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Why Do Cats Bury Their Poop?



Why Do Cats Bury Their Poop

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Why do cats bury their poop? Cats cover poop and other waste to hide it from us.

If you want to know why cats do this, then keep reading.

Cats are very territorial animals and they feel safe when they have a secure area for their waste.

They also do not like the smell of their own waste so they bury it away from where they live so that no one can smell it and become angry at them.

We may think that this is strange behavior, but we shouldn’t judge what our pets do.

Why Do Cats Bury Their Poop

The Reason Why Cats Bury Their Poop

“Cats have the instinctual behavior of eliminating away from their core living area and then burying their waste so they don’t alert predators to their presence.” explains author Pam Johnson-Bennett, owner of Cat Behavior Associates.

“This behavior keeps the whole cat colony safe.”

Poop burying makes perfect sense for cats living outdoors, but what about your indoor cat?

One reason they don’t bury it could be because you clean up after them their instincts may not step in to tell them it’s time to cover up.

As an indoor kitty matures, though, she’ll begin picking up on cues that her litterbox should be buried.

She might even start covering her own waste out of habit if there are no other animals present that could attack her.

What Does It Mean If Your Indoor Cat Doesn’t Bury Their Poop?

Even though burying waste is an instinctual behavior, Johnson-Bennett says you shouldn’t expect to see the habit in every cat.

“The way they’re raised can play a factor,” Pam Johnson-Bennett notes.

After all, many cats are brought up with their litter boxes located right next to their food bowls.

Doing their duty right under your nose may not occur to them.

The Litter Box Is Too Dirty

Keeping your cat’s litter box clean is not only a basic courtesy for your cat but also an important part of keeping her healthy.

Research has shown that cats’ immune systems are compromised if they live in dirty, unsanitary conditions.

Such as uncovered feces and urine.

In addition to being unpleasant for the pet, this can present a serious health risk to you and your family.

If either of you touches contaminated material while cleaning or caring for the cat.

Some cats may deposit their poop right in front of the litter box if it’s not an appealing setup but they’re trying to get as close to it as possible.

Even though most people know that scooping out fecal matter is one aspect of maintaining a clean litter box.

Many neglect more subtle aspects like removing traces of urine from all surfaces by using a mild bleach solution on them.

Why Do Cats Bury Their Poop?

The Litter Box Is Too Small

Cat owners are often mystified when their cat stops using her litter box.

In some cases, the problem is behavioral and can be solved by simple changes to the way you care for your pet.

For example, if your cat doesn’t like to share a bathroom with other cats.  

Moving her litter box may solve the problem of inappropriate urination outside of her box.

If she’s upset about another animal in your home, like a dog that barks at night or an exuberant child who pets too roughly.

She might express this displeasure by eliminating outside of her litter box.

These problems can be fixed through training that doesn’t involve changing your cat’s routine or environment.

Your Cat Prefers a Different Kind of Litter Substrate

Using the right litter substrate for your cat can improve his or her experience.

Most cats prefer an unscented, clumping litter.

There Aren’t Enough Litter Boxes

Cats are clean animals and they don’t like to share their toilet space.

If you have more than one cat, it’s important that each has his or her own litter box.

Overcrowding can lead to inappropriate elimination in undesirable locations around the house.

Such as on rugs or under furniture, which is hard to get rid of odor-wise.

The rule of thumb is this: Provide one more litter box than the number of cats in your home.

So if you have one cat, you should have two litter boxes; for two cats, three boxes; for three cats four boxes; and so on.

Why Do Cats Bury Their Poop?

Your Cat Isn’t Comfortable with The Litter Box’s Location

“A cat’s litter box should be located in a quiet, safe area where your pet can go and feel comfortable doing her business,” Johnson-Bennett says.

“Cats who feel unsafe in the litter box may not take the time to bury their waste after elimination because they want to limit their vulnerability.”

Anything that makes them feel threatened or vulnerable like being placed near windows or in noisy, open spaces.

This may result in cats relieving themselves outside of their boxes.

Even areas that are too confined can cause discomfort because cats like to feel they can escape if a threat arises.

A room with carpeting is preferable over one with hardwood floors for this reason.

Soft flooring gives kitties a bit more security while feeling trapped by slippery surfaces such as tile.

“It may seem counterintuitive, but you don’t necessarily want the litter box right next to your cat’s food dish,” Johnson-Bennett says.

While most humans would try to keep their cats away from the kitchen, this is actually not a good idea because it may make them feel vulnerable.

Cats are wary of unfamiliar objects and situations, so placing her food dish near the litter box can put your pet in an uncomfortable situation.

There Is a Multi-Cat Conflict

It’s common for there to be some conflict between cats in a multi-cat household.

