Moving the litter box

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

Angel Ashley

Purred: Sun May 7, '06 12:06pm PST 
When we first moved into our house 3 years ago Ashley's litter box was in the basement and she always used it there. Then when we got a puppy two years ago I moved the litter box upstairs and gated the steps so the puppy wouldn't bother Ashley. She was fine with this. I have now moved the litter box back into the basement since the dog and Ashley get along now. It has only been there for one day but she doesn't seem to use it down there on her own. Does it take a cat awhile to get use to a new location? I did show Ashley where I moved the litter box. Should I give it time or move the litter box back upstairs? For the past day I have carried her down stairs and she uses the litter box. But she doesn't go down on her own. Will she just start using it on her own? Ashley has never been a picky cat before. She always just goes with the flow. She has never cared about what kind of litter etc. She does go into the basement at other times. Ashley has never had an accident outside her litter box and I don't want her to start that. It would be more convenient to have her litter in the basement instead of a bedroom upstairs. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Orca The- Killer- Kitten

It's a tux thing
Purred: Sun May 7, '06 2:20pm PST 
Sometimes it takes time for a cat when you move there box to a new location. Especially if you have at it in the same location for a couple of years. The cat is use to going to the bathroom in that spot. Also sometimes if a cat thinks where the box has been moved to is a living space they may be reluctant to use the box there. They may think they are doing something bad if they go in the basement even though there is a box there for them. My mom had a cat and as he got older (about 14 yrs old) her parents would pull out the litter box and keep him inside in the winter because he had arthritis. They would put it in the same spot every year. One year they put the cat box a way a little earlier then they normally did and learned two very important lessons. 1. Make sure that the cat got the memo that the box was not going to be in the place it normally is that time of year and 2. Never put a cat box over a heat/air vent, even if it was closed when the box was there. The vent was open the cat really had to go and that is the only place in the house he knew was acceptable to go so he made a few deposits cat box or no cat box. Took my parents months to get the smell out of the house.

Beatrice- (Miss You!- '94-'12)

The very Beast- of all

Purred: Sun May 7, '06 3:37pm PST 
You could try moving the box more gradually, like to the top of the stairs, then to the bottom of the stairs, then to the location in the basement where you'd like it to be.

Or you might try using two boxes for a little while, put a smaller, new one in the place where the box was and the old one the the spot where you want it to be. That way, he won't get too confused when he can't find his box. Encourage him to go in the basement, though, and then when you're sure he's using it on his own, take away the other box.

Good luck! smile

Angel Ashley

Purred: Sun May 7, '06 7:18pm PST 
Thank you for your responses. I have been worried. I know cats like to feel secure and safe when they have to use the litter box. I don't think Ashley will feel the basement is a living area. I keep her food upstairs and separate from her litter area. I like the idea of gradually moving the litter box into the basement. I am going to try this first and I will let you know how it works. Thank you so much!!


Meow for what- you want!
Purred: Mon May 8, '06 5:35am PST 
I agree with Beatrice. Moving the litter box gradually is a good idea. Even if it takes weeks or months, don't move the box until the kitty is comfortable with each stage. Good luck!