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I have a 3.5 year old DSH and a 7 month old DMH. We have done a long & slow introduction to one another and all is good -- both are living harmoniously together in our house.

At present, we have two separate litter boxes though they both use both.

Suggestions on how to combine? (The older established cat prefers to use the new kitten's box and seems to prefer that location which will NOT work long term.)


Many, many thanks for suggestions.
 

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I wouldn't combine them. The "rule of thumb" for litterboxes is that you should have one per cat plus one...so, in your case, that would mean three litterboxes. That said, you will likely be fine with two, but I'd tend not to reduce things to just one. Given that the current location of one of the boxes won't work over time, then I'd find another permanent spot for the second box. I'd then move it a bit at a time until it's in its new location.

PS...I just noticed this is your first post. Welcome to the Forum!
 

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in part so that none of them will ever be prevented from eliminating in the litter box because it's already occupied.

i have 2 boxes even though my morriss is the only cat i have at home. a few years ago he started peeing outside the box even though i clean it out 3 times a day. after a while it occurred to me that he would no longer pee in the box after he had pooped in it. that did not happen until he was about 16 years old though.
 

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Susan - What is the reason for the 2 litterboxes? I'm just curious, because we've had our kitten using one - oops. :?
There are a number of reasons. One was already noted by Whaler...so that they can both "go" at the same time, if need be. As Whaler also noted, some cats develop a preference for peeing and pooing in a different box, so it helps to have more than one. In addition, unless you're scooping several times a day, one box can get pretty full after a while, and that could result in them not using the litter box in the future. Another reason, although this doesn't apply in all cases, is to prevent a cat from "guarding" the litterbox. Finally, cats can be very territorial once they're older, and territorial problems can be reduced by ensuring you have enough "resources" (food bowls, water bowls, litter boxes, etc.) to go around. If the cats feel they have to compete for resources, it can lead to problems with aggression and bullying.

Given the age of your kittens, you won't have to worry about territorial issues for a while. So, if you scoop several times a day and you're in a relatively small place, then one box is likely fine for now...although you should consider adding another over time. I keep four boxes for my two girls, although the main reason for that is my house is quite large.
 

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Another major issue when having limited access to litterboxes when you have more than one cat is Litterbox Ambushing and avoidance issues as a result of those ambushes. Some cats may resource-guard and/or use the LB as an opportunity to have a captive (participant) to 'wrestle/chase' with or (victim) to display aggressive behavior against, both of which can lead to a cat avoiding the LB and finding other, inappropriate places to eliminate.

Sometimes having only one LB is okay, especially when the cats get along well and/or the LB is large enough for cats to use w/out stepping in buried treasure.

We keep a multi-cat home and I use jumbo, hooded LBs for enclosing cats; bathroom for fosters and one in the Master bedroom for kitties that sleep w/ us behind the closed door or need to be isolated for any reason. The main 'potty area' is a Litter Chest that my Husband built 10yrs ago. It looks like a Hope Chest, but is lined w/ plastic sheeting, caulked, cat-flap and vented outside to remove dust/odor. It is 2'x2'x4' and has served from 7-15 cats at a time. I keep it 3-5" deep in clumping litter and scoop once daily, in addition to the bedroom jumbo LB, which doesn't get much use as they prefer the LitterChest.
 
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