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Help Solve a Kitty's Litterbox Problem!

Pet Peeves: Can You Help Kitty Think Inside the Box?

One of our readers needs your help! Kiki tee has a little kitty with a big problem with the litterbox. Read his story, and share suggestions with us in your comments below!

We adopted Milo when he was about three months old, after he just had one of his back legs amputated. He always knew how and when to use his litter tray, but doesn't seem to know how to position himself when going to the toilet. He doesn't arch his back but instead crouches down close to the litter and, as a result, he keeps coming out of his box with an awful lot of what is supposed to stay in the box. . . stuck to him. And I'm talking both kinds of stuff that you want in the box (and not on your floor, your sofa, your windowsill, or any other place he makes it to before I have a chance to tackle him with a packet of baby wipes) on his tail, his leg, and sometimes his belly.

At first we thought it was a balance issue, but as this problem continues, it seems that isn't the case. . . and Milo doesn't seem at all bothered about it. He makes no attempt to clean himself off, which strikes me as odd because I thought cats were supposed to be so clean! We want him to be an indoor cat because of his missing leg, but I swear if I have to spend one more evening on my hands and knees sniffing my way around the house with a sponge and antibacterial spray, I will scream!

I love my kitty dearly, but I'd also love to keep him (and my home) clean – does anyone have any advice for me?

Join The Conversation
Gypsy314 Gypsy314 6 years
My boy cat is a big boy and had a problem making it in the litter box. I got the booda dome with the stairs. That has helped. he still gets it on the stairs sometimes, but at least it isn't the floor!
tundrababe tundrababe 9 years
How about getting some wide paint brushes (or some sort of brush) and taping them around the edges of the box? Maybe they would brush the pooh and stuff off kitty's butt when he leaves. A block of wood or something that kitty could lean against might help - somewhere to rest kitty's spot where the leg used to be. Kitty might figure it out if you just leave something in there that's the right height. As someone else mentioned, the crystal kind of litter is chunkier and will probably not stick so much.
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 9 years
Oh, and JessBear... I actually did try to teach him to position himself properly. He was VERY put out. As, I imaging, I might be myself. So after two or three attempts I gave up, it seemed a bit humiliating :) Thanks again everyone for taking the time to make a suggestion!
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 9 years
We did initially think that it might be something to do with his litter or litter tray, so we've been experimenting with that side of things too. He now has a huge (almost as big as our bathroom!) covered litter tray to give him plenty of space to dig around without stepping in anything. Unfortunately we don't have the space for anything more elaborate than this, but we've only had it for a week or two so maybe he needs a bit more time to adjust to the extra space and figure out that he doesn't actually HAVE to sit in his own poo! Fingers crossed anyway!
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 9 years
We've been coming to the conclusion that the problem may be dietary, ie, he should be doing things that are solid enough not to break up and stick all over him. I blogged about it during the week and somebody suggested changing his food to all dry food, and cutting out his cat milk. We've done that for the last few days and it seems to be improving things somewhat...
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 9 years
Thanks for all the suggestions! I've been off line for a few days so I'm only getting a chance to follow up on this now. Firstly, to everyone who suggested talking to our vet we've been there & done that and he had no useful suggestions other than that he might grow out of it. As for the kitty diapers... seriously? Do they really exist??? Because I can only imagine how messy that would be to take off and clean up. There's probably a reason why babies aren't hairy ;)
LorealGrl LorealGrl 9 years
Awww.. poor kitty!! I'd try asking the vet if they have any ideas.. I'm really not sure how this would be handled
Shibi Shibi 9 years
How about... (help me think creatively here)... placing a deep plush rug/mat around or at the front of his box that he has to negotiate (make it lumpy or something) to help clean him off? It's a stretch but, something like that may help. I also remember seeing a litter box that had a bit of a maze for cats to weave through as they exit the box/chamber but I cannot recall where I saw this. I think that the concept was, having your cat 'walk if off' as he leaves his box helped to keep him from tracking stuff around the house. I don't know how to train him to reposition himself, particularly if it doesn't seem to bother him (that he's got junk on him).
JessBear JessBear 9 years
Switch to pine pellets and change the litter regularly, that way anything he drags out will be a bit easier to clean up, at least. Or train him to use the toilet!! You can get kitty steps leading up to it to make it easier on him. Don't use that flimsy plastic seat thing, though. It DOESN'T work. Can you try helping him, by manually repositioning him? This has the potential for disaster, but you could get the hang of it after a few tries. And afterward, give him a treat. Or maybe bring another kitty in temporarily to show him how it's done?
CanadianInVA CanadianInVA 9 years
You could try using the plastic type litter (Crystals?) They may not be as messy as standard litter and a little easier to clean up then the litter that would clump to her fur. Good luck!
Jennyusagi Jennyusagi 9 years
I agree about going to the vet for ideas. If it's not something medical, one idea might be to put the litter box somewhere with kitty door access only for him, and then attach a bell to the kitty door and set it up so it only opens in one direction. Then kitty can get in, use the litter box, and the bell alerts you to go clean him up and let him out.
CaMiller05 CaMiller05 9 years
I have a kitty with the same problem. He has one of his back legs amputated and has a hard time with the litter box, but not as bad as your little guy. A few things that help us - a covered litter box. we have one that is deep so he has to climb out and that knocks some of the used litter of his hiney. We also have a mat outside the box that helps (but only a little). The best thing you can do though, is keep the litter box consistently clean (which you may already do :-)). I find that if I scoop once a day, there is less old waste and so there is more space for him to do his business. Good luck!
catfsh34 catfsh34 9 years
i have a kitty that has a bad front is at a permanent 90 degree angle because she is missing a bone in it. I have a litter box with a lid and that seems to help her out. Granted, I still find little presents around the house! See if that helps him! I also have a pad in front of the litter box to catch anything on her way out.
sugarbecky sugarbecky 9 years
I agree with andora, this sounds like a question for the vet. Maybe he could get a prosthetic leg? :) Let us know what you find out!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
aw kiki, not Milo! Its too late for kitty diapers, and he would probably be totally embarassed to wear them anyway. Unfortunatly having a furry child with special needs usually comes with having to go through special steps including the sniff test. You might want to install a cat door to the place where you keep the litter box, they dont track as much when they have to use one of those, also you might hear him go through it and be there waiting for him with baby wipes. Let me know how it goes. You are the best kitty mommy!
wakeupandora wakeupandora 9 years
Talk to your vet. I have a female and male that were both strays and the MALE cat is not clean at all! He doesn't care how dirty he is, which was disturbing at first. But we asked the vet about it, and it turned out he had a form of kitty leukemia complete with digestive issues and a sore in the back of his mouth that smelled even worse than he did. It doesn't hurt to ask your vet for ideas and to do a once over blood work on a cat that is behaving oddly.
acemonkey acemonkey 9 years
Poor baby! I'm not sure how I would handle this. Kitty diapers maybe??? I definately would not make him an outdoor kitty with his leg being amputated.
Seraphim Seraphim 9 years
hmmm i was thinking of maybe a litter box that has a cover... but i don't think that would really help hmm,.... let me think more on this, sorry :/
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