No you CANNOT poop behind the refrigerator
October 20, 2012 2:20 PM Subscribe
My 8 year old cat (The Dude) fairly recently decided that pooping in his very expensive litter robot is just not for him. Instead he poops just outside of the robot, and this morning he decided to go in around the same location but much more frustratingly located: behind the refrigerator.
I've tried various solutions, and there is a lot more to the story...
posted by ohyouknow to pets & animals (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Okay, here's the quick back story: I am currently 9 months pregnant, and 4 months ago we moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Prior to the move there have never been any behavioral problems with the Dude so I assumed he was pooping outside his box because he traumatized by either or both of these major life events. However, he was diagnosed with hypothyroidism that was treated with radiation therapy about a month ago.
Prior to his diagnosis, I tried getting the Dude another regular old-fashioned litter box, thinking that maybe he suddenly decided he no longer likes to poop where his brother does (we are a 2 cat household). After successfully using the new box for a few days, the Dude began pooping outside of THAT box too!
At around this time I took the Dude to the vet where he was diagnosed with a raging case of hypothyroidism, and he was hospitalized so that he could receive radioactive iodine in quarantine (poor guy). Now that the Dude's back and his thyroid tumor is but a memory, I was hoping I'd see this behavioral quirk fade away along with the constant panic-attack meowing he was exhibiting prior to his hospital trip. But no such luck. He still poops outside of the box unless I manage to kick him outside at the exact right time (around 5-6 a.m. so it's not a true solution). I have resorted to laying down newspaper in his favorite spot, but this morning he decided that he really liked the privacy afforded by going behind the fridge. ARGH!
Because the second litter box was only effective for a few days I decided to retire it when he returned from quarantine because it was creating a lot of mess with no reward. Since then I sometimes grab him and point his face toward the poop and say "NO!" which just makes him run away guiltily. But it has done nothing to improve his manners.
Luckily for the Dude he is extremely cuddly, aggressively affectionate and charming in ways too numerous to count. So giving him up for adoption is not an option.
Do you have any other suggestions for me? Should I give the 2nd litter box another try? Do I just need to wait him out as his tumor disappears? Is he mostly traumatized by the imminent arrival of his little sister? Should I hire a cat psychic to talk some sense into him? (I'm mostly joking about that last one, but since this is LA and since I am desperate, I'm not willing to really take anything off the table).