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How to get a cat to cover their poop?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

Marcel never covers his poop, and not only is it stinky, but with his furry paws it really causes problems.  He poops, doesn't cover, steps in it, and then the poop gets stuck to the furry paws and gets tracked everywhere!  Gross!!

 

Is there any way to teach him to cover his poop?  Any insight on why he might be doing this?  Do I have an options or am I just stuck with this!?

post #2 of 38

Some cats just can't be bothered. I have one of those, and then I have another cat who's so fastidious that he uses every single piece of litter in a 10 mile radius to cover his poop. He also goes around and covers poop from the other cats if their job isn't to his satisfaction. It's pretty hilarious. 

 

I don't think you'll have any luck convincing your guy that covering poop is the feline way, especially if he's an only cat (for some reason, only cats have this tendency more often. My cat that doesn't bury his bombs was an only cat for many years).

 

To prevent him from stepping in it, you might have to scoop more frequently, or get a couple more litter boxes. 

post #3 of 38

As kittens, I used greenies treats and praise to teach them their new cat door to the littercloset and litterboxes, and for Wesley just moved his paw in the motions since he didn't bury at first and gave him headrubs for a good job when he was done.   I think its instinctual anyway, but at the very least my interference didn't seem stressful as to this day they still sometimes meow at me to follow them and watch them go potty... Ugh.  laughing02.gif

post #4 of 38

One of my cats never covers hers. But she never steps on it. Maybe the litterbox is not the right size for your cat?

post #5 of 38

One of mine never covers hers either, unless I tell her to. She goes back to it and then covers it up. 

post #6 of 38

When I first got my kitten he didn't really cover it. So when he would get out of the litter box, I would put him back in, move his paws to cover the poop a bit, and then he would usually get the hint a finish covering it. Then, I would give him a treat and a cuddle. Now he does it every time. I'm not sure how this would work with an older cat though 

post #7 of 38

how do you "tell her to" do it? i have 2 cats, one is a boy who covers all the time; the other, the girl, never covers and then scratches on the wooden floor just outside the littler box. i have provided two little boxes - she just uses the one. and then she comes to meow that she's finished and i get up and clean it. i DO clean several times a day. the girl is rather skittish but affectionate - i don't know how to encourage her to cover. any suggestions? 

post #8 of 38

An alpha personality cat (top cat) will not cover their poop.  It's one of their ways of showing who is top cat.  My Piper does not cover her own but will cover the others.  Poor King Arthur, as smart as he is, he doesn't have good paw eye coordination... He tries and tries so hard, but just can't cover it!!  I have to do it or Piper has to for him... Not for lack of trying but the poor boy will be in there for hours trying if I don't say "Good boy, King Arthur!  Such a good boy!"  He is happy with this praise and finally leaves the box and just lets me do it for him!  Piper does it when I am not around to do so!  laughing02.gif

post #9 of 38


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ketzels View Post

how do you "tell her to" do it? i have 2 cats, one is a boy who covers all the time; the other, the girl, never covers and then scratches on the wooden floor just outside the littler box. i have provided two little boxes - she just uses the one. and then she comes to meow that she's finished and i get up and clean it. i DO clean several times a day. the girl is rather skittish but affectionate - i don't know how to encourage her to cover. any suggestions? 



The scratching on the floor outside the box indicates, to me, that the box is too small. Try a larger box and see how she does. 

 

post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarcatmom View Post

 then I have another cat who's so fastidious that he uses every single piece of litter in a 10 mile radius to cover his poop. He also goes around and covers poop from the other cats if their job isn't to his satisfaction. It's pretty hilarious. 

 

flail.gif That made me LOL!

 

My new kitten does such a great job that he buries it  and then digs it up again in his thoroughness. (is that even a word?)

Have you tried to "help" him by doing the motions? Perhaps letting him smell the before and after? Then give treats as other's have suggested.

