Cat pushes litter to one side of box and out of box? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Cat pushes litter to one side of box and out of box?

I recently adopted a 1 year old kitty. She's a small one, about 5 or 6 pounds. The only litterbox the store had available at the time was a small one (which was the same size she had in her cage at the rescue).

So I brought her home. She has a habit of kicking most of the litter out of the box (not the feces or anything, just litter). During this process she also pushes all the litter to one side of the box, leaving half of it empty/bare.

Is this just a personality quirk of hers? Or is it something I can change by bringing in a bigger box or is she just going to create a bigger mess?
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:58 PM
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Re: Cat pushes litter to one side of box and out of box?

My suggestion would be to get a covered litterbox. I have one for my cat, and it really does help keep everything in the box!
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:12 PM
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Re: Cat pushes litter to one side of box and out of box?

Welcome to CF! Sadie sounds like a cutie-pie. Your Sadie-kitty just has a very strong instinctual urge to dig and bury her waste. Most of my cats will dig a shallow divot, do their business, turn around and lightly cover and then shoot out of the litterchest like their tail was on fire!
My husband calls it "running the stink off".
Some of my cats will dig, and dig and dig...and when they are finished with their business they will bury and bury and bury. It is like they are excavators, because they will move the litter around into a tall 'hill' and leave a huge bare spot, just like your Sadie.

We do not have much of a problem with kicked-out sand (we use clay clumping litter, but I call it 'sand') because the litterchest is huge. My husband built it 2'x2'x4' with a lid and cat flap in the center front. It looks like a hope-chest, so it doesn't *look* like a litterbox, just another piece of *furniture*. Sometimes I get sand kicked out near the door, but never much. I also keep the litterchest at least 3" deep in sand so there is plenty of material for our (eight) cats to bury their waste. I also keep one "jumbo" hooded litterbox in the bedroom for any kitties who sleep with us at night with the door closed. I prefer litterboxes to be big. Huge! The bigger the better. I feel cats need room to go in, search around for a good spot, excavate, room-to-go, room to turn around to bury AND big/deep enough that they don't uncover other buried treasure and step in that with their feet.
*even with such a big litterchest, I still scoop waste daily because the little urine clumps will begin to brerak down and smell strongly of ammonia if left in there. I had a kid come care for our cats while we were away and the boxes smelled AWFUL because he did not get all of the clumps out, every day, and the left-behind pee-clumps smelled of ammonia. I was very lucky none of our cats decided to pee somewhere else.

I would buy your girl a larger/deeper/hooded litterbox. Give her a big area and lots of sand to dig through to satisfy that instinctual urge to bury her waste!
If she is *too* vigorous in her diggings...several members have created their own 'litterchests' by using large Rubbermaid totes from WalMart of any of the Home Improvement stores. Things to keep in mind with one of those:
...if it is too small and/or doesn't have enough sand in it, a large or playful cat (one who like to "lanuch" from the edge) will tip one over.
...choose a container that has a smooth inside, with few/no ripples or plastic support ribs that stick up and could cause difficulty when scooping solid waste out.
...some members leave the lid off and make the cat jump in/out, though I think litter gets scattered a bit further with that method.
...some like to leave the lid on, but have cut a hole in the top for the cat to jump down and then jump out of...but I also don't care for that because of the possibility of the cat jumping down and landing *in* buried treasure that is now mashed into their feet.
...you could make a 'cat-flap' in the side of the plastic tub/tote by cutting out a cat-sized rectangle (the opening in ours is a little bigger than 6"x8") with the bottom of the opening at least 2" above the level of the litter inside, then cutting off about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch all the way around the cut-out rectangle. Punch two holes in the top of the rectangle, then punch two corresponding holes in the tote over the hole and use key rings to thread the pieces together to swing freely or use small zip-ties or twists of wire.

Gah! I've written a book, I'm sorry.
I hope that was helpful and welcome to you and Sadie!
heidi =^..^=



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Old 06-09-2009, 05:11 PM
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Re: Cat pushes litter to one side of box and out of box?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi n Q
...some like to leave the lid on, but have cut a hole in the top for the cat to jump down and then jump out of...but I also don't care for that because of the possibility of the cat jumping down and landing *in* buried treasure that is now mashed into their feet.
I had to do this because of Fergie's insistence on peeing standing up, and I haven't had any issues with them jumping down and landing in buried treasure. The hole is about seven inches in diameter, so the girls jump on top of the box, peer in, put front paws down, then carefully drop their back half in. No matter how badly they need to go, they never rush in. Coming out, yes they sometimes launch out, but I don't feel that they fling any more litter out than they did when we had a side-entry box. Actually, sometimes Fergie will pop her front half out of the opening and try to paw any litter on the cover back down into the box, which is really cute to watch.

If your kitty continues to scoop litter around the way she is, a top-entry box will at least keep your litter in the box. And if you use a Rubbermaid tub, when it's time for a new box you only need to buy the bottom part since the cover doesn't get messy.

~Diana, happy mom to Fern and Fergie
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:31 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Re: Cat pushes litter to one side of box and out of box?

The stray momma I took in is notorious for this habit. I know to tell her future furrever home that she will need a deep box or covered box. Unfortunately her habits have worn off on a few of her sweet babies!

Leslie
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