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Cats won't bury their crap!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi all. I adopted two cats, Titus and Arsinoe, that just recently turned a year old. These cats may be brother and sister....I can't be certain. They were found abandoned in a box and then they stayed in a foster home for a while before I adopted them. They are amazing pets, I love them both. They are so cute, friendly, playful and very, very funny. They're both great characters.

I think they might have been separated from their mother a little early because some of their behaviors are a little unusual. For example, neither one of them can "meow" properly. One of them usually makes very aspirated noises that are very incomplete "meows"; he sometimes sounds like a monkey. The female seriously sounds like a pigeon sometimes. She just makes various chirping noises. They have a much smaller repertoire of sounds compared to other cats.

One problem is, neither of them will bury their crap. They'll go in the litter box just fine, but they don't seem to know how to bury it. They seem to be trying, but they must be confused. They scratch against the wall or against the sides of the litter box as though that will somehow bury it. Sometimes, I've observed that they smell the stench of their crap and then they try to bury it....again by scratching against the wall or against the sides of the litter box.

Is there any way to teach them? For the time being, we're fostering two more cats. These cats are much better at meowing and they can both bury their crap just fine. One of my cats has started to meow better recently. Is it possible that my cats can learn from these new cats how to bury their crap?

Thanks.
post #2 of 14
They are alpha kitties and leaving the waste unburied is just their way. It also makes the litter pan smell bad so they will jump out and scratch the floor and the wall to get away from the scent. Be sure that the litter pan is kept scrupulously clean and don't use scented litter, just plain clay litter.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Forgive my ignorance, but what is an alpha kitty? Is it a dominant cat or something?
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Titus View Post
Forgive my ignorance, but what is an alpha kitty?
The boss!

My Rosie used to cover hers but when i got Sophie she stopped, but then Sophie started covering it for her
post #5 of 14
With 2 cats you more then likely should have 2 litter boxes, this helps prevent the dominant battle and looking outside the litter box. Especially 6 months to 2 years old, this is the competitive, instinctual development time. They are teenagers, sometimes rebellious, and need their own space as well as guidance. Some cats simply love to create a thunderstorm in the litter box as a ritual often not even covering the mess! Maia is a thunder queen in the litter box! Sounds as if she is destroying the box, and sometimes covers nothing in the process! To put it simply, some cover, some don't. For what reasons may never be known, but who cares really, as long as it is in the litter box!
post #6 of 14
for both of our rescued cats, after they'd used the potty WE just 'pawed' the litter and showed them how to cover their 'business'---thus showing them what to do...and ever since, they've both become experts at it! It was amazing too...because we only had to show them once. They watched (probably thinking: "these humans are WEIRED!")---but ever since the demonstration, both cats have done exactly what they watched us do.

Fr. Gregg
post #7 of 14
My kitten is the same way. She will not cover her poo and she scratches the walls instead of the litter. That is just her personality. there is no way to change it. it is not a result of them being taken away from their mother too early, thats just the way they are. as far as the meowing, not all cats have a really distinguished meow. that is just how thier voice is and nothing that you can change.

good luck with your new furr babies!
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
The boss!

My Rosie used to cover hers but when i got Sophie she stopped, but then Sophie started covering it for her
I WISH someone would help my Lord Chesterfield out with THAT. He does real stunners -- I thought it was just that he was in a hurry to get away from the STENCH!
post #9 of 14
Perhaps an automatic box might do the trick. I don't usually recommend them because they are expensive and really take just as long to empty as a normal box; but in this case, it might serve to cover the poo. Try the kind that has a rotating drum, rather than the kind with the rake (which will of course catch on unburied waste).
post #10 of 14
You might try a different litter. Maybe they are scratching the wall because they don't like the feel of the litter.

What kind of litter are you using?
post #11 of 14
IMHO as long as you're scooping the poop out as soon as possible, there shouldn't be a problem. My babies don't cover their poo sometimes....it just offers me more incentive to get in there and scoop it out making their environment cleaner, and MINE TOO!!!!


post #12 of 14
Its their personality - you can't really teach them to bury - they either do or don't. I've had kittens in a litter that either did it or not - so you just have to accept them as is.

Good thing is (IMO) that you know when they've gone and can clean out the box quickly


Actually there is no indication of burying/not burying in an alpha cat. Charlie's alpha cat and he burys to China
post #13 of 14
My cat Poppy has never buried her poop, she does the business and then jumps out and scratches away at the floor. My M-I-L asked me if I've always removed the poop straight away. Well yes I have as long as I've had her. I can't bear the stench and have always removed it. She seems to think that because I've always acted in haste to remove it, Poppy doesn't feel the need to bury it as it's done for her. Could this be the case? It makes life a lot easier I have to say haha
Tilly on the other hand buries hers so well, most of the cat litter ends up on the floor, where she's frantically scratched away at the litter trying to bury it. I've told her she'll end up in Australia digging that deep all the time
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
You might try a different litter. Maybe they are scratching the wall because they don't like the feel of the litter.

What kind of litter are you using?
Unfortunately, I've tried 3 different brands of litter and each one works the same. Lately I've been using this crystalline litter. They still don't bury, but it seems to do a better job of masking the stench compared to the other types.
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