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Litter Box Epiphanies And Learning How To Be A Good Pet Parent

October 6, 2013

The other day I had a litter box epiphany. No kidding.

Ellie BoxWhen we first moved in to our home, I thought it would be best to have one litter box on each floor. Unfortunately that meant putting the first floor litter box in the dining room, as that was the most out-of-the-way spot available. Since January the box sat there, and it was used daily. The only real issue, if it even was one, was that litter would get all over our dining room floor. A small price to pay for CHers, I thought.

Plus, there really wasn’t an alternative. When we first moved in, I thought it would be best — and safest — to have a box on each floor so the cats wouldn’t have to worry about going up or down the steps to go to the bathroom. I was concerned about their ability to climb the stairs, especially after a few heart-stopping Ellie falls. I wanted to make sure that food, water, and a litter box were available on every floor — just in case.

But the other day while I was cleaning, the thought dawned on me: Do we really need a litter box on each floor? I could move the one in the dining room upstairs with the other one, and the cats would be fine.

To be honest, I was really surprised that I even thought of that. I’m all about my cats’ safety, and this thought screamed anything but. That said, I couldn’t help but think about how capable our cats have become, and thought that moving the box upstairs wouldn’t be so much of a testament to their ability, but a testament to me trusting their ability.

During playtime with CG, Ellie soon ran up and also wanted to see what was going on.

My main concern was Ellie. She can go up the stairs pretty well, but still has some difficulty coming down. She doesn’t let that stop her, but I can’t help but worry about her. For some reason, it made me feel better to know that if (God forbid) anything happened and she was somehow stranded on a floor, she could still reach all of her necessities.

So I decided to give it a shot. I moved the litter box upstairs next to their other one in my office, and waited to see what happened. Throughout the first few days, things were totally fine.

Matt and I discussed it the other day, and I think we’re going to put the litter box back downstairs to see how things go.

As of right now, I’m torn. I’d prefer to have the litter boxes out of the way upstairs, but I also want to be fair to our cats.

I don’t want to push our cats past their limits unnecessarily, but I also don’t want to coddle them. I guess this is just one more chapter in the larger book of learning how to be a good cat parent to special needs cats.

Have you gone through something similar with your CH cats? Please share about it in the comments!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Monika permalink
    October 6, 2013 8:31 am

    Hi Amanda, Have you thought of covering the litter box to look like a piece of furniture? I’ve seen some that look like end tables (the litter box goes inside and is fairly easy to remove for cleaning). If I remember correctly your husband is fairly handy and possibly he could build a surround and either paint it or stain it.

  2. Monika permalink
    October 6, 2013 8:36 am

    P.S. We have 4 litter boxes going and trust me even non Chers can get messy. I placed cheap rag rugs under ours which help contain the litter that gets scattered.

  3. Lauren T. permalink
    October 6, 2013 2:09 pm

    I had the EXACT same concern as you when we first moved into our new place, since Mimosa went from a one-bedroom apartment to a townhome with 3 different flights of steps. I was concerned about Mimosa having to use the stairs to get to her box so I had the litter box in the dining room but it was a big mess, sometimes smelly and unsightly when I had guests – really no space for it, especially since she is a big litter-kicker. I ended up moving it upstairs one day when we had guests over and I just decided to leave it up there and see how it went. For me, it was a great decision and I never brought it back down and we now have one in the guest room and one in our bedroom, both on the 2nd floor. I felt bad at first but I think it gives her a sense of accomplishment and she gets her “private” time upstairs (we notice she prefers to use the box in the guest room – not in our room where she sleeps). We baby gate her upstairs while we are gone so she always has access to both. I only kept the one downstairs for when we were home and she was downstairs with us. I know Ellie’s CH might be a little worse than Mimosa, so it may be different for her though. Has she had any problems getting to it though?

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