Litter box terrorizing

BeccaT

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So we've had our first cat Annie since October last year. We have a newly adopted cat April that we've had for almost 3 months now. Introductions were rocky at first, but I think the two of them are much better than they once were. They rarely "fight", they'll clean each other and I've even caught them sharing food from the same bowl with no problems!

The one thing that still persists is litter box terrorizing. We have two litter boxes in different parts of the house, both identical and regularly cleaned, but both of them favor the same box over the other which is a pain for myself as one box gets dirtier faster than the other. I assume it isn't anything to do with the lack of litter boxes, because even if we added more, I don't think they'd use them. This happens quite frequently, where one will hop in the litter box and the other will start to "prowl" so to speak and stick their head or paws into the doorway of the litter box and not give the other one peace, it's as if they're trying to initiate play with the one using the box. I wonder if it's anything to do with the scratching noises they make when they're in there? As one of our cats will frequently play with me while I'm cleaning the box because it makes that scratchy sound. Or if the fact the box is hooded, and they're hidden when they're inside.

I don't think it's a major issue, there's no hostile noises being made and usually they'll finish their business when I catch them but I do worry that when I'm not around, the terrorizing could prevent the other from using the litter box as much as they'd like. How can I stop this behavior, or should I leave them be?
 

Mamanyt1953

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I am going to suggest the same thing. There are a number of good mats on the market that will help with keeping the area clean, just be sure you measure your boxes and order them significantly larger than the boxes. This isn't so much "terrorizing" (and BOY did my heart quail when I read the title), as it is a really strong interest in what is going on in those boxes. Get a GOOD odor control litter, and let the nosy little beggars see what's going on. Leave the tops off until they no longer have any interest in the boxes when the other is using it, then you may be able to put them on again!
 
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BeccaT

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Take the lids off.
I'll try this, thank you!
I am going to suggest the same thing. There are a number of good mats on the market that will help with keeping the area clean, just be sure you measure your boxes and order them significantly larger than the boxes. This isn't so much "terrorizing" (and BOY did my heart quail when I read the title), as it is a really strong interest in what is going on in those boxes. Get a GOOD odor control litter, and let the nosy little beggars see what's going on. Leave the tops off until they no longer have any interest in the boxes when the other is using it, then you may be able to put them on again!
We do have litter mats but they only really cover the front as we have the lids on, and I'm not sure how much litter they'd catch if I were to remove the lids. I apologise for my word choice! I honestly wasn't sure how else to word it. I'll start removing the lids right away!
Can you buy a replicate of the litter box they both prefer? It really wouldn't hurt to have 3 anyway.
They have two of the exact same box, I'm not sure an extra one would help or if I'd have anywhere to put it (unless they're in the same room) as we have a small an awkwardly laid out house. I also worry about the cost of litter for 3 boxes as I have to fill our pre-existing ones with almost a whole bag/box of litter as it is to get it up to 3 or 4 inches.
 

FeebysOwner

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They have two of the exact same box, I'm not sure an extra one would help or if I'd have anywhere to put it (unless they're in the same room) as we have a small an awkwardly laid out house.
Then, it must be the location that they prefer. If you can, place two of them in the same room, and a 'spare' wherever it is that you want another box. Just one of many 'tests' to see what happens!
 
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BeccaT

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Then, it must be the location that they prefer. If you can, place two of them in the same room, and a 'spare' wherever it is that you want another box. Just one of many 'tests' to see what happens!
Good point! Is putting them right next to each other a bad idea, or? As the space in the room with the litter box that they favor is rather small and cramped, but they could be next to each other. I'll try and do some moving around and see what I can do. Thank you everyone for the advice!
 

arr

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Good point! Is putting them right next to each other a bad idea, or? As the space in the room with the litter box that they favor is rather small and cramped, but they could be next to each other. I'll try and do some moving around and see what I can do. Thank you everyone for the advice!
I have four litter boxes in a row in one room and my cats are fine with the setup, so I imagine two in a row would be okay. But of course it depends on your cats and your own situation. The standard advice is to have them in different locations.
 
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BeccaT

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I have four litter boxes in a row in one room and my cats are fine with the setup, so I imagine two in a row would be okay. But of course it depends on your cats and your own situation. The standard advice is to have them in different locations.
Yeah, that's why I had the boxes separate but it seems they don't care for the box in the other location. Yesterday I removed the lids and put them closer together, and they seem to be using both again but not equally. I've yet to see if there's any more pestering when one is using the box, though!
 

Mamanyt1953

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The idea of spreading boxes out is that some cats will "guard" a box, not allowing the other cat to use it, and one cat cannot guard two boxes in different rooms at the same time. This doesn't seem to be an issue with your cats, though, so I wouldn't worry about it one bit, unless it becomes a problem later.
 

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I had one that did this, I did put two boxes next to each other. It took time but when the younger cat started to try and get in I'd put him in the one next to his brother. Now if one is going the other might look in but they don't try to climb into the box with the other. And either use the other box or wait outside for that box. I get your frustration with mine I'm sure they just have to pee over where the other cat has just been, so I think the boxes next to each other makes them think it's the same box because they can hear the other cat scratching. I did try it with open boxes but that didn't help for mine. The lidded boxes worked better I think your right it's the scratching that makes them want to go together.
 
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