Q: My spayed female cat will not do her bowel movements in the litter box if she has urinated in it. Even if I'm around to clean her box immediately, she'll use the living room rug. I've taken her to the scene of her crimes and forced her nose close to it. She knows she's done something wrong because she runs and hides. How do I housebreak my cat?--B.B. A: To correct a cat's indiscretion, you can change the litter box, treat the soiled areas, evaluate environmental stress and examine the pet.
Many cats prefer two litter boxes, one for solid waste and one for urine. When adding a second box, try placing it in the area of indiscretion and then gradually move it to a more appropriate location. Some cats find more security in covered litter boxes; others prefer open boxes. Therefore, when using more than one box, try at least one of each. Different types of litter, paper, sand and dirt may solve the problem for some cats. Be sure to clean out the wet litter and solid waste daily. Every three days you should rinse and dry the box and refill it with fresh litter.