It's worth a try.

post #11 of 38

ok i think the pooh box is adequate but i shall try try to find a larger 'mess'....... on the other hand, the vertical pooh pot is utilised by the male cat. i clean once or two times per day and that seems OK. 

i was wondeRING if this is some kind of competition!  question?:'    - i would love to get a red schaunzer .... /

post #12 of 38

What kind of litter are you using?  I used that feline pine stuff, and my cats didnt cover their poop.  Then I switched to a scoopable litter, and they started covering.  When I found my cat she was an adult, and, im assuming, had never used a litter box (she was a stray). When I would try to show her to use the litter box, she would spread all four legs out and not let me put her directly in the box, like I was dropping her in hot lava or something.  Finally, I took her paw and scratched at the litter with it. She had been holding it for a whole day up until that point, and immediatly got in and went.  Its like it finally clicked.  My point is, maybe you just need to show your cat how to cover. 

post #13 of 38

hi, i am using Feline Fresh - it is a pine litter and is wonderful for controlling odour. i tried the arm and hammer andit was SO perfumed plus the cats didn't like it. i scoop at least twice a day. 'Boy' has no problem but 'Luna' is fussy and will only "go" at the sides of the box and then stratches outside the box on my flooring. she nevers covers yet she comes to 'tell me' she has done something. she seems to have to report to me if she has eaten, has pooped or peed or whatever. i get up immediately and clean.

they're not feral; i got them from a pet rescue store, supposedly brother and sister and they've been really good in all other respects.

when you say, i should 'show' my cat to cover? how is that to be done? she's already about 4-5 now (i adopted them as 'used' so i don't really know their birthdates'

?

post #14 of 38

Bandit never buries. I posted about this awhile back- I just do it for him.

 

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/237579/litter-issues-burying

 

There is my original post! I got some good advice there


Edited by Nebula - 1/30/12 at 11:07am
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ketzels View Post

 

when you say, i should 'show' my cat to cover? how is that to be done? she's already about 4-5 now (i adopted them as 'used' so i don't really know their birthdates'

?



I would just take your cats paw in your hand and use it to cover the poop. Maybe try it a few times.  I dont know if it will work, just a suggestion.

 

post #16 of 38

i appreciate your suggestion - i hadn't thought of that; i didn't know larger boxes were available.

 

However, there's been a change for the better - miss kitty now covers! why? because i'm putting in a LOT of litter, so there's more depth. i think that Boy is a competitive factor because he uses both litter boxes - the original one (which she uses) and the high-top one. that would also explain why she defecates only near the very edge of the box, whereas he goes all over both boxes.

 

 

post #17 of 38

Hobo sometimes does not cover his. frusty.gifDon't know why, but I scoop enough that I am not to worried about it.

post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarcatmom View Post

Some cats just can't be bothered. I have one of those, and then I have another cat who's so fastidious that he uses every single piece of litter in a 10 mile radius to cover his poop. He also goes around and covers poop from the other cats if their job isn't to his satisfaction. It's pretty hilarious. 

 

I don't think you'll have any luck convincing your guy that covering poop is the feline way, especially if he's an only cat (for some reason, only cats have this tendency more often. My cat that doesn't bury his bombs was an only cat for many years).

 

To prevent him from stepping in it, you might have to scoop more frequently, or get a couple more litter boxes. 

 

Yeah, I agree.

 

My Abby has never covered her poop, or pee for that matter. She just doesn't like to get her paws dirty. When she was a baby she tried so hard to balance all 4 paws on the corner edges of the box so she didn't have to get her paws dirty.  She couldn't manage 4, so she resigned herself to balancing with 3 and leaving one in the box.

 

My RB kitty Chynna was the digger.  She dug and dug and covered and covered.  She even went in after Abby and covered up her business.

 

I notice that Katie doesn't cover her business either. 

 

However, Spencer, Katie's brother, is my litter monitor. He often sits in the tub peeking over the edge and waiting for one of the girls to go into the box. After they leave he jumps out and manically covers their business and then goes back to hiding in the tub in between folds of the shower curtain.

 

My advice is just to scoop more often. 

post #19 of 38

I never had a problem with feces on floors, but Wilbur did not cover his poop every time either and it always stuck to his butt. Just be glad you don't see your cat eat the stuff.

post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post

 

Yeah, I agree.

