I took 8-Ball, my senior cat, to the vet this week for her twice-yearly haircut and to let the doctor run some tests. For the past few weeks, she has been embracing the concept of bizarro litter box, meaning that she has been going to the bathroom everywhere BUT the litter box.
She knows it’s wrong, because if I catch her, she runs like the grim reaper is after her. If you can’t tell by the picture of her, 8-Ball does NOT run. And when I’ve picked her up and brought her near the litter box, she screams like I’m about to drop her into a pot of boiling oil. So I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a medical issue.
At times like this, I really wish it was easier for animals and humans to communicate with each other, because I basically spent $400 to find out that 8-Ball hates Skittles. Well, duh. 8-Ball has hated Skittles from the second he entered this apartment.
The vet recommended a behavioral specialist, but the idea of throwing away money in the hopes that The Cat Whisperer will work his or her magic just doesn’t appeal to me. I just don’t see it helping. Still, I was ecstatic to find out that 8-Ball passed every medical test with flying colors and was declared to be a perfectly healthy cat, albeit a bit on the chubby side.
8-Ball went through something like this a few years ago, when she had picked three different spots in the house to urinate, none of which contained cat litter. I almost hesitate to ask for advice again, because it didn’t work out so well the first time, and the problem dissipated on its own.
Someone suggested sprinkling pepper in the areas where she was urinating. Cleaning up cat urine is a disgusting enough task, which was made far worse by having to clean up wet pepper.
Someone else suggested putting aluminum foil down, saying that cats are afraid of the crinkling sound it makes, and they won’t walk on it. 8-Ball walked right onto it, stared me dead in the eye and urinated right on it with a smirk on her face.
But, screw it: I’ll ask for advice, anyway. Note: This request is solely targeted toward cat people. Those of you who hate cats (you know who you are) have already made your ill-informed opinions quite widely known, so keep them to yourselves.
For the cat people: Has anyone had to deal with a cat who would NOT use the litter box, and what did you do about it? What worked, and what didn’t work?
My senior cat and I thank you in advance.