Why Does My Cat Not Cover Her Poop?

cat_in_litter_box

Most cats deposit their pee and poop in the litter box, cover it up, and they’re done. So why do some cats refuse to cover their poop?

There are a few different theories. The first step, as with any change in your cat’s behavior, is always to rule out a medical problem. This is especially important if your cat has previously buried her disposals, and all of a sudden stops doing so. If a cat experiences pain or discomfort during defecation, it could explain her desire to get away from the litter box as soon as possible. Painful or uncomfortable defecation could be the result of constipation, a blockage in the colon, or even a urinary tract problem.

If there are no medical issues, the problem may be behavioral.

In the wild, cats cover their stool to hide their trail so predators can’t track them. One theory as to why cats don’t cover is that indoor cats have figured out that this need no longer exists.

Another theory is that not covering their stool is the result of “bad parenting,” or no parenting. Some kittens just never learn to cover their waste.

Some experts believe that not covering waste makes a territorial statement. In a recent Vetstreet article, Dr. Katherine Houpt, a certified applied animal behaviorist at Animal Behavior Consultants of Northern Michigan, explains that cats prefer to eliminate in their own territory, noting that even an indoor cat who’s lived in the same place for a long period of time still may not feel as though the home is truly her territory. “The smell lets other cats know ‘I’m here,.’ ” says Dr. Houpt.

The litter box itself may be an issue. If a cat doesn’t like the location of the box, or the type of litter used, not covering may be her way of getting in and out of the box as quickly as possible.

Amber was the only one of my cats who didn’t cover her litter. As far as litter box problems go, I consider this one a non issue – as long as the stool is deposited inside the box, it’s no big deal for cat guardians to quickly cover it up, or better yet, scoop it and dispose of it. If you have a cat who doesn’t cover and you want to try to change the behavior, you can experiment with adding additional litter boxes – some cats prefer a separate box for their urine and stool deposits – as well as different types of litter.

However, a word of caution: don’t fix something that isn’t broken. Most cats don’t like change, and if not covering their poop is your only litter box problem, you may just want to leave well enough alone, rather than risking creating a whole new set of worse problems.

Do you have a cat who doesn’t cover her poop? How do you handle it?

Related reading:

How to Prevent Litter Box Problems

Photo by Tom Thai, Flickr Creative Commons. Editor’s note: while I think this photo is adorable, I generally do not recommend covered litter boxes.

169 Comments on Why Does My Cat Not Cover Her Poop?

  1. Natali
    March 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm (7 years ago)

    I keep two cats .. both enjoyed with filler tray and both carefully bury their feces

    Reply
  2. Betty
    March 29, 2013 at 3:35 pm (7 years ago)

    I have two boys from the same litter. One covers, the other does not. Not a big deal, I scoop ASAP covered or not. Could be a territorial thing with my boys. The one that does cover is fanatic about it. The one that does not cover is often seen attempting to cover by scratching at the floor or the side of the bathtub. Satisfied that he has at least attempted to cover, he will either saunter away or take off as is the “hounds of hell” were on his tail. Go figure! Scooping or assisting with burying is just one of my “Mom tasks”.

    Reply
  3. khlomaki
    March 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm (7 years ago)

    Our little Bengal (5 yr) also scratches the litter and the walls.. scratches, sniffs, scratches, sniffs… for quite some time and walks away without covering a thing.

    Reply
  4. Dawn
    March 28, 2013 at 11:31 am (7 years ago)

    My babies are sisters, 20 months old. Doodle was the first of the babies to use the litter pan, and the mother would come over and kiss her on the head and show her how to cover it up properly. CD , the sister has never covered hers, Doodle goes after and covers CD. Doodle is a bit ocd when it comes to any kind of hygiene. They are as different as night and day in looks and personality and size. Cd has ibd and is highly allergic to any form or type of fish. Which limits her choice of food. I am not sure if this has anything to do with her non covering up her poop.

    Reply
  5. CatNut
    March 28, 2013 at 9:14 am (7 years ago)

    My sister had a cat that would never cover her deposits. She would scratch at the walls forever in the act of covering her poop, but would never actually do so. So one day my sister got the bright idea of moving the litter box away from the walls in to the center of the bathroom. She watched as her cat defacated and waited to see what would happen. The cat looked around, walked out of the litter pan and over to the wall and scratched at the wall to cover the poop!!!

