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Old 19.09.2012, 23:19
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Cat mother poos in the bathtub...

We have a cute female cat. Well, she was very cute before...

Then almost two months ago she gave birth too 4 cute babies.
Now the babies feed on normal food and all the five cats use the same toilet box, which was used solely by the mother before.

Then the annoying thing starts. The mother starts to shit in our bathtub! And she seems to love it more and more. Now almost every day we have to clean the bathtub. It is really annoying... We tried to scold her to teach her that bathtub is not a place for that, but it seems she does not understand (it seems cat is not like dog in this case, a dog will certainly understand).

I guess the reason is because now the toilet box is also being used by the 4 babies, so by some reason (vision or smell) the mother thinks it is not for her anymore?

But then what is the solution? We cannot simply prepare 5 toilet trays for 5 cats. Even if we prepare different trays for mother and babies, the babies won't know our intention and they will just use all the available trays and the mother will continue to think no tray is for her. The only solution seems to physically separate the mother and babies, which is impossible because they need to be together...

Some experience and advice?

Last edited by Castro; 19.09.2012 at 23:24. Reason: language please ;-/
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Old 19.09.2012, 23:22
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Re: Cat mother shits in the bathtub...

Why not place a tray for her in the bathtub? Then hopefully you would just have to remove the tray when you want to use the bath, and use the shower to wash away the few stray granules?
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Old 19.09.2012, 23:23
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Re: Cat mother shits in the bathtub...

Close the bathroom door.
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Old 19.09.2012, 23:28
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Re: Cat mother shits in the bathtub...

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We tried to scold her to teach her that bathtub is not a place for that, but it seems she does not understand (it seems cat is not like dog in this case, a dog will certainly understand).

I guess the reason is because now the toilet box is also being used by the 4 babies, so by some reason (vision or smell) the mother thinks it is not for her anymore?

But then what is the solution?
The main problem seems to be that the cat is trying to tell you that she does not want to share her tray with four other cats and you just don't understand. Cats can be very picky with their toilet spots ad they don't like an overused litter box.

Odile's solution seems very practical to me, so I'd try that. I would even add another box next to the one you already have because one box for four babies is still not very comfortable...
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Old 19.09.2012, 23:33
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Re: Cat mother shits in the bathtub...

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The main problem seems to be that the cat is trying to tell you that she does not want to share her tray with four other cats and you just don't understand. Cats can be very picky with their toilet spots ad they don't like an overused litter box.

Odile's solution seems very practical to me, so I'd try that. I would even add another box next to the one you already have because one box for four babies is still not very comfortable...
Actually she is a bit strange. She still uses the tray sometimes and "uses" the bathtub sometimes. Also, it happens often that she uses the tray when it is already heavily used by the babies, and then we clean it, and just after we clean it she does the job in the bathtub... really strange, huh?

Last week we tried providing another tray just next to the existing one. But, as soon as we put the second tray, the babies start to use it too. They seem to use every tray available.
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Old 19.09.2012, 23:35
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Re: Cat mother poos in the bathtub...

You are lucky, it could be your bed. Don't ask, just don't ask..
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Old 19.09.2012, 23:37
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Re: Cat mother shits in the bathtub...

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The main problem seems to be that the cat is trying to tell you that she does not want to share her tray with four other cats and you just don't understand. Cats can be very picky with their toilet spots ad they don't like an overused litter box.

Odile's solution seems very practical to me, so I'd try that. I would even add another box next to the one you already have because one box for four babies is still not very comfortable...
Yes, Odile's advice is a good one. It is also good because currently the babies are unable to go into the bathtub (they cannot jump that high). So a tray in the bath will ensure that it is only used by the mother.
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Old 20.09.2012, 00:11
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Re: Cat mother poos in the bathtub...

Cats are clean animals and they hate it when there are too many other cats using one toilet. I think she is trying to tell you to get another kitty toilet.
When you have adult cats the usual thing to do is to have as many toilets as you have cats, plus one. So if you have 3 cats you should have 4 toilets. So far we have 2 adult cats and 3 kittens and we have 4 toilets and we are having no problems.

