Relocating litterbox to other floors - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-08-2007, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Relocating litterbox to other floors

Hi everyone - I've not been here in a while, but am in need of some advice for this situation...

First, my house sucks and there has never been a good spot for a litterbox. When we moved in, we put the box in the spare bedroom. It's been there for 4 years now. But, now we need to make this room in a nursery and the box, of course, must go.

I've placed two new boxes in the basement, and one upstairs. But both cats continue to mainly use the one in the bedroom. I'm afraid to just take the bedroom one away for fear of accidents, but I don't know what to do to convince them to start using the others.

On top of this, one of the cats has started marking - fecal marking (they have a tenuous relationship, at best) - so I'm toying with putting her in the upstairs room to limit her space and deal with the fecal marking and also attempt to get her to start using that box. Is this a good idea? I'm nearly certain the other cat would use the basement one if the bedroom box was gone.

Please - any thoughts you have would be appreciated - thank you!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-08-2007, 09:41 PM
 
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I hear you about not having a good place for the box. I don't even have a basement or a laundry room, and even my bathrooms are too small. My litter box is in the hall. I would suggest moving the box out of the room it was in into the hall just outside the room, and keep the room closed off for now so they aren't tempted to go back in there. Or just go cold turkey and remove the upstairs one completely. If they stop using it, you can then go back and try putting it outside the room it was in before.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-08-2007, 10:28 PM
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No advice on the boxes, but congratulations on the new baby-to-be!

Cali, Cinderella, Cleo and Charlee

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Always in my heart, my lovely Cinderella, running free at the Bridge.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 01:56 PM
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I wouldn't just take the upstairs one away. I would gradually move it to where you want it - move it no more than a few feet every week. As annoying as it is...there has to be somewhere that it can go.

I have 1 litterbox in my bedroom, two in a utility closet (I had to install a kitty door), and 1 enormous one in my front hall closet (I removed the doors and hung up a curtain). Of course, I'd really like to have 5 (1 more than the 4 cats that I have), as is recommended, but...they seem to do okay with the number that I have, no inappropriate marking. If I had to, I'd add one of those litterboxes that are in the fake plant or add one to a piece of furniture.

We just did that at my sister's house this past weekend. I had bought a cheap used buffet (2 doors on the bottom with 1 drawer). We cut a hole in the side and installed a cat door and then we put the litterbox in the cabinet part. Seems to be working so far for her.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 04:17 PM
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When I read a post about a cat that has started pooping outside the box the usual advice I always give is to get a second box and put it right beside the first box. So since you've already got an inappropriate elimination problem I think you plans to shift litterboxes around has a high likelyhood of aggravating the problem. Plus the impending changes in the family. I think you need to deal with the pooping problem first, before you relocate litterboxes. I don't know what your schedule is for the new baby. A couple litter boxes in the nursery might be unsightly but until the baby is big enough to crawl I really don't think they'll be any problem.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hey everyone - thank you for the ideas and thoughts!

Coaster - you are probably right that making giant changes will aggravate the existing problem. I do currently have two boxes in the spare bedroom, two in the basement, and one upstairs (5 boxes for two cats!). My hope is that by isolating the cat that is marking in one room - which started today - that she'll start using the box consistently/appropriately and can slowly be reintroduced to the rest of the house...and keep using the box up there without missing the downstairs one. While I'm sure a baby wouldn't care about a litterbox sharing it's space, *I* can't imagine anything more awful than a litter box in the nursery

Kitty's Mom - I've read that the best way to relocate a box is to gradually move it, but, I've have to gradually move the box up -or down- a set of stairs and can't figure how that would work. Your alternate placement ideas - especially the clever cabinet one - are appreciated and I'll look at my available space again to see if I'm overlooking some possibilites with all that in mind.

marie73 - thank you

Frostine - this is also a good idea (moving it outside the room) - although I'll admit I'm tempted to go cold turkey, but am resisting for now!

Okay - you've all given me a lot to think on. I'm off to go scrutinize my situation some more.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 09:09 PM
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Isolation is a good first step. Is that in one of the rooms with two boxes? That's what I'd advise.

I know gradually moving a box is the standard advice, but I've never found it to be necessary, and I've never done it that way. I just put the box down, lead the cats to it (or let them find it) and they know what it's for. Either they're going to accept that location and use the box or they aren't, and any subterfuge is going to be wasted effort. That's what I think, FWIW.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 12:15 PM
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I'm going on nothing but instinct here, but it seems cats will accept change better if they see you moving the litterbox. Finding it in a new location as a surprise is probably the worst way to go. That's what I do with Rookie -- make sure she's watching me change it.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 01:03 PM
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Well, you may be right. I think every time I've moved a litter box the cats have been there watching. In fact, any time I do anything litter box related, they're paying very close attention. I suppose I'd be paying close attention too if someone was messing with my bathroom.

I don't know what it has to do with instinct, but cats will pay very close attention to any changes happening in their territory. I have to put them all in a room when I mop the kitchen floor not only because they'd get in the way but also because they'd freak out at the chairs and stuff I have to move off the floor to clean it.
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