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 Post subject: Litterbox sharing
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:45 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:15 am
Posts: 1290
Location: USA
Is there a way to discourage my young bengal from bothering another cat who's using the litter box?

I adopted the two at almost the same time: Mikesch (the bengal) has been in the house for 10 days now, Binky (the other cat) for a week. Binky is a former feral/barn cat, about eight years old and a neutered male. His adoption was planned/promised (the person who rescued him couldn't take him in because she's allergic to cats), whereas Mikesch "happened by accident." I'd love to keep both cats though.

I've had them separated for the first week, but they do seem to get along without fights (although they're certainly not "friends" yet) so I've started to let them roam the house freely now after they've both seen the vet. So far, so good, Mikesch wants to play, Binky acts annoyed and tells him off with the occasional hiss and swipe, but they do eat and sleep in the same room peacefully.

However, Mikesch loves using Binky's litter box. That in itself is not the problem as Binky has no issues with sharing (he used to share a litter box with other cats at the barn), but he is easily spooked. This means he won't go into his litter box if Mikesch is in the room. Also, if he finally does go and starts scratching the litter, Mikesch hears that and comes running, wanting to play, which results in Binky leaving the litter box in a panic with his "business" only half finished.

I hope that once they get more used to each other, this will lessen and Binky will stand his ground against the rambunctious youngster also at the litter box, but is there anything I can do to teach Mikesch to politely stay away from the litter box until Binky is done using it?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:39 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:34 pm
Posts: 644
Location: Lincoln, Uk
If you are around when this happens you could try distracting Mikesch with a toy whilst Binky uses the litter tray.

Naomi


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:41 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:15 am
Posts: 1290
Location: USA
I just caught Binky using Mikesch's litter box in the basement while Mikesch was distracted by watching the birds outside from the window sill. *lol* I guess they'll figure things out by themselves sooner or later and neither of them has a problem with sharing litter boxes. It's the first day that they are roaming the house together, so Mikesch is still really excited about having another cat he can follow around. He might calm down a bit over time. Binky isn't too thrilled, but this morning I caught them tentatively touching noses without the usual hiss and swipe. I'm pretty amazed actually as they've only known each other for a week now.

Another thing I've noticed with Mikesch is his apparent obsession with leaving his scent in the litter boxes. He goes in all three litter boxes, sometimes one after the other, and insists on peeing in there right after I clean it or sometimes even while I'm still trying to scoop! Is this a marking thing since he hasn't been neutered yet? I guess I should be happy he's taking his pee to the box instead of spraying even more, but it makes me wonder. Right now I'm cleaning the boxes about ten times a day in hopes that he will indeed spray less outside the box.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:57 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:34 pm
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Location: Lincoln, Uk
Hopefully when you get him done, he will calm down a bit with his peeing antics :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:41 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:15 am
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Location: USA
Well, I've got four litter boxes now that Mikesch is using regularly. He still comes running whenever he hears Binky scratching in the litter, which causes poor Binky to leave the box as soon as possible without finishing his business. In the worst case this results in a trail of poop running from the box to Binky's favorite hiding place. It's not that Mikesch is aggressive, he just wants to get into Binky's box to scratch and pee, too. I've tried distracting Mikesch, but short of picking him up (which he struggles against when he's on a mission) or closing the doors to the room whenever I see Binky heading for the litter box I haven't found a way to keep him away. Is there anything I could do to make Binky feel more secure? It is a hooded box, but maybe he feels trapped and an open one might be better? Would having two boxes next to each other or one that's big enough to hold them both help maybe? Or would it just cause even more distress to Binky if there's another cat scratching "next door" from him?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:56 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 36
Location: Denmark
tameeria wrote:
Another thing I've noticed with Mikesch is his apparent obsession with leaving his scent in the litter boxes. He goes in all three litter boxes, sometimes one after the other, and insists on peeing in there right after I clean it or sometimes even while I'm still trying to scoop! Is this a marking thing since he hasn't been neutered yet? I guess I should be happy he's taking his pee to the box instead of spraying even more, but it makes me wonder. Right now I'm cleaning the boxes about ten times a day in hopes that he will indeed spray less outside the box.


Mine go to the toilet everytime I scoop. And I'm certain it's a Bengal-beeing-practical thing: "There you are mummy, might as well take care of this while you're at it" :wink:

And most Bengals are social toilet goers! They love doing everything together with their humans (and sometimes eachother). If you have a litterbox in the bathroom, many of them will use the litterbox when you go to the toilet! And then they will have a play and/or a drink while you wash your hands :lol:

But Mikesch's idea of fun: teasing Binky when he's in the litterbox I interpret as a dominance thing. Bengals and especially the boys push it as far as they can. They constant seek limits. And it takes a very intelligent and selfattained cat to match a Bengal who's looking for trouble. I would suggest you remove the lid on the litterboxes so Mikesch can't ambush poor Binky, and see if that helps Binky.

Good luck with them
:) Louise

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:37 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:15 am
Posts: 1290
Location: USA
Heh, yeah, I noticed that Mikesch prefers to do things while I'm in the same room, be it going to the toilet or eating or sleeping. I've got five litter boxes in three styles now to give him enough choices and places to go to. They both seem to prefer an uncovered one in the basement right now. It's in the back corner of a fairly empty room and offers a clear view of the entrance. There's no place to hide above or behind the box. Mikesch is still keeping up his game of peeing into all of them and running for the litter box whenever he hears Binky in it. I'm trying two uncovered litter boxes next to each other in that spot now. We'll see if that helps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:10 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:15 am
Posts: 1290
Location: USA
Well, it's been 10 days now since Mikesch's surgery and he's still into ambushing Binky at the litter box, though it seems he's stopped spraying. They seem to have settled on a favorite litter box in the basement and only occasionally will use the others. As a matter of fact, when I was gone overnight they exclusively used that one box for pooping to the point that it was a real mess when I came back. The one right next to it was untouched except for one lonely pee clump. Is that normal? I'd have expected them to move on to a clean box once their favorite one got too messy. Instead, they decided to really mess one up whereas I didn't even have to clean half of the other boxes at all. I guess I can probably start reducing the number of litter boxes in the house now...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:29 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:34 pm
Posts: 644
Location: Lincoln, Uk
We have 4 litter trays, and our cats (we have 5) tend to use 2 for pooing in and 1 for weeing in and the other hardly gets used.

Naomi


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