Kind of long, sorry!
My mother’s two cats have recently come to live with me. One of them, the male, used to be my cat, but my other kitty hated him, so when we moved he went to live with my mom and her female cat. He can be a bit of a bully, but the two of them have lived well together (sharing a litter box) for about seven years.
When my mom recently moved, only the female came to live with me because I still had my other kitty. The new cat acclimated well. Shortly after she came my special kitty died unexpectedly. My mom came to spend a few nights, brought the male cat and then left him here. After she left I discovered that he had decided the bed she had slept on would be his new litter box! So, I put a litter box near it and slowly moved it towards the basement, where I want them to go.
The door to the basement is off the family room, and has a cat-sized hole in it so the cats can get to their food and litter box, but the dogs can’t. I have a self-cleaning litter box (which the male used years ago when I had him), but the female cat won’t use it, so I put a regular box down there too.
I thought the problem was solved until I discovered he was using an out-of-the-way spare bedroom! I closed that off and put a litter box right downstairs from it. Then he used a pile of dirty horse blankets (okay, maybe they shouldn’t have been left in the kitchen ). Just today I discovered that he seems to have started using the area where we store firewood for the wood stove in the kitchen, which has a litter box (unused) right in front of it!!!
This is a healthy cat who has never had litter box problems, who otherwise seems happy and well-adjusted. What can I do? Also, any suggestions on getting the female to use the automatic litter box would be great. I sure miss my easy special kitty…