 and the other is 1. My 1 year old Bengal is definately the Alpha Male, but they are so bonded. The 2 1/2 year old, Larry is fixed, yet the Vet said he is the small percentage that can still spray, and he does. Sporadically. We have 3 uncovered litter boxes, but Larry has started to urinate in random places. We’ve changed litter, moved boxes, and used Homeopathic Deterent Spray from the Vet. Anyone have any advice?

    Reply
  48. Martine2u   July 19, 2012 at 9:21 am  

    Nice insights! I had noticed many of the things you mention. One thing, for example: immediately after I clean, Calisto, a 10-yo tabby who tends to feel insecure, will go use the litter box, no doubt to mark that “it’s hers” :-) I use the Breeze system, which has large pellets on top of a grid that lets urine through into a pad in a drawer below. I find it to be the best litter box system I’ve tried. I never tried the automated litter boxes, mostly because they’re very expensive and I could see how my cats might freak out from it and never use it. So I wasn’t willing to make the investment on such shaky grounds. The Breeze system is nice because it lets you see the “output” (though it’s a little less precise for size of urine output), but since it doesn’t use the usually litter, it smells very little (to me, regular/scoopable litter amplifies the urine/poop smells; it also produces what I consider an unhealthy amount of dust and is being tracked throughout the house as well; all of these problems are gone with the system I use). From what you were saying, I think this system works because the cats can still smell their own markings. What’s gone is the “amplifier/dust producer/tracking problem”. So to me, and hopefully to my cats, it’s the best of both worlds..

    Reply
  49. Rich   July 20, 2012 at 6:42 am  

    Many here had talked about the strong ammonia smell in the litterbox..

    The BEST thing we ever did was to get a cat water fountain bowl that circulates and filters the water. Both our cats have doubled their water intake and the smell is WAY down (presumably because it’s more diluted).

    One likes to drink right from the top, the other prefers the bowl area, but it’s been one of the best things we’ve done for our furbabies.

    Reply
  50. Ginger   July 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm  

    I will try to make this short & simple! We have 3 cats, all like no other I’ve ever had or seen! Calico female, no problems. Part Siamese female, no problems. 2nd cat we got, 2 yrs. after the calico is a Maine Coon male. FANTASTIC loveable cat! As soon as we got him, I realized he liked peeing over the bathroom sink drain! At that time, I didn’t like that. Actually toilet trained both, after reading about others success in doing so. Was great, until 1 day, the Maine Coon FELL IN THE TOILET! Well, needless to say, that was the end of that! We next, got a Cat Genie. No problems, until we got the last cat, the mixed Siamese. Now he’s back to pooing in the Cat Genie, but doesn’t like squatting to pee, in the box. Prefers a rug or even the carpet! I can’t deal with that!!! Got another Cat Genie (yes, now we have 2), 1 upstairs, 1 downstairs. No change. Oh, for the days when he peed over the sink drain!!! I’d like to get him to squat & pee over the downstairs shower drain. That’d be so easy to care for. I’ve put a traditional litter box, in the shower stall, with clumping litter. Immediately, he used it (it’s right over the drain I’d like him to use). Unfortunately, the other 2 now want to use it too! My goal is to keep at least 1 Cat Genie & eventually remove the traditional box, over the drain & have him use the drain. Any thoughts/advice on this? Has anyone else had this problem? I think it has to do with the long fur & his not wanting to get the litter stuck to his fur.????

    Reply
  51. CTCat   July 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm  

    I disagree with Jackson on toilet training your cat. Cats are very intelligent creatures and I feel that many can learn to use a toilet, but it does take some work and patience. Paul Knunkle, author of “How to toilet train your cat; 21 days to a litter-free home”, states that, “outdoor cats often prefer a clean place each time they eliminate.” By teaching your cat to use the toilet, it’ll give kitty a clean enviroment for every use, which could be considered more normal than a smelly litter box. Studies have shown dusty clay litters may not be safe for your pet or the homeowner’s respiratory system; they are expensive, and unsustainable for the enviroment. I can honestly say it took more than 21 days for my cat to prefect the art of using the toilet, but it was well worth it. After reading Kunkle’s book, purchasing CitiKitty, plus, following other cat toilet training blogs helped inspire me to follow through. I understand Jackson’s concern to monitoring your cat’s urinary health, but with one bathroom in my house, my cat’s tends to use the toilet right after I flush, so I usually see the products of his labor. I’ve got an autoflush attachment which also alerts me if kitty’s taking mutiple trips to the john. Trust me, in my 400 square foot apartment, it’s such a joy NOT to have a litter box. Cost of buying a year’s worth of litter=$$$$ Cost of a toilet-trained cat= PRICELESS!

    Reply
    1. Jim   July 29, 2012 at 8:32 am  

      I agree. I had a red tabby who used the toilet for 15 years without one mistake, ever. He was an outdoor stray who I adopted and he learned, quickly. I now have a black short hair who has been toilet trained for 5 years. However, a while back, she began pooping in the bathroomm tub, but still peeing in the toilet. Now, she has begun peeing in the tub. So, I covered the tub and now she is peeing on the floor. I can’t seem to break her of it and don’t know why she is doing it. I tried the training process, again, but she simply rejects it. Using the toilet is not a harm to her in any way and she never seemed to mind it. I cannot continue to allow this behavior as I have asthma. Breathing the the cat litter or plain urine in the air makes it difficult for me to breathe. I don’t want to get rid of my friend, but I don’t know what to do. Jackson, I watch your show, often. If there is anything I can do to modify her behavior, please let me know. Otherwise, I will be a petless pet lover. Thanks.