    Reply
    • Betty
      March 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm (7 years ago)

      I LOVE this! You just can’t manipulate some people (or cats). 🙂

      Reply
  6. Billy
    March 28, 2013 at 8:56 am (7 years ago)

    Our cat did that for a few days and we learned she was trying to tell us she had a medical issue of worms. We called the vet and got her some medicine and she went back to normal the next day.

    Reply
  7. Amy
    March 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm (7 years ago)

    One of my cats likes to leave things as is only once in a while. I figure those are the days she is mad at us for one reason or another.

    Reply
  8. Caro
    March 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm (7 years ago)

    Interesting post. I have 1 quirky unpredictable cat – sometimes covers it, sometimes doesn’t. Her poo smells way more now that she eats canned food (she had surgery to remove bladder stones a few years ago) so we rush to cover it when it wafts through the house (and boy, does it ever). We use a jumbo Booda dome litter box and although my cat is very small (10 lbs) she still seemed to find it cramped. Since her surgery, I noticed that she was peeing on the sides of the dome more than usual and seemed uncomfortable in the covered box, so I removed the cover. A bit more mess (some litter gets pushed out of the box) but she pees downwards (in the litter) more which is good. Like other cats, she also sometimes scratches the sides of the box (including the plastic liner) instead of the litter!! So strange. As for litter, I’ve tried multiple kinds (flushable, organic, clay, etc.). She hasn’t minded the experiments and her litter behaviour didn’t change. One has surpassed them all: Everclean unscented. It clumps way better (so scooping is easy and I don’t have to change the litter as often) and it’s less dusty than others. It’s pretty expensive but I feel it’s worth it since I have to buy it less often since it works so well.

    Reply
  9. Gary
    March 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm (7 years ago)

    My father has two cats, a brother and sister. They were part of a litter of four that were abandoned on my uncle’s farm. Uncle brought them to Dad & Mom and they fostered them until they were old enough to be adopted. Three of the cats covered, but the littlest girl didn’t. From the time they were about 5 weeks old, her brother always covered for her. Every time she came out of the room where the box was, he’d stare at her, sigh, and go to the box…and we’d hear scratching as he covered what she left. They are over five years old now, and she still doesn’t like to cover. And he still takes care of it.

    Reply
  10. Jen Davis
    March 27, 2013 at 3:48 pm (7 years ago)

    My 2 boy cats attempt to cover their waste however don’t scratch at the litter but instead scratch the sides of the tray, the walls, the floor and even the toilet seat (litter box is next to the human toilet). Any clues as to this behaviour??

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 27, 2013 at 5:07 pm (7 years ago)

      I don’t have an answer as to why they do it, but I’ve had cats that do this, too.

      Reply
  11. Kris
    March 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm (7 years ago)

    My female calico/tabby cat will NOT poo inside the litter box at ALL. She never has, except for a very rare once every few months. She goes directly in front or beside of the box. Luckily I live at home alone all day and can catch it as soon as it’s done, before it permeates the place! She has been to the vet many times for this issue, and the issue of rather slimy, sometimes bloody stool. The vet has said he can’t find a problem, and that she just has IBS. I have tried all kinds of ‘all-natural’ food, looked for the best ingredients, etc. She’s also always had a sensitive tummy, and still hasn’t learned to eat slowly. She throws up immediately when she eats too fast.

    Reply
      • Kris
        March 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm (7 years ago)

        I did for a short time, but it’s not affordable. I live on $700 a month. It’s pretty hard just getting her (and her brother) the Blue Buffalo food that is really pretty good. No additives or preservatives.

        Reply
  12. Pam W
    March 27, 2013 at 2:15 pm (7 years ago)

    Tomcat always covers his pee, he’d dig to china if his box was that deep. He doesn’t always cover his poop. I don’t know why but he is well vetted and no health issues so it’s no big deal.

    Reply
  13. jenny
    March 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm (7 years ago)

    My girl has soft poop! the vet assures me this is normal. We adopted her off the street (caught in a box trap). She never ever burries! I think it just stinks too much. My boy cat will clean up her buiness most days after it stops stinking. my other girl cat just jumps in the box to sniff it (which is totally gross cause shes on month 6 in her cone so she gets poo on it!)

    Reply
  14. beverly
    March 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm (7 years ago)

    I have one cat who doesn’t cover his poop. Never did. Not a problem for me, as I’m fastidious and clean up after all my cats, immediately. I can think of worse behavioral problems.

    Reply
  15. Maggie
    March 27, 2013 at 11:57 am (7 years ago)

    My cat Gracie has never covers up her waste. She was brought into the PAWS shelter as a very tiny kitten with her brothers and no mother. I think it must be a learned rather than instinctual habit.

