Buddy & Porky’s Pet Health: Training A Kitten

Dear Porky, My twelve week old male kitten that I just adopted is pooping in my tub! He uses the litter box in the same room for urinating. He’s even been caught doing this right after the box was just cleaned. It’s really icky! What can I do?


Dear Karen,

Is the box big enough? Sometimes cats like to urinate in one corner and defecate in another. A second box might be the answer. (Save a poop and put in there so he knows where the correct spot is.) I know it’s a pain, but the mess is your tub is a lot worse and some cats are just weird and picky about these issues and you have to work around that. Then clean the tub really well and spray with a citrus cleaner or deodorizer. Cats don’t like the smell.

Dear Porky,

My six year old female cat, Imelda, is spayed and declawed. She has suddenly started peeing in the house. We took her to the vet and they could find no physical problem. We have tried many different litter boxes and litters. Nothing seems to help. What are our options? I would hate to have to put her in a barn or euthanize her, but this is intolerable.


Dear Peter,

Thanks for checking out the possibility of a physical problem such as a urinary tract infection, right away. Many litter box problems do have a physical source. But when that possibility is ruled out, what you have is a behavior problem–something has discouraged Imelda from going in the litter pan. Did this change in her behavior coincide with some other change in your house? A new person? A new dog? Did you move the litter pan to a new spot, or maybe do some construction that disrupted what she thinks of as her area?

Try to put her in a quiet room by herself with more than one litter pan and shredded newspaper or something equally bland as litter and see what happens. Something may have just made her really stressed and she may just need time to adjust. Think of yourself as a cat psychiatrist. Keep trying to deal with this behavior from Imelda’s point of view and you can probably work it out.

But as you undoubtedly know, a barn placement is really not safe for a domesticated cat who has been declawed.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter assistance, information and referral, adoption assistance to pet owners, humane education programs, foster care and adoption for pets in urgent need, assistance with lost and found pets. Our administrative offices and spay/neuter clinic are located at 265 West First Street, Oswego, New York. Check our web site at www.oswegohumane.org or call (315) 207-1070 for more information or to be placed on our mailing list for our newsletter.