kitten troubles
June 2, 2012 11:05 AM   Subscribe

I gave my mother-in-law my Mainecoon kitten. Since then, she has stopped using the litter box. Help!

I got this kitten when she was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. We kept her for six months and never had a single issue with the litter box. We did have another cat (male, tabby), but he generally did his business outside. When she was little, she was completely entranced with the litter box, playing in it (eww!), etc. I always shoveled it at least once a day. When we moved six months ago, we could only bring one cat, so we gave our Mainecoon to my mother-in-law.

In the past few months, she has stopped going number 2 in the litter box. She uses a corner near the litter box. My mom-in-law said that she has tried everything (switching litter, moving the litter box, etc.), but that the kitten refuses to use the litter box if either of the other two cats (both female tabbies) use it. The kitten also refuses to spend any time outside. I feel so bad about giving my mom-in-law a cat with this issue. Any ideas?
posted by melangell to Pets & Animals (6 answers total)
Get another litter box? One litter box for three cats is kind of a lot of poop in a small space. I've got three cats and two litter boxes, which is mostly enough to keep up with the rate of cat output.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:15 AM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is it covered? Was the old litter box open? If so, she might not like the switch. (She could either prefer the privacy/seurity of the covered or be afraid to go in the covered area.)
posted by maryr at 11:36 AM on June 2, 2012

I have a MC. They are notoriously picky about 2 things: ultra fresh water and large, clean litter box.

Mine was the same was as a kitten until he bonded fully with my other cat. They don't want to feel like they are sharing space. I agree with adding a second box somewhere. Unless she can spring for some self-cleaning box that actually works, another box will be crucial, and don't bother with the tiny, normal size boxes. Get at least xl ones. He's also going to continue to grow quite large over the next 4 years, and a cat that large will need a huge box.
posted by haplesschild at 11:39 AM on June 2, 2012

The rule of thumb is one litterbox per cat plus one. First things first: need more litterboxes. Second, try Feliway.
posted by biscotti at 12:20 PM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Agreeing that there needs to be at least one more good-sized litterbox (ideally more). The litterboxes need to be scooped regularly (probably more than once daily for three cats, unless there are three or four litterboxes). Also, some cats don't like to poop in the same box they pee in, and vice versa.

I've never used it, but I read that Cat Attract actually works well. I don't know if it would work in this specific situation, though.
posted by moira at 3:20 PM on June 2, 2012

Is this one litter box for 3 cats? If so you definitely need more litterboxes.
posted by dgeiser13 at 8:22 PM on June 2, 2012

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