Kitty problem. Help.

We have three cats, two females, one male. The females are 8 and 9 years old the male is 3 years old. Max is a big guy, just over 15 lbs. 'Lil is the 8 year old. She’s tiny, weighing about 6 lbs. The vet says she’s healthy, just tiny. She is and always had been a 'fraidy cat.
Max bullies her, but until recently, she’s always stood her ground.
Lately, Max won’t let her downstairs where the litter boxes are.

Hubby just doesn’t want a box upstairs. He wants me to get rid of 'Lil, but it makes me cry just thinking about it she’s been with us her whole life.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to stop Max’s bullying?

Has Max been neutered? It lowers aggression.

Get rid of one? I vote Max.

Not much help. Cats are strange critters. One of ours had to live on the china cabinet for almost a year because of territorial issues. When we moved we brought one cat with the first load, the other with the second load. First load cat owned the house.

Yeah, that does happen from time to time. That’s why a lot of folks recommend the # of cats + 1 for litterboxes in a house ( so four, in the case of your home ). I have two cats and two boxes and frankly I could probably get away with one, but it does lower the poo burden for the rare occasions I forget or get lazy about scooping every day.

Have you tried a product like feliway? Doesn’t work for everyone and every problem, but some people swear by it.

Max was neutered right after we got him. He doesn’t spray. He’s been “bossy” since he arrived in the house weighing 8 ounces.
This is a new thing. 'Lil had been a little friendlier with my husband. That may be Max’s burr.

How about a covered litterbox upstairs with special scent-absorbing litter?

That can be almost like not having a box around as far as bothering the humans, and nobody has to die.

Get more boxes, even if they are all downstairs. We have three cats and four boxes (on two floors) and don’t have your problem.

Get rid of one? I vote the hubby. Seriously.

I agree. Cats her age are very hard to place, and if given to a shelter, usually get put down. Tell him I said his heart is three sizes too small.

Those litter boxes with the swinging doors and charcoal filters can be pretty near odor-proof. That’s all I got. :frowning:

Yes, an extra box will sometime help. Also try Feliway.

A man with an attitude like that would make me either kick him out or I’d leave with the cats.

I agree. If you don’t want to kick him out, just put a litter box upstairs . . . and he’ll leave of his own accord. Then you can get an additional kitty. Win-win situation.

I agree with the conscensus about getting an extra box anyway and trying some Feliway. I also agree with the sentiments about the husband, the cat he wants to get rid of is friendlier to him? What a heartless b… oops sorry, wrong forum.

I love my kitties… but, I love my husband too. He loves the kitties too. He just hates the litter boxes.

I think, I’m first going to try to re-aquaint 'Lil with the downstairs boxes.

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll try them as I can.

when I introduced a new cat I used a water spray bottle and the magic shoe of justice. There is something about water and a shoe falling nearby that cats find annoying.

Yeah, well, Max likes being sprayed :rolleyes: Loud noises bother him sometimes, not always.
Max is clumsy and a little stupid.

Can she have her own room that Max isn’t allowed into? We have a shy little girl a little older than yours, and a young playful guy who likes to do surprise-pounces from behind things. She is calming down about him now, but she took to camping out in our upstairs bathroom, where we also keep the washer and dryer. I put a cube bed on top of the dryer for her, so she can have an enclosed lair that is also up high. She’s got water and food and litter just in the next room. Do you think your little girl would be able to have a similar sort of quiet safe retreat somewhere in your house?

And, I wonder what has changed - has she been to the vet lately? I wonder if it might be a good idea to rule out something making her feel a little less feisty. Cats can be so subtle about health issues.

Well, he’s definitely male, then. Ha! :wink:

Seriously, though, I thought male cats are usually more affectionate. Our little Cade, the only male cat in our house, is droolingly affectionate of us.

My gf used a feliway plug in diffuser with excellent results for a few years. When that no longer kept the peace, her vet dispensed Amitriptylline for the bully cat and that has worked well.

You can try putting a bit of white vinegar into the spray bottle mix, maybe a tsp. per cup of water or so. It won’t hurt the cat but they really don’t like the smell.

She isn’t more timid, he’s become more agressive. They’ve lived together in guarded harmony for 3 years, now he chases her. She used to just run away, but now she turns on him and hisses.
The problem is, he seems to guard the basement door. She manages to get down stairs when he’s sleeping.

This is not meant to insult or injure any poster, any insults in the story are directed at the subjects, not at anyone on SDMB. Just to be clear I’m not ripping on the OP, as this story is nothing that’s happened in her house and hopefully won’t after reading this!

I’m just going to offer one story regarding litter boxes and the refusal by owners to have them anywhere but the basement.

Two sister cats were adopted to a wonderful couple about 18 years ago. 3 years ago, the two sister cats were returned to the shelter by the asshole bastard shit stain couple, because the cats no longer went down to the basement to do their business. Both cats started pissing and shitting all over the first floor. The woman wouldn’t have it. She refused to put litter boxes on the main floor of the house. (OMG, People might see them!). The husband and son both pleaded to put the cats down rather than take them back to the shelter. The woman called the shelter and would not follow advice to place litter boxes on the first floor. She would not abide that the shelter agreed that they should put the poor cats down rather than return FIFTEEN YEAR OLD CATS to a shelter. It’s a nice shelter, they have great medical care and all, but it’s not a home, and it’s no place for such cats to go and do anything but die.

Money solves all problems, right? The shelter couldn’t turn down an offer of $5,000 to take the cats back. Seriously. The shelter would have taken the cats back anyway, because that’s what they do for any adopted cats, they will always take them back. But when $5,000 was offered, well, right away ma’am.

So the cats came back (as they could have no matter what, anyway). Their vet exams were done, and it turns out one had hyperthyroidism along with severe arthritis in her hips. The other had severe spondylosis in 5 vertebrae.

Of course they wouldn’t go down to the basement to go to the bathroom! They both had such severe arthritis they could barely walk, much less go up and down a whole flight of stairs!

They were given space in a small office, where they had heating pads to curl their arthritic joints up on, some good drugs for the arthritis stiffness and pain, and where the litter pans were just steps away. They were quiet. They were depressed. They were stressed out and contracted illnesses related to the extreme stress cats their age go through when returned to shelters after a decade and a half in a home. Through all that, they never missed the litter pans again. They quickly became favorites of the clinic staff, since they had to be medicated every day, and the adoptions counselors because it was their office where the girls lived. Much to the delight of the shelter, the girls were each re-homed after about a year. None of us can still believe it. That NEVER happens, and don’t take it as verification that what those people did was OK. But at least the girls got back into homes, albeit separately.

My only hope is that the horrible couple become horribly arthritic and have to negotiate the equivalent of climbing a Mayan pyramid just to pee. I’ll laugh my ass off as they shit and piss themselves on their own carpet.