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2 cat litter tray behaviour

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by londonkittens, Oct 13, 2013.


  1. londonkittens

    londonkittens PetForums Junior

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    I posted a while ago about my kittens using the tray as a playpen. That's resolved itself now, but I've started noticing a bit of interesting behaviour and wanted to ask if anyone has seen this before.

    Bonkers is an expert burier, honestly you need to mount an archeological dig to find his poops, whereas Boo Boo just gives the most cursory of coverings and trots off. I've noticed that, when Boo Boo uses the tray, Bonkers waits patiently outside then, when he's finished, will go in and spend a few minutes covering Boo Boo's 'work' to his standards. This is even though I am pretty quick with the scoop and will normally have poop or pee out and flushed within seconds of them exiting the tray.

    Is this an old instinct/survival thing? Covering the scent of the pack? They do have 2 other trays, but they completely ignore them and choose to only use this one.
     
  2. Psygon

    Psygon Yoshi Tonks! :-)

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    One of ours, Darcy, does this as well. She does it for her brother and also for our other cat Yoshi. She is also an expert burier... although quite often her acts of burying send half the litter out of the litter tray door...

    All of ours tend to use the same litter tray all the time as well ignoring the others that are dotted about the house. All of them are cleaned out regularly too so can't really figure why one of the trays is more popular than the others, none of them are in heavy traffic areas of the house either so they get their privacy at them all when they need to go!
     
  3. Aeschylus

    Aeschylus PetForums Member

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    I've read that this is a form of dominance behaviour - the cat that doesn't cover is the dominant cat. My two kittens do the same thing: the bigger one is dominant in a variety of ways, and she doesn't cover her poop. She leaves it there, stinking the place out, and the little one comes along and covers it up. I'm not sure that anything can be done about it - but maybe other people have some ideas about that!
     
  4. londonkittens

    londonkittens PetForums Junior

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    Psygon - the litter tray thing is weird. I'd even say their favoured tray in the bathroom is in a busier part of the house than the others which are in the unoccupied spare room. But they'll barge into the bathroom and use that tray regardless of whether we're in there or not. Last night my lovely long hot bath was interrupted by a particularly stinky cat poop. They seem to have absolutely no qualms about their toileting and never have.

    Aeschylus - that's very interesting. I'm not 100% sure that they've worked out dominance yet, but Bonkers will back off if Boo Boo is playing with a toy. That said, Bonkers goes for Boo Boo's food and BB will back off immediately, so who knows? BB was the runt too, so is much smaller than Bonkers. The behaviour doesn't bother me, I just find it quite intriguing. And it is quite funny to see Bonkers patiently queuing to clean up :D
     
  5. Aeschylus

    Aeschylus PetForums Member

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    Yes, that does sound hilarious!

    Last night my two did something I've never seen before: they followed me into the kitchen and then both jumped into the litter tray at the same time and used it together. I thought that was pretty funny too!
     
  6. gentoo1980

    gentoo1980 PetForums Member

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    Are these the kittens that were reared by their mum in the covered litter tray? If it is I'm glad they've finally stopped playing in their trays.

    The mother of my kittens has had runny stools latley so I've been removing her stools before she could try to cover them up. They're normal now but have notised her just leaving them and it's her kittens who will go into the tray and bury them. I do remove the soiled litter about 6 or more times a day.

    Another thing. I bought a high sided litter tray for my bigger cats. They prefer using that to the other smaller trays but notised first four days of using world's best Oko that they'd all bury their pee and stools so would have to go digging but now none of the cats bury the wee. I think it's because I've been removing the soiled litter 6 or more times a day as it doesn't take that long remove when using Oko so they're not botering buring? They still bury their stools.

    I'd much prefer them to bury it as it looks disgusting.

    haha I like that.
     
  7. londonkittens

    londonkittens PetForums Junior

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    Yes, these are the 2 kittens who were raised in the covered tray. So glad they've broken the habit.

    I started them straight on World's Best and we have never had a problem. In their first home they were on clay clumping litter, which worried me because of the risk of stomach problems if they swallowed any, so I switched them the second they arrived. We have never had any accidents, they've been perfect toileters - not withstanding the previous occasional rolling in poo incidents, or stepping in poo occasionally, which still happens. They do bury pee, Bonkers more so. I've only noticed Bonkers burying Boo Boo's poop though, not pee.

    Bonkers amazes me with his poo covering ability. The tray is deep and well filled, which I think they prefer as they do like to dig a deep hole to go in, but honestly, I can be there ages with the scoop, poking about before I find where it's hidden.

    They go side by side occasionally too. It makes me laugh.
     
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