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My 5 months old blind kitten is a normal cat in most aspects but has a few blind-cat quirks. He instinctively knows how to use a litter box. More or less.

  • Sometimes he does his business next to the litter box instead of in it.
  • He never digs in the litter box like other cats (including his brother) do. Instead he claws the wall or any object near the litter box.
  • His butt is not always clean after doing his business.

We have two litter boxes and two cats. We recently replaced the litter boxes and pellets. They are both open and without a door (PeeWee EcoMinor) and use wood pellets, because they smell less. His (sighted) brother took to the new litter boxes immediately. The peeing next to the litter box problem started after getting the new boxes, the other problems already existed.

I tried: different litter types. He eats crystal litter, do I stopped using that. The clumping litter works okay-ish, but smells horrible. The wood pellets seem to work best.

How can I teach him (potentially using his brother that does know) to use the litter box properly?

  • can you get litter trays? It may be easier for him to step into something shallow, rather than into an enclosed box or a deeper box. – Nobody Oct 17 '18 at 10:21
  • @YvetteColomb I'm not a native speaker and litter-terminology is not something I know a lot about. I suppose I meant we have litter tray, but I'm not sure. Here's an image of it: s.s-bol.com/imgbase0/imagebase3/large/FC/9/5/0/0/… – Belle-Sophie Oct 17 '18 at 10:23
  • shallower like this one google.com.au/shopping/product/… – Nobody Oct 17 '18 at 10:27
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    He also might not like how the wood pellets feel on his feet; different brands of clay clumping litter (and "natural" clumping litter, for that matter) have different degrees of odor control, and some regular baking soda mixed in combined with frequent cleaning can reduce odor even more. As for clawing the wall instead of the litter, I don't think that's a "blind cat" issue. My previous boy did that constantly, my current one does it fairly often (and throws litter, too). – Allison C Oct 17 '18 at 17:01
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Cats are unique individuals when it comes to their litterbox habits. Scratching to bury their waste comes from a desire to be clean, and many cats, depending on their personality, will do it if there is something they object to outside the litterbox, even on surfaces where it's impossible to actually dig. Therefore, if your cat is doing it around the litterbox, and even eliminating outside the litterbox, it's a possible indication it doesn't like the litterbox. Sighted cats will do this as well, so this is probably not being caused by blindness. The fact that this started after you changed the litterbox seems to extra support the theory that it simply doesn't approve of the new box.

  1. The box could be too small, or too deep or too shallow. Of course cats prefer the area to do their business to be as big as possible. They also want only about three inches of litter, just enough to bury their waste. If you cannot find an actual litterbox of acceptable size, there are plenty of box-like things you can use instead, such as big plastic storage containers. I would just make sure the box is lidless with fairly shallow sides, to make sure the cat can figure out how to get into it.
  2. It might not like the litter you are using. While it's tempting to use a type that most appeals to you, you should use whatever is most appealing to your cat. If you end up switching, gradually replace the old litter with the new, so your cats can gradually become used to it.
  3. The box might simply not be clean enough. It should be cleaned at least daily.

Some cats are more obsessive at scratching than others, however, so it may be that your one cat will always have some habit of scratching around the box, even if you manage to lessen this habit.

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