      Reply
      1. CTCat   August 6, 2012 at 10:58 am  

        Hi Jim,
        Sorry to hear your black cat is not wanting to poop on the toilet now…..I’ve got a 2 year old black cat who took about 12 weeks to train to use the John…..It sounds like something set your cat off that keeps her from fully using the toilet. My cat had some small setbacks, but with patience and retraining, we both lived through it. About 6 months ago, I had an auto flush system installed…..My cat was fine with the “ghost flusher”, but freaked out from the small, strange squeak that preceded the auto flush…I watched him fly off the toilet like he was shot out of a cannon! We worked together, with treats and coaxing him back up on the John. You really have to, “think like your cat” and anticipate behaviors….block access to the tub, wash and enzyme the floors she is pooping on, place down tin foil, or other crinkly materials, to keep her off that section of the floor. I’d suggest going on the Litter Kwitter Forum site with this link:
        http://www.litterkwitter.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3521 ….they deal with most problems with toilet training. I hope this helps you be able to keep your cat and not have to give him up..Good luck!

        Reply
  52. Sally   July 31, 2012 at 8:40 am  

    Hey everybody—I’m trying the toilet training because I picked up a second cat (found it under a truck on a busy street) and my apartment just won’t accommodate the litterbox my two boys need. Both cats enjoy peeing in the toilet but defecation is more of a challenge. I dig Jackson’s advice; it makes sense. But for now, the toilet training is a game for us, and we’re all amused by it.

    Reply
  53. Jackie   July 31, 2012 at 12:35 pm  

    I was listening to the thing on litter boxes i use the old fashion one i clean it everyother day i don’t mind cleaning after my cat her name is Founder yes i found her she is our pride and joy i took her out of a dogs mouth she was on her last leg 4oz. only some one dropped her off i saved her i love her she is now 3years old we take on trips with us she does use her travel litter box in the car she does not mind it she has a stroller, she is an inside cat i cut her nails she is just spoiled to death we love so much. if i am going to be gone for more than one day i take her with me. Just wanted you to no. Jackie

    Reply
  54. Kim   August 2, 2012 at 11:21 am  

    I love your advice on litter boxes. We have 2 cats… one male about 14yrs old and a female about 3. When we first got the male, adopted from a friend, we had several marking issues. I tried keeping the box clean like a mad woman… the cleaner the box, the more he marked all around it. So… out of frustration I gave up. Now it may sound gross to some, but i only scoop every other day or so, and I went from an open box where he marked to a Large sized covered cause he just backs up into the box and pees with such force it always went over the sides. Now, no more marking, and with a little sprinkling of baking soda, you cant smell the boxes. Now Me and both cats are happy.

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  55. Jen   August 3, 2012 at 10:06 am  

    I stumbled across the idea of toilet training while checking out Sphynx videos on YouTube and I thought, Hey, that’s kinda neat.

    I really don’t have any problems with litter or litter boxes, but I did some online research (which I know is far from infallible, but I did try to research as thoroughly as I could) and thought it would have some benefits (saving money on litter) and I also thought it would be a neat bonding experience.

    I was very concerned about this idea of forcing a cat to change its natural behavior all for the sake of such purely human desires, but, again, most information I found used the “cats want to hide their smell from predators” argument and that toilet training, done properly, isn’t harmful.

    I know that Jackson seems to go against a lot of common/popular advice, but I really like his logic and philosophy.

    I have worked really hard with my cat for months using the Litter Kwitter (actually, a modified method I rigged up so that I could make the changes more gradual) and we had one accident ever (which I believe was from the environmental change of moving some furniture around earlier that day).

    I work from home, so I have been able to supervise 90% of his toilet behavior and for the vast majority of training, he hasn’t seemed to notice any differences–if he does, he adjusts seemingly completely after a few days.

    And while I can’t tell if he is urinating in small patches, I can get a pretty good look at his poop after it’s dropped in the toilet.

    I think I just talked myself into thinking that it’s okay. He doesn’t seem stressed, he has no behavior problems whatsoever (other than being a touch spoiled!), and, particularly at the beginning of training, I swear he had convinced himself that he had trained me to give him a treat whenever he eliminated (sometimes he would call me into the bathroom, hop up on the toilet and then mew at me expectantly trying to trick me into giving him treats).

    So, I think that careful toilet training is, at the end of the day, harmless. If I had seen this before, I probably would have changed my mind about attempting training, but at least now I know that *if* my cat starts to demonstrate insecurity around his territory, that switching back to a litter box might help him feel more secure.

    Reply
  56. Veronica   August 4, 2012 at 2:02 pm  

    My brother’s cat just started to lie in the litter box as a place to chill out. He has 5 cats all fixed and the litter box is cleamed by scooping daily. The apartment is too small for more than one litter box and everything was ok for a year. This one female does not ineract with the others but tolerates them.The others seem to have stopped trying to play or bug her and give her her space.There are no fights going on.My brother is concerned as it’s not healthy and wonders if that stops the others from using the box as often as they my need to do. He picks her up and puts her in the next room but she goes right back. She doesn’t stay there all day but this new habit is not good. Any advice?

    Reply
  57. Chris   August 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm  

    I have a toilet trained 4 year old cat, he trained in 9 weeks and has never had an accident. I got a kitten a while back who wants nothing to do with the whole toilet training thing, so he has a box, in the same bathroom that the other one uses the toilet in. Interestingly enough, the trained cat wants nothing to do with the litter, and the other cat always pees in the toilet but pools in the litter box…go figure?

