While it’s every cat owner’s desire for their fur babies to be the best of friends, this is not always the reality. Territorial aggression can occur in multi-cat homes as felines see their living space as their territory and will challenge rivals.
Because of this, it’s not uncommon for kitties to fight over core areas and objects in the house, such as beds, food bowls, and litter boxes.
With territorial behavior, one cat will usually claim the litter box as its own and will become aggressive when its furry companion uses it behind their back. This can be distressing for both kitties, but especially those denied access to their bathroom space. As you would expect, if you don’t nip this unsociable behavior in the bud, you’ll end up dealing with inappropriate elimination caused by the litter box anxiety the victim feels.
- 1 What Causes Territorial Behavior In Cats?
- 2 How To Solve Litter Box Territorial Issues
- 3 Prompt Cleaning After Every Use
- 4 A Hooded Litter Box For Privacy
- 5 Additional Litter Boxes
- 6 litter trays will be sufficient.
- 7 Other Ways To Curb Territorial Aggression Between Your Cats
What Causes Territorial Behavior In Cats?
Intact (non neutered) male kitties are most likely to become territorial and fight, not just with neighborhood felines but also with those they live with. Moreover, poorly socialized cats can become aggressive of their turf when a new kitty joins the household.
Even so, a cat used to other felines could still react with defensive aggression towards a new cat initially. This is because they feel threatened by the new arrival and are not happy about their routine changing.
How To Solve Litter Box Territorial Issues
If your kitties are currently fighting over their litter box, rest assured that it is possible to create harmony between them. As you’ll learn below, your litter box choice can make a huge difference in getting your cats to share their bathroom space happily.
Prompt Cleaning After Every Use
One of the biggest triggers for a territorial cat is smelling another feline in the litter box. Ensuring the litter tray box is clean and waste-free for every visit is an effective way to curb your kitty’s negative behavior.
Studies have shown that a dirty litter box can negatively affect the relationship between previous litter box use and appeal. This is why automatic litter boxes prove to be the best choice for multi-cat households.
The self-cleaning process of the AutoEgg begins just 5 minutes after your cat leaves the box and takes a further 5 to 10 minutes to complete. This means there is a clean bed of litter 10 or
15 minutes after every use. What’s more, the prompt cleaning of the AutoEgg eliminates any smells of cat waste. Even once the poop is in the waste compartment, the tightly concealed design means no odors will seep out. Therefore, when your territorial cat uses the box, they won’t be put off by the scent of another kitty.
A Hooded Litter Box For Privacy
We find a hooded litter box like the AutoEgg gives felines more privacy and allows them to feel safe and at ease while they do their business. With the sides and back of the box fully enclosed, your other fur baby cannot ambush them by jumping in and attacking.
An enclosed litter box design provides another benefit too. The cover stops the initial odor of cat waste from escaping before the automated cleaning begins. Therefore, your feline won’t smell that another cat is in the box, and hopefully, this will reduce the chance of them going there to investigate and attack!
Additional Litter Boxes
Unless your kitties get along swimmingly, you’ll likely need extra litter boxes. The rule of thumb
for multi-cat households is to provide one litter box per cat, plus an additional one.
Therefore, if you have two cats, you should have three boxes. Or, if you own three felines, four
litter trays will be sufficient.
Next, place the litter boxes at different locations around the house rather than next to each other. This will give your kitty more options if another cat is standing guard over a box.
Moreover, if you spread them out, one cat cannot control access over them all. It’s also essential to place litter boxes in spots where they can see as much of the room as possible to anticipate any threats.
Other Ways To Curb Territorial Aggression Between Your Cats
Place Food Bowls Further Apart
Even if your cats are not stealing each other’s food, it can be hard to notice if one of your kitties feels anxious during meal times. Therefore, if there is territorial behavior around the litter box, you should pay attention to the feeding set-up.
If one feline is worried the other will steal their food, they will likely eat too fast and with one eye on their sibling. Eating too fast can result in vomiting, meaning they do not digest their food and are not getting the vital nutrients they need. Therefore, it’s worth moving the food bowls further away from each other, so your kitties can eat in peace and slow down.
Provide More Enrichment
If your territorial kitty is spending their time patrolling the house and guarding the litter box, make a conscious effort to increase their playtime and enrich the environment. Providing more inviting toys and scratch posts will stimulate them and distract them from the other fur child.
Try Calming Diffusers
To help reduce your cat’s anxiety, you can use artificial pheromone diffusers, which come in the form of plug-in sprayers. Synthetic feline pheromones can help anxious or stressed cats feel relaxed around other felines and reduce conflict. The cat-appeasing pheromone, which mother cats produce to make their kittens feel safe, is the most effective in stimulating social acceptance and promoting harmony.
A Final Word Of Advice
By switching to an automatic litter box like the AutoEgg, we hope you will experience more tranquility between your cherished furry companions.
However, if you’re still struggling with territorial aggression after trying the suggestions above, seek veterinary advice. Your vet may prescribe anti-anxiety drugs to help reduce the tension between your fur babies.