My almost 2 month kitten keeps bothering the adult cats in the litter boxes.

Joe_Danger1337

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Hi, I just signed up to ask a question about one of my cats' behavior and if there is anything I can do with the limited resources and space I have before it escalates and causes the other 3 cats to stop using the litterboxes.

I have 3 persian cats, Mila, the mom and her two kids Casper and Kala
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Mom is in the middle :)

On June 20th we found a 3 week old stray kitten in a pretty rough shape, it had persistent diarrhea, its bum was infected and the poor thing reeked of dog.
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That's lil Spaska on her very first day
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The grown ups weren't too keen on accepting her at first, but eventually they stopped caring/minding her, they're not too crazy about her but they don't mind her. She quickly recovered and has grown to be a gorgeous almost 2 month old kitten
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It took a lot of care, dedication and love and I couldn't be happier with how she turned out.
Granted she is very hyper and not the type to cuddle and stuff but that's perfectly fine, she has her own personality. Should be 2 months on June the first according to our vet.

Problem is some 5 days ago she started following the adult cats to the litterboxes, as soon as she hears them go if she isn't asleep she runs up to them, then gets up on the litterbox and tries to sniff their butts....that really bothers Mila, the mom, so much so that she started holding it in and not going as often as she normally would.

Other than that, the cats don't mind being around her, they eat together, Casper often plays with her with toys and stuff, so it's not a bad situation overall at all.
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Mila is comfortable enough to sleep while Spaska is frantically playing beside her, even turns her back on the kitten without fear. If Spaska starts bothering her she hisses at her or gently swipes at her and that's it.

I live in a very small apartment with little room to separate the cats, I do my best to keep Spaska away when I know its the adults time to go, but she is a livewire and I more often than not miss the opportunity to hold onto her :) Casper is the least bothered by this and Mila, the mom definitely finds it the most bothersome.

Adding yet another litterbox would prove difficult because of the small space plus Spaska would do the same anyway.

I live in Europe, in a country called Macedonia so we don't seem to have all them fancy accessories and stuff here such as pheromone dispensers and the like and ordering one online would take a month and a half to two for it to arrive, if it even arrives.
We don't have animal/cat behaviorists either

I hope this is just a phase, I know kittens like watching adults while they do their business, but Spaska gets too up close and personal which bothers the cats.
We can't even imagine rehoming her, she is as much part of the family as everyone else, but if this starts causing problems for the older cats we might have to and I'd hate that :(

Mila is 7.5 years old
Casper and Kala are 5.5 they were born December 9th 2015
All 3 are fixed and Spaska will be as soon as the vets say it's ok

Here some vets are fine spaying a kitten as young as 4 months old, but many believe cats should be spayed after their first heat which I strongly disagree with and my vet just happens to be one of those, however compared to other vets she is incredible so I wouldn't want to aruge with her over it again. Still we're going to fix her as soon as possible too.
 

tyleete

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1- Just like your regular doctor, you can always disagree with the vet. A lot of vets will declaw, but that doesn't make it right. You have to speak up. Your little one can't, so you need to for her.😊 As for the 'when'; typically it's safer after the kitten is 5lbs. Before that is just too soon. However, some believe it's safest before their first heat. Because some will turn territorial, and start peeing after/during. Good luck breaking that lovely habit. Go with your gut and don't be afraid to disagree. She's your baby and your responsible for her.
2nd- Best you can do with limited space, is probably distract her by playing with her when they use the box. Make a game of it. They go to the box, you get out the laser pointer. You definitely don't want the others holding it in.
By the way, amazing difference you've made! She's very lucky to have found you!
All your fuzzies are quite beautiful!💞
 
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Joe_Danger1337

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Thank you so much!
Yeah one of the reasons I'm so worried about this is because I know what happens if a cat's litterbox routine gets messed up and they start eliminating outside the box and how hard it can be to correct that, dare I say impossible.
Mine have literally never had an accident, but you never know when something could spook them enough for that to start happening, like a curious kitten sniffing up their butts as they try to do their business :)

I forgot to mention, I have tried distracting her with play and food, but she is incredible fast, nimble and agile and before I know it she is beside the litterbox waiting for the show to start. Interesting thing I noticed this morning tho, when she was about to watch Casper, she was actually purring so I think this might be her way of bonding with them.

What I do is try to keep her contained in my computer room and have the adults roam free and hope they'd do their business then but they all hate closed doors and as soon as she meows Mila and Kala start clawing at the door or they simply want to get in since that's the girls' main hangout spot and now it became Spaska's as well.

