kittens won't let each other use the litterbox??

haleyrose99

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Hey everyone! I've been posting a whole bunch recently, sorry if it's a bit spammy! Got a mild case of mommy worry and I want to make sure my kittens grow up happy and healthy :)

Some info about my kittens- they're about 10-11 weeks old from what the shelter guesses, and they are from the same litter. Love them to absolute death, they are the sweetest and cuddliest kittens I've ever had! But they are SO excited and they play A LOT. Like most hours of the day which is perfectly fine and tracks for their age and because they're together and not lone kittens. However, the play is starting to become a slight problem when it comes to potty time.

I first noticed that their play went into the litterbox- one would jump in and they would roll around a bit before moving on. Totally normal, and somewhat part of the problem, but I expected this. The boxes I got (Exquisicat plastic rimmed litter pan) have an attachable top that builds up the sides and keeps them from throwing litter out, which they tend to do. It doesn't have a closed top though so what I've seen is one will sit on the top of the rim and bat at/bother the other if they are trying to go, and sometimes jump in while potty time is being attempted. It's gotten to the point where I've had to hold one if I notice the other is in the litter box just so they can go in peace and actually get their business done. I tried to avoid the perching by taking off the attachable tops, but I mean there is still the problem of them pouncing while the other is trying to pee.

I have three litter boxes for two kittens so I don't think this is a territorial thing? Unless it is, and it's just over a litter box in general. There is no aggression at all, it is all play, but does anyone know of a way I can stop this? Or if they will just grow out of it? I don't want to have any health problems pop up from them holding it in too long.

Any advice helps!
 

Furballsmom

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Could you put a big towel under the boxes (to catch the litter) then just shake out the towel, replace it with another and wash it? This doesn't help with the issue, but I'm thinking maybe add another box until they get past this phase, or move the three you have into different locations, repeatedly to change things up for their smart little minds?
 

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When we brought our younger cat into the home he was a nightmare for following my older cat to the litter. He ended up being peed and pooped on because he would try to cover the older cat's pee, poop before he had finished, or try to get in and go at the same time. We ended up getting boxes with lids just to make it harder for him to follow the older cat. But he would wait watching to jump in, or jump on the older cat as he came out. So we put two litter boxes next to each other and every time we caught him waiting would place him in the box next to his brother. It took time and patience on our part but he did eventually stop trying to get in with his brother. I know the norm is place them apart but this worked for my boy's. Good luck.
 

Maria Bayote

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I believe they will just pass that stage. But you got very good advices above.

My Graham is like that when she was much younger, and even until now she tries to "meddle" when another cat is using the box. She would cover the other cat's urine or poop even before the other one is done, so the tendency is the other cat would leave the box in a haste, at times scattering the poop all over, which is quite frustrating. But Graham's meddling has decreased in time.
 
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haleyrose99

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i have two kittens who are a little over 14 weeks old and ive been putting in a lot of thought when it comes to their litter box situation.

when i first got them from humane society, they told me at 8 weeks (which is how old they were at adoption) that they were already using clumping clay litter. at the time i had already prebought unscented paper pellet litter because i didn't anticipate they would be using clumping litter yet. because i didn't want to waste it, i used the paper litter, and still use it now because they don't seem to mind the feeling of the pellets under their feet, and they immediately took to using the litter boxes with the pellets when they came home so i didn't want to switch litter all over again and confuse them. i use sophresh unscented paper pellet litter, and i don't love or hate it. i will say from my experience the odor is only really an issue immediately after they've pooped (i cant smell pee) and if i pick it up right after there's basically no smell at all. the one issue is the paper litter is slightly more expensive than i would like, and it's relatively hard to clean because you can't really tell used from unused pellets except for right after they've peed so im wasting a good amount of litter this way when it comes to regular cleaning. despite the cleaning, i have also noticed they LOVE to play with the individual pellets, and will actively scoop them out of the box to chew on them and throw them around, sometimes eating pieces. i dont know if this is something they've always done, even with the clumping litter, but it makes me weary to switch to a clumping litter in general because i would be worried they would play/eat that too. for now, since sophresh is non-clumping, this isnt too big of a problem because they chew but rarely eat, and from what i can tell sopresh treats the ink so its non-toxic.

