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Cat lovers, can you help?

(38 Posts)
Curlywhirly Sun 15-Nov-20 13:20:38

My son has had a cat for about 6 years; recently it (male cat, neutered) has started weeing (and pooing!) around the house. He has a cat flap, so no reason to not go out. My son has bought a litter tray to try and stop the problem, but the cat isn't using it. My son thinks the problem is that 2 local cats have used the catflap to get into his house and have scared his cat. I have suggested getting an electronic flap, and he may end up doing this, but has anyone any ideas how to encourage the cat to either go out or use the litter tray?

phoenix Sun 15-Nov-20 13:24:45

Think the intruding cats theory is probably spot on.

An electronic microchip reading cat flap might be the answer, but the problem could be getting the cats confidence back.

phoenix Sun 15-Nov-20 13:26:22

PS, might sound yuk, but your son could try picking up one of the poos and putting it in the litter tray, as a sort of "indicator"?

Curlywhirly Sun 15-Nov-20 13:31:22

Thanks Phoenix forgot to add, the cat does still use the catflap, but not when he wants to go to the toilet!

trisher Sun 15-Nov-20 13:32:38

Think the only way to stop it is to do a thorough deep clean of everywhere the intruders might have been, while his cat can smell their scent on anything he is going to keep marking his territory. Is your son certain they aren't still getting in?

Curlywhirly Sun 15-Nov-20 13:33:35


PS, might sound yuk, but your son could try picking up one of the poos and putting it in the litter tray, as a sort of "indicator"?

Good idea.

Curlywhirly Sun 15-Nov-20 13:35:49

Trisher I will ask him if the cats have been back, that could very well be the problem.

Sparklefizz Sun 15-Nov-20 13:39:14

I definitely think this change in behaviour is due to the trespassing cats and he is marking his territory.

I agree with trisher that you need a thorough deep clean with a product containing enzymes to get rid of the other cats' scent, and to fit an electronic cat flap. It also might be worth getting one of those "hooded" litter trays which have a roof over, which give the cat some added security whilst going to the loo. And perhaps something like Zylkene to help with the anxiety, or else a homeopathic product.

TrendyNannie6 Sun 15-Nov-20 13:44:22

Yes I think he can smell the other cats in his house, and it’s freaked him out, that’s why he’s doing it inside, he’s scared to go out, cats aren’t silly they know when things aren’t right! I’d buy a feliway calming spray, if he’s never used a litter tray inside it’s a good idea to put the poo inside it, sorry I can’t help anymore my cats are indoor cats, so I haven’t ever had that problem, but I do hope your son can sort it out, the cat is stressed though, It does sound as if this is the problem

EllanVannin Sun 15-Nov-20 13:44:38

It's a territory thing unfortunately and the only cure as someone has said is an electronic entry/exit which only the owner's cat recognises via a signal from its collar.

If other cats think there's an easy way of getting food they'll not hesitate to enter. This is a part of cats that I don't like and I resorted to some " cruel " tactics to rid an unwanted cat from my home during the summer months. Water pistol and the hose of a running hoover the noise of which scared it away.

I have 3 cats and love them----but not other people's.

SueDonim Sun 15-Nov-20 13:44:40

It does sound territorial, though maybe the cat needs a health check, just in case there’s an underlying physical cause. Then securing the house needs to be done followed by removing the scent of both the intruder cat and your son’s own cat’s soiling in inappropriate areas. Use a bio laundry liquid and not bleach. Bleach causes cats to soil even more to cover up the smell.

It could be worth trying Feliway to help calm down your son’s cat.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 15-Nov-20 13:46:37

Does he live in the country?

I don't think the intruder cats are the problem. I would think the cat had been scared by an animal that it didn't feel it could fight, like a badger.

Mine stays indoors every time a wolf crosses the border from Germany.

More seriously, the cat could be messing and weeing indoors to try and tell his master that there is something wrong physically.

I know going to the vet is difficult right now, but if this doesn't stop again, a check-up might be indicated.

Squiffy Sun 15-Nov-20 14:23:00

Just to add to the covered litter tray suggestion - our cat wouldn’t use it to start with as it had a flap/door, which was see-through plastic, but very dark. I removed the door and she was fine. Hope your son finds a solution that works.