The ASPCA explains that in homes with many cats, one of the felines may prevent another from accessing the litter box.

This is especially true if your cat feels threatened by another feline or has been spayed since her last successful mating.

When this happens, you’ll need to take action so everyone can use their litter boxes peacefully and without competition.

Your Cat Is Stressed

If your kitty seems unusually anxious and is acting out, it’s possible she feels stressed by her new surroundings.

If you’ve recently moved with a cat, started a new job, or brought home a newborn baby.

You may have noticed that your feline friend has been acting more irritable than usual.  “Cats are very sensitive to their environment,” says Dr. Randi Eger of the Animal Poison Control Center.

Cats can sense changes in their living situation and often react whether it’s an apt reaction or not.

For example, if you’ve welcomed a new pet into the family.

Chances are good that your resident cat will feel territorial about their space and act out when she senses something new nearby.

While some cats adjust well to these life changes, others may exhibit signs of stress such as:

  • increased hissing
  • hair-pulling
  • urinating outside the litter box
  • over-grooming
  • hiding spots no longer being used
  • pacing
  • and more.
Why Do Cats Bury Their Poop?

Your Cat Is Sick or In Pain

If your cat is urinating outside the litter box, it could be a sign that something is wrong.

Many cats with health problems have trouble holding their urine and may try to find other places in the house to relieve it.

Also, many major medical problems can cause unexpected issues, including:

  • hyperthyroidism
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • and more…

If you notice that your cat is urinating outside of the box or has blood in his urine, take him for a veterinary exam without delay.

Your Cat Is Trying to Communicate with Other Cats

Cats are very clean animals, and they don’t want to use a dirty litter box.

A dirty litter box can also lead to more odors in the house than you might otherwise experience.

At the first sign that your cat is unhappy with his or her current setup, it’s time for a change!

As much as possible, try not to make changes all at once: “Abrupt changes can be stressful and lead to litter rejection,” says Johnson-Bennett.

So instead of putting down a new litter type straight away.

Offer two boxes side by side one filled with your existing product and one filled with something else.

Depending on how long you’ve had the original litter, switching completely over may take several weeks.  

It’s best to do this gradually over time.

This is so your pet has time to adjust.

If you’re using disposable boxes when you switch brands or types of kitty litter, keep costs down by mixing the litter types together.

For example, if you’re using scoopable litter in one box and clay in another, try mixing them up by adding a few tablespoons of one type to a handful of the other.

You’ve Changed Your Cat’s Diet

While most cats are well-adjusted to changes in their eating habits.

It is possible that something has changed enough that your kitty isn’t able to get used to it—and this may cause him or her some distress.

Cats need protein in their diets, so if you’ve switched from canned food to raw, for instance, your pet may not be getting what he needs with his meals.

If this is the case, consider switching back and forth between the two types of food until your pet adjusts.

When it comes time for a new change again (such as switching from raw meat to dry).

Make sure you don’t leave out any part of the old diet until both foods have been consumed completely.

Why Do Cats Bury Their Poop?

Final Thoughts, Why Do Cats Bury Their Poop?

In conclusion, there are many reasons why your cat may be urinating outside of his litter box.

While some cats will adjust to a change in their environment, others may need professional help.

If you’re concerned about your pet’s health or well-being, contact your veterinarian for advice.


Do cats always bury their poop?

No, cats don’t always bury their poop. Some cats will cover their waste with dirt or leaves, while others will simply leave it where it is.

Do cats bury their poop outside?

There’s no one answer to this question since cats can bury their poop anywhere, depending on their individual preferences and habits. Some cats bury their waste in the litter box, while others may choose to bury it outside in the garden or yard.

Why do cats bury their pee?

There are a few reasons why cats might bury their pee. One possibility is that they’re trying to hide their scent from predators or potential prey. Another possibility is that they’re marking their territory. By burying their pee, they’re letting other animals know that this territory belongs to them.

Why do cats cover their poop in the litter box?

There are a few different reasons why cats might cover their poop in the litter box. One possibility is that they’re trying to hide their scent from predators or other animals. Another possibility is that they’re trying to keep the litter box clean—this is particularly common in cats who don’t like to use the litter box when it’s dirty.

Do stray cats bury their poop?

There is no one answer to this question since cats can be quite individual in their habits. Some stray cats may bury their feces, while others may not.

Why do cats bury their poop and dogs don’t?

There are a few theories as to why cats bury their poop while dogs do not. One theory is that cats bury their feces as a way to keep their territory clean and free of competition. Dogs, on the other hand, may not bury their feces because they rely on their sense of smell to mark their territory. Another theory is that cats bury their poop as a way to hide their scent from predators, while dogs do not need to do this because they are not typically preyed upon.



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