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Litter box troubles? Here's what to do

One of these cats doesn’t like to share a litter box, which makes for a mess.

One of these cats doesn’t like to share a litter box, which makes for a mess.

Dear Fisher,

My name is Stasch. That's me in the picture with my roommate Emmy. Emmy gets mad at me because I cause problems when I don't use the litter box. Sometimes I just get busy, I think, and I don't want to take time out to go to you know where. This has always been my way, but now I find all my housemates are getting disgusted. Can you help?


When bad manners are interfering with the happiness of one's household, something needs to change.

Often, when two cats share a litter box, one party objects. It is not vocal, but it's pretty obvious when housemates notice wet spots and/or little piles on the floor.

You could coax your people into adding another litter box. It may be that your problem is the result of having to share this very personal duty. If that is the case, the problem is solved.

You must learn to comply with the rules set by those in charge. There is only one rule: Use the litter box!

You and your people have several options. It can simply be a process of elimination (no pun intended):

• First, a physical. Make sure you don't have a urinary tract problem.

• If you are put off by an unclean litter box, your refusal to use it will get noticed and your housemates should schedule regular cleanings.

• Are you under stress? Are there kids at home or unfamiliar guests visiting? Work with your people on stress relief.

• If your potty of choice is a potted plant, it should be removed.

• If carpet is your preference, confinement to a nonplush area with food, water and a clean litter box is a good training technique.

• Bad habits are hard to break, but praise for doing a good deed instead of scolding and punishment will go a long way to help you get over your unsavory behavior.

• Visit the Web site Perfect Paws ( to find practical training information for cats.

Your life will become much easier as soon as you learn to comply with the house rules. Count on it!

— Fisher lives in Tampa Bay with her humans and loves to give advice. Send questions and a photo to or visit

Litter box troubles? Here's what to do 04/03/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 7, 2008 12:23pm]
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