but all this said, in the near future i would like to switch to a more affordable and probably clumping litter to keep their space clean. i guess i'm freaked out because of all the options and all the problems with these said options?? i started with considering pine and was almost sold because of how cheap and easy cleanup was until i saw a HUGE number of people say pine is toxic and cancer-causing, and a number of people stated it lead directly to their pet's health problems. so then i was looking at natural litters like corn or walnut shell based, but i already have a pantry beetle and fungus gnat problem (literally going through hell to fight these right now), and not going to lie i don't want to invite any other buggies into my one-bedroom apartment with any food-like products that my cats can track around. so that leaves clay-clumping litter, which i know is the most commonly used because its easy access/afforable and what im reluctantly leaning toward as well, but i know it has a reputation fo not being very safe and a huge number of people also say it causes cancer and respiratory issues. both my cats and i are relatively sensitive to dust and odor, and they had a sneezing issue for a while.the vet said they don't seem to have asthma or any URIs, so i assume they are just sensitive kitties like me. i, of course, would never want to subject them to harmful chemicals or any products that can harm them if i can help it. i guess i would just love some guidance or first-hand experience with which litters are the safest AND affordable? i know i've eliminated a bunch, but honestly, if there are any other affordable options anyone knows of or even just a brand of clay litter that isn't super harmful long-term i would love any suggestions!

**ALSO, i'm not sure what age is the safest to switch from non-clumping to clumping litter so if anyone has insight on that as well i would appreciate it!
 

Furballsmom

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Hi
One thing to help with any dust could be to add a air cleaner.

I've used Petco's So Phresh bulk bin litter, and mix it with a non lumping litter like sWheat it Littermaid when it's available. The result is clumping litter that's less dusty and the cost is a little less
 

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When my boys were kittens back in 2019, I started using Dr. Elsey's Kitten Attractant Clumping litter. I bought it on chewy. Both kittens loved it they couldn't wait to get into the litter box. I still use the Adult version of Dr.Elsey litter. My two litter boxes are covered to lessen the chances of litter going everywhere.
 

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The chance of long term health issues from clay litter is very low. If they develop a cough, tearing up, UTI's, avoiding the litter box, over grooming... then stop using that litter box then step using that type of litter but in general issues from any type of litter over hyped. That being said, it's always better the make informed decisions and minimize the risk, in no particular order:

-The artificial chemicals added are less tested thus a bigger threat than the type of litter be it clay, wood, paper, crystals, etc. If possible, avoid anything scented or using a proprietary chemical. The less additives the better. None of the big brands are pure clay (that wouldn't work well), but options Dr. Elsys unscented clumping litter has the least additives, works well, and happens to be one of the cheaper litters you can but (under 50cents a pound).

-The lightweight litters either have lightweight chemicals binders added in (obviously bad) in or are made from finer powder making a lot more air born dust.

-From the big name brand's unscented options, Fresh Step's unscented does the best at odor blocking (and clumps better than most).

-Coarse clay litters produce less dust less, likely to be inhaled, but tend to be as rough on cat's paws as crystal litter and don't clump as well. If you want to go that route Fresh Step's Clean Paws is a good option.

-Dr Elsy's unscented is not a coarse litter, but the grain size is larger than other brands, a happy medium between

-IDK if you tried pine before, the smell is much stronger than scented clay litter and the smell get's stronger not weaker as it brakes down. Less visible dust than clay litter but the dust it does have is from hundreds of different types of organic molecules which volatile than synthetic scents. ie more likely to cause an allergic reaction.



I personally us 50/50 Dr Elsys with Fresh Step unscented. I Sprinkle on a table spoon of baking soda after scooping but before topping off the litter
-baking soda is a great safe way to reduce odor in litter and keep it dry. It's inert, buffers the pH. doesn't reduce clumping. It does make more air born dust, doesn't clump as well as clumping clay litter. The chance of it getting inhaled is much higher than clay so not totally safe. I wouldn't buy litter with baking soda already mixed in, but adding a thin layer myself and covering it with litter mitigates most of the risks.



PS This is advice I give to any new cat owner. Air purifiers are a great way of getting rid of odor and microscopic allergens. The low powered fan and dense filter is basically designed to filter particles similar to smoke... too small to see and so light it stays airborne for days. Not ideal for litter dust, it's heavy to stay air borne long enough and even if the purifier has a strong fan, litter dust is too big, it would clog up the filter in a couple of weeks.