    Reply
  58. CTCat   August 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm  

    Hi Chris….
    I would love to get a second cat, and toilet train it as well, but was worried the first may revert back to litter while I train the second. Your information is encouraging. What I found on the Litter Kwitter toilet training forum was a few pet owners with a similar problem…..Pee’s OK on the toilet, not poop…..The forum explained that the cat’s, “poop position” is higher off the toilet, and may make a big spash when the poop hits the fan…OOPS! I mean water…….This sometimes startles the cat…The forum suggested leaving some TP in the bowl, to cut down on splash, or check that forum for more information. Good luck.

    Reply
    1. Andrea   August 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm  

      I have also toilet trained my cat. First cats will learn to pee, where their bottom is downwards towards the bowl. The pooping position is harder to train, as you have stated their bottoms are in the air basically, and the balancing is more technical. I have moved several times and my cat’s current toilet has a shorter neck unfortunately than in the past, so the water splash is annoying for him. I put toilet paper in the bowl to minimize this. Ideally a longer necked toilet would be best. He also does not like when humans use his toilet (we have 2 toilets by the way), apparently we very stinky creatures!
      Also, I have kept the Litter Kwitter rim (white one) and I duct tape it to the bowl (if it doesn’t clip in naturally as there are all different types of toilets out there). My cat is a very large cat and I find he has more stability with the flat and wide rim base, some of the rims on toilet seats can be not as wide, or have rounded edges. It keeps him used to the same rim by doing this. If by chance I’m around when he’s poop’d I go in and congratulate him reinforce the behaviour, and we make a game of it when I press the button as he loves watching the water and i’m sure he’s just wondering where he’s logs are going.

      Reply
    2. Serina   September 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm  

      My cat was toilet trained … but I had to put a strainer in the toilet with a hole in the bottom for the feces to go through because she thought that she needed to put 1/2 role of toilet paper in every time she did her business. Rather than pulling out wet paper (or flooding the toilet), I can just drop it into the trash.

      Reply
  59. Dianne   August 22, 2012 at 7:47 am  

    Regarding litter boxes and peeing outside the box (like on the bed or, in my case, the couch) — though my boxes (3 boxes, 4 cats) are always clean, it turns out one of my kitties is EXTREMELY sensitive to scent, and I had used a new kind of cleaner with a new scent in the room where his box was — he let me know he didn’t like that smell by peeing on the couch. I recleaned to get rid of the smell, and we’re back to normal. Some cats are very sensitive to smells; all cats are sensitive to citrus — can be used as a cat repellant…

    Reply
  60. Andrea   August 22, 2012 at 11:47 pm  

    On litter, my cat is now toilet trained, however, when he was using a litter tray I liked to use a baby bath as it has high walls and is spacious, I would use cedar shavings (used for guinea pig/or hamster bedding from pet stores), the cedar smell was very pleasant and cost savings were considerable. And previously I used to get sawdust from a local timber mill that would just throw them out, they gave them to me for free.

    Reply
  61. Janet   August 23, 2012 at 4:50 am  

    We have four cats, three litter boxes. Two cats, 13 and 8, have never been a problem. The youngest who is 3 was fine using the Cat Genie until I went on a trip and the genie broke, so my husband went out and bought two disposable litter boxes. The youngest decided he liked that better, so I ended up having to pull out the old sweeper type litter box. He uses that! We recently (4 months ago) adopted an 8 year old cat from the humane society. They told us she was found by the side of the road and they didn’t know anything about her except she wasn’t very friendly and had been spayed. Seems she is the most loving cat, craves attention. She is buddies with the 3 year old. The older two tolerate her, but they are definitely not buddies. The new cat starting pooping on a throw rug in the kitchen. I wasn’t sure where she was peeing, but am now noticing circles on the carpet. I thought maybe she didn’t want to go past the two older cats to get to the litter boxes, so I put one in the kitchen where she was going, thinking I’d move it a little at a time and work my way to the litter box area. She will poop in the kitchen box, but still will not pee in it. Now she pees on the throw rug! Last night I removed the wet throw rug and this morning there was poop in the box, and pee next to it! I should mention she is declawed. My litters consist of the crystals for the Cat Genie, World’s Finest which is ground up corn cobs and is very fine and unscented (you’d think this would be the perfect litter), and the one in the kitchen (after much research) is Dr. Elsea’s Cat Attracting litter. Does anyone have any other ideas about what I can try with her? A lot of people don’t want to adopt older pets and I really don’t want to get rid of such a loving cat, but if this keeps up I’ll have to have all my carpet ripped out! I believe once you have a cat, you have them for their entire life, they are your children. I just need some ideas!!

    Reply
    1. Andrea   August 24, 2012 at 12:59 am  

      Once cats have been urinating in a particular spot, they will be attracted to return to that spot. You should try some sprays (there are sprays on the market for this, get a non-toxic one of course) to make the smell in the area unpleasant for the cat, so as not to return. I’m presuming there is no way to block this area off from the kitchen, so that the cat is forced to use the kitchen litter box. If you block area off this may force the cat to use the tray, perhaps newspaper beside the tray, or in may attract the cat. If you cannot block the area off, not sure how difficult this would be but if you use duct tape, and line it upside down so the sticky part is apparent (you can fold over the ends to stick to the carpet), the cat won’t like walking on this and should avoid the area. Not sure if you’re at home most of the time, or not but it would be beneficial to correct behaviour on seeing and doing. If you see the cat working towards using the carpet, then redirect to litter box. Hope this helps. Other issues could be ensuring the box is clean all the time, and are you sure that the other cats aren’t using the kitchen litter box as well?

      Reply
      1. Janet   August 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm  

        I have now removed the plastic liner from the kitchen box. When we woke up this morning there was a puddle next to the litter box. I took a syringe and got a good bit in it. Dropped it off with our vet. They called – she has a urinary bacterial infection. starting antibiotics today. Hopefully this will be the key.