    She also didn’t learn to clean herself- her brothers groomed her too! When adopted her we had to apply fishy hairball prevention paste to her paws. She licked it off, which successfully got her to start grooming herself.

    Reply
  16. DianeKlekotka
    March 27, 2013 at 11:26 am (7 years ago)

    I empty their litter boxes (3) once each day, twice if they have been busy.

    My little Greta is the housekeeper of my bunch. The other two probably think the box flushes. No worries.

    Reply
  17. Rae
    March 27, 2013 at 11:14 am (7 years ago)

    I have one that has NEVER buried, not since the day I brought her home. I have tried different litters, different size and shape boxes, and different locations. She always goes in the box and will sometimes spend 5 minutes scratching at the sides of the box, nearby walls and/or furniture but still doesn’t cover. When she was a baby I tried showing her what to do, when I got my second kitty she started burying it for her! I finally decided that since she doesn’t do her business outside any of the boxes it’s a non-issue and now I ignore it.

    Reply
  18. Ellie
    March 27, 2013 at 11:14 am (7 years ago)

    My Chloe goes in the box but tries to cover it outside the box. She’ll scratch anything near it. I’ve tied putting her back in but she gets afraid so I let here go.

    Reply
  19. Jennifer
    March 27, 2013 at 11:12 am (7 years ago)

    My 5-year-old cat does not cover her poop but does cover her pee. However, she doesn’t just go and get out. She digs around in there for a few minutes and then gets out, completely missing the target of what needs to be covered. My 7-year-old cat has gotten into the habit of walking by the box and covering it herself if I don’t get to it to scoop it fast enough. At least one of them does it! The 5-year-old I’ve had since she was 3 weeks old and bottle fed her. The 7-year-old was her reluctant mama cat and I even saw her showing the 5-year-old how to cover, but I guess it just didn’t hold.

    Reply
  20. Shari
    March 27, 2013 at 11:06 am (7 years ago)

    Yes Roz, you would be amazed at how many countries do not allow declawing, some of them 3rd world countries which doesnt say a whole lot about us. Wonder what their vets know that ours dont know (or care to know). In the state I live in, it is cheaper to declaw your cat than it is to spay/neuter. go figure.

    Reply
  21. JODEE
    March 27, 2013 at 10:41 am (7 years ago)

    I have a Tonkinese who I got way too young, and she clearly didn’t get good training! She is 8 now and still sucks on blankets, basically poops and runs! and hisses and weird wrong times….?She’s a crazy one but we love her!

    Reply
  22. Kathy
    March 27, 2013 at 10:21 am (7 years ago)

    We got a cat from Shelter, He was going to be put down. He is 2+ from day one when he poops he will scratch the side of the litter box or the wall for up to 15 mins but will never cover poop. In the middle of the night it wakes us up! Crazy!!! Ive never had a cat like this one!!

    Reply
  23. Christine
    March 27, 2013 at 10:02 am (7 years ago)

    I have two cats and one does not cover his poop at all! I don’t do anything about it because my other cat will go in and bury it for him after he is done!! Lol

    Reply
  24. Donna Smith/Musselman
    March 27, 2013 at 9:49 am (7 years ago)

    One of mine doesn’t cover but he’s the newest so maybe he’s marking his territory..A couple of mine do that peeing out the side but my Hubby is a welder and he made me metal sides to go in my litter boxes so they can’t do that anymore.

    Reply
  25. Alma B
    March 27, 2013 at 9:48 am (7 years ago)

    my male has always been fascinated with his sister, and so he never lets her finish covering up her business. he chases her out and covers it himself. its a constant behavior modification experiement at my house!! and here I am wanting another kitten LOL

    Reply
  26. Shari
    March 27, 2013 at 9:47 am (7 years ago)

    As someone who does TNR, many cats have passed through here and quite a few I kept. Every cat has covered their poop except for 2, the 2 that were declawed which I kept. I knew I could guarantee them not being put outside defenseless. I have several very large litterboxes and I dont care if they dont bury their poop, I scoop every day, after I scoop I sprinkle on top baking powder. I do have 1 cat that sometimes buries the poop for the declawed one (he also cleans his face!).

    Reply
    • Roz
      March 27, 2013 at 10:37 am (7 years ago)

      Thanks for bringing that up, Shari! “Declawing” messes cats up in so many ways. It is infuriating to me how it is still legal. It is unbelievable how people (idiots) can say they “love” their new kitten, then subject them to a barbaric procedure that will scar them, physically and mentally, for life! Then when the beloved cat develops behavioral problems, it’s off to the pound. I hate people (mostly!) Grrrr.

