How can I teach my cat to cover her poop in the litter box?

by David
(Conway, AR)



I got my cat when she was just a tiny kitten. She has never covered her poo or pee when she uses the litter box. She will scratch the sides of the box, but will not put her paw in the litter.

I tried for a couple of weeks to show her how to cover the waste, even using her paw but she will not do it on her own.

For a couple of years she lived with two other cats which were my nephew's but that did not help either. Any suggestions?

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Jul 21, 2018
Not all cats cover up
by: Kurt

Not all cats cover their poop or pee. Cats that don't learn the burying behavior from their moms as kittens may or may not get the hang of it later.

There are different explanations offered for this, some of which I believe are speculation.

In some cases, cats that exhibit this behavior are said to be either using their waste as a form of marking, or are showing that they're top cat in charge.

In other cases, the cat is thought to not like the feel of the litter, or they have sensitive paws. Declawed cats may be especially sensitive.

I would make sure the litter is deep (4" at least), and consider adding additional litter boxes in different locations around the house. Also check the size of the box to make sure it's large enough. I try to get the largest box I can find or use a storage bin.

Since you've already tried teaching her, you can try different litters to see if she likes one better than the others. Changing litters can be tricky, though, because some cats may stop using the box if they don't like the litter.

You can also try clicker training, as described at Petfinder.

There are some additional details on this issue at Vetstreet. Hope that helps.

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