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Strange litter box behavior

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi....I was at my friends house yesterday...she recently adopted a 2 year old male cat. He is using the litter box with no problems. The box is a covered box.

Her and I were talking and I kept hearing the cat scratching in the box and then this weird sound. She told me this odd thing he does and we snuck around the corner to watch.

He was scratching at the inside walls of the lid....then he would scratch the kitty litter, do his thing, and then scratch the walls again. It was the weirdest thing....

She was wondering if this is OK or if something is wrong??
post #2 of 11
We have covered boxes too and all of my cats do it too. The males and the female. I just figured they were "marking" it just like they do the outside of the box. Mine look like they are in a trance when they are doing it. It must be a very primal instinct because it's cool to watch the intensity.
post #3 of 11
It's a pretty normal cat thing! Ariel and Chester do it all the time. And there's no stopping them, we can call their names and they just keep on scratching!
post #4 of 11
Missy & Betsy do that on both covered and uncovered boxes, we have some in the bathtub and Betsy scratches to tub as well.
post #5 of 11
Sometimes Simon does that and I think he's just wiping off his feet
post #6 of 11
Its completely normal. All of my cats (no covers on boxes) will scratch the walls around the box. Its a bit of a pain because one apartment we had wallpaper and they tore up the wallpaper! Sometimes they will come partway out of the box to scratch the floor too. All 4 of my cats have done this.
post #7 of 11
Harley does this as well, his litter box is a big rubbermaid tote, and he scratches the sides of the box before, and after he's done his thing in the box.

It sure is annoying at 3AM!

I'm just glad that we've got him to NOT scratch the walls! Which was horrible at first, b/c we rent, and that would not have been fun to fix!
post #8 of 11
We have 3 female cats that use the same large (open) litter box. Two of them are fine, do their 'business' cover it up and go on their merry way. But Gabby will sometimes go in and just sit there, or she will do her business, then make no attempt to cover it up but jump out, and then scratch on the floor just outside the litter box. We've had her for 3 years now, and I've yet to see her cover anything up in the box.
PS- She will also sratch on the tile floor near her food dish when she's done eating (there's nothing there). Other than that she is probably the happiest, friendlliest cat (both to humans & the other cats iin the house), so I don't think she's doing this because she's upset.
post #9 of 11
This is a completely normal thing...my 4 kids all do it at one time or another. Not only are they covering up their "deeds", but they are also marking. Cats have scent glands in their paws and will do extra scratching to show that they've been there. It also seems to be an inherited thing...I have a retired breeding male who will scratch all over the place to try to cover...one of his daughters covers the exact same way!
post #10 of 11
My Magpie used to do that. Like Katiemae I reckon he was just wiping his feet! I use fine grained clumping litter and I think he was just getting litter out from between his toes! It was never a problem.
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by mauld
PS- She will also sratch on the tile floor near her food dish when she's done eating (there's nothing there).
This is also very normal and instintual behavior. It is their attempt to "bury" their food dish so no one comes to steal their food. It also serves the purpose of covering their tracks so predators don't know where they've been. My girl, Lilly, does the same thing with her wet food dish- even trying to pull the wall down on top of the dish! Silly kitty!
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