My cat is very messy

by Annette
(Carmichael, CA)

My cat, Franklin, is a shelter cat we got on 6/6/15. He is about 2 years old, and the shelter actually told me he was a little messy.

Franklin goes in the litter box, but when he is hiding his feces, he flicks litter all over the place.

I did find once he flicked the feces out of the litter box. Am I adding too much litter? Is the box big enough? Should I turn the litter box around?

On the advice of the vet, I am using Special kitty litter. I was using a pine based, but the vet said do not use it so I have been gradually getting rid of the pine based. Franklin seems to be a little messier since this change but only a little.

My thoughts: I'm sorry to hear that you're having a challenge with Franklin.

This isn't that uncommon, in my experience. I call cats that do this, "swishers," since they seem to like to "swish" the litter around a lot and it goes everywhere.

My solution to a swisher is a larger box that is well-placed, with a wide mat underneath, twice a day box cleaning, and lots of sweeping up around the box.

A well-placed box is one that is in a location that ticks all of the boxes for good litter box placement. I would also recommend a second box, in case he likes one for urinating and one for defecation, or simply prefers a squeaky clean box as some cats do.

I like to keep the litter level at 3-4 inches. That is above "normal" according to most instructions you read on a box of litter. You can't really do that unless the box has high sides, as it turns everyone into a swisher.

For healthy adult cats, I prefer the largest litter box I can find with high sides. If necessary, you can also "make" the sides higher by using a cardboard "shield." That shouldn't be necessary if the box is big enough.

If you can't find a big enough box, a plastic storage container with a hole cut in it for entry/exit can work.

Keep in mind that Franklin is still adjusting to his new home (thank you for adopting!). It may take him several months to get comfortable and more relaxed.

I hope that helps. Please let us know how he comes along,


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Jun 13, 2015
To Kurt...Thank you
by: Annette Tornberg

Thank you so much for the advise on my messy kitty...Franklin the
I am sure you are right in that he is probably adjusting. I do have a large mat on the bottom of the litter box. But, I was thinking that maybe just getting a larger one and higher on the sides will probably work. He has no problem in doing his business both urinating and pooping...I do keep it clean twice a day and every 10 days replace the litter. I will keep you informed and everyone else on how his progress is. He is a great cat, very vocal almost and very loving.

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