The better option is to buy a 20-24inch box fan (<$20) and use twine or tape to attach a MERV 7,8, or 9 AIR conditioner filter in front of it. ( the <$5 pleated filters). It will remove 90% of the airborn dust in any room in 15minutes.
 
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haleyrose99

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Hi
One thing to help with any dust could be to add a air cleaner.

I've used Petco's So Phresh bulk bin litter, and mix it with a non lumping litter like sWheat it Littermaid when it's available. The result is clumping litter that's less dusty and the cost is a little less
i've been considering an air cleaner because of my own allergies so i will definitely look into tgat. but i didn't even consider i could mix litters, thank you for letting me know! is there any issues with bugs/mold/bacteria from the shweat since it's wheat-based? i dont necessarily live in a humid area but i do mostly worry about the bugs i mentioned
 
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haleyrose99

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When my boys were kittens back in 2019, I started using Dr. Elsey's Kitten Attractant Clumping litter. I bought it on chewy. Both kittens loved it they couldn't wait to get into the litter box. I still use the Adult version of Dr.Elsey litter. My two litter boxes are covered to lessen the chances of litter going everywhere.
i have seen a bunch of people say dr. elsey is great so thats the one i've been leaning toward as well. how soon did you switch them to the clumping litter? i mostly worry that they are playing with the pellets i have now and i'm not sure if they'll do the same with the clay/sand litters or if it's simply an age thing
 

vansX2

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i have seen a bunch of people say dr. elsey is great so thats the one i've been leaning toward as well. how soon did you switch them to the clumping litter? i mostly worry that they are playing with the pellets i have now and i'm not sure if they'll do the same with the clay/sand litters or if it's simply an age thing
Switching from Kitten to Adult litter was no big thing as both have Attractant and are Clumping. "Miles" my 4 yr. Old Black/White, still loves to roll in the litter after the pee clumps and poop have been removed.
 
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haleyrose99

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The chance of long term health issues from clay litter is very low. If they develop a cough, tearing up, UTI's, avoiding the litter box, over grooming... then stop using that litter box then step using that type of litter but in general issues from any type of litter over hyped. That being said, it's always better the make informed decisions and minimize the risk, in no particular order:

-The artificial chemicals added are less tested thus a bigger threat than the type of litter be it clay, wood, paper, crystals, etc. If possible, avoid anything scented or using a proprietary chemical. The less additives the better. None of the big brands are pure clay (that wouldn't work well), but options Dr. Elsys unscented clumping litter has the least additives, works well, and happens to be one of the cheaper litters you can but (under 50cents a pound).

-The lightweight litters either have lightweight chemicals binders added in (obviously bad) in or are made from finer powder making a lot more air born dust.

-From the big name brand's unscented options, Fresh Step's unscented does the best at odor blocking (and clumps better than most).

-Coarse clay litters produce less dust less, likely to be inhaled, but tend to be as rough on cat's paws as crystal litter and don't clump as well. If you want to go that route Fresh Step's Clean Paws is a good option.

-Dr Elsy's unscented is not a coarse litter, but the grain size is larger than other brands, a happy medium between

-IDK if you tried pine before, the smell is much stronger than scented clay litter and the smell get's stronger not weaker as it brakes down. Less visible dust than clay litter but the dust it does have is from hundreds of different types of organic molecules which volatile than synthetic scents. ie more likely to cause an allergic reaction.



I personally us 50/50 Dr Elsys with Fresh Step unscented. I Sprinkle on a table spoon of baking soda after scooping but before topping off the litter
-baking soda is a great safe way to reduce odor in litter and keep it dry. It's inert, buffers the pH. doesn't reduce clumping. It does make more air born dust, doesn't clump as well as clumping clay litter. The chance of it getting inhaled is much higher than clay so not totally safe. I wouldn't buy litter with baking soda already mixed in, but adding a thin layer myself and covering it with litter mitigates most of the risks.



PS This is advice I give to any new cat owner. Air purifiers are a great way of getting rid of odor and microscopic allergens. The low powered fan and dense filter is basically designed to filter particles similar to smoke... too small to see and so light it stays airborne for days. Not ideal for litter dust, it's heavy to stay air borne long enough and even if the purifier has a strong fan, litter dust is too big, it would clog up the filter in a couple of weeks.

The better option is to buy a 20-24inch box fan (<$20) and use twine or tape to attach a MERV 7,8, or 9 AIR conditioner filter in front of it. ( the <$5 pleated filters). It will remove 90% of the airborn dust in any room in 15minutes.
wow this was incredibly helpful, thank you so much for your thorough reply!!!

i'm glad to know the risk of clay litter is relatively low, and that i'm probably a little too worried about it. but i have been sticking to unscented (mostly because i don't like the artificial smells and they make me sneezy) so i'm glad i've been making the right choice in that.

if they are already on pellets, would a coarse litter be any worse on their feet? i would prefer a softer litter even though the tracking and dust can be a bit unruly, but i, of course, wouldn't want to hurt their feet with the litter i choose. they seem to be okay with the paper pellets, but i guess i'm not sure how different the texture/harshness would compare to a coarse litter.

I haven't tried pine pellets with my cats, i did when i had bunnies and even though they were always covered with a thick layer of hay my bunnies did have an allergy to it. i know pine has been super popular for cats recently because it's cheaper and easier to clean, but i guess i'm just concerned about its toxicity in general. i know kiln dried supposedly reduces most of the phenol risk, but not all the phenol within the wood so i worry about prolonged exposure even if they aren't allergic immediately.`

i'm glad you mentioned the baking soda though because i was looking at litters with pre-mixed BS but if i can do it cheaper and more effectively myself i will definitely do that! and the fan- i already have a box fan so that makes my life way easier, can i get a merv filter online like amazon or something? and also how often would you run a fan filter like that?

thank you so much again you're awesome!!
 

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One more bit I forgot to mention... whatever litter you chose, make sure it's the multi-cat version, that's the one that doesn't fall apart after it dries.

wow this was incredibly helpful, thank you so much for your thorough reply!!!

i'm glad to know the risk of clay litter is relatively low, and that i'm probably a little too worried about it. but i have been sticking to unscented (mostly because i don't like the artificial smells and they make me sneezy) so i'm glad i've been making the right choice in that.
That faux lavender smell that's in every cheap air freshener, potpouri, hand soap, "calming" cat sprays makes my nose drip non-stop. (It's one of the scents used in fabreeze and the only scent in scented Scoop Away it masks urine smell really well. I prefer urine to that smell.

if they are already on pellets, would a coarse litter be any worse on their feet? i would prefer a softer litter even though the tracking and dust can be a bit unruly, but i, of course, wouldn't want to hurt their feet with the litter i choose. they seem to be okay with the paper pellets, but i guess i'm not sure how different the texture/harshness would compare to a coarse litter.
AFAIK the pellets are not supposed to be rough on cat's paws, its very coarse (obviously) but not actually sharp. I'm spewing a lot of info but I doubt it's much of a difference either way. There's still plenty of fine litter dust mixed into every type of litter, it all still creates a dust cloud if you pour from knee height.
Dr. Elsys Ultra unscented is low tracking (I didn't realize that). Not the most useful photo but the top groove is regular fresh step mixed with "clean paws" the bottom is regular fresh step mixed with Dr Elsys Ultra. Clean Paws has larger more jagged bits but Dr Elsys is almost as large, less jaggy.
308536304_1412763015915603_1010546306570882671_n.jpg






i'm glad you mentioned the baking soda though because i was looking at litters with pre-mixed BS but if i can do it cheaper and more effectively myself i will definitely do that! and the fan- i already have a box fan so that makes my life way easier, can i get a merv filter online like amazon or something? and also how often would you run a fan filter like that?

thank you so much again you're awesome!!
Whenever I check on amazon, its a lot more expensive than Home Depot/Lowes. You're looking for something like this. one should be $7 max.
Merv 7,8 or 9. FPR 5 or 6. MPR 500 or 600. They're all the same. I'm sure a crappier one would be as good, just don't want to go too high or the dust bounces off.
15minutes twice a day is plenty. I have 6 litter boxes in the basement, I leave that on all day.
 

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Furballsmom

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is there any issues with bugs/mold/bacteria from the shweat since it's wheat-based?
I apologize, one of the first reviews of the product that popped up on Amazon commented about bugs, however, there was also a reply to that;
"There is a problem with food moth and other bug infestations in our now hotter summers. Cure: crumple up a few bay leaves in the open litter tray and pop a few in the bag of unused litter. This also works to protect your herbs, dried beans, grains, etc."

However, it sounds from your posts above that you have other options you're considering so those might be better for you. :)
 
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haleyrose99

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hey all! i recently made a separate post about switching my almost 3.5 mo old kittens to a different litter, but this is relatively specific so i wanted to make a dedicated post to it. i had been using sophresh unscented paper pellet litter for over a month, but it was getting pricey so i wanted to switch litters and i finally settled on trying dr.elsey's kitten attract clumping litter.

i mentioned in the other post my concerns about switching them because they try to play and eat (they have successfully eaten a few small pieces) the paper pellets, and i didn't want them to do the same with the clumping for obvious reasons. today i bit the bullet, and like i've seen everywhere i mixed in about 1/4 of the clay with 3/4 of the pellets they are used to. lets just say it didn't go the smoothest, which i was prepared for but i was hoping it wouldn't.

they both did successfully pee in the boxes (granted milo peed half on the pellets and half on the clay, and i had to move phoebe onto the clay but she covered up her business normally, not sure if that was something bad to do). after they both dug around for a while, i first noticed milo trying to scoop of the pellets from the clay and putting them in his mouth, and then i saw phoebe do the same. i tried to remove them from the litter box, coax them with toys, and even an open can of wet food they like but it took nearly 10 minutes of trying and i think they really only gave up trying to scoop the litter out and into their mouths because they got bored after i kept blocking them. the only consolation is that it doesn't seem like they are genuinely trying to eat the clay litter alone, but trying to play and eat the pellets also in the box that got mixed in.

i guess i'm wondering if i should just cold turkey move to clay, and maybe that would stop them from trying to eat anything out of the box? or if i should just struggle and watch them like a freaking hawk to make sure they don't eat anything as they transition fully to clay in a few weeks? i know kittens are extremely curious, so again i expected something like this but it does make me nervous to hop in the shower or run to the mail room or something. some advice/a few tips would be super helpful. thanks!
 

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Kittens are dumb. The kittens I'm fostering are constantly launching off the windowsill into their litter, joining the sibling using the litter or observing them as they use the box, tossing toys in there, etc. They might eat some but it probably tastes bad. I use standard arm and hammer multi cat clumping litter and have never had any cat issues in decades of raising cats. The only time I've experienced a cat with issues regarding clay litter was when an ex used some REALLY cheap clay litter and the cat had a blocked urinary track. Kittens are pretty hardy. I would just bite the bullet and go pure clay and keep it clean. (I scoop every other day lately)
 
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haleyrose99

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Kittens are dumb. The kittens I'm fostering are constantly launching off the windowsill into their litter, joining the sibling using the litter or observing them as they use the box, tossing toys in there, etc. They might eat some but it probably tastes bad. I use standard arm and hammer multi cat clumping litter and have never had any cat issues in decades of raising cats. The only time I've experienced a cat with issues regarding clay litter was when an ex used some REALLY cheap clay litter and the cat had a blocked urinary track. Kittens are pretty hardy. I would just bite the bullet and go pure clay and keep it clean. (I scoop every other day lately)
okay that makes me feel a bit better! i will definitely try to be a little less stressed about them ingesting some. milo did try to eat a bit from a pee clump phoebe had hidden but i quickly removed it. i will consider arm and hammer because i do wonder if the attractant in the kitten litter is what's making them want to eat it (i know it's just herbs but its just a guess)? but i put 2/3 litter boxes with just clay and i think it's going okay! they seem a bit weirded out still and are throwing it everywhere, plus it's getting stuck to their noses but they aren't jumping to constantly eat/play with it so i think that's a good sign. milo did poop in my room which was a bit random but i assume he is confused by the litter still. thanks for your advice i appreciate it!! :)
 

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Yeah they will kick litter EVERYWHERE. Just make sure you keep them clean! Eventually they will stop being messy (hopefully)(⁠๑⁠•⁠﹏⁠•⁠)
 
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