Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Washington State
Box training issues
So I finally landed myself a foster with litter box issues.
Helios came to me as a 10 week old kitten. He'd been born outside and spent the first 10 weeks outside. I picked up him, his brother and sister and their mother (4 total) from their former home. They all went in my garage at the time as that's the only spare room I had. I expected messes. After about a week of pooing on the floor, they started to figure out the litter box. They all got spayed/neutered and once they were healed up (around 12 weeks old) were placed in homes. No accidents at that point in over a week. Helios was adopted with his brother Harley.
2 months later, I get a call from their owner saying they aren't able to keep Helios. Harley is a good boy, but Helios "just isn't connecting with us" and also was having problems with consistent litter box use. Helios came back to live with me. I was still overrun, so he went back in the garage with his mom, who hadn't been adopted yet.
I was unable to duplicate their problems. He was using the litter box perfectly (and I've been checking around the garage--haven't found any "misses"). He was very friendly. I started letting him in the house for short stretches. There's 8 other cats in here right now, so it was an introduction period and teaching him to be in the house. He was doing fine. We were up to about 3 hour stretches at a time in the house.
My step son (who had been gone for a week to his dad's house) came home and discovered that someone had used his bed as a litter box (kitten sized). We left Helios in the laundry room one night instead of the garage and he peed in the cat bed in there. He's done that twice now. He has NEVER had an accident in the garage since his initial box training, but he seems to think that beds are great litter boxes.
He seems to only do this around other cats (except his mom--who was adopted last weekend, and this behavior started before she was adopted). I don't know if it's stress, or incomplete box training, or what. I've set him in our inside litter boxes a few times so he knows where they are and my step son says he's seen him use the inside litter boxes.
He doesn't seem to have any trouble using the box, no straining, blood, diarrhea, or any other weirdness that I've noticed. The litter in the house is identical to what he has in the garage.
He had a hernia repaired at the same time he was neutered which is fully healed. He's now 6 months old.
Advice and suggestions?