        Reply
        1. Dianne   August 26, 2012 at 5:17 am  

          Recurrence of these painful urinary tract issues in cats is highly likely unless root causes are addressed, so be sure to look into the cause of the infection, for instance, cats are “obligate carnivores” — raw-meat eaters, and they get their water from what they eat not what they drink. I switched my dry-food eaters to canned Wellness (grain-free) to frozen raw to treat urinary issues in one cat and diabetes in another. Also look into holistic treatments (there are a couple of herbal remedies that work REALLY well) once the infection is under control.

          Reply
          1. Dianne   August 26, 2012 at 5:26 am  

            Also research a bit more on this site regarding litter types for cats that have been declawed. Apparently they are more sensitive to the feel of the litter…

          2. Janet   August 26, 2012 at 6:31 am  

            I’ve researched the litters regarding declawed cats. I have two of what is “supposedly” the softest.

        2. Andrea   August 29, 2012 at 1:55 am  

          Sorry to hear that Janet. I hope all ends well for you and kitty.

          Reply
  62. Ar   August 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm  

    I have a cat who pooped on the carpet in a corner. I put things (eg. large straw mouse, kitty toy box) on the spot after cleaning it. She has never gone in that spot again.

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  63. John Patton   August 24, 2012 at 5:48 am  

    My cat eats waffles. Seriously, my toddler feeds one of my three cats waffles (Eggos w/o syrup) from his highchair. We intercept as many as possible but how harmful is this? Do we need to lock up the cat during meals and snacks?

    Reply
    1. Dianne   August 26, 2012 at 5:23 am  

      Cats can’t handle carb overload, it throws off their system and can lead to diabetes and other problems. Until you can re-direct your toddler the simplest solution may be to isolate kitty, though an occasional chomp isn’t likely to hurt as long as his regular food is species appropriate (low carb, high protein.

      Reply
    2. Louise   August 26, 2012 at 11:15 am  

      I agree with Dianne. Feeding dry food is bad enough – too much carbs, too little protein in most cases. Adding waffles to it isn’t the best idea, specially if your cat don’t drink enough water. And, as Dianne also said, getting him/her a low carb, high protein food is the best thing.

      Reply
  64. judy   August 26, 2012 at 9:06 am  

    all of a sudden my cat is peeing on the living room floor. checked with vet. diagnozed a bladder infection but she stiils urinates on the carpet. HELP

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  65. Carrie   August 26, 2012 at 10:48 am  

    I forgot about the UTI in female cats! My Annie had a problem with peeing outside the box and had leakage / accidents on me when I would pick her up. Our vet checked her over & that was the diagnosis. He recommended prescription foods made for UTI (& gave her meds). We did the prescription foods for 6 months & glad to announce now we can use Purina Pro Plan UTI dry food (Petsmart). Annie, and her brother Come Here (my husband picked his name), eat dry food & can food. I give them can food in the evening as a special meal.

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  66. Lynn   August 29, 2012 at 12:36 am  

    Love the show & this forum & the site helped me pretty much save my Siamese cat’s life. Hubby was ready to do something drastic, I’m sure (I was not).

    I got the Cat Attract litter and between that & realizing that he does not like almost anything left in the cat litter (so we scoop twice a day, once before we leave for work and when we come home 15 hours later), he doesn’t poop anywhere outside of the box at all! Once we didn’t clean it soon enough and it had 2 poops and 2 pees in it, he pooped right in front. Now that we know his pickiness, as long as we clean it a lot he is fine.

    In the past, we tried scented litter, he hated it, refused to use it. He is declawed, so we used real soft litter, he hated that too. Tried the self cleaning boxes, now realized that since he was pooping on the floor the second day, he just hates the smell of his own waste. I tried hooded boxes, open boxes, spraying him from afar when he started to poop in front, giving him raw meat treats when he went in the litter to pee, lots of other things for over 4 years.

    Thank goodness for Jackson & this website of helpful people! My cat Piewacket, thanks you all too!

    Reply
  67. Tom   September 4, 2012 at 9:55 pm  

    Dude,

    You are awesome I frikken feel your empathy w/ gattos through the intertubes- that video was really great.
    I am speaking as newly converted cat guy, we have two , and I cannot imagine my life without them.
    I just heard about your show and after some interweb teasers and the above video you have found a couple of new viewers-the wife will love this.
    Can’t really believe i’m gushing like this but I really am floored w/ your litter box politics video.
    Good stuff, we don’t even have cat problems.
    T

    Reply
  68. judy   September 8, 2012 at 11:27 am  

    i own 7 cats that are all fixed and have 3 strays that are hanging around my house and just had 3 dogs show up today one is boxer and the other 2 are i think a pit mix pups i need the owners to come get these dogs i have 2 inside cats and the others have to stay outside per hubby’s request i’d really like to give away hubby but please no one with young children

    Reply
  69. Patty   September 11, 2012 at 7:28 pm  

    I have never had the pleasure of watching Jackson’s show and I don’t think I can even get the channel whatever channel it is and I don’t have good computer speakers and it sounds like I’m really missing out.

    I’ve had several cats in my life and right now I have 2 male cats, Gilly and Luka and a few months back I decided to change the type of cat litter they use. I have tried most if not all of the clumping stuff and I find its all way too dusty as it would leave white all over everything and I sure didn’t want to clean every day. I started using wood pellets and they’re not the treated kind. The only problem I found at the start was Gilly would use the box to pee but when it came to having a poop he wouldn’t use it. I don’t think he liked the feel of the pellets on his paws but soon I started putting bits of newspaper in and he now uses the box without any problems. The thing I like about the pellets is you can tell when it’s been used as the pellets dissolve into sawdust and all you have to do is scoop and shake. Both my cats seem to like the pellets better and I sure like them because now I don’t have to clean everything everyday. I also clean the box shortly after it’s been used and there’s never been a problem with them not using it when it’s not done “right” away, like when I’m at work at the BCSPCA.

