Cat chases other out of litter box

Twocoastscat

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Two cats three boxes - one in my room, one in hallway, and one in spare room and they have both been using all interchangeably although my 13 year old male usually uses the one in my room and the younger female usually uses the one in the hallway. Lately, however, every time the 13 year old male goes into the one in the hallway the female chases him out. She will sometimes do the same thing when he goes into the one in my room. What is going on??
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi and welcome to TCS! How long have these cats been living together? Are they both spayed/neutered? Is she 'aggressive' in any other manner with him?

Have there been changes in their/your lifestyles that could have disrupted their normal routines? Often that ends up being what causes a change in cat behavior. Sometimes leading to territorial behavior, which this sounds a bit like.

You could add a litter box in, at least, the hallway location to see if she will leave him alone if there are two boxes there located close to one another. You could try the same thing in your room too. If that doesn't stop the behavior, you may have to restrict her access to one of the boxes so that it is 'his'. If he is feeling intimidated by her behavior, he would likely soon learn to go to the box she cannot get to. How you do that is another issue. If your cats are microchipped, installing a cat door that can only be opened by your male is one idea. This approach would best if your male decides to use just that one box.

You might also consider picking her up each time she does this, telling her 'No" and placing her in a time out for no more than 1-2 minutes (any longer and they forget why they are in timeout). For this to work, it has to be done consistently and for as long as it takes for her to understand that bugging him means she is going to be given a timeout. Some cats learn fast, others not so much. Your work schedule will impact this approach too.

You can't rule out a possible health issue - with either one of them - but if she doesn't bother him any other time, I'd be less inclined to think it was health related unless it has something to do with his pee or poop.

I am sure other members will have some ideas of their own to offer!
 

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When we first let our two cats, Casper and Elliot, be together without supervision, they would often compete at the litter box.

If Elliot, the new cat, would go pee in the box, Casper, the elder cat, would come right along, behind, and pee on top of Elliot's pee.
I'm pretty certain that this was a territorial dispute where Casper was trying to say to Elliot, "No, this place needs to sell like MY pee, not yours!"

That behavior has, pretty much, stopped. Since we got Elliot neutered and his hormone levels have gone down, his pee doesn't smell so much and there aren't as many p¡$$ing contests, anymore.

However, on occasion, one of the two cats will intentionally neglect to bury his poop. I don't know, for sure, because I don't often watch the cats actually use the box but I'm sure they go back and forth like that. Basically, it's one cat trying to tell the other who's "King $#¡†."

With your cats, it's my guess that something has happened to upset the balance in your house and the problem you see is one cat trying to re-establish dominance in the house, again.
 
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Twocoastscat

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Thanks. They’ve been living in the same space for about 5 or 6 months now. At the beginning she stalked and cornered him but they peacefully coexist the majority of the time now even though they are not cuddle buddies. He’s neutered and she’s spayed. We are fostering a dog which we need to keep separate with a gate because this dog can’t get it through her stubborn husky head that the cats don’t want to play with her - so that’s one change - but that has been since August; this litter box behavior has happened once in awhile in the past but has escalated within the last few weeks. I have to get the elderly male checked out at the vet this week because as I indicated in another post I’m noticing some changes in stool and am now seeing an increase in drinking water so maybe she is trying to prevent his pee from smelling up the hallway box.
 

Caspers Human

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Our two cats have been together for about the same amount of time. They both have been very good litter box users but there is still some litter box competition, at times. It's slowly getting less competitive but six months is still a rather short amount of time for two male cats.

I'm a bit concerned about the dog. Sure, cats and dogs can learn to get along, especially if they grow up together but dogs can be a big stressor for cats. Even for cats that aren't afraid of dogs, they are still sensitive. In a cat's mind, there's a big, clumsy, slobbering galoot traipsing all over his house!

If one cat wants to make sure that everybody knows that he's the Big Kahuna in the house, he might chase other cats away from the litter box so that his scent is the strongest.

I'd look into trying things to let your elder cat know that he's the Top Cat in the house. Feed him first or pay attention to him before the other cats and dogs. He needs to feel like he's the one calling the shots. Generally, just try to reassure him that he's just as important as anybody else.

We do that with our two cats. Casper, the elder, had the whole house to himself before we adopted Elliot. (AKA: The little upstart.) He's only about a year old. We always try to remind Casper that he's still the Chief in our house. We tell him that it's his job to teach that young whipper-snapper how to behave properly. Elliot and Casper still get into scuffles, now and then, but I think that's just the way cats are.

Casper and Elliot have been getting along well and there hasn't been any trouble at the litter box except for the occasional one-upsmanship games.

See if you can figure out how to broker a detente agreement between the cats and the dog.
 
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