Good luck and thank she did not start dumping on your bed
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Old 20.09.2012, 00:12
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Re: Cat mother poos in the bathtub...

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You are lucky, it could be your bed. Don't ask, just don't ask..
argh you beat me to it!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 20.09.2012, 00:28
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Re: Cat mother poos in the bathtub...

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We have a cute female cat. Well, she was very cute before...

Then almost two months ago she gave birth too 4 cute babies.
Now the babies feed on normal food and all the five cats use the same toilet box, which was used solely by the mother before.

Then the annoying thing starts. The mother starts to shit in our bathtub! And she seems to love it more and more. Now almost every day we have to clean the bathtub. It is really annoying... We tried to scold her to teach her that bathtub is not a place for that, but it seems she does not understand (it seems cat is not like dog in this case, a dog will certainly understand).

I guess the reason is because now the toilet box is also being used by the 4 babies, so by some reason (vision or smell) the mother thinks it is not for her anymore?

But then what is the solution? We cannot simply prepare 5 toilet trays for 5 cats. Even if we prepare different trays for mother and babies, the babies won't know our intention and they will just use all the available trays and the mother will continue to think no tray is for her. The only solution seems to physically separate the mother and babies, which is impossible because they need to be together...

Some experience and advice?
Maybe she is just saying you need to clean your bathtub

But seriously cats are very fickle about their toilet habits, we have three new additions to our chat family at the moment, we have separate toilets for the mother and the kittens, as long as you let them know the rules soon enough you wont have a problem.

You have to nip the situation in the bud, place a tray in the bathtub for mum and gradually move it out and then out of the bathroom, she will, when the kittens have gone resume her normal habits, we had the same problem when our cat first had kittens, she used to shi* in my wife's slipper, funny as it was at the time we had to find a solution, we did it by placing the slipper in a new cat tray, it ended in days...
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Old 20.09.2012, 08:40
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Re: Cat mother shits in the bathtub...

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Close the bathroom door.
Or fill the bathtub with some water, she wont like it at all.

You were not talking serious when you mention to separate her from her babies, right? Don't create an even more serious issue to either the babies or the mother by doing that at very early stage.
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Old 20.09.2012, 09:23
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Re: Cat mother poos in the bathtub...

Buy a toilet tray just for her
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Old 20.09.2012, 10:11
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Re: Cat mother shits in the bathtub...

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Last week we tried providing another tray just next to the existing one. But, as soon as we put the second tray, the babies start to use it too. They seem to use every tray available.
As others have said - make sure you have another box (or two) just for her to use. Put it someplace else though (if you can), not right next to the one her kittens can use, unless it is somehow arranged so that they can't use it (maybe place it in a cardboard box with high sides, or do as Odile suggested and simply place it in the bathtub).

Also though, DON'T "scold" her for using the bathtub, she won't understand anyhow but she MAY get stressed about relieving herself at all (I've read this can lead to constipation and urinary tract issues because cat will hold it instead of going).

Actually, thinking about it, probably Odile's suggestion is the best solution, because it shows Mama-Kitty that there is a box just for her while at the same time blocking (at least partially) the spot she was using which you found to be undesirable.
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Old 20.09.2012, 11:08
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Re: Cat mother shits in the bathtub...

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Or fill the bathtub with some water, she wont like it at all.
Actually, I suspect this is the best idea of all. Just a little water in it would suffice, cat's generally don't like putting their paws in water. It's clear that another litter tray should be provided as well, although I don't think they need one each. Two should be plenty, I'd have thought, as long as they're big enough and cleaned out regularly enough. Kittens do seem to be little shit machines, so this may be required as mch as twice a day.

Of course, the best answer is to give mum access to proper toilet space outside...
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Old 20.09.2012, 11:36
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Re: Cat mother shits in the bathtub...

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Of course, the best answer is to give mum access to proper toilet space outside...
Yeah, because we all know how much everyone simply loves grabbing a handful of cat poop when trying to do our gardening.

I'll take "completely disgusting" with a side of toxoplasmosis as a bonus, thanks!

