goes to the bathroom, then scratches. forever. - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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goes to the bathroom, then scratches. forever.

I have a question that I never thought to ask on here until now. My cats litter box is positioned behind a table and kind of up against a wall, kind of tilted so it doesn't touch anything. Anyway, the reason it's like that is because BOTH of my cats do their business, and then scratch the wall or a chairleg or anything near them like their scooping litter over their excrements. It is very annoying and will go on for a couple of minutes. How do I stop this without putting the litter box in the middle of the room?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 04:07 PM
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Re: goes to the bathroom, then scratches. forever.

Cats all have their own peculiarities when it comes to litter box habits and it's highly doubtful that you are going to change things. Does the box have a cover? If not, by adding one you may get them to scratch the cover instead of the surrounding furniture. I had one cat that would spend 10 minutes scratching the cover and leave her mess completely uncovered.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 04:44 PM
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Re: goes to the bathroom, then scratches. forever.

Othello does this too - scratches the side of the box, the wall, the floor, everything except the litter itself! So, you're definitely not alone in hating that persistent "scratch, scratch, scratch" sound. I've heard it suggested that he may have missed that particular "lesson" when he was a kitten - maybe he was taken from his mommy too early or something. (We got him at age 2.) I like the suggestion of a covered box to protect furniture.

The plus side at our house is that Desdemona does cover her waste, so it makes it really easy for us to tell who is doing what in the boxes and keep tabs on health that way. Except that Desi will sometimes cover Othello's mess for him!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 04:50 PM
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Re: goes to the bathroom, then scratches. forever.

And, just to let you know - things can suddenly change! Gracie's never been good at covering up and used to scratch forever, but suddenly within the last two weeks she's got it down pat - totally covers her business, all efficient now, takes half the time she used to. Who knows how or why? Kitties are full of surprises...!

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 04:58 PM
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Re: goes to the bathroom, then scratches. forever.

Mine do that, too... they scratch at the sides of the box, at the wall, at the side of the washing machine next to the box... and then walk off, satisfied that they've done their duty, while the poop remains uncovered.

Sometimes the other will come along, see the unburied poop, and then feel obliged to bury it... which, you guessed it, she'll do by scratching at the side of the box (sometimes the OUTSIDE ofthe box) or the wall.

They were apparently turned in along with their mother and their mother's next litter, so they weren't taken away from Mom too young, either. I can't explain it.

Have you tried different kinds of litter? While I was experimenting with brands I found they were more prone to bury in some litters than others, and I find that when I use the Feline Pine (pine pellets) they bury more towards the end of the week when the pellets have mostly gone to sawdust. From that I'm guessing I could encourage them to bury by switching to a finer-grained litter, but I like the Feline Pine for other reasons so I've just resigned myself to frequent scooping to keep the smell down.
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