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Spaska is very smart, beautiful and just all around amazing
I can't stomach the idea of ever giving her away not to mention it'd be very difficult to find people who'd care for her properly

Everyone is getting along just fine when she isn't up in their butts bothering them
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Keepeing her contained in my room when she is asleep is fine, but I am not used to closed doors either, it's very suffocating and neither are the cats, I really hope this phase ends rather than escalates.
It didn't start happening until a few days ago

Spaska is so beautiful she almost looks like a Russian Blue mix
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Joe_Danger1337

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gang it Spaska
Casper just went to pee and poop
and she BOLTED to the litterbox to watch him
I called her, she came running, offered her food, she started eating, Capser starts burying his shit and she botls back to him

He didn't mind her there, he doesn't care, he is too slow and lazy to care about anything
but Mila cares and is afraid when she does this. Kala isn't a fan of this either.

How she developed this habit is beyond me, but it needs to end, it's physically impossible for me to police them 24/7 and catching a kitten as tiny and fast as her is pretty much impossible when this happens.

I need advice on how to break this habit so I don't have to rehome Spaska, please
 
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Joe_Danger1337

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Sorry about the language I pasted this from another forum where we speak more freely and now I can't delete or edit anything, I don't know how to use this forum yet :( Options to delete and edit posts should always be available because mistakes like this happen
 

Tik cat's mum

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I feel for you, I have one that has done this since I got him. He even ended up with poop on his head trying to watch what my other cat was doing on more than one occasion. He seemed to want to cover the other cat's poop and pee whenever he went. What I did was get hooded litter boxes that way it bought me more time to get to him. Because it's harder to get two cat's into those. Now if he's lurking outside I pop him into the box next to the one his brother is using. But it does mean having two boxes next to each other. He has got alot better with age he's nearly one. But will still occasionally try to get into the same box. Cat's cover so they don't attract predators. So your kitten is doing what comes naturally even though she's indoors now. I know you are pushed for space so am I, but it did work for me and my cat's don't mind the hooded boxes. Good luck your kitten is lovely.
 
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Joe_Danger1337

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If I can put two litterboxes next to one another that I can do
but from what I read that defies the purpose of this.

Look if this behavior is something that's going to keep going, I honestly think, as much as I HATE to entertain the idea, of rehoming her.
It would be as if I was fostering the kitten.
It would hurt immensely but I honestly physically don't have the energy to police her every move and my female cats are at the end of their wits I can tell. They hold it in until it's absolutely time for them to go.
I haven't slept in over 24 hours to make sure she doen't bother them, I am not taking this well and I need this resolved asap. Sorry :(
If yours is almost 1 and this behavior persists then that won't fly with my girls, even in a hooded litterbox this woul be a problem becuase the kitten's mere presence as they do their business makes them feel uncomfortable.
 
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Joe_Danger1337

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I don't deal well with separating from pets, so having to re home her is going to be pretty psychologically taxing on me, but having the girls mess up and start eliminating outside the box is going to be even worse. I expected ALL kinds of problems introducing a 4th cat to the family, this I didn't see coming :( what a disaster this turned out to be and just when everything was going to smoothly.
 

Tik cat's mum

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I understand what you are saying and I can only say what has worked for me. You have 3 girls to think of I only had one other cat to keep a eye on. The hooded boxes have made things better for me. The only thing I can suggest is trying it. If it doesn't work then you might have to look at rehoming. I'm hoping more people come on here with other tricks you could try. I hope this works out for you but you have to put the other cat's first it was their home first.
 

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One hooded litter box would mean that the first one in the box is protected on three sides. She can face the door and smack kitten when she gets too close. I didn't have a kitten following the cats to the litter box, I had a puppy and one covered box and two uncovered. The very first time Puppy stuck her head in the litter box the cat inside was not pleased. Puppy never stuck her head in again, nor did she follow any of the cats to the uncovered boxes. She taught the new puppies to leave the cats in the boxes and the boxes alone (that's huge for dogs.) I think it might be worth the risk of buying a hooded box. Kittens do understand getting cornered and smacked by older cats.
 
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Joe_Danger1337

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Puppies learn differently, Mila has smacked the kitten many times when it does something it's not supposed to and it still does it lol

So I have an update on the situation and it is not good at al
My vet suggests that Mila, the mom, holds her pee and poop out of fear even tho she is perfectly fine and relaxed around the kitten, even tho they eat together and play together. He believes because the kitten cut her off 3 times that day it all went wrong from there.