GrannyLaine Sun 15-Nov-20 14:25:18

I agree with others, this is territorial marking with the proviso that the cat isn't displaying any signs of illness.
1. Definitely a microchip activated catflap.
2. More than one litter tray (adding the poo as Phoenix suggests) but bear in mind some cats simply won't cooperate if they are used to going outdoors.
3. Try a plug in Feliway diffuser near where the cat spends his time - it reduces anxiety.
4. Clean soiled areas thoroughly but not with anything bleach based as it makes the cat return to that spot.

Charleygirl5 Sun 15-Nov-20 14:42:38

My cat was being chased home by two bullies. I had an electronic cat flap fitted and although it kept the bullies out, it took a second or two extra to work so my cat had her rear nipped which became infected so I had to change the catflap back to the old one.

I had this problem for years and then the cats owners moved so Tara now has the area to herself with the odd visitor.

Sparklefizz Sun 15-Nov-20 15:42:25


Just to add to the covered litter tray suggestion - our cat wouldn’t use it to start with as it had a flap/door, which was see-through plastic, but very dark. I removed the door and she was fine. Hope your son finds a solution that works.

Yes, I had to remove the flap/door too, Squiffy.

Oldbat1 Sun 15-Nov-20 16:21:54

Try cleaning floors and existing cat flap and outside with biological washing liquid or powder. What material is being used in the dirt tray? Our cats were very particular what litter was acceptable to them. We also invested in two dirt trays with a roof. One outside and one for inside. We had to shut our cat in our bathroom with first tray to try to break cycle - it worked. Would recent fireworks also be a reason for the fear aspect? I would suggest the feliway plug in too.

Curlywhirly Sun 15-Nov-20 19:12:58

Thank you all for your very informative suggestions. My son does live in a countryside location and I know they have been troubled by moles, but no badgers as far as I know. I will tell him about not using bleach and trying Feliway. Also, may be worth mentioning, we have taken our labrador to our son's house on occasion (3 or 4 times in a year) but our dog is only allowed in the hallway, and in the day their cat is always on the top floor of their house ( it is a 3 storey property). The cat has quite happily used a litter tray in the past (when they moved into their house 3 years ago and he was kept in, as advised, for 6 weeks). The poor cat, do feel sorry for him, he's a lovely thing and when he hears my voice, comes running downstairs and straight onto my knee for a cuddle.

moggie57 Sun 15-Nov-20 19:15:27

intruding cats leave their scent .and yours is marking his territory... i would get a magnetic collar and cat flap .

moggie57 Sun 15-Nov-20 19:16:03

but5 i would also get a blood test done at the vets in could be kidney problems too

phoenix Sun 15-Nov-20 20:16:16

moggie57, a collar isn't needed, there are cat flaps available that can be set to recognise the cats microchip, if it has one.

honeypot43 Tue 24-Nov-20 06:34:16

My elderly black and white cat Jessy likes to be indoors, when she was younger she liked being outside. Now she wakes me every morning about 5am scratching on the bedroom door. She is happy when I get up and give her some food. She likes wet food and only if it’s fresh, so dry food won’t satisfy her. I sometimes wonder if I should shut her out at night in the garden but that seems cruel, any suggestions?

phoenix Tue 24-Nov-20 07:09:20

honeypot43 you could try an automatic feeder, the sort you put I've in to keep the food fresh, and with a timer on it.

I think there was a thread about them fairly recently, but I can't do links on this tablet!

Hetty58 Tue 24-Nov-20 08:47:33

honeypot43, no, don't shut your cat out. She may need to be inside, for safety - or just to keep warm.

My cat's just the same, likes fresh food, very early, then again at teatime. (She doesn't adjust when the clocks go back - so it's 5 am instead of 6 am).

My dog, though, just eats whatever she's given, anytime.

Remember, dogs have owners and cats have servants!

honeypot43 Tue 24-Nov-20 08:59:53

Thankyou an automatic feeder is something I hadn’t heard of its worth a try, fortunately as a 77 year old i'me able to go to bed early and I don’t mind getting up early too, but so many hours of darkness, so looking forward to spring