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People with stairs - please read

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
We are moving from our flat into a 3 story townhome with two flights of stairs that have turns. How can I expect my cats behavior to be to this huge change in their life? Here is the layout: The garage, storage areas and my office is on the first floor. The living areas, kitchen and dining room are on the second floor and the bedrooms are on the third floor (our cats always sleep with us). Presently, the cats use one litter box with no problems at all. They have never missed. What I was hoping to do was to put their litter box on the first floor and put the cats on the first floor so they would know where it is. My plan was to just leave them on the first floor until they decided to go up the stairs on their own. Or maybe I should show them around. I am really at a loss on what to do. If at all possible I would like to train them to go down to the first floor to use their litter box but I know many of you will tell me to have one on every floor. I know there are many other things I am not thinking of concerned with this totally different arangment and how the cats will handle it. Your input would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 21
Stairs will keep a cat exercising

We do NOT have a litter pan on each floor of our house (3 floors) - its in the basement and they know where it is.

As long as the cats are healthy, not kittens, not very old, then you can train them quickly to one floor where the litter pan is. Maybe for a week or two, put it them on 2 floors (just in case).

Or confine them to one floor with the pan till they know where it is and use it all the time. This would only be a week or two at the most.
post #3 of 21
I have 2 cats ( just over a year and a half each) I live in a 2 story house..their litterbox is in the basement and they have yet to make a mistake....I plunked them down by the litterbox..and then let them wander...they know where it is...
they run up and down the stairs all day....
of course in the middle of the night....oh well you'll find that out...
post #4 of 21
When we first moved, we put them in our bedroom with a box for two days. With the moving, it REALLY helps to confine them to just one room at first - especially with movers, doors opening and closing. What we did was have the bedroom stuff moved in first. We put some of their cat furniture in there so familiar scents and things of theirs would also be there. And we put the same sheets and blankets that had been on the bed back on the bed and changed them a couple days later.

We have six cats, so we put three boxes in the bedroom.

We've moved before, so after a day they were itching to get out.

But when we first moved into a house from the RV, we did the same thing, and the bedroom was on the second floor. But we wanted litter boxes on each floor. I don't know what to recommend to you about that. It is the only way I know to help inappropriate peeing.

Tuxedo was downstairs the first day we opened the bedroom door. He checked everything out and was fine about it all.

The rest continued to hide. I'd say it took 3 days to 2 weeks for all of them to decide to check out the rest of the house. But all of ours are feral rescues, and I'm not familiar with the background of your kitties.

We let them explore on their own.

Oh yeah - we COATED the house with feliway before we released them into the bedroom of the new house. That might have helped - I recommend trying it.

Here is a picture of Spooky and Shelly next to her the day we first moved into a house:


But man-oh-man did they come to LOVE those stairs! In our new house, the stairs twist with a landing (the old one was a straight staircase). Ming Loy loves to hide behind the banister and jump out at anyone going up or down. The cats chase each other up and down constantly. Ming Loy and Tuxedo hang out on the steps and carpet surf. It's like a race track/bed/toy. Your kitties will come to love the steps, I'm sure.

I don't know if I answered any of your questions at all. But if they sleep with you, I'd release them into the bedroom, regardless of the floor it's on. And I'd keep them in there until all things have settled down with strangers in the house and doors being opened and closed. And then I'd just open the door and let them explore on their own.

Do they free feed? We free feed ours with one wet meal at dinner time. If you do something like this, maybe move where you feed them down one landing each night after the first night or two of the door being opened? You can work your way down to the kitchen (assuming that's where you feed them - if you even do this).

When we first moved into a house, we fed them at the top of the stairs, then at the bottom. Then in the middle of the room that's between the stairs and the kitchen, then the kitchen.

But we also have food and water stations on each floor of the house.

I'm sure others have other ideas!

Laurie
post #5 of 21
i have one liter box down stairs never had an accident. Lucky and Gus use our stairs as race tracks, they have hours of fun playing on the stairs
post #6 of 21
I have 2 floors and only one litterbox upstairs. When I first brought Riley home, and then later with Akasha, I just showed them where the box was and let them go. I have never had a problem and they love running up and down the stairs!
post #7 of 21
We have 3 litter boxes on the first floor and one on the top floor and I can tell you that the 2nd floor litter box is almost NEVER used. They just don't hang out up there because it is bedrooms with the doors shut.

The mostly use it for showoff purposes "look mommy, I did a smelly poo!!!"
post #8 of 21
We brought our kittens, who were fostered and kept in just one room, home to a two story apartement, and they havent had any problems. we have a metal spiral staircase and I was really afraid ofthem falling off, but even when our boy Kaiden did from half way up, he was fine. We just let them venture upstairs.... and keep the doors up there closed (especially to the bedroom where the open guinea pig cage is). Id say just let them explore. I think once they figure out where their litter box is, they'll be fine.
post #9 of 21
When we first moved into our 2 story home from an apartment, we kept the boys in the upstairs spare bedroom for about 2 days until letting them out to explore. We have a litter box on each floor, as well as food and water on each floor. Just to give them a choice, instead of having any accidents happen!