    Thanks from Pattycat

    Reply
  70. lesley   November 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm  

    i have a male cat that pees in the box but poops just outside of it. I have 2 boxes for him, he is front declawed. If his feet are the problem, what litter should I try?

    Reply
    1. Patty   January 1, 2013 at 9:31 pm  

      You might want to just try using newspaper bits although that will take more of a clean up for you but because your cat is front declawed it probably doesn’t like anything under it’s front paws. Where I work we only use wood pellets and just recently an 8 year old female cat was surrendered and she has no front claws but seems to use the litter box with the wood pellets ok but that’s not for every cat. If you decide to try just newspaper instead of just tearing it into pieces and putting it in the box try scrunching it up but not too big and see how that goes.

      Reply
  71. Janet   December 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm  

    Wish I could help. We have an 8 year old female, only about 8 months with us. We’ve gone through at least 6 litters including newspaper, 3 types of boxes, different locations, liners vs no liners. Nothing so far. I am guessing that may be why she was homeless. I have 3 other cats who have owned me since they were a few weeks old. They are 14, 9 and 3. They all use the appropriate places.

    Reply
    1. Lynn   January 1, 2013 at 9:08 pm  

      After years & years of trouble with my Siamese pooping in front of the litter box, I figured it out. (at least it has worked for the last 3 months).
      I thought he didn’t like scented litter. Thought he didn’t like big piece litter. Didn’t like small piece litter. I even got a couple of the self raking machines because figured it was dirty litter. Well, dirty litter is it but he also did not like the smell of the poop/pee clumps in the end of it.
      I have his litter box in the bathroom just off my kitchen now. I bought one of those Litter Genie things. Now a few times a day I go in and scoop out the litter and even my husband scoops it out each time he uses the bathroom. No pooping anywhere else!
      The smell stays inside the Genie garbage can and it seems to make all the difference. Of course, this means we scoop the litter at least 6-7 times a day but since it was this or get rid of the cat (my hubby was smoking mad), it works for me too!
      I am a happy cat owner again!

      Reply
      1. Janet   January 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm  

        We may have it! My vet gave me a bag of Cat Attracting Litter Additive and I mixed it with 20 lbs of litter. Three days in a row, when I left for work I put her in the extra bedroom with a litter box. Every time she used the box. Now she is going into that room and using only that box. Seems she will not share a box with others! As long as no others start using “her” box, we’re in business! Keep your fingers crossed!!

        Reply
  72. Toni south   January 9, 2013 at 7:30 pm  

    We changed the type of cat litter we use a few years ago and we don’t have urine smell anymore. The clumping litter is no good and it is bad for the environment. It creates so much waste. I use Feline Pine from Wal-Mart. It does smell when they poop so you have to scoop that out regularly but there is never a urine smell. You can see where they have urinated and you scoop it out and add some fresh. Then about every 2 weeks dump all of it out. It is the best by far.

    Reply
  73. Beth   January 20, 2013 at 10:04 am  

    Can I train my kitten to use the litter box? I have a 4 month old kitten who won’t use the litter box, only wants to eliminate on a towel. Will go on carpet if towel isn’t available. His siblings and mom use the litter box fine. I think perhaps he associates the litter box with discomfort. He had early pica symptoms, eating non food items, and suffered pain when eliminating these non food materials (plastic, wiring, rubber, clumping litter, etc). Although he still bites things like all kittens do, the pica or swallowing items seems to be gone. I NEED HELP! I’m constantly laundering towels and he has ruined the carpet in the room where I now have him quarantined. Even with copious use of enzyme cleaners, the room still smells like urine and the carpet will have to be ripped out I fear. Also, the kitten won’t be adoptable unless I can train him to use the litter box. Otherwise, he is a beautiful, charming, playful, long haired male kitten with huge irresistible eyes.

    Reply
  74. Beth   January 20, 2013 at 10:22 am  

    Update to previous post, above. Forgot to mention that my litter-averse 4 month old kitten has gone to the vet for a blood test. There is no underlying medical issue that would have caused the pica or the litter averse behavior. He has no illness, no mineral deficiency, etc. That’s why I’m assuming the pica may have originally been caused by teething and the litter aversion perhaps caused by discomfort during eliminating.

    Reply
  75. Dana   January 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm  

    Dear Jackson. Harry, a Persian+British Long hair cat is 3 years old. He is rather a large cat. He is spayed, toilet trained, but not the best way possible. For the past 3 years he has been going around the litter box and urinating. He urinates near the door of the apartment. The worst habit of his is that he urinates in the bath tub, even if the litter box is changed.

    His paws get soaked in the urine and I end up having to clean them and the marks he leaves every where. I talked to my vet about it and they gave me a spray solution with hormones to keep him away from the areas he goes to, but it didn’t help. He urinates in other places if I clean it or block it. He uses the litter box sometimes, so what’s the fuss? Please help. He’s notoriously know as “Pee Pee Paws”

    Reply
  76. Allie Luper   February 7, 2013 at 7:44 am  

    Why does my 6yr old kitty pee on our leather sofa? Moved one of our litter boxes to that living room area. Put a cover on it. And intermittently she pees on the sofa? BTW….I scope the boxes every morning! We have 2 kitties, raised together!! Just don’t know what to do, she is ruining our sofa (which we have had for years)! I am getting really frustrated! PLEASE HELP

    Reply
  77. Dawn   February 17, 2013 at 8:34 am  

    Natural or not, we had a cat that taught himself to use the toilet. He used to sit on my lap when I was doing my business so I guess he figured it out from there. This was back in the early 90’s before I ever heard of such a thing.