      Reply
  27. Angel
    March 27, 2013 at 9:43 am (7 years ago)

    My kitty Mia has never covered her “stuff”. I think this was from no parenting, as she was found in between two stacked 40 gallon trash cans in the middle of the night when she was about 3-4 weeks old. She got a few other “no mommy” issues as well but over the last couple of years, she’s gotten better. About a year ago, I rescued another kitten, Reeko, from a shelter and he’s been teaching her better kitty “manners”. He’s also decided that it’s his job to cover her poop! It’s really cute.

    Reply
  28. Holly
    March 27, 2013 at 9:35 am (7 years ago)

    Our 14 year old cat, Shadow has NEVER covered his poo and I swear it’s the stinkiest out of all our six cats. (Yes six). We just laugh because he poos and then seriously runs out of the room. We joke he doesn’t want to smell it either. Some times the other cats will actually go in and cover it for him.

    Reply
  29. Laura
    March 27, 2013 at 9:29 am (7 years ago)

    We have 2 big cats. A 7 year old black Savannah male and a 2 year old male Chartruex/Bengal mix. The savannah buries everythig! he even tries to bury his food sometimes. the 2 year old never buried his poop but does bury his urin (sometimes) But, what he does do is scratch the sides of the litter box and all around it but never seems to bury it. My older one will then go back in and bury it for him! I don’t know if it’s territorial or not since the older one waits for him to finish and then calmly walks in and finishes the job. Their doesn;t seem to be a problem with them together. They get along so well so, I don’t make a big deal about it. I figure since we got the younger one at a shelter when he was just a little baby, he may not have learned that “skill”. It’s actually cute to watch the older one try to take care of him and teach him 🙂

    Reply
  30. Claire
    March 27, 2013 at 9:17 am (7 years ago)

    I have 3 cats – 2 that have just turned 1 and another that is approx 2 years old. They all generally cover their litter but the 2 youngest can be so over zealous with their burying, often digging at the litter for what seems like forever, that often what was previously nicely buried resurfaces – lol! Sometimes I go and intervene with the scoop just to get some peace from the digging. That’s also more likely to happen when I’ve just completely refreshed the litter box and it’s all nice and clean – they seem to take pleasure in simply digging in it and tipping half of it out onto the floor, even when they haven’t used it as a toilet, almost as if it’s their equivalent of a sandpit!

    My older cat will bury if he feels like it, I think. He’s a lot neater around the litter tray too. Since we adopted him, we added a much larger, lidded litter tray (due to where we had to put it in the house) and we’ve found all of them prefer this as the ‘poop’ tray and it’s true that I’ve noticed that different trays tend to be used predominantly for #1’s or #2’s. It is funny watching him when he uses it though as he does sit with his head out of the box (we had to take the flap off to get any of them to use it) with a smile on his face when he goes! Usually when I’ve just scooped……

    I take the approach that in the litter tray is good – just wish sometimes that they wouldn’t insist on coming in from outside to use the trays when there are perfectly good gardens out there – lol! I suppose it just shows how well trained they are!

    Reply
  31. Jennifer
    March 27, 2013 at 9:10 am (7 years ago)

    Neither of my two female cats, who are mother and daughter, cover their waste. Instead they scratch at the top of the box but never touch the litter.

    Reply
  32. Bernie
    March 26, 2013 at 9:56 am (7 years ago)

    I have 4 little ones. I also have 4 litter boxes for them. I find the 2 boxes with covers are used, but no where near the extent of the uncovered boxes. So I am removing the covers from the other boxes. I don’t think the cats like being confined in a the covered boxes.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 26, 2013 at 10:11 am (7 years ago)

      A mini-study in proving that cats prefer uncovered boxes, Bernie!

      Reply
      • Claire
        March 27, 2013 at 9:22 am (7 years ago)

        Mine seem to prefer the big lidded box I have for them for pooping in and I had to have a lidded one given that where I put it is a carpeted area and my two kittens like digging the litter everywhere otherwise. The open trays I have get used equally, but mainly for peeing in I find. But I did make sure the lidded box was really big as I have big cats and I did take the flap off as they wouldn’t use it without – maybe you could try that?

