Regular readers know that since we moved to our new home we’ve been working on getting our cat Samantha integrated back into the whole household with the dogs. Luke has had aggression issues with her so we want to be very cautious before letting the two of them interact freely. That is a work in progress and I think we’re pretty ready to move things more forward there.
However, there’s another problem that we haven’t been able to figure out: her kitty litter. At the old house we had a pantry in our basement with a cat door built in, and her kitty litter was in that room. Our new home is a ranch style with an antique cape home on the end, there are just two small rooms in the upstairs. Sam’s “wing” of the house includes my office with a bathroom off it, and those two upstairs rooms. There is a baby gate to the office to keep the dogs out.
When we first moved in we had her kitty litter in the bathroom until we could get the upstairs cleaned out and organized. The bathroom is not that big, so keeping it in there was not ideal. There is decent sized entryway on that old end of the house, at the bottom of the stairs and we moved her kitty litter there to start with.
When we were having some work done on that end of the house, and contractors were going in and out of that door, we moved her kitty litter upstairs, where she had to stay when the workers were here. The truth is Samantha loves that upstairs area and mostly only comes downstairs to the office at meal and snack times anyway, or to visit with me when I’m working in there.
She did the same thing at our old house – she hung out in our master bathroom mostly. The issue we had with her there was that our master was on the top floor and she had to go down two flights of stairs to get to her kitty litter. Only sometimes she didn’t, and she used our master shower as her bathroom (mostly just to pee)!
We had come to the conclusion that either going down all of those stairs was an issue for her, or the fact that the dogs sometimes harassed her when she came out of the pantry after using the kitty litter was the issue. I was actually pretty sure it was the latter, or just sheer laziness.
Back to now: It worked out great for us having her kitty litter upstairs. We had it in the room we are using for an exercise room, and we can tuck it into a cubby/corner up there. The new kitty litter we use does not smell and is not dusty so that is not an issue. The little pellets do track a lot though, and I have to sweep the office daily when it’s downstairs. I wanted to keep the kitty litter upstairs only and at first that worked. Then all of the sudden she started peeing on the floor downstairs, so ultimately we moved one kitty litter back down. She still uses the upstairs one at times too though.
Why do I call her the contrary cat? At the old house she seemed to be too lazy to go downstairs to the kitty litter. At the new house, she hangs out upstairs, and went downstairs to pee on the floor when her kitty litter was up there! This has nothing to do with the dogs because they are only ever in the office when she is upstairs and we have the door closed.
We are getting a brand new front door put in that entryway (the old one is rotting), and Sam is kind of sloppy when it comes to using her kitty litter. Even with this box with the high sides, she still often misses! It’s because she does not squat to pee, she stands straight up! Here is what we have going now:
We would like that area free to go in and out of, and we don’t want her peeing on the new door and trim, but we just don’t know where else to put it where she’ll consistently use it!
We have already ruled out health issues as far as this goes, back when it all started at the old house. She is healthy as a horse, other than hyperthyroid which is controlled by meds. Sam has had joint issues in the past, and she can’t jump like she used to. I wondered if her not squatting could have to do with joint problems, so we’re going to start her on a joint supplement to see if that helps. But I still prefer the kitty litter upstairs. We had even tried feeding her up there in her room, but that didn’t make a difference either. She’d still come down and pee on the floor.
I’m looking for any advice or suggestions any of you cat families out there might have. Sam is not unhappy; she’s always been a loner anyway. When given the choice, she’s often upstairs hiding out. She has toys and all kinds of stuff up there and in the office too. She has her favorite scratcher/bed in the office, and upstairs she likes to sleep under the futon. We’re in the office plenty, and we’re upstairs with her even more now. Hubby got his exercise equipment moved in and I’m storing Luke’s nose work supplies up there so we’re both up there often. When the dogs are outside, I bring her into the kitchen/living area with me and she is usually back down in her rooms after just a few minutes of nosing around.
We need to have her kitty litter away from the dogs. The gates we use have a cat door option in them but our beagle Cricket can fit through that cat door! We can fix that somehow, but we still just don’t know where to put it. If it has to stay in the front entryway, so be it. Keeping Sam happy is more important to me than material things, but if we could come up with another place for it, that would be great. Honestly, I just don’t understand why she doesn’t always use it upstairs when that’s where she spends most of her time!
Once the new front door is in, and one window that needs to be replaced upstairs is in, all which will hopefully be happening soon, I want to be done with gates, except for one needed to keep the dogs out of wherever her kitty litter ends up. I think that might be the last thing we need done in order to finally feel 100% settled into our new home!
Any ideas, insight, or experience with this would be much appreciated; please share in the comments section below.