    Reply
  78. Nancy Newcomb   March 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm  

    I am having an issue with a 3 1/2 year old American Shorthair.
    She is anxious & always has been but is getting better since I work with her.
    My problem is she pees right outside in front of ONE litter box in a certain bathroom. Like she hates that room! I have 4 litter boxes for 4 cats. She has other choices but goes there to do the do.
    I am a senior getting fed up with it. She just goes there & does it. I have had her vet checked nothing wrong medically. So this is a behavior problem.
    I took her because she was the last of the litter & I felt badly for her. Maybe others knew something I did not.
    She was put on the plane from Los Angles to San Fran & has been strange ever since. She gets along with the other cats but doesn’t play much just sits & watches everything.
    I love her but am thinking of re-homing which I have NEVER ever done with any pet.
    I am burned out with the peeing.
    Any ideas? I changed litter boxes-changed litter & use DR Elysees non scented. No liners. Nothing else to try. Please help I don’t want to be that discouraged that I re-home her. Because I don’t feel anyone will want to deal with this problem.
    It would hurt me to think of her being sent from home to home or worse become feral.
    I am watching her now. Goes to that bathroom sniffs around. I think she hates that bathroom.
    Why? Who knows it is clean.
    I just closed the door so she has to go in other litter box in living room or two upstairs.

    Reply
  79. Yama   April 17, 2013 at 9:11 am  

    I have 2 cats, brother and sister, whom always shared the same extra large jumbo litter box, cleaned daily, no liner, I scoped it daily and put in baking soda to keep it fresh. about 2 years ago one of the cats started pooping outside the box next to it. I got a second box thinking this was the problem and that is also a jumbo size. Still, I scoop it clean every morning, and sometimes at night too, but yet 3-4 times a week she goes outside the box. She pees inside of it, thankfully, as that smell can really be a pain to clean, but still I am tired of the poop on my dining room floor every morning. I don’t know what else to do, seems to be a behavorial issue but I don’t know why.

    Reply
  80. Sphinxagain   May 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm  

    I just gotta tell you a little story about my experience with an automated litter box. First of all, let me say they’re kinda useless for multi-cat households; they wait several minutes after the cat leaves the box (in theory) to do their scooping. In the mean time, another cat uses the box. And another. And by the time the box is finally vacant long enough to get around to scooping, there’s 4 pee clumps and two poops in there, and it gets too bogged down and gets stuck. So I had essentially paid a ridiculous amount of money for a litter box with a blinking red light to indicate when it needed scooped.

    Secondly, on that “malfunction” note. I once heard the scooper motor fire up in the litter box nearby, didn’t think much of it. Until the litter box growled too. Went to investigate, and there was a very stubborn litter box trying valiantly to scoop a 14 pound lump named Chaz. Chaz, in the meantime, was telling that scooper that he was BUSY in there and didn’t appreciate the interruption.

    So, yeah. Not a fan of the automatic litter boxes.

    Reply
  81. Melissa   June 10, 2013 at 3:02 pm  

    Jackson, every time I watch your show I want to send you video of my cats because they are so happy, well-adjusted and loving life. thank you for what you do and keep up the good work!

    Reply
  82. Carol   June 30, 2013 at 10:52 am  

    I am beside myself with my cat’s recent litter behavior. Short version: she has recently decided to poop on the floor in front of her box, but pees inside the box. Not all the time, but becoming more and more frequent. We have another cat, they do not share litter boxed-one is upstairs, the other downstairs. Last week, we discovered she once again went outside her box, then came downstairs to find that SOMEONE had pooped in front of the OTHER box-not sure if same cat or not. We are beside ourselves; I obviously can’t get rid of her-you wouldn’t get rid of a child if they continued to go in their pants-but we cannot continue this, either. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Reply
  83. Molly   September 15, 2013 at 9:00 pm  

    Hello Jackson!
    I think your philosophy about litter boxes is highly dependent on the particular cat that we’re talking about here. I had a male cat as a child who wasn’t a neat freak and he didn’t mind having a smelly box. He was really territorial, so that actually makes a lot of sense.

    I just adopted a kitty with asthma. She hated, HATED the litter box. It gave her coughing fits. She is a super neat freak and would try to cover her business obsessively, and would meow and be very unhappy if I wouldn’t clean it immediately. She would also just delay using the box as long as she could because she seemed to hate it so much. She was also really curious every time I went to the bathroom, and would meow and try to jump into my lap while I was using the toilet.

    I’ve been training her with the CitiKitty, because it seems to be the most gradual to me. She’s had a couple of issues with pooping on the floor, but I think that her asthma should take precedence over her natural kitty instinct to dig and have her odors everywhere. I dont see her rubbing against walls and she’s never once peed to mark her territory. I agree that the posture she gets into is a bit unnatural, though, and i will see if i can figure out some way to make it easier for her to balance. Perhaps i will need to construct some kind of platform close to the front of the toilet that she can balance on and I won’t need to remove every time i do my own business.

    I know you’re really busy Jackson, but if you get a minute, I am curious about what your opinion is about the asthma/toilet training issue. I am not over exaggerating here- using the litter box would send her wheezing and she just looked so miserable. :(

    Reply
  84. casey   September 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm  

    We have a kitten that just wouldn’t use the litter box. no matter where I put it she’d go near it but not in it. We got a tip from a friend about Kitten Attract kitty litter we bought a bag, it was even cheaper than our regular brand, and it worked perfectly. at first she was about to potty outside the box and I picked her up and put her in the box she tried to jump out and I used her front paw to scratch in the sand and she stopped fighting the box and started scratching. she’s never missed since and we have gone back to our old little since it was at a store we frequent. I’m told our problem was a tender footed cat. This is a much finer litter.

