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Unread 09-22-2014   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Unanswered: New Cat Causing Litter Disruption!?

Hi Everyone, this is my first post.

I have been living with my bf and his 2 yr old cat, Malik (an 'only' cat) since Jan. She covers her business and is very clean. A week ago, we decided to adopt a 5 month old male, Gordy, who had been living with other cats. We added lots of new toys, scratch-able furniture, separate eating bowls /bedding and a large second litter box which we are cleaning every second day to make the introduction / transition as easy as possible.

Gordy has been very good about finding and using the litter box, but he does not cover his poops. I'm wondering if this could be related to Malik urinating outside the litter boxes recently. For instance - on my bathroom mat and twice on my bed. Is she displeased with the look / smell from his untidyness, or could it be that these two problems are unrelated - ie: Malik displaying her unhappiness with another cat in the house by urinating in inappropriate places?

The first couple days we had them together in the house Malik would avoid him, and hissed and swatted at him. But since then she's been very tolerant of him, they chase each other and play together (without hissing).

Any insight that you may have would be greatly appreciated. I want them both to be confident and respectful litter users.
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Unread 09-22-2014   #2 (permalink)
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Congratulations on your new baby boy! It sounds like the introductions are going pretty well, considering Malik is used to being an only!

First: Malik should be taken to the vet, as the number one reason cats avoid the litter box is illness such as urinary tract infection, or other urinary tract disorder.

How long has this avoiding the box been going on? Since before Gordy came, or after? Cats will pee other places when they have UTIs because it hurts to pee (UTIs are very painful) and they blame the litter box for the pain.

Stress can cause urinary tract disorders. Stress such as a new person moving in or a new kitten. Any change, even if the cat doesn't seem to have trouble coping, can cause a cat stress, and lead to these disorders.

Secondly, litter boxes need to be scooped out every single day, both poop and pee. With two cats, and two litter boxes, really you should be scooping twice a day. Cats are very fastidious about their boxes and do not like to use dirty boxes.

In addition to increasing scooping frequency, I would add a third box.

Not all cats bury, but he may get better at it as he gets older, especially if he sees Malik covering hers.

Make sure to feed both cats a good quality canned diet to keep them at optimal health.
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Unread 09-22-2014   #3 (permalink)
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She has been avoiding the litter box since a couple days after we brought Gordy home. Prior to that the only time she urinated anywhere other than the litter box was when it was, indeed, not clean enough (clearly our fault - we can't punish her for that).

After I posted the question above, I went home from work. I had had the bedroom door closed the whole day to avoid another case of urine on my bedding. As soon as I got home, I cleaned out both litter boxes well and then opened the door to our bedroom as I performed other chores. It is now after supper and I sit here quite frustrated as yet again - there is urine on my bed. Sometime between when I cleaned the boxes and right now (about 1.5 hrs) she went in and urinated on my bed again. I fear this is becoming a very bad habit that I won't be able to coax out of her.

Perhaps I'll book her an appt with our vet to see if it is a UTI. I can't fathom what else might be bringing on this behaviour. Does anyone know anything else I could try?
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Unread 09-23-2014   #4 (permalink)
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Please do take her to the vet. Peeing on your bed is a cry for help. Stress is not the only thing that causes UTIs.

Dirty litter boxes are also often the cause. A cat will hold it too long, if the box is not to her liking, which leads to infections.

Male cats are even more prone to this problem, so you've got to be extra vigilant from now on with those litter boxes. And be sure to keep them both on a canned (wet food) diet. Dry food, especially for males, causes urinary tract problems, also. And male cats can block, which is fatal in 24 hours.
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A friend of mine had a similar problem, but it was the new cat who would go outside the litter pan (also a male, neutered). She found that separating the litter pans, i.e. having them on opposite sides of the room, made a significant difference in his behavior. It might have been that one cat was stalking the other in the pan, so the "victim" decided to, uh, go elsewhere.
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