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Not covering poo in the liter box

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My youngest cat, Sophie, will not cover her poo after she uses the bathroom. I have absolutely NO idea how to try to fix this or change it. She tries to cover it but scratches outside of the liter box and tries to pile non-existent liter. My other cat is fine, and does not do this. She has always done this and it is not a new behavior. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 12
It could be a turf war is getting ready to brew soon. Not covering their waste is one sign of the submissive cat or the dominant cat sending out a sign-

It could also be that mom cat wasn't in the kitten's life long enough to show the kitten litter pan manners. There is really little you can do, except buy a computerized litter pan or scoop really fast-
post #3 of 12
I'm sure you'll get other ideas, but I wonder if she is bothered by the texture of the litter. My two almost always cover their poo when I use a specific clumping litter. However, recently I have used a regular clay litter which is much coarser (since that was the only one I could find unscented) and neither of them cover their poo very often with it.
post #4 of 12
Really hissy? I didn't know that, that sheds a new light on things around here. I always thought that Grayson and Tinkles did the "Poop and Run" because it smelled so bad! They would usually go back and bury it after a while. Either that our housekeeper Patches would bury it for them.
post #5 of 12
Interesting about the possible turf war idea, but I don't that is the case with my two. When I got the clay litter once before, they failed to cover, also. Then as soon as I went back to clumping, the covered. And now again for the past week with the clay, they don't cover. Beats me why it should make the difference, unless they just don't like the texture on their paws. But it is both of them, not just one. And they are getting along fine.
post #6 of 12
at this house - sometimes they cover - sometimes they dont.

however I find that very interesting about the turf war.... hmmm makes one wonder - could it just be an alpha thing? Tipsy didnt cover tonight and just sat next to the tray for 20 minutes or so until i scooped it... hmmmm

Tipsy will dig to china before he does his deed however making litter go EVERYWHERE!!!
post #7 of 12
I thought that was pretty interesting too about the whole turf war. My Rodman does the phantom cover and has ever since she was a kitten! Her big brother is a bit of a stink sometimes- he likes to try to scare her as she's coming out of the litter box. So i figured either she was scared of that, and not taking the time to cover, or i figured she was just a little ditzy (which I have to admit she is!). Now it makes sense, that Action was probably upset when Rodman "invaded his turf." She doesnt do it very often now, so that must be because they've made a truce, or 'arrangements' of some sort! Good call!
post #8 of 12
I find it so funny that other people's cats do the same thing Dylan does. He never burries his poop either when it is in a regular clay litter and also trys to instead pull the plastic litterbox liner to cover the entire box--scratching it and scratching it...However, lately I have been buying the super clumping litter which is much more fine in texture and he burries everything.

It is worth the few extra dollars for the super clumping...just so you know how much they are going....and so they are neater.
post #9 of 12
This is amazing! Finally, someone asks a question which has been burning in my mind ever since I got my kitties! Stinky doesn't cover her poo, never has (hence the name! ), but Tank was much more clean and diligent about his litterbox manners. I've always wondered about this....They always got along very, very well, and although Tanker is gone, now, she STILL leaves it uncovered, and you can hear her in there scratching at the hood! Then, she comes tearing out of there like no one's business. She's funny. It's interesting to hear that lots of other kitties do this, too.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
This sheds a lot of light on my situation. Thanks you guys for such a great response. I think I am going to try to change the litter and see what happens. I don't think that there is a turf war brewing, but I am not sure. Hissy, what are some other signs?
post #11 of 12

I would wager more heavily on the cat leaving mom too young. My best friend's cat shows the same behavior as yours. He scratches like the dickens, only he is pawing at the sides of the litter box, where there is obviously no litter. He has always done this. It is as though he sort has the idea that he is supposed to do something, yet he didn't quite get to read the whole instruction manual.
post #12 of 12
I've noticed that most kittens that have left their mom too young don't know to cover their litter. When I get them young enough, I will monitor their litter box use and scratch for them to show them it is to be covered (I just use a small piece of cardboard and sort of hide it behind my fingers so they think it is my hand doing it). It's worked for all my orphaned litters. I have never tried it on an older kitten, but have a 3-1/2 old foster right now who I hear was pulled from him mom at 5 weeks old and does it - am going to try it on him while he is with me.

Turf wars will also do this. Typically you will see one cat sitting on the outside of the litter box waiting "in ambush" for the cat exiting the box. The cat in the box will be watching outside the entire time they go, then jump out quickly as soon as they are done. Usually you don't even get a single litter scratch afterwards.

But then again I have had cats that have no turf problems that just don't want to cover. Thank heavens for my Scarlett who is so meticulous that she goes into boxes just to cover whatever was left in the open by others.
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