I recently had my cat spayed and declawed and has been healing fine, but isn't using her litterbox anymore. Why?

Had the surgery 9 days ago and has been healing fine. About 3 days ago began going outside of the litterbox around the house. I had been diligent in taking her to the box, but she jumps out and minutes later I find it elsewhere. I don't understand why this would be happening now and not earlier. What is she trying to tell me and how can I quit this behavior?

Asked by Member 1142778 on Nov 28th 2012 in Urine Marking & House Soiling
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Sadly, it is probably the declawing. You have to remember that when a kitty is declawed, it is not only the claws that are removed, but the entire ends of her toes, leaving the cat with very sensitive, sometimes painful paws. I understand that a lot of kitties will have problems using their litter boxes post-declawing as they are pawing through the litter with their paws (which are now hyper-sensitized and the whole ritual might have become painful for them). Using a very soft-textured clumping non-clay litter is recommended, for example World's Best Cat Litter Or Arm & Hammer Naturals (both made from corn).

Take a look at this site from Stanford and read number 4)complications from declawing with respect to litter box problems.

If your kitty is still having problems, taking her back to the vet for a follow-up might not be a bad idea. The Vet can give you a plan of action and perhaps even something for the neurology, if necessary.

Member 1142790 answered on 11/28/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

The previous answer is right on. Some people decry declawing as brutal, painful and cruel, but as a former rescue volunteer, I saw many cats from "good" homes dumped because they clawed furniture. Otherwise good people and cat parents can't tolerate Fluffy shredding expensive furniture. So, it's the lesser of 2 evils, I guess. My daughter's cats are all declawed and when they had the procedure, she was told to use "Yesterday's News", a softer litter made from ground up newspapers. It is gentler on the sore paws. Also, your cat went through 2 surgeries which can be quite traumatic. If you are not already using the special litter, it can be purchased at any big box pet store and most supermarkets. Don't punish her for not using the box because then it becomes a negative reinforcement. Could you try replacing the box and putting it somewhere else? If you buy a new box and relocate it, perhaps she'll be more willing to use it since cats tend to think it's the box that's causing their pain

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 11/29/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


How very sad there are vets there who are willing to torture cats and condemn them to a lifetime of pain, just for the sake of making money. Vets don't educate owners about consequences of this mutilating procedure (cutting off part of the fingers of the cat).

I am very sad for you and your kitten that this was done to you. It will be very hard for the poor baby to get comfort. Your best bet is to try various litters until there's one that hurts her finger stubs less than the others and that she will be able to use it. Don't bet on it. Most kitties have lifelong pain so they hurt when in litter. They tolerate the pain because they have no choice. Try different litters and teach your friends not to do this. I'm so sorry.

Member 1143187 answered on 12/1/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Her feet could be sore from the declawing. Is your litter clay? If so change it to a softer type, like a corn or paper mix. Also stress. Put yourself in her head, you'ld be stressed too. Try Rescue Rememdy, your health food store will have it. Add a few drops mixed into her food. Also maybe check for crystals. Cats can get them from stress. If so she needs lots of water to flush them....try boiling chicken thighs or backs in water and adding to her food, and feed moist food. She could also have a bladder infection from the surgery. Check with the vet for these medical issues and if she's fine then go back to the litter and rescue remedy. You could also try Feliway near where she is peeing. LOTS OF LOVE and coaxing works too. Dont' yell at her. If you see her about to pee, spray her with a spray bottle of water, but don't let her see you doing it.

Member 1143717 answered on 12/5/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer