Litter box issue

warpspider

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Hello. I have 2 kittens brother/sister approx 3.5 months old. My cats are indoor-only cats. A new problem emerged. The male started removing buried stools from his sister's box. Mind you he does not eliminate in there. I clean their litter daily. So far as I can tell this started yesterday. Today he removed her first stool since it was cleaned. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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Hello. I have 2 kittens brother/sister approx 3.5 months old. My cats are indoor-only cats. A new problem emerged. The male started removing buried stools from his sister's box. Mind you he does not eliminate in there. I clean their litter daily. So far as I can tell this started yesterday. Today he removed her first stool since it was cleaned. Any advice would be appreciated.
Hello W warpspider and sweet kittens, and welcome to TCS! Healthy, active kittens are often very playful and this may just be your little guy wanting something to play with. Do they have a good variety of safe toys such as catnip toys, small balls, and wand-and-lure toys like da Bird and/or Cat Dancer that you play with them daily with? If not, they would love some of these. Also, if you scoop daily, would it be possible to scoop more than once a day? I scoop generally 5 times a day for my two, who are 17 and 14 years. I've always tried to maintain this level of scooping as cats are very clean and fastidious and they appreciate clean boxes just as we do clean toilets.
 
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warpspider

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Hi. thanks for the speedy reply. The thing to keep in mind is that he is perfectly fine with his own litterbox. He seems to use it normally. It's only his sister's litterbox that he has the issue with. He removed her 1 and only stool since it was scooped this morning. I thought perhaps this may be an emerging dominance issue. I am new to raising kittens, and since they are growing their bodies/hormones are changing rapidly. I will certainly scoop out her pen as often as possible...assuming he doesn't get to it first.
 

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Hi. thanks for the speedy reply. The thing to keep in mind is that he is perfectly fine with his own litterbox. He seems to use it normally. It's only his sister's litterbox that he has the issue with. He removed her 1 and only stool since it was scooped this morning. I thought perhaps this may be an emerging dominance issue. I am new to raising kittens, and since they are growing their bodies/hormones are changing rapidly. I will certainly scoop out her pen as often as possible...assuming he doesn't get to it first.
:thumbsup:He may just be a clean freak kitten :crackup:
 

sunny578

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That is so interesting! I don’t think it is an emerging dominance issue, though. Where does he put it once he removes it? It sounds like the stools are fairly hard? Maybe more litter boxes could help, as could a container of toys placed by his sisters box like someone suggested above!
 
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warpspider

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Hello, sunny.
Thanks for weighing in.
Their stools seem normal. They firm up a bit after the litter does its job of pulling the moisture from them. She does bury them, so he is digging them out. He swats and pushes her turds a few feet away. He doesn't actively play with them, but he does like to have control of them. He isn't happy when I abscond with them. I stop him when I see it, and I flush the stool down the toilet. My fear is that he may be stashing ones I didn't catch. I haven't smelled anything yet, but coved in cat litter, it may not have a strong odor. There is an abundance of toys/activities for them. As an update to some observed behavior, he seems to harass her a bit when she gets ready to enter her litter box.
I am trying something new. I am taking her litterbox out of the equation. I am using a single covered box now. I put a lot of extra litter in the box(about 4.5 inches deep). It will take a lot of effort/skill for him to remove stools from this box. The female is fine using it. The male is staring off into the universe looking for answers (as cats do) but is using it as well. So far no misplaced turds. Hopefully, he will get used to this arrangement. Hopefully, he moves on from this hobby before he acquires the skill to navigate the flap/door with the stolen goods.
 

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Hello, sunny.
Thanks for weighing in.
Their stools seem normal. They firm up a bit after the litter does its job of pulling the moisture from them. She does bury them, so he is digging them out. He swats and pushes her turds a few feet away. He doesn't actively play with them, but he does like to have control of them. He isn't happy when I abscond with them. I stop him when I see it, and I flush the stool down the toilet. My fear is that he may be stashing ones I didn't catch. I haven't smelled anything yet, but coved in cat litter, it may not have a strong odor. There is an abundance of toys/activities for them. As an update to some observed behavior, he seems to harass her a bit when she gets ready to enter her litter box.
I am trying something new. I am taking her litterbox out of the equation. I am using a single covered box now. I put a lot of extra litter in the box(about 4.5 inches deep). It will take a lot of effort/skill for him to remove stools from this box. The female is fine using it. The male is staring off into the universe looking for answers (as cats do) but is using it as well. So far no misplaced turds. Hopefully, he will get used to this arrangement. Hopefully, he moves on from this hobby before he acquires the skill to navigate the flap/door with the stolen goods.
Of course I hope this works for you all! But many cats do not like covered boxes, as many do not like scented litter.
 
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warpspider

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Well in this case the covered box is the same 1 he has been using. The change is that now his sister is using it as well. It was her box that he was invading to remove her stools. He never actually eliminated in there himself. The flap on his makes it difficult to expel anything...for now. He would have to hold the door open while making his field goal attempt.
 

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How interesting! Hahaha field goal. I hope this keeps working and he just forgets about his habit. Keep us posted!!
 
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warpspider

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Update: The single box is too stressful for the female. His harassment of her is quite intense when she eliminates. I'm going back to putting her original box out. He essentially tries to claim any litter box I put out...regardless of how many. I'm trying for a mechanical solution for now. I have her litterbox surrounded by cardboard. Now at least I have control of the turds he expels. I don't consider this a great solution, as unburied turds are of course the bad kind of aromatic. Please tell me he will grow out of this behavior.
 

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I don't know if he will outgrow it. I have one that takes dry turdlets out of the box and plays with them! She's over three years old and still does it occasionally. I play with her and she has lots of toys. She has two other cats to play with. I don't think she's stressed, like your kitty might be.

At least she takes out dried ones, so they don't stink too bad.
 
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sunny578

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I don't think you mentioned if you had tried switching litters, but I wonder if there's a litter out there that he would be less interested in messing with, but also one that his sister would still like. I'm wondering if it's more sandy, maybe he wouldn't like spreading that around. You could try adding a third box to the mix and use this as your trial box for new litters and see what happens.
 
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warpspider

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I don't think you mentioned if you had tried switching litters, but I wonder if there's a litter out there that he would be less interested in messing with, but also one that his sister would still like. I'm wondering if it's more sandy, maybe he wouldn't like spreading that around. You could try adding a third box to the mix and use this as your trial box for new litters and see what happens.
I switched litters a while ago when they were very young because they didn't like the wood pellets. I switched to the "cat attract" stuff which I think maybe has a type of catnip in it. I don't know if that's true btw, just speculation on my part. Anyhow, I don't think it's the litter because he's only interested once his sister uses it. I think he considers all litterboxes his territory, and would honestly prefer she didn't poop in them at all. When I decided to adopt 2 cats, I honestly hadn't anticipated there being a bathroom conflict. In about a month they are scheduled for spay/neuter, shots, etc...If this behavior is driven by hormones, I have some hope that his infatuation with her poop relaxes.
Outside of this they really have a great friendship. They have been together since before birth, and with the exact same environment, and their personalities are so different.
 

sunny578

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Oh yes, maybe with the spay and neuter this will stop! Hopefully!
 
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