Once upon a time, in a cozy home filled with love and cats, there lived a group of furry companions who got along well with each other. They played, cuddled, and napped together in harmony until it was time to use the litter box. And then the disturbing thing happened. One of the cats was using another cat’s litter box!! This was not only unhygienic for the cat’s health, but this habit can also trigger their territorial instincts and make them aggressive. So, let’s explore some expert tips and tricks on how to prevent cats from using other cat’s litter boxes.
Why Do Cats Use Each Other’s Litter Boxes?
You love your cat so much, but sometimes you wonder what goes on in their furry little head. Like when your cat decides to use another cat’s litter box instead of their own. What’s up with that? Are they trying to start a turf war, or are they just being friendly, and sharing things with each other, yet again in an unhygienic way? Actually, this also made me scratch my head, unless I found out why they do that! Let’s take a look-
1. Your cats are likely claiming their turf
Cats are naturally territorial creatures. And one of your territorial cats who thinks everything belongs to him, even other cat’s litter boxes! Your cat wants to leave his scent in another box by using them, leaving no room for other cats to do their duty. It’s like your cat marking its territory, just like Simba (from The Lion King) did by roaring on top of a hill.
2. Your cat has a sneaky preference (or grudge) for the litter type
Next, your cat will try to use it if they have a picky mood or a secret grudge against a particular litter type. Just like in Ratatouille, where Remy refuses to eat the garbage food his rat colony brings back, instead of fresh ones. So, your cat just wants the best litter, who can blame him?
3. Your cat doesn’t like the spot of their litter box
Your cat may not like the location of their litter box. Maybe it’s in a room that’s too noisy, or too close to their food and water bowls. Just like us, cats prefer a peaceful, private spot to do their work. Therefore, your cat will do whatever it takes to find a better litter, even if it means going outside its own box!!
4. Your cat is being curious of other cat’s things (like litter box)
Another reason for your cat to use another litter box is simply their little curious detective mind. Your cat will constantly sniff around the other cat’s litter boxes, investigating their secret life. Just like a character in a thriller movie who is trying to uncover a mystery. But for your cat, it’s more likely to solve the mystery by using another cat’s litter!
5. Your cat is stressed and need a change of pace
Sometimes stress can lead to litter box problems. If your kitty cat is stressed or overwhelmed, it may seek comfort in the box of another cat. This is because scent from their fellow cats or mates can provide a sense of security, familiarity and ease their anxiety.
6. There’s not enough litter box for each of your cat
Finally, the old-age problem, “the shortage of litter boxes”. It can cause the overcrowded litter box scenario. Your cats will try to claim their spot in the litter, as there are not enough litter boxes for each of your cats. Just like a crowded bar on a Friday night, with everyone jostling for a spot at the counter to get a drink!!
How to Prevent Your Cat from Using Another Cat’s Litter Box
Well, sneaking into another litter box is kinda ewww situation. It’s like going to the bathroom and finding out that someone has already used your toilet paper. Gross right??? But some cats don’t seem to mind. They happily hop into their fellow cat’s litter box, and do their business.
But it can be dangerous for them. That’s because it can expose them to infections and diseases from other cat’s waste. So, how can you prevent this risky situation??
Don’t panic, we have some tips for you to prevent your cat from invading other cat’s litter territory-
- Provide an adequate number of litter boxes:
Firstly, make sure you provide an adequate number of litter boxes. The general rule is to have one more litter box per cat, plus one extra. This will ensure that each of your cats has their own designated spot to do their pooping business.
- Place litter boxes in separate locations:
Secondly, put the litter boxes in different rooms or areas of the house, near their food and water bowls. This will help to prevent your cat’s territorial behavior. Moreover, don’t put litter boxes in corners or near doors or windows. Pick quiet and easy spots as it will give them some privacy and a way out.
- Try different types of litter boxes and litter:
Each of the cats have different likes and dislikes about their litter and litter boxes. Some of them may like covered or uncovered boxes, big or small boxes, clumping or non-clumping litter, scented or unscented litter, etc. Try different things and see what your feline likes the most.
- Keep litter boxes clean:
The most important step is to keep the litter boxes clean and fresh. Make sure to scoop out the waste from each litter box every day, and change the litter completely every week or two. Wash the litter boxes with mild soap, water often, and dry them well before putting in new litter. You can also use baking soda to make the litter box smell good.
- Train your cat to use its own litter box:
If your cat still uses other cat’s litter boxes after trying the above steps, then it’s time to teach your cat to use its own boxes. You can keep your feline friend in a room with its own litter box, food, water, toy, and bed for a few days, or until it gets used to its own litter box.
- Use pheromones or calming products to reduce stress:
As we mentioned earlier, that cat can have litter issues due to stress. So, to help your tabby feel calm and relax, you can use pheromones or calming products, such as apparel, wipes, collars, drops, sprays, diffuser, and so on. Those drops or sprays contain chamomile, valerian root, or L-tryptophan, which have calming effects on cats. You can put them on the litter boxes, bedding, furniture, or other places where your cats spend time.
- Address territorial issues between cats:
Finally, it’s important to address the territorial issues between your cats. It can happen when a new kitty arrives. So, to prevent this problem, provide your cats separate spaces for a few days. Then help them to share their room to create a friendly bond between them. Additionally, make your cats do things together like play, groom, eat, and sleep.
What Not to Do When Preventing Your Cat from Using Another Cat’s Litter Box?
Your cats are like your children, and you want nothing but the best for them. That’s why you want to stop your cats from using each other’s litter boxes. But sometimes we do things that make it worse for cats without knowing it.
So, let’s talk about what NOT to do when preventing your cat from using other cat’s litter boxes. Trust me, these mistakes can turn a simple mistake into a nightmare!
- Do NOT punish your cat for using another cat’s litter box. Because this will make your cat more stressed and confused, and may worsen the problem as well as your cat-human bonding.
- Do NOT force your cat to use a litter box that it doesn’t like or feel comfortable with. It will make your cat avoid the litter box altogether, and make them look for other places to go.
- Do NOT change the litter or litter box too often or too drastically. It will make your cat feel insecure or unfamiliar with its environment, and may cause it to reject the litter box.
- Do NOT ignore or neglect your cat’s emotional and social needs. This will make them lonely, bored, or anxious. It may cause your cat to seek attention, or comfort from other things, even if it’s another cat’s litter box!
- And most importantly, do NOT give up too soon. Because everything takes time, whether it’s addressing the problem, or making your cat get used to their litter box. So, with patience and persistence, you can do it to stop your cats from this unhygienic doings!!
There’s a saying that goes, “desperate times call for desperate measures, but sometimes those measures can make things worse.” So, don’t let your attempts to control the whole situation turn into a cat-astrophe!!
[Watch this video to learn more about DO & DON’ts with litter and litter boxes]
You can help your cat use the litter box peacefully with a little effort and the right environment. So why not try these expert-recommended tips to solve the problem? Who knows, maybe your cat will start getting along better with its feline housemates.
We have now reached the end of our guide on how to stop your cat from using another cat’s litter box. We hope you found it useful and practical, and most importantly, we hope that it helps make litter box time less stressful for you and your cats.
And don’t forget to leave a comment and share the post with your cat loving friends.