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  • Keep your cat inside at all times to keep your pet from getting toxoplasmosis from the soil and/or small infected animals it tries to catch or eat.
  • Keep your child's outdoor sandbox covered, especially overnight, to prevent wandering cats from using it as a litter box.
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Old 20.09.2012, 11:44
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Re: Cat mother poos in the bathtub...

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Old 20.09.2012, 11:50
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Re: Cat mother poos in the bathtub...

If she feels the need to have her own tray - filling the bath with water instead of giving her her own tray there seems needlessly 'cruel' Why not give her what she wants at the mo. If you stop her having the 'privacy' of the bathtub that kittens can't reach - she may well switch her 'poo' to a much less desirable and easily to clean/handle situation.

Peg our cats have always been wormed regularly - and personally, and I know we don't agree- I could never ever have a cat that does not have the freedom to go outdoors and do what it wants - climb trees, laze in the sun, whatever. If i lived where this is not possible or safe, I just wouldn't have cats. Again, i know we don't agree, so no point arguing all over again. For me, cats are not meant to live inside, and that is the same for most Swiss people - which is why refuges refuse to re-home cats unless they will have that freedom. All our cats have been outdoor cats, and all lived to the age of 18+

Last edited by Odile; 20.09.2012 at 12:10.
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Old 20.09.2012, 12:00
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Re: Cat mother poos in the bathtub...

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If she feels the need to have her own tray - filling the bath with water instead of giving her her own tray there seems needlessly 'cruel' Why not give her what she wants at the mo.

Peg our cats have always been wormed regularly - and personally, and I know we don't agree- I could never ever have a cat that does not have the freedom to go outdoors and do what it wants - climb trees, laze in the sun, whatever. If i lived where this is not possible or safe, I just wouldn't have cats. Again, i know we don't agree, so no point arguing all over again. For me, cats are not meant to live inside, and that is the same for most Swiss people - which is why refuges refuse to re-home cats unless they will have that freedom. All our cats have been outdoor cats, and all lived to the age of 18+

Actually, I think it's great that cats can have the freedom to go outside as they please - if I lived someplace where it was safe for mine to go out, I'd allow her further than the balcony.

What I object to though is someone implying that the only proper place for a cat to do it's business is outside.


I think the water in the bathtub idea is bad, not just because it's potentially mean - but because IF the bathtub is made traumatic for the cat, there could be other issues that come up. Possibly (as both Slammer and Angela mentioned) using someplace else even less savory for making deposits would become a concern indeed.

The cat care websites I've checked about cats going in improper places seem to agree that the best course of action is to put a tray where the cat has started going, and slowly move the tray away from that place to a more acceptable area. That way the tray holds some of whatever the attraction was to the other area, and that attraction (hopefully) goes along with it to the more appropriate spot.
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Old 20.09.2012, 12:05
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We have a cat who peed in the tub on the drain, while not messy like poo it was still a bad habit that had to be addressed.

Firstly - you absolutely need more litter boxes, even if you don't want to prepare them and clean them. One, or even two, boxes is not enough.

Secondly - this has probably become a behavioral issue and just filling the tub with water is likely not going to help. Yes she won't poo there anymore but shell start pooing somewhere else. Try putting a box in the tub and moving it downwards and out 1" each day until its back where you want it. Keep it and all boxes super clean. Get some feliway/pheromone spray and use it around the new boxes.

Please don't separate the mother from her kittens - she's not going to understand what is going on. And she definitely doesn't understand you scolding her. There is so much information on the web about these problems, familiarize yourself for the sake of your cat.

And get your cat fixed as soon as medically possible.
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Old 20.09.2012, 12:37
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Yeah, because we all know how much everyone simply loves grabbing a handful of cat poop when trying to do our gardening.

I'll take "completely disgusting" with a side of toxoplasmosis as a bonus, thanks!
Ok yes it is eww, but not all cats carry T. gondii. I read but can't find the reference that at least in the US only about 17-30% of cats were carriers.

For further info:

Nice simple reads: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/toxo.html
http://www.fabcats.org/owners/toxoplasmosis/info.html
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