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Litter box messies, paw dipping and burying food

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I just got a new male cat - he's adorable and he's such a great kitty, but he has a few behaviors that I'm not sure about... and I don't know the best way to go about and correct these behaviors. FYI: I got him about a week ago, he's about 6-7 months old, and he didn't come from the best home... he and his brother lived alone in an empty apartment.

Behavior #1: He goes #2 in his litter box and then proceeds to furiously bury it. In doing so, he gets poop on his paws sometimes. I keep the litter box clean, so I don't understand this overburying... and why he isn't too careful about not getting poop on his paws. He doesn't try to clean the poop off right away either. He doesn't like when I try to clean his paws for him either. How do I get him to not step in his poop?

Behavior #2: When he does clean his paws, he dips them in his water bowl and then licks them. Ewww! My previous cat never did this - she would just lick her paws. I don't want him to get his drinking water dirty, how do I discourage this?

Behavior #3: He tries to bury his food that he hasn't finished eating. He'll scratch outside of his bowl and sometime this results in him flipping his entire food bowl over... spilling food everywhere. Why does he do this?

Any suggestions? Thank you!!
post #2 of 5
Problem #1 - how big and deep is the litter pan. It sounds like its either too small or too shallow.

Problem #2 - have 2 water bowls? Some cats just like playing in water. Maybe you can try the water dish up a little higher; like the raised ones for dogs.

Problem #3 - try feeding him on a plate or feeding him a little less food at a time.
post #3 of 5
I've got the same suggestion for problem #1. I'd go for a large storage container - cut down the front so it's easy to get in and out - but there's lots of room to move around in it so he doesn't have to step in the poop when burying it - and if he likes to dig furiously, the high sides will prevent him flipping litter everywhere. Like this: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...6&postcount=36

...and if this works, then #2 is solved. Lots of cats like to play in water - so maybe get a fountain (we use the Drinkwell - it pours instead of pouring down a ramp like the Petmate) and put out a couple of bowls for him - maybe he'll pick one for drinking out of and the rest are for play. ????

As to the last one, there's a couple things you can do. You can either put down something like some paper towls under the bowl - then when he buries, he might swipe that up over the bowl and that'll be good enough. OR if he tips over the bowl, it'll spill onto that and you can just toss it. OR find a bowl with a heavy base and no lip. Or if you're using paper bowls, get something like they sell in lots of pet stores for dogs - they're metal bowls that hang on a cast iron or wood base - and just set the paper bowl inside of that. Then there's no way for him to tip it over.

We free feed our kitties and they don't have a problem with those bowls. But we feed them one meal of wet food every evening - and two of them always "bury" their bowls over. It's been five years. I just clean it up when they're done.

post #4 of 5
I have a paw dipper too.... He must stick his paws in the water every time before he drinks. The dish doesn't matter, he'll attempt it with my water too.

All I can suggest is extra bowls, separate room from the litter box - so he'll hopefully feel the poo on his paws and clean it off before he gets to the water, and just keep the water changed.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions! Very helpful!
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