"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

A Litter Bit Lax

– Posted in: Columns

Cat Laying in Litter BoxDear John,

I have a one and a half year old, spayed cat who causes me grief from time to time.  She is very fanatical about clean litter habits.  She is a Siamese/Tabby cross and is very feisty.  We have to use two litter boxes and they have to be cleaned morning and night.  She likes her litter box to be clean before she’ll litter again in it.  Sometimes, she will poop on the carpet by the litter boxes.  Why does she do this?  Is she mad at me?  Also, my husband noticed she peed on the carpet by the litter box this week.  Is she marking her territory? I work in an office that has a resident kitten.  Do you think my cat smells this little kitten when I get home? I want to keep the peace at home. -S.T.


Hi S.T.,

I doubt the litter problem you’re having has anything to do with territory although she’ll be aware of the office cat as no doubt some odor and the odd cat hair will be making it home. She might be acting out due to being incensed that one of her kind would stoop so low as to work in an office. Cats are solely creatures of leisure. Work and anything associated with it are in her mind signs of lowly breeding. She’ll make an allowance for you as you’re her sole supporter, but that you would associate with any member or her species with so little self respect that they’d live in an office may be too much for her and so she’s sending you out a few pee mails.

If you cannot have the other cat fired you’ll find that nine lives out of ten, when the litter box is replaced, instead of just cleaned, the problem goes away. If it does not, then take your cat to the veterinarians. Cats are hard wired to hide pain and discomfort lest a challenger take notice so there may be nothing obvious to you. I have provided first aid to cats with extremely traumatic injuries that accepted a scratch behind the ears and purred loudly in response.

Make sure that your veterinarian knows you’re not asking for a general exam. Instead give the behaviour details and your vet will check for crystals etc. While you’re in there, if the veterinarian doesn’t already suggest it; have a blood panel done. It might reveal something, but even if it doesn’t you’ll have invested in a very good diagnosis tool for down the road. If your cat is healthy it will provide a baseline for what is normal for your cat. Later in life if your cat is behaving oddly you can have another and by comparing it with your cat’s norm then getting to the bottom of what’s going on will be much more likely. In fact I recommend everyone with a cat or dog reading this make a note to call their vet and ask that a note be made on their pet’s file to have a baseline blood panel done on their next visit. It can be a true life saver.

John Wade the Dog Trainer 

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