        Reply
  33. Cindy
    March 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm (7 years ago)

    I have 5 cats (3 that are indoor) and only one of them not only won’t cover his poop, he won’t poop in the box! He will pee in the box. He poops, everyday in the same place, right next to the box. Curiously, I know he knows we don’t want him pooping on the floor because if I see that he is scratching the floor I know he is going to do it. I tell him no, he walks around, scratches the floor more, etc…this can last 5 mins or more, until he gets in the box and goes or we both give up and he leaves and comes back when I’m not in there…and poops on the floor! He is only 2, but has been doing this for over a year. I’ve changed litter, and have multiple boxes. We have just accepted it, but it is a problem when we leave on vacation. It seems like a lot to ask your neighbor to pick up poop off the floor everyday!

    I would love some advice on this. I haven’t been able to find anything that works!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm (7 years ago)

      Have you tried putting a second litter box right next the one he pees in, Cindy?

      Reply
      • Cindy
        March 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm (7 years ago)

        The second box is only about 3 feet away, but I’ll try moving it a little closer. By doing so it blocks his normal spot for pooping. I’m afraid to do too much rearranging since at least he is going in the bathroom! I’ll let you know if moving it closer helps. Thanks for the reply!

        Reply
    • Heather
      March 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm (7 years ago)

      My 2 cats have 2 boxes, the female poos in one and pees in the other. The boy usually does the same when the weather is warm, but in the winter will use the upstairs one for both. The downstairs one is in the garage and I guess its too cold for him

      Reply
    • Cathy
      March 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm (7 years ago)

      Cindy,
      I have a cat who does the samething sometimes. He doesn’t like the other cats and I have to keep him in a room by himself. I started noticing that he was pooping everyday outside the box. I didn’t know why. I got a bigger littlerbox, bu that didn’t work. I tried to keep the box clean & poop free thinking he just doesn’t want to step in his other poop. Yet, he still pooped outside. Finally for other reasons, I ended up having to move him to another room. When I did that, suddenly, he started pooping in the litterbox again. My reasoning is, maybe I hadn’t cleaned the litterbox often enough for his liking and he didn’t like stepping in his own poop and decided to poop on the floor(always in the same spot). I think he just got in the habit of doing that (cats are such habitual creatures). After moving him in the other room, it sort of reset his behavior routine (broke the cycle). He’s been good ever since with only two episodes of pooping on the floor because I didn’t clean the box out soon enough. I think he will only tolerate one poop pile at a time in the litterbox! Lol! Go figure!

      Reply
      • Cindy
        March 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm (7 years ago)

        Thanks for the idea Cathy! I’ve thought about adding another box in another room, but I’ve been afraid he’d start pooping on the floor in there too. I think I’ll give it try and hope for the best!

        Reply
        • Cindy
          April 11, 2013 at 12:28 pm (7 years ago)

          Cathy & Ingrid,
          I am THRILLED to report that I moved the litterbox closer to the other litter box and even to another room…but that didn’t work. When at Costco I noticed their litter was cheaper, so I bought it…and what do you know? Maverick must like it, because he STOPPED POOPING ON THE FLOOR and he even COVERS HIS POOP! It has been well over a year that I have been picking his poop off the floor and now he is pooping in the box. I am so ecstatic! Now I don’t have to ask my neighbor to pick up his poop when we go away for a few days.

          I am happy, happy, happy!

          Reply
  34. Viki Worden
    March 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm (7 years ago)

    My one cat Cisco doesn’t cover his. I rescued him from the streets. He will go and I will hear him in there scratching and scratching, every where but in the litter. Sometimes he will even go back because he smells it still. I talked to my daughter, who is a vet tech, and she said it is usually due to not being taught right by their mommy. I tried to teach him by taking his paw and scraping it through the litter. He didn’t like that, lol. I have gotten used to just cleaning it out right after he goes.

    Reply
  35. Donna
    March 18, 2013 at 4:02 pm (7 years ago)

    My 16 yr. old male had never covered his poop and we’ve used the same litter always. We did have another cat who passed away two years ago and they used the same box. Maybe it started out as a message to her that he was here. He’s always wanted to be the boss. In any case, it’s not a problem, the poop in always in the box, and I just scoop it and flush it. At least if it’s not covered I don’t have to go on a treasure hunt to find it.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 18, 2013 at 6:42 pm (7 years ago)

      It does make cleaning the box easier, doesn’t it, Donna!

      Reply
    • Monica Ackerman
      March 24, 2013 at 1:29 am (7 years ago)

      Hi all – I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and we were asked not to flush cat poop or flushable litter. Ever. Seems it can get into the outflow into the ocean and sea lions and seals are diagnosed with toxoplasmosis symptoms as well as other illnesses traced back to cat waste. The sewer plant obviously does not filter as well as I imagined. So, if you live near water, don’t flush. It may be an urban myth but it was printed in the advice column of the San Francisco Chronicle so I tend to believe it.
      Monica

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        March 24, 2013 at 6:05 am (7 years ago)

        I would imagine that it’s possible that anything that is flushed can get into the environment. I am, however, skeptical that the illnesses diagnosed in sea lions and seals can all be traced back to cat waste.

