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I have had my cat 6 years and my rabbit 5. My cat has gone into my rabbit's enclosure a few times (we always take her out immediately), but the past few days she has suddenly started using the rabbit's box to pee. Her litter box is clean, I use different litter and cover the rabbit's litter box with straw. Any ideas on why this is happening and how to stop it?

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    You can keep your pets separate if you want but I've seen instances of a cat and a rabbit getting along quite well and I would assume this to be typical. While a cat is a carnivore in general both the rabbit and the cat will understand that the rabbit is way too big to be possible pray for the cat so if the cat wants to visit the rabbit and the rabbit doesn't seem scared you can just let them hang out with each other.
    – quarague
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 20:33
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    I remember for a while my parents had both a cat and a rabbit and when the rabbit was out in the garden it would chase the cat. Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 21:32
  • I’m having the same problem with a kitten and a rabbit. Did anything work for you so far? Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 20:14

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There are some possible causes and most of them have to do with the comfort of the cat. The rabbits litter may be more comfortable to use for the cat.

  • The litter material: some cats have sensitive paws and dislike walking on rough surfaces. The straw that covers the rabbits litter box is soft. Maybe try a finer grained cat litter.
  • The height of the litter box: especially cats with arthritis and other medical conditions concerning the joints may experience pain when climbing into their litter box. As a result they avoid peeing as long as possible (which is a risk for their kidneys) or they start peeing in other places. If your litter box has a high edge, either try a lower box or build a ramp or step to it.
  • The litter box cover: Some boxes come with a cover to reduce the amount of litter that's spread in the vicinity. Some cats dislike walking into such an enclosed space because they cannot see their surroundings anymore. If your litter box has a cover, try removing it for a while.

And lastly there's always the risk that your cat has some UTI (urinary tract infection) or kidney stones. Those generally cause pain while peeing. The cat mentally connects the pain with peeing and the act of peeing with the litter box. When the cat tries to avoid the pain, it cannot avoid peeing in general, but it can avoid the litter box. So peeing in inappropriate places can be a symptom of an UTI.

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    The cat being at least 6 years old itself hints about UT problems.
    – fraxinus
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 20:52
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To add one more possibility: If the cat considers the rabbit part of its family, sharing the litterbox may make perfect sense in feline terms. ("This thing needs my scent too", perhaps; my cat needs to rub herself on washclothes for some reason like that.) If it isn't bothering the rabbit, I'd suggest not worrying about it. If it does bother the rabbit, this is going to be a challenge.

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    Another possibility is that the cat just thinks the rabbit's litterbox is another litterbox. Some cats are very not picky and will use anything that is vaguely litterbox like. I had a cat that once mistook a shallow box with toys in it as a litterbox.
    – Kai
    Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 16:39
  • @kai: And this is part of why childrens' sandboxes should be covered when not in use.
    – keshlam
    Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 23:22

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