I am the mom to 3 wonderful and loving cats, each of whom I adore. Each of them is very different from the others, and very special in his or her own unique way, and my daughter and I have taken great pleasure from having these three as a part of our lives.

Of the three cats, the most timid is Blue. She is a beautiful cat, brown and white, with the most beautiful blue eyes I’ve ever seen in a cat, hence her name. My daughter rescued Blue when she was a kitten and her mother was run over by a car. She was close to starving to death when we got her, and has always been what I refer to as my “scaredy cat”.

Blue sleeps with me every single night, and the closer she can snuggle to me, the happier she is. The other two cats have given me problems from time to time, as they are more moody (and sometimes grumpy!) then Blue, but recently I started having a problem with Blue.

Our litter box is in the bathroom, and all three cats are accustomed to using it regularly, as they are inside cats. Suddenly, for no reason that was obvious to me, Blue stopped using the litter box when she pooped. She always urinated in the litter box, but started leaving small brown “gifts” for us on the floor just in front of the litter box. I’m diligent about scooping out the litter box, so could not figure out what her problem was.

I began keeping a close eye on Blue when she headed for the bathroom, and gradually I realized what was going on. Blue was fine with using the litter box if the litter was new or newly scooped, but if one of the other cats had used the box a short time before her, she would take a sniff, and then poop in front of the litter box instead of in it. Since the other two cats were so much more assertive than Blue, I started to wonder if she was afraid of “getting in their territory”. With that in mind, I started tapping with Blue in my lap. (Other pet owners may tap on their cats directly, but I always hold the cat in my lap and tap on myself surrogately.)

* Even though I’m really scared to use the litter box when one of the other cats has just been in it, I’m a good cat.
* Even though I’m afraid that one of the other cats might “get” me if I use the litter box, because it smells like them and they think it’s theirs, I’m a really good cat.
* Even though I’m really afraid of one of the other cats hurting me if I use the litter box right after they do, maybe it’s okay to do that, and maybe the other cats don’t really care, and I’m a very good cat.

The reminder phrases that I used were along the lines of:

-I’m really scared to use the litter box
-The other cats might hurt me
-The litter box smells like the other cats
-And maybe I’m not supposed to use it
-I’m afraid of the other cats
-But mom says it’s okay to use the litter box
-And that I don’t need to worry
-Nobody will hurt me
-The other cats don’t care if I use the litter box
-I can use the litter box whenever I need to
-It’s safe to use the litter box
-And it will make mom really happy
-And I’m a really good cat!

Blue loved at attention she got when she sat in my lap, so it wasn’t a problem to tap with her several times daily. After a couple of days, I noticed that there were no more “gifts” for me in front of the litter box.

I continued to tap with Blue in order to build her courage, and noticed that she was becoming more assertive about her right to be anywhere in the house at the same time as one of the other cats. She even seemed to feel more secure when she napped, and did so openly in the presence of the other cats.

Because of Blue’s history, she will probably always be the most shy of our cats, but at least now she seems to feel more comfortable in her own home, and around her housemates.

If you have issues with a pet that you really aren’t sure how to approach, why not give EFT a try? You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain!

Author's Bio: 

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Pat Burns is an EFT practitioner in Tallahassee, Florida. Contact Pat at pat@seeking-serenity.com