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Help! My Cat Won’t Stop Kicking Cat Litter Everywhere!

  • 3 min read
cat digging in litter box

You’ve just cleaned the litterbox. It’s all nice and fresh, and if you’ve got a quality crystal based cat litter, you shouldn’t need to clean it fully for several weeks. Your cat decides they need to use it right now, of course. They daintily do their business and… oh no! They’re kicking like mad, sending cat litter flying all over the floor. All your hard work, ruined. Well, it’s not just you or your cat. This is a really common thing that cats do. But why? And what can you do about it?

Why is my cat kicking their cat litter everywhere?

Your cat might look like their kicking cat litter joyfully, just to make more hard work for you, but actually, they’re digging. This is because they have a natural instinct to cover their poop and pee. Cats are very clean creatures, and this ties somewhat into that, but there’s a more primal reason too. Cat feces and urine contain pheromones, which cats use to mark their territory. In the wild, smaller cats would bury their feces to indicate that they acknowledged the dominance of larger predators. When your cat is trying to bury their poop, they are saying, “You’re the boss human, and I know it.” So annoying as it may be, take it as a compliment!

Does the type of litterbox make a difference?

cat getting out of the litter box

It can. If the litterbox is too small, your cat may be uncomfortable and turn around and around looking for a good spot to go in. A small litterbox also means that when the cat does dig, there’s nowhere for the cat litter to go except on the floor. It also helps if the litter box has high sides, as these will catch some of the cat litter that is thrown around.

One answer to the problem is to get a litterbox with a hood, which is like a separate room for your cat to go in. Whatever litterbox type you use, always make sure you use the right amount of cat litter. Too much, and you eliminate the benefits of a box with higher sides. Too little, and your cat doesn’t have enough to absorb their urine or cover their solids.

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What else can I do to keep the cat litter in the litterbox?

Remove solids as soon as you see them, as cats will paw around the tray looking for a clean spot to use, which might mean additional digging and more cat litter on the floor. For clay based or wood based litter, you’ll also need to scoop the urine soaked litter out regularly. Cats might keep digging if they can smell their ‘business’ because they don’t feel they have hidden it enough. This is why it can be really helpful to buy a cat litter that fights odor. By using an odor free cat litter, you’re actually helping your cat mask the smell of their own waste, which reduces their instinct to keep burying it. Silica Gel based litter such as PrettyLitter can be beneficial, as it absorbs then eliminates odors.

Some cats are just more into digging than others, but with our tips, you might be able to encourage them to keep a bit more cat litter in the litter box, rather than all over your floor. Have you got a cat that digs and kicks cat litter? How do you deal with it? Let us know in the comments!


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