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Playing in the litter box!!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
About 6 months ago my 14 month old Willow started playing in her litter box! it drives me nuts!!! she's always kicking the litter out of it. no matter if it's freshly clean or if she's soiled it. Willow is my first cat. and I am new to alot of things she's doing! and will proably be asking alot of questions so I will be very thankful for any advice all you might have for me!

Thank you
post #2 of 6
Is it driving you crazy because she is playing in the litterbox, or is is driving you crazy because she is kicking litter everywhere...or both?

It actually could be a combination of things. She is engaging in a form of Kitten Play. The litter makes for a wonderful active playground for her. She also might have been one of those kittens who didn't get to spend much time with mom and learn about litter pan manners.

You can do several things, first of all determine that is play. What I mean, is when she is in there digging around and scooting litter right left and every which way does she at the end of this play have a bm in the box and perhaps cry as she is performing her act? If so, get her to the vet to be checked for parasites, UTI or other problems.

If she is just so entertained by the litter flying, then offer her an alternate *game* Take an empty cardboard box, flip it either upside down or right side up- your choice. Cut a few kitten size holes in it off the ground level and toss some ping pong balls inside for her to chase around. Or take an old shoe (a boot is better) sprinkle a small amount of catnip into the toe of the shoe, toss a small sparkle ball into the shoe and let her have at it. Another good kitten distracter is an empty tissue box. Cut away the plastic that covers the hole, toss a ball of wadded up tin foil inside and let her play there.

They usually grow out of the litter box roll and until she does, simply put the litter pan in a larger cardboard box, so when she scoops the litter doesn't fly up the sides of the box. Another thing to do is add more litter. Some cats like it really deep and that is why they scratch at it so furiously, there isn't enough in there to cover their needs.

Good luck! She sounds like a lot of fun!

I would also strongly suggest you buy Amy Shojai's book Complete Kitten Care. It is an excellent resource for first-time kitten owners as well as seasoned cat owners.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well, her mom was a farel cat and she was born in a sand box on a play ground at a day care I was working at. I ended up catching her and taking her away from mom and siblings (was trying to get all of them) and litter training was very natural for her!! she knew just what it was for and has never gone any where but there. So, I think you are right about it all being in play! She never crys or anything like that when she's doing it and she never goes after or before doing it. so Yeah it's play.

The hardest thing about it is that she LOVES to do it when it's my bed time! and it's really anouying!! the litter box is kept just a few feet away from where I sleep. I have thought about putting the tray in a bigger box so it's not all over the place. So I guess that is what I will end up doing!

Thanks for the advice!
post #4 of 6
We have four feral rescues that are over a year old and one little rescue that is now... 8 weeks old?

We never had a problem with the older ones (when they were younger) playing in the litterbox. But several days ago MaeMae decided the litterbox was FUN! They're in a place where apparently it's wonderful to hide and come popping out at us or the other cats. Or they're a good launching site for a rapid run into the back of our home...

I didn't want to do anything to discourage her from liking the litterboxes, thus potentially not wanting to use them... so all we do, when we see she's playing and not in there for business, is simply say "No, MaeMae" and pick her up and take her out. Then we distract her with other toys. And when she's in there actually doing business, as soon as she's done we praise her to high heaven. "Good girl!!! Good MaeMae!!!!!!" LOL! We were hoping she'd just grow out of it... and looks like this should be what happens.

She does understand "No".

But what we've done in the meantime is buy inexpensive throw-sized carpets from Walmart and put them under the litterboxes. They extend out from the sides of the boxes a good foot all the way around... this catches the litter she tosses out of there and it's easy to clean up.

But a box set inside of a larger box sounds like it might do a better job!
post #5 of 6
My kittens will play like that in the litter box if I use scoopable but they dont if I use the clay type. I guess cause the scoopable is more like sand and its not as heavy.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the tips!!! I will have to try them all and see which one works best!!
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