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Litter Box Behavior

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Merlin is a 3 year old male tabby, fixed. He has this odd habit of walking into the litter box and sitting down like he's going to use it, but only for a split second then he's outta there. It's not like he's taking a few seconds to try to go, he just sits, then gets immediately up and trots on like it never happened. He does this whether or not the box needs cleaning. Sometimes he gets in just to dig around.

He seems to be eating and drinking normally and is very active and playful. He and Itty Bitty chase each other around the living room all evening. His last trip to the vet earlier this year (for getting bitten by a poisonous spider which caused his throat to swell up horrifically) revealed no health problems worse than being a little overweight.

Dare I ask what his fixation with the litter box is?
post #2 of 13
Does he always use it though, no outside the box? If so, I would just laugh at a little quirk he has and be happy he uses the box! Some people here have horrific problems of not using the litter!
post #3 of 13
He's reminding everyone it's his territory? Is there another box, because a lot of cats need two boxes for different business, especially if there are other cats at home.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larke View Post
He's reminding everyone it's his territory? Is there another box, because a lot of cats need two boxes for different business, especially if there are other cats at home.
Yeah, it is highly recommended to have a litter box per cat, 2 cats, 2 boxes..... especially in large or duplex plus homes.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, it's just him and Itty Bitty, a green-eyed Bombay. They're buddies, sharing the food dish and water dish, and they always sleep curled up around each other. He doesn't seem to have any territorial issues with her. He doesn't go anyplace else but the litter box. There's a second one out in the garage (where they sleep at night lest they start tearing around in the middle of the night and break something). He'll ask to be let out there during the day just to scratch around (or sometimes actually use) that one as well.

You know, come to think of it, he also has a toilet fixation. When I'm brushing my teeth in the morning, he'll sit on the rim and meow until I reach over and hit the handle just so he can watch the water swirl around.

We got him from a lady in a wheelchair who couldn't keep up with him. He was too hyperactive for her, and as Itty Bitty's best friends Tiny (another tabby) and Mamacat (a copper eyed Bombay) had recently passed on (at ages 24 and 21!), we thought a cat that closely resembled Tiny might ease her very visible depression. (Moping cats are heartbreaking to watch.) It took less than a day for her to warm up to him, and he's taught her such fun tricks as prying open cupboard doors and knocking things off of shelves just to watch them drop. He'll actually look at a set of things on a shelf and knock onnly certain ones off of different materials, watching them fall as though he's a scientist taking notes!

Maybe he's just a tad touched in the head?
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiftkitty View Post
Dare I ask what his fixation with the litter box is?
Sometimes you just don't want to know.

Every cat in my house has some weird quirk. Koko will lick your toes but only when you are in the bathroom or kitchen. Dakota likes to fling himself off cat trees. Muddy will only be held over your left shoulder. Sage drags underwear around the house. Scarlett only likes pink toys. I think you get the idea.
post #7 of 13
Have you had him checked for a UTI? I ask cause one of my female cats were acting just fine and never went anywhere out of the litter box yet I took her in for a routine check over and she had a nasty urinary tract infection. If you are concerned you might want to have him checked. I hope that it is just a funny quirk though.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I thought a UTI would make attempts at urination painful? Or am I thinking urinary crystals? (Or are they the same thing?) Like I said, he doesn't spend but a split second (unless he's actually going, when he prefers the box in the garage). It's like going to sit on the toilet, but standing right back up as soon as you touch the seat and moving on with life.
post #9 of 13
I thought a UTI would make it painful too but we had no clue that Oreo was having any problems with going to the bathroom. She never showed having pain using the litter box and like I said , she never went outside of the litter box either. I could be overly cautious because of being surprised about the UTI with Oreo.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
At what point did you realize it was time to see the vet? Or was it during a routine check-up?
post #11 of 13
It was purely during a routine check-up. After Marbles passed away and us not knowing why it happened, we took all our other cats in to get checked over. It was a complete surprise to find out she had one...poor thing.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
I mentioned the UTI to my husband and he decided that, no matter how icky it may seem, he'd watch Merlin each time he entered the litter box today while he was working at the table. According to him, it seems that Merlin is doing territorial marking, but thankfully only in the litter box. Since his other behavior hasn't changed, we figure we'll keep an eye on it. If he starts getting sluggish or otherwise acting out of sorts, we'll take him in.

Thanks for your help, and I'm so sorry about Marbles. When my Mamacat died, I put a memorial up for her at Find-A-Grave. It was the least I could do for a cat that shared 21 years with me.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiftkitty View Post
I mentioned the UTI to my husband and he decided that, no matter how icky it may seem, he'd watch Merlin each time he entered the litter box today while he was working at the table. According to him, it seems that Merlin is doing territorial marking, but thankfully only in the litter box. Since his other behavior hasn't changed, we figure we'll keep an eye on it. If he starts getting sluggish or otherwise acting out of sorts, we'll take him in.

Thanks for your help, and I'm so sorry about Marbles. When my Mamacat died, I put a memorial up for her at Find-A-Grave. It was the least I could do for a cat that shared 21 years with me.

I hope he is fine.

Thanks for the info about Find-A-Grave.
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