        Reply
        • Monica Ackermann
          March 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm (7 years ago)

          I imagine sea critters get sick from all kinds of things, not just cat waste, but we can’t be too careful what we flush down the toilet. I used to dispose of expired medications that way and that is now a big no-no. We live and learn, right?
          BTW: my girl cat never covers her poop and my boy does all the time. It’s been like that for years and it’s all good. I have three domed litterboxes and my big cat does his business while sticking his front end outside because all of him can’t fit. After he finishes, he sticks his front end into the box and dutifully covers everything up. Cracks me up. Whenever I leave the dome off for cleaning or just airing out, they will not go near it. Guess they got used to the privacy.

          Reply
        • Elines Acevedo
          December 31, 2013 at 2:09 pm (6 years ago)

          I know right. It seems people are always trying to blame cats for everything now days. Whats with all the cat hate?! Why are we sending our waste to the ocean anyway, its a disgusting practice and im sure humans send down worse things than toxaplasmosis. And the declining bird population thing. Yeah, im sure cats are to blame for the loss of habitat, disturbance in mating paterns and death of birds from other causes such as contamination and hunting. Just dont blame the humans!

          Reply
      • silvia
        March 27, 2013 at 9:43 am (7 years ago)

        Yes, here in Australia, for a long time, we have been urged not to flush cat poo. The sewerage system is set up for different bugs- if a cat goes on the ground outside, its a different matter. Thanks for mentioning it! By the way, my cat NEVER covers anything and he runs a 2km radius in the ‘hood! 😉

        Reply
  36. Claire
    March 18, 2013 at 3:43 pm (7 years ago)

    I have 1 cat (3 year old), 1 hooded litter box and a good quality natural clumping litter. I clean the tray once to twice a day. My cat will dig and dig and dig but never cover her poop, she makes such a racket, she will dig up the side walls of the tray, turn around dig the back side of the tray, dig on the door then get half way out of the tray and dig the floor or mat haha. Its funny how she will dig on every part of the tray and floor for ages but never cover the poop!!

    Reply
  37. t j long
    March 18, 2013 at 2:36 pm (7 years ago)

    I have 4 females and the newest girl (long hair torte) paws and paws for about 3 minutes at the pail we dump the waste into and doesn’t bury her poop. once in awhile our long hair siamese will jump and run without burying (sometimes she has a clinger and that may be why). The calico and torte siamese will usually bury, but sometimes run also (the calico used to ambush the others when they’d come out of the litter box)

    Reply
  38. Sandy
    March 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm (7 years ago)

    My cat does not cover anything ever, but since she was 11 when I got her, I don’t know if it’s a new or old habit. I’ve found she needs 2 boxes, one for pee and one for poop. But the biggest thing is her not using the box all the time, especially since she has diarrhea off an on. It’s frustrating as well as smelly. Working with my vet and an animal communicator, but not much change. She may not like the litter (world’s best) but I don’t want to use a clay one (the dust issue) due to where I have to have the boxes. She’s hairless and needs the boxes in the warm part of the house.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 18, 2013 at 3:24 pm (7 years ago)

      That’s a challenging situation, Sandy. Have you tried one of the newer non-clay litters? Also, Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat is a clay litter with virtually no dust and may be worth a try for you.

      Reply
      • Sandy
        March 18, 2013 at 3:58 pm (7 years ago)

        Thanks, Ingrid. I hadn’t heard of Dr. Elsey’s, I’ll take a look. I guess I should do some research on what’s out there these days. The animal communicator thinks it’s an emotional issue, but I have the feeling she doesn’t care for the litter, so I’ll look into new options.

        Reply
        • Denise
          March 27, 2013 at 9:30 am (7 years ago)

          I love Dr.Elsey’s! My now passed elderly cat would poop outside the box. I used the Cat Attract litter. It worked for a while…she only had 3 legs and was arthritic so eventually it didn’t matter. But others have had continued success and eventually have been able to wean back to normal litter.

          Reply
    • Michelle S
      March 23, 2013 at 12:33 am (7 years ago)

      I’ve found World’s Best to be extremely dusty; even causing respiratory issues in one of my cats. I like Dr. Elsey’s quite a bit, and also plan on trying the Blue Buffalo litter soon to further reduce dust.