Best of luck with moving..!!!
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by venusgirltrap View Post
The mostly use it for showoff purposes "look mommy, I did a smelly poo!!!"
YES!!!! I'm not the only on who gets those, then! Don't you love how they're so proud, too?? hehe!
post #11 of 21
I have two boxes in the basement, and one box on the main floor. The one on the main floor rarely gets used.

Be careful and train yourself when using the stairs....always, always use the handrail! My cats are notorious for racing me down the stairs, especially when I have something in my arms and am unable to hold onto the railing! They race up the stairs also. I don't know how many times I've almost bought the farm by them trying to trip me! My father fell down his own basement stairs several years ago (trying to miss his cat) and broke both feet. He was non-weight bearing for 12 weeks....had to crawl on his hands and knees to get around. Cats and stairs can be a very dangerous combination! Be careful! Remember to tell your cats that you are the one with the opposable thumb...their food requires your hands....they depend on you to eat, so they can't kill you on the stairs, lol!!!
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
I have two boxes in the basement, and one box on the main floor. The one on the main floor rarely gets used.

Be careful and train yourself when using the stairs....always, always use the handrail! My cats are notorious for racing me down the stairs, especially when I have something in my arms and am unable to hold onto the railing! They race up the stairs also. I don't know how many times I've almost bought the farm by them trying to trip me! My father fell down his own basement stairs several years ago (trying to miss his cat) and broke both feet. He was non-weight bearing for 12 weeks....had to crawl on his hands and knees to get around. Cats and stairs can be a very dangerous combination! Be careful! Remember to tell your cats that you are the one with the opposable thumb...their food requires your hands....they depend on you to eat, so they can't kill you on the stairs, lol!!!
I'm sorry, I had to laugh at this post, especially "bought the farm" part

But it is so true I have no stairs in my home, but my parents do and I can't tell you how many times I have almost tripped on a kitty!

I also agree with most of the posters in the a litter box on one floor should be sufficient, just show them where it is and then let them explore on their terms
post #13 of 21
Great advice about watching out for kitty obstacles. Another good idea is either turn on a light when going down those stairs at night or use some night lights. Not only are the cats a worry, but getting halfway down the steps and stepping on a furry mouse toy while barefoot can really startle you when you're only half awake.
post #14 of 21
I'm the same, a 2 storey house with one litter box downstairs. Your cats will LOVE the new house. Harry likes nothing more than running after things up and down the stairs. It sounds great!
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for your very informative answers. They make me feel so much better about the stairs situation. You have also made me aware of something that I had not thought of, the dangers of tripping on a racing or even still cat!

No book can give or replace the first hand advice you get here on The Cat Site!
post #16 of 21
We are renting a 2 story townhouse. The cat's LOVE running up and down the stairs. Nabu still doesn't quite have the hang of going down--he bunny hops down the stairs.

We have 2 boxes, 1 upstairs and 1 downstairs. They use both about equally. The boxes are in this arrangement because when we moved in Raven was still with us. He was pretty frail and needed a box on each floor. Now they are used to it, and I'm not changing the arrangement until we move (this spring). Most of the cat books recommend a box on each floor, and since we had never lived in a 2 story without boxes on each floor I didn't want to take any risks.
post #17 of 21
Stairs can give them very good exercise. I always suggest putting different things on different levels to keep them going up and down - litter on one, cat trees on the next, food on the third. My Pinky lost a few much needed pounds that way.

With my large crowd, I'd have a litter box on every level. With 2 cats, I'd put one on the first and third floors. My reason? Maybe I've had cats for too many years and have lost so many to illness and old age. As their activitey decreases with age and they sometimes become more incontinent, you don't want them to have to climb those stairs so often. And I don't like changing their environment when they are old. But that's just me - I've had senior cats in my household for a long time.
post #18 of 21
2 storey townhouse, and litterboxes are downstairs - no problems.

And yes - the cats LOVE tearing up and down the stairs. The best way to wear Stumpy out is to play with the laser pointer on the stairs, so she goes running up and down chasing it. Always works
post #19 of 21
We have a two story house with a basement. Cat box in the basement -- never a problem (he knows right where it is).

I think cats actually love stairs. Mine also races down ours in the morning in anticipation of his wet food and you do have to be careful he doesn't trip you. Sometimes, he just skips the last 4 stairs and "flies" through the air to the bottom. It is pretty funny to see.
post #20 of 21
Our litter boxes are both on the main floor, though the cats go all over. When we used to have one in the basement, it was largely ignored. And then there are the stairs, in our house aka "Fawn's JungleJim". They'll LOVE the stairs, but do do do be careful, as others have said -- these little sweeties can be a challenge on stairs.
post #21 of 21
We have two floors and one litterbox. It's upstairs. When we first brought Kit home (he was a feral 7 week-old kitten), he was confined to the upstairs and he took to his box right away. As soon as he learned to navigate the stairs, he had the run of the house, and he's had absolutely no issues at all with the box.

And man, he loves the stairs. He'll sit by the railing when he knows someone is about to come up/go down and bop them with his paw as the ascend or descend He also flies up and down them when he's got a case of the crazies... and he sounds like a herd of buffalo!
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