Insight into Strange potty habits - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Insight into Strange potty habits

I have been trying for some time to figure out optimal litter box placement for my kitties. There are a few things to take into consideration here:

They can't all be in the same room. My male is kind of a jerk, and WILL stalk and attack the other cats while they use the litter box. Having them all in the same room makes it too easy for him to find a target. Trying to avoid litter-box trauma so none of the girls get too scared to use it.

I'm not sure how to deter this behavior in him - he does not fear water enough for a squirt bottle or even a bath to be remotely deterrent.

Don't want one in the kitchen for obvious reasons. . .

Can't have one in the bedroom because of the tendency of one of the girls (widdershins) to want to sharpen her claws for about 5 minutes after each time she uses it. Sometimes she gets in the box just to sharpen her claws on the inside of it, and doesn't actually go to the bathroom. This is infernally noisy, and very frustrating at 2:00 a.m. We have placed about 6 cardboard scratchers all over the house, but only one of the cats ever uses them (Stitch). Have tried offering other surfaces for her (boxes, upholstered and jute wrapped cat scratchers, etc) but she ignores all of them. The other issue is tracking - corncob pine blends track like mad, and if we have a box in the bedroom, the bed gets litter in it.

Currently, I have 2 huge litter boxes in the utility room, one normal sized one in the downstairs bath, and one normal sized one in the living room. (All downstairs)

Recently (since around December) we have had problems with her (and only her) also urinating outside the litter box. She seems to have a select few targets - the water dish, and the bed. Admittedly, she only pees in the water dish when it is low or empty. We refill it every morning, but the male cat likes to play in it, and often drains it by splashing all of the water out, or tipping it over completely, even though it is one of those tip resistant designs.

The only thing I can think of is that in December, we did have one litter box upstairs for a few weeks while we did a remodel downstairs, which is when we found out that the noise she makes with it cannot be slept through. Most of these bad habits seem to have popped up when we moved that litter box back downstairs.

The remodel was to remove carpet downstairs, and put in laminate flooring.

We had been using corncob/pine blends for a very long time, and still do. I am trying Yesterday's News in one box, to see if it is any better (still undecided - but the cats use that box just as much as the others). So I don't think the litter itself is to blame. I scoop the boxes most days, but I do occasionally (maybe once a week) skip a day.

Any insight?

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 08:12 AM
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Our Coco was (is) a stalking mess with our old Lacey Mae who has a bad heart and failing kidneys. Coco is better, but still stalks Lacey on occasion - and only her. That causes Lacey to not use the litter box as well. She is fearful of being ambushed. I feel for you - I know exactly how frustrating this can be. We love them all and want the best but also want a peaceful coexistence. Why not try a different litter in the BR altogether? Try a scoopable clay litter - one that may be more attractive and less likely to cause the infernal digging and claw sharpening. We also run a fan for the background noise and that helps us not hear the scratching so much (it's not perfect, but it does help).

Other than that all I could suggest is what we have been doing with Lacey Mae (the one being ambushed) for months now. We close her up in the study at night by herself. She never really slept with us so she does not mind being up there alone for her nights. She knows she is safe with the door closed and can use the litter box and eat in peace. That was a solution that works for us.

The other thing we did was put Coco (who is somewhat hyperactive at 8 years old) on Fluoxetine to help take the edge off her hyperactivity level. It helped dramatically, but the side effect is she sleeps more often than not. Even a small amount every other day or every 3rd day makes her a kind of zombie. Once it wears off she is back to her naughty ways.

I hope you can find a solution. I know it's frustrating to live with a bully.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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yeah, the girls are the ones who like to sleep with us. The jerk (Dracula) isn't really a bed sleeper. Perhaps locking him out of the bedroom at night, and having food, water and litter for the girls upstairs will help. One of the girl cats hates him, and will barely tolerate him being in the same room. He's twice the size of either of them, and plays a little too rough with them.

He is also a young cat - probably only about 2, so I am hoping the jerk phase will wear off once he gets a little older.

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