Monday, July 19, 2021

The Confusing Cat

Portia continues to confound my efforts to persuade her to wet in litter-boxes. I purchased a container of Dr Elsey’s ‘Cat-Attract’ litter and, after three days, Po has used the box less than before I put the new product in it. I think she distrusts it. The other cats have used it without complaint…

I have tried other solutions. I have placed two, and then three boxes, in the library. I have used a box without any litter at all (a friend had success with that tactic), and I have made my own ‘cat-attract’ by spraying small amounts of cat-nip spray on the litter and inside the box. None of these has induced Portia to do as she had the first two months of her time with me.

Last night, I moved the filled litter-box to the other side of the library. She used it in the night and did not soil a soaker-pad, though I cannot believe this to be conclusive evidence of success, as she pooped in the box as well as wet; the urination may have come simply because she was already in the box for number two.

It is a frustrating problem not only because for most of her time with me my new girl was perfectly content to go where she should, but because she will still use the library’s box for solid waste, AND because she also periodically visits the boxes in the storeroom without any mishap. As well, considering the number of times she wets on the soaker-pads, I don’t think she needs to go each time; I think she goes because she feels she should. And though soaker-pads can be a hindrance as well a help (the smell of urine never seems entirely to leave once it has been applied), they were in place during the two months that Portia diligently used the litter-boxes.

I have a couple more possible solutions to try before I make an appointment with a psychologist. Whether it will be for me or her, I can’t yet say.

However, in other matters, my confusing calico is progressing. She is hissing much less at the other cats, chases them only when they run (which is itself rarer) and she looks forward to her time with me. When I go into the library for whatever reason, she will frequently follow me, wanting to spend time on my lap. I try to give her that time at least once a day; some times, she lies on or against me for as long as half an hour. I will pet or brush her for some while; then her purring will stop, and I know she wants just to lie still, without stimulation. So I will read or watch my movie, and she will keep me company. Portia wants companionship, and wants affection.

Now, if she’ll just want to use the litter-box all the time…


  1. What a befuddlement for you. To go from normal litter box use to not and not have an ailment to cause this. Hope you find a solution because I know that no one will want to adopt a cat that doesn't use a litter box unless they just put her outside. That is unacceptable.

  2. Some folks would say that any cat enthusiast needs to have their head examined, but I digress.
    Could something have happened to startle her when she was library peeing, and somehow she now links that scare with peeing in that locality.
    Whatever the reason, we all know that you will find a way to solve the mystery, sooner or later.

    1. It may be that something startled her, but I can’t see her being unpleasantly surprised - at least by another cat. She is much more likely the one to surprise or chase off one of the boys.

  3. Dang, that really is confusing. It's almost like you need a security cam on the box so you could see what's going on or not.

  4. I hope you're able to figure the puzzle that is Portia for her sake and yours before you both need therapy. Good luck!

  5. As they said in "The King and I" - "Is a puzzlement"! Hopefully you'll be able to figure out what's going on soon. I wonder if she is actually urinating outside the litter box or if she is she spraying to mark her territory. I wonder if Portia is reacting to the animals that come to the Cosy Inn for meals. Even though they are outside, just seeing them through the window might be disturbing for her.

    1. I haven't seen her react adversely toward anything outside. The only animal I know she has seen was Ninja, and she seemed quite composed over her. There haven't been any others whom I've seen for some time. Even Sable and Arliss have been absent for months.

  6. I feel for you. A few years back, one of my cats (now passed away) began doing the same thing. He would do the solid business in the boxes, the liquid business...wherever. And there was nothing physically wrong with him. We tried everything we could think of, but nothing helped. Oddly, I noticed he mainly did this during the spring/summer months, not fall/winter. His previous owners kept him outside all the time and didn't bother to get him fixed, with the result that he wasn't neutered or accustomed to staying indoors until he was well into adulthood. I always wondered if there was some connection.

    Anyway, I hope you have more luck with Portia than I did with Potter.

  7. I got to laughing at your statement that seeing a phycologist for either you or Portia would be in order perhaps!

  8. It certainly is a puzzle. I hope you can find out why she is doing it.

  9. How frustrating indeed! Pipo did that kind of thing in his last months, but he had plenty of issues to account for that...Portia is certainly very mysterious. (Litter attractant didn't work with him either...)

    Hope you can figure it out soon...or...yup, it might make you a bit insane...I get it!

  10. People that go to psychologists...
    Need their heads examined...! :O).
    I'll speak to my daughter John...
    Actually she's a psychiatrist, not
    a lot of difference..! HeHe!

    Perhaps she's seen the others use the
    trays, and, she's decided to be different!
    Bless her!x
    And..I've just noticed, what a 'BIG'
    pussy~cat she is..! :0).

  11. hope you and portia can get this resolved; especially since you only have, stress, medical, location, litter type, box type, number of boxes, box cleanliness, lined box, covered box, catfather, renn, neville, and the what spooked her factor to deal with ~~~~~ YOW ~~~~~~ sorry and hope this post has a solution sooner than later ~~~ ♥3

  12. We have the same problem with Einstein and it is maddening. Just last night he started in the hall again with his piddle. Of course Miss Fitz running in the night had caused the pads to be out of place so there we have a floor puddle. Thank goodness for good sealer on the wood. He was fine for several weeks and now... a return to yesterday. Oh to know his mind. I love that little guy but boy can he be a bugger.
    We hope you find a solution.

  13. My sympathies! When Skeeter was old, he could manage the stairs to the litterboxes, so I brought one up. For whatever reason, he liked to pee next to it. I eventually put a 4'x4' piece of black plastic under the litterbox. He went just outside of that. Only Ceiling Cat knows what he was thinking...

    The wood floors sufferred and darkened. After he went Over The Bridge, I bleached the surface, sanded the damaged finish and applied several coats of matching finish. Over the years, it has aged to a closer match, but I can still tell if I look carefully.