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Combination problem(s)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Our smaller cat, Sassy, over the past couple of years has developed quite an attitude about her litterbox habits. We are on the verge of relocating and, due to space reasons reducing down to 1 box for 2 cats from 3 boxes for 2.

First problem: Sassy seems to be either afraid of the dark or afraid of confined spaces (my guess is the dark). We have a Booda dome and two completely enclosed boxes. The enclosed boxes have gray tops with a tinted "door." The Booda dome has an open ramp. Sassy, and her real problem, is the reason we have covered boxes, but I will get to that in a moment.
She will go in the Booda dome and go. I have taken the top filter off and placed a light activated night light near the entrance for her to be able to see. I think it has helped. She does not, from all appearances, ever use either of the other two boxes.

Second problem: When she was younger, she did not behave such, but anymore, if the box isn't "immediately" cleaned after each time she goes, she will typically pee at the base of the dome entry ramp. I can't always get right to it, and she's an impatient, demanding little something-or-other.

Third problem: Another development of recent years, not something she did when we first got her, is she will not cover her feces. She seems perfectly happy to go and get out as fast as possible!

Fourth problem: We have covered litter boxes now because, after she got a couple years old (back in the day when we had open top boxes in our house) she started standing up as she was urinating and spraying over the side/top of the box. We had taken to putting vinyl shower curtains under the box to protect the carpet in our basement. Even within the confines of the Booda dome she does this, as the inside of the dome is often wet.

For Problem #1, we have purchased an enclosed box with a more transparent cover and door, in the hopes of having enough light get in for her to not feel afraid (if that truly is the reason).

For Problem #4, we have purchased a new mat for under the box and a wipeable screen to conceal the box and also protect from spraying.

Any or all thoughts on our dilemma would be appreciated. We are moving from a house into a 2 BR apartment and can't afford for her to be making messes all the time.
Thanks for any help you can offer.

post #2 of 3
Hi Bill,
All of the problems can be remedied with an uncovered box. I don't recommend regular cat boxes, they're too small. And I do not recommend enclosed, covered boxes, even if they are transparent. Instead I recommend 66 qt. Sterlite Clearview Storage containers. They are about 12 inches high, so cats can stand up and urinate or dig.

Also, you do need more then one box for two cats. Animals do what is called resource guarding... that means that one cat can lie in the hall and the other cat doesn't dare go by to use the litter box.

You should have 3 boxes in different areas of the house.

Marilyn Krieger, CCBC
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your prompt and courteous reply!

Just to add some further insight, we are moving from our home into a 2 BR apartment for the next four years. We have very limited space available. I'm honestly not sure we could fit one of the Sterilite containers; I'll have to look at the overall size, but I will look into it.

We have purchased a mat and screen to help hide the box (as much as possible) and protect from spraying. We can't afford to have Sassy ruining things, nor can we afford to not take her with us.

Thank you, again, for offering your help.

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