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I need some help with litterbox issues!

Hi all,

We have a 10 month old melanistic F6 Savannah named Spock. We have had him for 2 weeks and he is a rescue cat. Prior to living with us he was with someone who apparently 'collects' animals and gets rid of them when they are bored. He was on his way to a farm when a local rescue agency stepped in. We adopted him and brought him to our home that already has a 15 year old DSH. We were worried about the transition--mainly about how the older cat would accept the new one. We decided on gradually introducing them and Spock was placed in a guest room for a few days which also housed his litter box and food. He seemed to be using his litterbox just fine other than one night when he slept in my son's room. Even though his litterbox was in the room, he pooped in a corner instead. On another occasion he pooped just outside the litter box. We assumed he must be extrememely picky about having an extraordinarily pristine littler box. We scooped several times a day and he seemed fine. Eventually the 2 cats both had the roam of the house and we moved his box down to the same room as our other cat's box. Again it appreared he knew where it was but in the morning he went on the carpet in the guestroom where his old box had been. We made sure to close that door and all seemed fine again. A couple of days later he pooped on the carpet in the room that houses the litterboxes even though one had nothing in it and the other had one small clump. Now this morning he pooped back in my son's bedroom in the same spot he did before.

This cat is wonderful and the whole family loves him. We want to make this his forever home but are getting very frustrated with this issue. Does anyone have some ideas for us? As I said, this is intermittent. He sometimes poops in the box and sometimes doesnt. We have never had an issue with urinating.

Please help!



Savannah Super Cat
Maybe he doesn't like the kind of litter you're using? Is it the same kind he was using at his other home? Some cats don't like the way different kinds of litter feels on their paws, especially if it gets stuck between the pads.

Also, some cats don't like scented litter.

The litterbox itself might also be a factor- if it has a dome, if it's covered or has high sides, Spock might be a bit wary of it , depending on the setup he had before.

In addition, the placement of the box might be a factor- some cats like privacy, other cats want it in a more open spot so they can see what's going on around them- if the box is placed in a high-traffic area, Spock might be nervous.

Keep us updated!


Site Supporter
I do think texture can make a big difference! My kitten refused to go in the box! I ended up using a light layer of kitten attract, with the paper pellets on top and magically, she goes! The others do as well! Smell can also be a factor as well as texture! Good luck. I know its frustrating but it is worth it!


Savannah Super Cat
I recently placed a kitten with someone who thought they were doing the right thing but there were a whole other world of factors in play. It was not until this person hired Marilyn the Cat Coach that issues improved at my recommendation. I even offered to pay for her service because I felt so bad that the kitten couldn't get his act together. It was more than the kitten, however some cats will dutifully use a box from the get go and others don't for many reasons. This cat may have issues due to bad habits from other cats the previous owner had. Sounds like they are the "collector" type that may already have litter issues in her house that you will need to retrain!
I think it would help to describe where your boxes are? What you are using etc to be of help. There is a solution but you need to be on top of the problem.

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
As Kelly says, it can be more than one factor. Medesha has some great points, the type of box, the location, the litter...all can be factors. I'd definitely try litterboxes in more than one location while your two cats are getting used to each other.

And be sure to be cleaning up any places he is pooping with a good enzyme cleaner, it's very important to get rid of all traces of odor...


Savannah Super Cat
My Scottish Fold has been having litter box issues also, pooping just outside the door leading to the litter box. This was usually occurring at night. We saw him use the litter box during the day. He has had a vet check, been treated for urinary tract infection. We saw some improvement, but still an issue. Changed brand of litter. Self cleaning litter boxes no longer jam. Still an issue. My husband suggested that maybe he has a "fear" or "vision problem" at night and can't see the litter box in the laundry area between the washer and dryer because it is too dark at night. ( This is the same cat that would not use a cat door for 4 years and would howl if he went out on the patio and you closed the sliding glass door that he went out of - he did not know how to get back in. My husband says he has more than a missing gene). I put a night light in the laundry area shining above the litter box. It has only been 2 days, but so far no problem. Does anyone know if Folds have a night vision problem or fear? Have we figured out his problem? Thanks, Sue

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
I have never heard of Folds having a vision issue, and cannot imagine that the mutation giving them the folded ears would affect that. He might just have vision problems as a random issue, not a breed issue though. Or it may be that the automated boxes are just scarier at many of us are just jumpier about sounds at night...


Try an open top box and see what happens. He might not like the lid on and fear going in.


Chirps & Massive Headbutts
This remedy has worked well for Shango if it helps:

a. Two large litter boxes (using Tidy cats non clumping clay in this case) - he uses both and likes this choice.
b. Dr. Elsey's kitty litter attract - just a small sprinkle, he really likes this stuff! Absolute must!!!! Petsmart has this.
c. Clean litter boxes, but only 1-2x per week - helps him remember where they're while wandering around
d. Post napping - I've placed him right in the litter box to reinforce where they're at - and this is beginning to really work. This is the time I've found he likes to pee! And pee he does!
e. Accidents - use Anti Icky Poo to remove the urine smell - heard so much about it here that I bought some myself. Later spray some Pet Organics No Mark. Anti Icky Poo is an Amazon thing only. Pet Organics is Petsmart or Petco.

I think it just takes time to get them in the habit of going in that designated litter box spot. dj