My cat, Saki, stopped covering her litter box "deposits" after I brought a new cat home.
Twelve years ago I adopted 2 kittens, Purza and Saki, about 6 months apart. Last December I lost my beloved Purza to cancer. After several months, I adopted a 4 to 8 year old cat, Callisto, to keep Saki and I company. (We aren't sure exactly how old Calli is because she was rescued from the streets.)
Ever since I brought Calli home, Saki has stopped covering her poops and puddles in the litter box. (She's been to the vet since then and everything seemed okay.) I introduced them to each other slowly over 3 weeks and they each have their own litter box. Even still, Saki has generally been slow to accept Calli and I realize this is probably a dominance/territorial thing.
It's been 3 months. Does anyone have any advice on how I could encourage her to cover her messes again?
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I understand your frustration over this, especially since it seems to be related to territorial issues. One would like to think that once the territorial issues are resolved, the toilet problem will be solved. However...there's really no predicting either way. Three months can seem like a long time to you, but it took my original cat over a year to get used to the three cats that came after him. He didn't have toilet issues, but stopped sleeping with me (and still doesn't purr as often as he used to). As for covering what she leaves in the toilet...I have had cats who do this very carefully, and some who just do their thing, sniff it, and jump out of the litter box as fast as they can. In my (limited) experience, once a cat stops covering their waste, they don't recover the habit. However, in my case, it was because I was not always good about keeping the toilet clean. Cats don't want to play around in dirty litter. So, make sure that your toilet is pristine. Good luck!
Spike answered on Jun 16th.
Spot's right., as usual. This could be a territorial thing. Saki might be leaving her waste uncovered to let Calli know that this is Saki's box. But, as Spot said, some cats cover and some don't. Sometimes my 3 do and if they're in a hurry, sometime they don't as well. As long as Saki has continued to use her box and is not marking her territory in other places in your house, I wouldn't worry. You can try putting the boxes in separate rooms,but this is not always convenient, I know. In the wild, mother cats teach their babies to cover their waste to prevent marauding male cats from discovering the baby kittens in the "nest" and killing them. Covering isn't really a fastidious behavior in a cat, it's an ingrained behavior taught by their mom. I would suppose that in Saki's case, this might be working the opposite. By leaving her waste uncovered, she may be telling Callie, "This is MY box!"
Izadore (Izzie) answered on 6/17/08. Helpful? / 3
I agree with Spot & Izzie that's it's probably a territorial or dominance issue. Sort of the MINE! thing.
Three months really isn't too long a period of time. It could be that Saki and Calli just aren't going to be bosom buddies. If they're not being aggressive to one another, I'd let nature and their respective personalities take their course.
Oscar J. Cat answered on 6/17/08. Helpful? / 2