 

My Abby has never covered her poop, or pee for that matter. She just doesn't like to get her paws dirty. When she was a baby she tried so hard to balance all 4 paws on the corner edges of the box so she didn't have to get her paws dirty.  She couldn't manage 4, so she resigned herself to balancing with 3 and leaving one in the box.

 

My RB kitty Chynna was the digger.  She dug and dug and covered and covered.  She even went in after Abby and covered up her business.

 

I notice that Katie doesn't cover her business either. 

 

However, Spencer, Katie's brother, is my litter monitor. He often sits in the tub peeking over the edge and waiting for one of the girls to go into the box. After they leave he jumps out and manically covers their business and then goes back to hiding in the tub in between folds of the shower curtain.

 

My advice is just to scoop more often. 

OMG I thought only Patricia did that! What I never understood was why does she stand on the edge of the box when she poops if she doesn't have any problem with squatting in the middle to pee. She also gets out, turns around, and puts her front legs back in no matter what she has to bury. I never saw any other cat do that either.

 

Wilbur's way of keeping his paws clean was wiping one on the wall. You probably would find a lot of dirt on that wall with a microscope.

post #21 of 38

Old thread but my 6 month old kitten has started to do this. He will pee or poop and then scratch the inside of the box like he's putting litter on it, but he's nowhere near the litter, then he goes to sniff, then scratches the inside again like he's covering it, but he's not. The box isn't too small either.

post #22 of 38
My cat is like that but covers the poop with the litter. She also scratches everywhere one the litter box I'm thinking when you chnge th litter completly start scratching at it or just moving it around and let the cat see so they can see that its ok. My cat does it cause it ain't her litterbox it still smmells like my old cat but she is getting her sent one it so it will smell like her. The kitten may be doing that.
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tabbymommy View Post

My cat is like that but covers the poop with the litter. She also scratches everywhere one the litter box I'm thinking when you chnge th litter completly start scratching at it or just moving it around and let the cat see so they can see that its ok. My cat does it cause it ain't her litterbox it still smmells like my old cat but she is getting her sent one it so it will smell like her. The kitten may be doing that.

 

Yeah he used to cover it, and still scratch, but now he's not even covering it. He scratches on like all 4 corners of just the box trying to cover it up, but then he gives up and jumps out. Don't know why he's doing this all the sudden.

post #24 of 38
Do you think it might be the litter that he doesn't like whhen it comesto how it feels under his paws
post #25 of 38
Or there might not be enough litter in the box
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tabbymommy View Post

Or there might not be enough litter in the box

There's about 3 inches in there, but he's scratching at the TOP of the box, where there would never be any litter. So weird.

post #27 of 38
I was yng that cause I added alil more to my cats box and I think she stopped doing it cause I stopped hearing and seeing her do it unless she is doing in when I'm alseep cause I have been going to slleep early for some strang reason.
post #28 of 38
I read somewhere that cats don't cover their poop to show that they are alfa cat. When we (humans) flush the toilet after we poop we are I guess you can saying, showing them that we are respecting them by covering our poop. I have 3 cats and am having the same problem, after I read about the alfa thing I totally agreed, my "alfa" cat is half bengal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evakatharina View Post

Marcel never covers his poop, and not only is it stinky, but with his furry paws it really causes problems.  He poops, doesn't cover, steps in it, and then the poop gets stuck to the furry paws and gets tracked everywhere!  Gross!!

Is there any way to teach him to cover his poop?  Any insight on why he might be doing this?  Do I have an options or am I just stuck with this!?
post #29 of 38

One of my cats does not either-- after she is done, she will stand up and scratch the wall!  Unclear on the concept.  The box is plenty big. 

 

They told me at the shelter that she was very neat, meaning she doesn't scatter litter.  Now I know why.  I don't think she even covers her pee!
 

post #30 of 38
My cat since i had him at 6 months now going on 11 yr never covers anything . All he does is scratch the sides of the litter box for up to a good minute though :/ .
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