Dogs? With dogs, you have to follow them around with a pooper scooper and pick up the landmines they lay. Cats, on the other hand, are refined and dignified creatures. They handle their potty habits with dignity and grace, well, usually.
From time to time, you’ll meet a cat who just doesn’t seem as discriminating about their potty habits. Take Linda, for instance, who shares a home in Inverness with her cat, a tabby named Ringo. You’d almost get the idea that Ringo likes to show off his latest treasures. Where other cats cover their business, he leaves it on the surface of the litter box in case any of their Inverness neighbors want to come by and take a look.
Linda has tried to point out, to Ringo, that this isn’t acceptable behavior for a cat. She’s used the pooper scooper to demonstrate the proper way to cover those treasures. Ringo seems mildly amused but hasn’t taken the hint. Linda has begun to wonder if there is something wrong with Ringo. She might be right.
A medical issue could be behind her cat’s refusal to cover his poop: A cat with a urinary infection may seem reluctant to spend more than the minimum amount of time required to do their business. A cat that was recently declawed may find it painful pawing the litter over their poop and may decide it’s not worth the effort.
Are you using the ‘wrong kind’ of litter: Instead of a cat that doesn’t care, it’s possible you have a cat that is so discriminating about its potty habits that it poopoos the idea of covering its treasures with ‘that’ brand of kitty litter. You may want to try a different type or brand of kitty litter and see how your cat does with that.
Your cat may have neglect issues with its parents: Proper potty habits are often learned from a cat’s parents. If the parents never taught their kittens, or never covered their own poop, your cat may have developed a bad habit.
You cat may use the odor of its poop to mark new territory: This theory suggests that cats may leave their poop uncovered when they’re away from home. It’s their way of letting other cats, that may be in the area, know that they’re there.
At her home in Inverness, Linda’s best bet is to try a little process of elimination. The best place to start is by changing to a different kind or type of kitty litter. If that doesn’t work, she can test the territorial possibility by adding one or two more litter boxes in the house. Bringing another cat into the home may also help (the other cat may even cover Ringo’s poop for him).
If none of these measures work, she may want to bring her cat to a veterinarian to make sure Ringo doesn’t have a urinary tract infection or something else that is causing pain or discomfort.