      As for the diarrhea, a product that I absolutely love and used religiously when I fostered is Diarsanyl. They now have Diarsanyl Plus that includes prebiotics. Although I first purchased it from a Vet, it does not require a prescription and can be found online.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        March 23, 2013 at 6:09 am (7 years ago)

        I’d love to hear how you like the new Blue Buffalo litter, Michelle. I’m not familiar with Diarsanyl, I’ll check it out.

        Reply
        • Rae
          March 27, 2013 at 11:23 am (7 years ago)

          I ve been using Blue Buffalo litter for almost a year. There’s virtually no dust or odor, I love it! It cost more than my previous brand but a bag lasts three times as long so in the long run I think Im saving money. I recently had an out-of-town visitor tell me she was going to recommend it to a friend of hers because “your house doesn’t smell like cats and everyone I know with cats says their house doesn’t smell but yours really doesn’t!”

          Reply
      • Sandy
        March 26, 2013 at 12:09 am (7 years ago)

        Thank-you for the info, Michelle!

        Reply
    • Carla
      October 16, 2013 at 11:13 pm (6 years ago)

      Try changing the food to something like PureVita…..it is grain free . Also, give your kitty Evo venison. Mix a small portion with water. Venison is great for the tummy.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        October 17, 2013 at 6:43 am (6 years ago)

        Grain-free food may help with the diarrhea. I’m not familiar with the PureVita brand, so I can’t comment on that. Venison is often used in food elimination trials since it’s a protein that most cats haven’t been exposed to, and that may be why it can be helpful in these situations, if the underlying cause is a food allergy or intolerance.

        Reply
  39. Bernadette
    March 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm (7 years ago)

    Right now it’s not an issue–Mimi uses all the litter in the box to cover what she does and the siblings often cover each others’ while they are still going, but in the past it was usually the ones with a medical issue who did not cover, aside from the one who was just kind of uncouth.

    Reply
  40. Heather
    March 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm (7 years ago)

    My big boy Shadow dutifully digs and covers in the box – makes a heck of a noise (we use pine pellets). Often when I go in to scoop it up it is right on the top!

    I have heard that sometimes cats don’t cover it to show it is their territory.

    I think they just want to show off what they have done 🙂

    Reply
  41. Caren Gittleman
    March 18, 2013 at 11:28 am (7 years ago)

    Thankfully Cody does cover his poop. That being said, he and I “share” a bathroom…I have walked in the bathroom and unintentionally frightened him which has caused him to come flying out of his box and leaving his poop for me to see!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm (7 years ago)

      Aww, poor Cody! 🙂 Thank goodness those scares have not caused a litter box aversion for him.

      Reply
  42. James W.
    March 18, 2013 at 11:02 am (7 years ago)

    When my cat didn’t cover her poo, I think it was because her litter box wasn’t big enough for her to turn around and dig as she prefers. I also think the smell was bad in the hooded box so she wanted to escape as soon as possible. I got a jumbo-sized open-top litter box and the problem went away.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm (7 years ago)

      Hooded boxes are a problem for most cats, James. They can work if the cat’s guardian is meticulous about keeping them scooped. I always compare using one to a human using a Port-a-Pottie at a crowded fair…

      Reply
      • Denise
        March 27, 2013 at 9:24 am (7 years ago)

        Ingrid, that is a wonderful description! As a vet tech, I am dealing with litter box “issues” on a regular basis. So many people prefer covered boxes for their own convenience. Maybe describing them as a Port a Potty will help get the point across!

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          March 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm (7 years ago)

          I have to think it’s pretty accurate, Denise! Additionally, as someone who’s mildly claustrophobic, I also can’t imagine wanting to be in such a closed space!

          Reply
  43. Marilyn
    March 18, 2013 at 10:56 am (7 years ago)

    My female has always covered her poop. The male, never. It doesn’t bother me at all, partly because since I’ve been feeding them freeze-dried raw meals his poop barely smells. It’s also easier to pick up this way. It’s all good. 🙂

    Reply
    • Connie
      October 14, 2013 at 9:20 am (6 years ago)

      What are frreze dried raw meals? Thanks. My cat’s poop smells so bad and I usedry cat food.
      Connie

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        October 14, 2013 at 9:43 am (6 years ago)

        Freeze dried foods are dehydrated raw foods. Some good brands to look for are Honest Kitchen and Stella and Chewy’s.

        Reply
      • Elines Acevedo
        December 31, 2013 at 1:53 pm (6 years ago)

        Cats that are only fed kibble, especially lower quality kibble, have very stinky poop because they dont digest the ingredients in the food well which produces more waste material.