Problem is, my vet STRONGLY suggests we re-home the kitten because he says a 7.5 year old cat should not be holding her pee in like that,her kidneys could mess up or worse.
But even he admits that re-homing the kitten and finding a good home for it would be next to impossible.
I talked to several people I know I could trust with cats, everybody understands my problem but nobody can recommend a good home, my vets included because they know I take pretty darn good care of my pets.

Here's why finding a good home for a cat in my country is extremely difficult

Here's what I'm looking for in people who'd adopt Spaska, the kitten

- If they live in a condo/apartment they must have screens on their windows and balcony door - way too many cats fall to their deaths here because people refuse to do this
- The kitten is not to be yelled at, beaten, slapped - this is the DEFAULT thing even cat lovers do here, it's very difficult to find people who understand this isn't the way to discipline a cat. They do this to kids let alone cats and dogs.
- The people have to understand that Spaska is hyperactive, more so than most kittens and may or may not end up being the cuddly type - people often complain about this and want the cat to bend to THEIR emotional needs not understanding that they have to accept the cat the way she is and love them for that.
- Many people here don't want to get their pets neutrered or spayed - this is a big deal and a huge problem, people could lie to you and say they'll do it but then you find out they never did and won't do it, ever
- People don't believe when you tell them that some of their house plants can be poisonous to cats - this has caused one too many problems for cats, we had neighors like this whose cat ended up with CRF
- Although not a must, I'd refer it if the kitten is fed with high quality cat food, we're feeding her with Royal Canin kitten now, it's the highest quality available in my country
- People tend to let their cats roam outside, not all do but many do and this in some parts of the city is extremely dangeours, in my neighborhood it's mostly fine
- Often people lie they're taking your kitten as a pet, but end up using it to make their fighting dogs more aggressive, this is way too common here. some of these people are honest about it and say they want it as bait for their dogs, some don't tell you openly
- People here are too quick to abandon their pets, on the street, rehome them, wherever
 

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I don't know if this is possible, I read the thread, but may have forgotten if you said. But it does sound to me as though your only choice is to keep the kitten separated from Mila.

I admit, I was going by the kittens we had, but the one who smacked them around was their actual mother. Perhaps that made a difference? And, yes, I can accept that puppies are different, more accepting of boundaries.
 
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Joe_Danger1337

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I'm doing my best to keep the kitten separate but it's not working out at all for various reasons, it's a very small condo/apartment with doors that are super easy to open even for little Spaska now and we don't have keys to lock them nor would that be an option, you leave Spaska alone separated from me or the other cats and she starts crying.

Mila doesn't have a problem being around Spaska at all but she clearly holds it in because this mess happened with Spaska annoying them in the litterboxes :(

Here's Kala (Mila's daughter) sleeping with Spaska peacefully the other day

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Spaska grooming Casper, Mila's boy and Kala's brother in the middle of the night
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They love each other so much, if only Mila wasn't going through this :(
 

Kflowers

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A thought, can Mila jump higher than the kitten? If so could you put her litter box on top of a table? It's usually the solution when there are puppies, but until kitten can make the jump it might work. I've never had Persians so I have no idea of their jumping abilities.
 
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Joe_Danger1337

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Mila is pretty agile and nimble for a persian, but the kitten can get to any height now
it goes everywhere the other cats go without issues.
There's no safe spots from Spaska anymore :)
 
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Joe_Danger1337

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You have no idea, 2 months old and she is every bit as capable as a grown cat.
It's only a matter of time before she starts learning to fully open doors by jumping on them, she already knows how to open the ones that don't require much strength to open by scratching and pushing them just right.

She was responding to her name mere days after we brought her home, at 3 weeks.
The kitten is extremely smart and capable, if she didn't start bothering the cats in their litterboxes it would've all been well.
 

Kflowers

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Okay, thinking back, this is not a solution to your current problem, but a future one. Spread throw cushions over the stone hearth below your mantel. It may only be 5 feet up, but stone is hard to land on and she won't have time to right herself when she falls off the mantel. Just saying...

You might also want to go to the local hardware store and buy the box of child safety equipment - special hooks and eyes to lock your kitchen and bathroom cabinets and a few other useful odds and ends. They are made to protect human toddlers. It will help.
 
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Joe_Danger1337

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Oh Casper already opens all those cabinets and he'd pull so hard he broke the child safety hooks, so yeah it's time to get more :)
 

Kflowers

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No more aluminum for you guys, get your safety hooks in the car parts department. That's a big boy your got there, sir. I see massive interesting adventures in your future. Been there, done that, loved it.
 
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