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Eliminating outside the box... Spiteful?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Back in October I rescued four feral kittens, resocialized them and they went off to new homes. Recently, one of the homes contacted me and told me they could no longer keep the two kittens they adopted from me. I asked why and they said that one of their four cats was doing their business outside the box and messing up their entire basement.

The family I rehomed these cats to has had experience with strays before and other animals as well. The grandmother of the children that picked out their kittens from me has worked as a volunteer in a rescue as well. I figured they would be knowledgable and be an EXCELLENT home for these kittens. But, what really gets me is that they believe that the cats aren't getting along with each other and the older cats are "being spiteful" and doing their business outside of the box. I guess I'm just wondering if this ever was a possibility? Everything I've read has never suggested cats being spiteful and doing their business elsewhere.

I've also suggested a few things they should change, they have 4 cats and 3 litter boxes, I suggested getting more. Also, the kittens I rehomed are about 8 months old now and they are not fixed, and this could also be the problem. Another thing to consider would have also been that one of the cats is sick as they do let the older, fixed, cats go outside.

But I was just curious as to whether or not cats would do it out of spite because they didn't like the new kittens?
post #2 of 8
I don't think it's spite. Most likely they don't want to step in the new kittens crap and thus are steering clear of any litter box the new kittens are using.

I also bet the new kittens are not being picky on kitty boxes and might be rotating between all of the litter boxes and the new cats are not happy.

Mine will use the same litter box, but it's quite amusing watching them do it - they go out of their way to perch on the side of the boxes or tip toe around any random doo doo's in their way.

As I said, most likely not spite, more likely aversion to using the same toilet as the new kittens because of obvious reasons (doo doo), smell of the doo doo and also the smell of the foreign kitty - territorial issues.
post #3 of 8
Autumnbluenagel said it perfectly!

quoted: I don't think it's spite. Most likely they don't want to step in the new kittens crap and thus are steering clear of any litter box the new kittens are using.

I also bet the new kittens are not being picky on kitty boxes and might be rotating between all of the litter boxes and the new cats are not happy.

Mine will use the same litter box, but it's quite amusing watching them do it - they go out of their way to perch on the side of the boxes or tip toe around any random doo doo's in their way.

As I said, most likely not spite, more likely aversion to using the same toilet as the new kittens because of obvious reasons (doo doo), smell of the doo doo and also the smell of the foreign kitty - territorial issues.
post #4 of 8
Hi,

Cats don't do 'spite' they just dont know what it is!

In my opinion I would say that there are not enough litterboxes for the 4 cats. Maybe they dont want to use the litter box where it smells of another cat? Cats are very territorial and so maybe they simply dont like sharing litterboxes and are instead doing their business elsewhere so as not to impose on anothers territory. Just my opinion though
post #5 of 8
Cats don't get spiteful but they can be territorial when it comes to litter boxes. They need to get the kittens fixed, add more boxes, and make sure that they are cleaning the boxes up to the cat's expectations. The more cats in a household, the more challenging the dynamics can be, and they need to be willing to change their habits to support 4 cats. Litterbox issues get exponentially more challenging the more cats you have in a house.

The rule is 1 box per cat plus an extra (they need 5 boxes). The preference is uncovered boxes, and the bigger the box the better (rubbermaid and sterilite bins are great and inexpensive). Boxes should be scooped daily and the actual box cleaned regularly (I do mine at least once a month). When the box is old and the plastic starts to retain a smell, throw it out and buy a new one. If the cats don't like the litter they use, find a brand that they like. Ask them to put an extra box near another existing box with a different litter to see what the cats like to use. You would be surprised what you find out.
post #6 of 8
spite is such a human emotion.

There are a lot of reasons why a cat won't use a box. A lot of them medical, a lot of them territorial. I would put good money down on the fact that they do not have enough litter boxes.

That being said, there are medical issues that can cause a cat to not use a box. If adding more boxes does not immediately fix the problem, then the cat in question should go see a vet.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyKitty View Post
Hi,

Cats don't do 'spite' they just dont know what it is!

In my opinion I would say that there are not enough litterboxes for the 4 cats. Maybe they dont want to use the litter box where it smells of another cat? Cats are very territorial and so maybe they simply dont like sharing litterboxes and are instead doing their business elsewhere so as not to impose on anothers territory. Just my opinion though
Maybe not, but Dusty always poops in my office when she doesn't get what she wants, like going outside at 9:00 pm. Her downstairs box is in the next room, and she poops in MY office when I won't let her go outside! She's the only animal I know that can poop on demand. Most of us wait until the urge strikes, but I swear she can do it any time she wants.

Once when I cam back from a trip, and had my open suitcase on the bed, she peed in it.

Coincidence? Maybe. But she had never peed anywhere but in her box, until I opened the suitcase. I had been gone 5 days, but had a friend come over twice a day to feed her.
post #8 of 8
Cats don't do "spite", but they will frequently stop using the litterbox when stressed. The kittens need to altered ASAP, and hopefully everyone will get used to each other without further stress.
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