Litter Boxes

SlightlyIvy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
30
Reaction score
40
New cat mom here.

I adopted a new cat last week and so far it's going well, other than the general anxieties that come with being responsible for another living thing and all. I have the recommended two litter boxes for her (you know, if you have one cat have two litter boxes, if you have two, get three etc), but she only uses one, the upstairs one. Given the layout of my place, my bedroom is the only place for it. I don't mind that it's in there, don't get me wrong. Dr. Elsey's is a phenomenal litter. However, she spends all her time upstairs after previously spending all her time downstairs, and I'm wondering if this is normal? She knows where the downstairs litter box is, she'll rub her cheeks on it and such. She'll go into it, but won't actually use it. I'm just worried that if the upstairs one gets too full while I'm working, she'll go somewhere ELSE in my bedroom, which would not be good.

I clean er litter boxes twce a day, once in the morning and once at night. It's got a few inches of litter in there, but she hides it REALLY well (which is not bad if you ask me) and so I'm wondering if she'll use it like she should anyway, even if I don't clean it out immediately? I'm trying to get her on and stick to a schedule, as if I wasn't working from home (Covid-19 y'all ain't it grand); if there's something I need to change, I'd like to know ahead of time if possible.
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
14,751
Reaction score
28,665
Location
Canada
Hello and welcome to TCS. :wave2: And congrats on being a new cat mom. :bouquet: The anxiety over being responsible for another life is normal, and will ease up with time. And any questions, you've found the right place to ask. :hugs:

About the litter boxes, the "rule" does suggest 2 litter boxes for a single cat, and some cats will end up using both. My Ruby girl has 2, and mostly she uses just one, but then all of a sudden I'll see she's used the 2nd one. No explanation why, as I keep both cleaned daily, plus she will use one if it's already been used.

So, since your girl has 2 litter boxes, I think she's fine, since she knows where the 2nd one is, and don't be surprised if some day you discovered she's decided to "initiate" it. :catman:
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
24,903
Reaction score
33,781
Location
Colorado USA
so I'm wondering if she'll use it like she should anyway, even if I don't clean it out immediately? I
She should, I think the only way to know will be to test the theory. Granted there are some cats who prefer one box for pee and the other for poop, but a lot of cats aren't so "selective":)
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

SlightlyIvy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
30
Reaction score
40
So! She's using the litter boxes. She switched from the one in my room to the one downstairs.
Some troubling updates:

I find pawprints in them, and she hasn't used them.
But she has scraped the litter around like she wanted to use it, she just didn't.
She is still peeing and pooping at least once a day for both.
Tonight I came downstairs and found her laying in the litter box. Then she pooped in it.

Is this normal? Do I need to be concerned?

Her foster mom had her on dry food and with the quarantine going on, I'm keeping her on it. But I always add water to her food bowls, and she does drink out of the water bowls.
Additionally, her evening meal is partially wet food.

She doesn't seem to be in pain or straining when she does go, and she plays like normal, so I don't know?
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
24,903
Reaction score
33,781
Location
Colorado USA
Is that the cat attract litter? When you can, try mixing in some regular litter (that is unscented). I don't know that this is normal but on the other hand, I don't know that it's not normal to the point to be concerned about...
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

SlightlyIvy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
30
Reaction score
40
It's just Dr Elseys litter, the regular sort, same as she's always had.

And I'm not sure what's normal either. She's done stuff kind of like this since I brought her home, but it was just weird to see her chilling in her box like that's where she belongs.
She has toys, and places she likes to sit and rub up on. I just read this kind of behavior can mean she's sick, so I guess I am panicking a bit. But only a bit. Otherwise she's just being herself
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
10,755
Reaction score
12,405
Location
Nebraska, USA
Some shelter cats like to lay in their litter box, the box gives them a sense of comfort, especially when sick or stressed. Since she is new, she is still anxious and unsure of herself, it takes months for a new cat's personality to come forth. You might get her a heated cat mat (covered with a soft blanket) or bed, all cats love to lay in those, even when it's warm. Maybe offering her a bed would give her a choice. Both you and she are adjusting, things will work out once you really get to know each other. She should be peeing more than once a day though, she may be dehydrated. You might offer her some wet food to go along with the hard, say in the mornings, and set several little bowls of water around to entice her to drink. Cleaning the box once or twice a day is sufficient, and giving her a little more comfort and stroking may help. Treats do too! (but not too many, they can cause diarrhea)
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

SlightlyIvy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
30
Reaction score
40
I've tried all sorts of bedding ideas but she really does seem to like this patch of floor at the top of the stairs, or the recliner. That's her chair now.

I do add water to all her feedings at this point because while I've seen her drink I've been paranoid about her water intake. I will put another bowl upstairs, just to see if she'll take it. It's carpeted up there so it's not ideal but she's been fairly dainty about eating and drinking so hopefully she won't make too much of a mess.
 

SpecterOhPossum

spec's pet human
Alpha Cat
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
588
Reaction score
685
From what I've noticed, litterbox laying can be an act of asserting dominance; related to territorial insecurities or nausea. The nausea thing being.. My stomach feels like it's gonna produce out of one end or the other; can't tell..But I wanna cover it up regardless in case of a predator! Kind of like if you felt nauseous and carried a bucket just in case or stuck close to the bathroom.
Since the cat is new, asserting dominance makes since and so laying in the box, and generally doing a lot of action relating to the boxes such as scratching and rubbing makes sense. It's to put her mark on them.
I would advise..In case you do.. Don't deep clean litterboxes! It's okay to rinse them with water and use a damp cloth but washing with soap for example can make them insecure because you're removing their mark.
here's a vid to help
 

SpecterOhPossum

spec's pet human
Alpha Cat
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
588
Reaction score
685
I do add water to all her feedings at this point because while I've seen her drink I've been paranoid about her water intake. I will put another bowl upstairs, just to see if she'll take it. It's carpeted up there so it's not ideal but she's been fairly dainty about eating and drinking so hopefully she won't make too much of a mess.
cats are desert evolved animals who lack the thirst drive to seek out adequate water.. You're not adding water to dry food are you? here's a helpful page about this, that can make her sick
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

SlightlyIvy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
30
Reaction score
40
cats are desert evolved animals who lack the thirst drive to seek out adequate water.. You're not adding water to dry food are you? here's a helpful page about this, that can make her sick
I have her on dry food because thats what her fostter mom had her on and my state is in a high state of emergency right now, so it doesn't seem wise to try switching when I don't know how often I'll be able to go out. I read that water can be added to dry cat food in order to increase water intake, and that's what I've been doing. As soon as things settle, I'll be switching her food to wet food only (she gets wet food for her last meal of the day) but for now, keeping her diet as it has been seems best. Her poops are moist and come easily so I don't think she's terribly dehydrated, but I definitely want her getting more water, and right now, thats how I'm able to do it.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
24,903
Reaction score
33,781
Location
Colorado USA
I read that water can be added to dry cat food in order to increase water intake, and that's what I've been doing.
As long as the moistened kibble isn't left out for very long, due to fast bacterial growth you should be fine. Hang in there :)!
 
Top