So, this isn't really a big problem at the moment, but I'm seeking advice on it anyway because I don't want it to turn into
a big problem.
I have a two year old cat named Zira, who I've had since she was a kitten, and I adopted a new kitten named Theo about a week and a half ago.
Zira was not too happy about his arrival at first, though she seems to be tolerating him now. I catch her playing with him happily several times a day, but as soon as she realizes I'm watching she suddenly doesn't feel like playing anymore.
Anyway, I live in a small 2 story house, and Zira likes to hang out upstairs for the most part....so, naturally, that's where her litter box is. When I brought Theo home, the "safe room" that I used to introduce him to the house was downstairs, so his litter box is downstairs. I scoop both boxes every day, and in the past for Zira I've replaced the litter every week and a half or so.
I've heard the rule that you need one more litter box than you have cats, but honestly given the size/configuration of my house I really don't have anywhere to place a third box. There is some room next to where Zira's box is, but hers is very wide so I'd need to get two thinner boxes if I were to put a second one there. In my mind, wouldn't that defeat the purpose though of the third box being "neutral"? If they were both in the exact same spot, aren't they both the same "territory"?
I've heard that it's best to spread the boxes throughout your home? The only other place that there would feasibly be some space would be the dining room and maybe
the kitchen, which isn't really an option. I really don't want cat poo anywhere near where I eat.
Theo has not tried to use Zira's box. He has now been upstairs to explore, but either he hasn't needed to "go" while up there, or he's travelled downstairs to do his business.
Zira, on the other hand, has used Theo's box at least twice now. I think it's only been twice because the urine clumps have all been kitten sized, so I don't think she's urinating in there, only number 2.
So twice now she's gone number 2 in his box, and she hasn't buried it both times. It's really disgusting because it smells up the room like nothing else without it being buried and the fact that it's an uncovered box. Gross. She has always buried her poo in her own box, and she's still doing that in her box upstairs.
For whatever reason, she wants to leave it uncovered in his box. My assumption is that this is a territorial thing, but I don't know what to do so that this doesn't escalate into something bigger. (And really, I'd prefer if she could stop doing this because it is just plain gross.)
Luckily, Theo hasn't seemed to mind too much since he keeps using his box. But, then again, it's possible that I've tended to it before he's seen Zira's "gift" both times. I can't really be sure.
My question is whether you think that a third box would solve this problem?
Would putting the third box next to Zira's current box be pointless?
Would replacing her box even though I'd be adding a third aggravate the issue?
Any inexpensive ideas for an "incognito" box?
Some candid photos of Zira tolerating Theo while he explores her "spot", the windowsill.