        Reply
  44. Laura K
    March 18, 2013 at 10:53 am (7 years ago)

    Out of 7 cats in our house–I think maybe 3 cover! Of the ones that dont–one is elderly, one is obese (I’m lucky if the poop makes it in the box!), one is a princess–she’ll spend 10 minutes wiping her paws on the edge of the box INSTEAD of covering. Lucky enough my Bengal is a fastidious coverer and comes behind them to cover it up. He even announces that he’s covering their business. When we have foster kittens we teach them how to cover and they usually get it!

    Reply
  45. cindy
    March 18, 2013 at 10:43 am (7 years ago)

    I have a kitty with “cookie monster” eyes who can’t see clearly who doesn’t bury ….luckily my other cat was a janitor in a past life and monitors the cat box for unburied treasure and quickly covers it up for us! Gotta love those janitor kitties!!!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm (7 years ago)

      Janitor kitties – I love it, Cindy!

      Reply
    • Linda
      March 27, 2013 at 10:15 am (7 years ago)

      We have one of those, too. 🙂

      Reply
  46. Barb
    March 18, 2013 at 9:31 am (7 years ago)

    I have brother & sister kitties. The brother covers but the sister poops then scatches & scratches on the inside of the box for about 5 minutes, never touches the litter, then gets out. She will cover her pee. Her brother used to cover it but he gave up! I also had to buy a litter box with higher sides because she used to put her bum on the side & pee outside the box.

    Reply
    • De De
      March 27, 2013 at 9:23 am (7 years ago)

      I thought I was the only one with cats that did that. I too have resorted to very high-sided litter boxes, with the low (“entry” side) facing the wall.

      Reply
    • Kimberly
      March 27, 2013 at 9:57 am (7 years ago)

      I have a male cat that does the same thing with his poop – since the day we brought him home from the shelter, he has done that. He covers his pee, but scratches everywhere EXCEPT at the litter when he poops! So strange. My female cat pees around the edges of the box, so I have two covered boxes – one with a clear top and one that’s not clear. Both cats prefer the clear top box. I like that the pee doesn’t go over the sides in either box! 😉

      Reply
  47. Candace
    March 18, 2013 at 8:07 am (7 years ago)

    The same one who doesn’t cover also pees standing up. Both she and her sister were from a feral mom, and were taken from her at 6 weeks for their own safety: three littermates had vanished, presumed killed. Anna is overall not quite as ‘bright’ as her sister Bella, who is a polite, delicate lady, and always does the proper thing!

    Reply
  48. Kathie
    March 18, 2013 at 7:50 am (7 years ago)

    I’ve found it usually only happens when the box has gotten “full” before I have gotten to clean it out. (It’s not really full, but I think to them, it is). I don’t even know which one of the three does it. I don’t find it to be an issue really. As long as it’s in the box and not due to any medical issue, I don’t sweat it.

    Reply
  49. Sue
    March 18, 2013 at 7:36 am (7 years ago)

    My older cat does not cover. I do have one covered litter box, and this is where it usually happens. I have caught another of my cats covering it up!

    Reply
    • Jennifer S.
      March 18, 2013 at 8:16 am (7 years ago)

      My older cat does the same thing and my little one used to cover it for him, now she just gives up! lol

      Reply
      • Sarah
        March 18, 2013 at 8:02 pm (7 years ago)

        My older cat doesn’t cover either. She never has, and I think it’s because she was separated from her mom too young and didn’t really learn. But my younger comes along and covers it up for her, so it all works out ok! 🙂

        Reply
    • Clau
      March 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm (7 years ago)

      My older cat did it for a while. She is very controlling. She does it when she wants new litter or when she doesn’t want to share her box with my other female cat who is really clean, even though I have two boxes.

      Reply
  50. Raine
    March 18, 2013 at 1:24 am (7 years ago)

    I find if that happens with any of my cats it’s either because I’ve changed the litter, bought a new box-or the biggest reason I’ve had is when they hear a can opening (I happen to be feeding them when I don’t know one of them is pooping), or they hear something that just can’t wait-like a new toy-or even more exciting-something crashing lol. Thankfully I haven’t had any health related issues. My handicapped female has gone in the tub and on the floor by the toilet, but she can sometimes get confused with her seizure disorder. Helpful post because I would’t have thought to think of medical reasons as a possibility should the issue become frequent-thank you!

    Reply

Leave a comment

First time visitors: please read our Comment Guidelines.