    Reply
  85. Yvonne   October 22, 2013 at 6:20 am  

    My 14 year old calico will pee on my bed if I am not in there. I think she does this because she doesn’t like the other cats. She never used to do this, and it started when I got my now 3 year old who is kind of a bully to say the least. She is other wise a very healthy, mostly happy cat. My solution is to not let her in there unless I am with her. I did have to move a litter box into the kitchen area since she would not go to the laundry room to pee, although she’d go there to poop. I’ve had cats for many years and they never fail to amaze me and confuse me, but that’s part of why I love them so much. You gotta take the good with the bad.

    Reply
  86. Richard   October 30, 2013 at 8:47 am  

    My question is a bit different, but does deal with a cat and her litter. I recently adopted a beautiful long hair Calico. She just appeared one morning hungry and lived outside for the few months after that. At some point she decided she wanted to come in the house. I was glad because we had become friends, so I allowed her to come in at night and sleep with me on the bed. I bought the eating bowls, litter box, scoop and litter for her. She peed in the litter box the very firs night, so I thought OK! Great! Unfortunately, she has not used it again in the past two weeks she has been sleeping inside. Until two days ago, she would wait until I woke up and let her out to do her business. it was that morning that I awoke to the smells of poop I the house. She had used a rug for the purpose.

    My question is, how do I help an outdoor cat become comfortable using a litter box? It is going to be getting very cold soon and I don’t want her to have to stay out in it.

    I use a clay clumping litter in a large box with out a cover and in a plastic liner.

    The vet said she approx. 3 years of age and healthy…very very soft too and so sweet.

    Has anyone had this experience and maybe have suggestions?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  87. soulspark   November 6, 2013 at 11:03 am  

    Cat Toilet Training Oh My!

    A couple of things. 1. I do believe that if a cat is peeing in your bed it might have an infection. Cats will try to go to places they feel comfortable or associate with being happy thinking it won’t hurt when they pee. I’d get it checked out + look for crystals in the urine.

    On another note, I have two toilet trained cats! I’ve had them since they were kittens and I lived in NYC in a small apartment so I opted to toilet train them. I spent a great deal of time doing it and it has to be a super slow transition process in order for them to adjust and be confident using the toilet. That being said, before my boyfriend and I moved in together we tried to toilet train his cat of 3 years. His cat was super stressed out. It was totally NOT worth it. We stopped toilet training him. Now we live together and the litter box is next to the toilet. His (now our:)) cat Damon uses the litter box and my two/ our (Ben and Charlie) pass right by it and use the toilet. I kid you not. They will not use the litter box. Anyhow, thought I’d share because truly it’s about what works for the kitties and they need to be comfortable with how they eliminate their waste. On a last note, my cats will bang on the lid of the toilet with their paws until I get up and flush for them. They do not want their smell to stay there at all. They also admittedly love to watch the water go down the toilet. Just putting it out there. On a super final note, if you do toilet train your cats please have more than one bathroom and flush regularly. I work from home now but when I didn’t I always made sure to go home right after work and flush for them. They don’t like using a dirty toilet and I can’t stand the idea of them “holding it” waiting for someone to come home and flush.

    Signing off,

    :)

    Reply
  88. Brooke   November 26, 2013 at 7:26 am  

    Hello fellow cat lovers! I need some help.
    I just recently got a kitten, and he just turned 3 months old. He does PURRFECTLY with the litter box, as long as he has access to it. Problem is, I keep it in the bathroom I use, but my male roommate also uses that said bathroom (I am a female, you will see why I made the distinction in a moment). He has a really difficult time remembering to leave the door open so that my kitten can get to his litter box. 5 times now I have had to clean up his #1’s and #2’s left right outside the closed bathroom door. He knows exactly where he should potty, he just can’t get to it.
    I have spoken with my roommate directly twice about this problem. Each time he has acted indignant and deeply offended. I have left three POLITE notes on the door, not passive aggressive and not accusing. Just reminders. Each time he has taken them down and thrown them away immediately after he sees them. I know the cat isn’t accidentally shutting the door because it is COMPLETELY latched shut, not just pushed closed (the door hangs crooked and takes a lot of effort, even as a human, to shut). I just need some advice on what I could use as a reminder or what will get the point across without stepping on his toes and offending his male ego (which is what he says I am doing by singling him out as the door closer, even though he is the only possible suspect).
    I really hope this gets fixed promptly. I don’t want my kitten getting any ideas that his bathroom is actually the rug instead of the litter box.
    Thanks guys!!

    Reply
    1. Molly   November 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm  

      Hi Brooke, your roommate doesn’t sound particularly understanding of much- I mean, if he gets offended about something like this, I cant imagine how he must be about other things!

      I assume you rent, but if you didn’t, maybe installing a kitty door in the bathroom door would allow your cat to get to the litter box. Also, maybe install one of those childproof door handles so it’s harder to pull the door shut? Maybe putting a door stop or spring in would cause the door to stay open more than it stays closed? I wish I could be more help to you.

      Reply
    2. cheryl   February 25, 2014 at 8:51 am  

      I hate to say it but get a new roommate, how hard is it to leave a door open or to remember to do so AND YOU LEFT A NOTE! he sounds totally immature AND VERY SELFISH. I would say narcissistic personality disorder! He’ll offend you, no concern for you or your feeling or better yet the kitten who actually has real NEEDS, the need to use the toilet, but dont you offend him. Thats not ego, thats a personality flaw, if its mild. You can tell by the way they behave around children and pets, how they treat others around them, friends, neighbors, acquaintances. People that have a narcissistic personality disorder have a problem with compromises, everything and everyone is not as important as their wants, needs, and trivial whims. Its not you, its definitely him
      In any relationship there are compromises that have to be made by both, there needs to be trust and respect or it wont work even if you give 110% if both of you are not working on this, its will be an uphill battle for you the whole time in this situation.
      Your pets are your children and should be accepted as such by anyone you enter into ANY type of relationship with.

      Reply
      1. Brooke   March 1, 2014 at 8:30 am  

        Update: I ended up just moving Creek’s litter box into my bedroom. I keep it really clean so there is no smell or anything. I don’t mind. But I did sign a lease at a different apartment for this summer, living on my own so I won’t have to deal with his attitude anymore. It isn’t worth it. Thanks for the suggestions and advice!
        Creek is my baby and I’m not going to put up with it anymore.

        Reply
  89. michelle   December 23, 2013 at 2:26 pm  

    im at my wits end here with my 9 year old persian tortie. we purchased her and her sister from a pet store in the mall. her sister had to be rehoused after a year because she peed my my sisters bed. my kitty started pooing on my mothers drapes(about 10 poos in every drape…we didnt know until we found them all) at about three years old. so she was confined to my bedroom where she started pooing on my fouton. i put tape side up to try to get her not to jump on it. so she started pooing on my bed. i moved out of my mothers house when the cat was 5 years old. she now poos on the cowch and the bed. but it isnt consistent. she could poo 3-5 times in one month then start up again in 4 months. for he first time now she has peed on my bed. i dont know what to do, my vet doesnt know what to do. everyone says i should just take her to the pound. but i cant!!! she looks at me as if i am god to her. it wouldnt break her heart as well as mine. ive tried multiple litter boxes, new litter boxes, more convienient litter boxes, self scooping, taping the furniture she goes on…… when i find out shes pood on somthing she isnt supposed to i lock her in her kitty room for 24 hours with her litter box and food and water…..PLEASE SOMEONE HELP!!!!!!

    Reply
  90. Rosalyn   February 25, 2014 at 5:50 am  

    I have successfully toilet trained all 5 of my cats. They are on the last stage of the “Litter Kwitter”. It took about 1 and 1/2 years to slowy do this. They seem to like it much better than the litter box. I do feel torn because I want my cats to embrace their natural instincts but this is so much better. That being said, one of my females pee’d on the couch several times. She is a 3 year old gray tabby who does not like treats, wet food, tuna, cat nip… nothing but her dry Science Diet Optimal Care. She is very verbal and awkward when it comes to affection. We try to play with her everyday with her favorite shoe string. When we don’t she will stand in front of us and bark. Now she wants to play all the time, not just once or twice a day. I take very good care of my kits and they probably get more love than the average cat. No one is bullying her or messing with her. We have been to the vet and everything checks out fine. Anyone out there is feline land have any suggestions?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  91. cheryl   February 25, 2014 at 8:12 am  

    Ok, this is a long story and lots of back stories. I have been a cat owner for decades and at one point I had 8 cats in a 1200 sq.ft. apartment. I have had the peeing out of the litter box problem which was easy to solve too many cats not enough litter boxes.
    I have since then bought a house, adopted 2 puppies, Bindi Sue and Boo Bear, my oldest cat & alpha, cadbury was in charge, put the puppies in their place in the pack, but there was still some peeing, lots of steam cleaning and fustration.
    Well my older cats have passed away, cadbury at 19, carina at 20, rosie I estimate at 17-20 and bob who had cancer at 14, so I am down to 4 cats and 2 dogs. Since Cadbury, the alpha male has passed, my only male now Dave, who is older then the dogs, has taken over, except for Bindi, she does not recognize his superiority, which is a question for Cesar Millan.
    Anyway, Dave is fat, huge. I put him on a diet per my vet but he is not dealing well with it and he is peeing on my couch where I sit at night, which he did when there wasnt enough litter boxes.
    So I guess my question is, WHY? I dont think its litter boxes, I have 5, that are lined and get cleaned with new litter every week and I open the back door during the day so they can go in and out whenever, w/the dogs. And for at night I have started making a catio, with perches, scratchers, houses, litter boxes, cat door open 24/7…. But as far as his diet, I no longer leave food out all day for him, I moved it to the counter for the thin cats that can jump up there. Dave gets feed twice a day, 7am & 7pm, with can a 1/2 of cat food for each feeding. He has woke me up by biting my fingers, meowing really loud, jumping on the bed, peeing on my spot on the bed, 4 times, peeing where i sit on couch often, just to tell me he is hungry? He lost like a pound or 2 but, the peeing has to stop.
    I tried putting tin foil on the couches,spirt bottle, I tried upside carpet runners, upside down tape and now I have pet covers on my couches and I really want to buy new but I cant or he will be peed on. & honestly I dont know if its all Dave’s pee, because I caught my youngest cat, Gracie Mae & Savannah who pees on the dogs beds also, doing it too.
    What can I do to fix this problem? I am totally out of idea’s

    Reply
  92. Caela   May 29, 2014 at 7:10 pm  

    I let my 3 cats outside when I came home tonight, enjoying the breezes, bent down to pet my Murry. Wow, what a beautiful afternoon. Enjoying just being in the moment. When, I am feeling maybe a bug on my foot? No, my sweetie was peeing on me! Why? This was a first!

    Reply

We regret that Jackson does not answer questions posted in the comments. This is due to his demanding schedule and the high volume of requests he receives. But most importantly, since he has not met your cat, it would be contrary to his approach for him to give specific personalized advice for your specific situation. That being said, general questions and issues are addressed throughout this blog, in his book Cat Daddy and of course, the show My Cat From Hell.

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