My Cat Doesn’t Cover Poop: 5 Ways To Solve It Like A Pro!

By Davis Wilkins •  Updated: 05/06/22 •  9 min read

Have you ever wondered why doesn’t my cat cover his poop?

They scrape it off and leave it there to rot. What does that tell us about cats and their behavior?

Have you ever wondered why cats cover poop after they do it? I have. While I was mulling over that question, the answer began to take shape. They’re trying to be civilized like us.

Cat’s are so smart, right? They can learn to open doors, take lids off of jars, and even steal our heart. Their intelligence can go so far as to teach them not only where the litter tray is located, but what needs to happen within it.

But even a feline with an IQ worthy of Mensa feels compelled to not covering poop.

Covering the poop is more than just normal behavior for a kitten.

It’s a skill that every cat should master. Well, if your cat doesn’t cover the poop after disposing of it that should be a red flag.

Uncovered poop is not suitable for your home. When the poop is exposed, the next thing you’ll see is your kitten steps in the poop and tracks it around the house.

Don’t allow your house to smell like a cat waste dump because your cat won’t cover her poop. Talk of feline’s bad litter box behavior! You can always teach your cat this essential social skill of covering poop.

You need to understand the cause of uncovered poop and find the solution fast.

Learn more about your cat with this blog on why your cat is not covering his poop.

Why doesn’t my cat cover his poop after eliminating?

1.    Territorial Dominance:

When pet cats are insecure about their territory, they will let their presence be known. Usually, they mark the spot by failing to cover their poop to send a message.

Domestic cats will understand that there is a dominant cat that owns the territory. By marking the area, they minimize contact with the other cats that aren’t friendly.

Adding a new feline to the family is usually the cause of this problem in many cat homes. With the new cat around, your cat will always feel his territory is under threat.

She will refuse to cover her poop to communicate her dominance to the new cat.

2.    Lack of Natural Cat Behavior:

Covering the poop is a procedure that kitten learns from their mother. Cats that didn’t realize this skill will naturally fail to cover their poop.

They don’t do it willingly, but it’s because the cat doesn’t know that they are supposed to bury the feces. It’s simply cat behavior that they never learn.

Even though most felines choose to cover their poop, the behavior is not instinctive for all pet cats. You can select a one-cat breed that is considered well-behaved when it comes to burying its poop, but you may be disappointed.

3.    Medical Issues:

Your cat can stop covering his poop if he’s experiencing a medical problem. Pain in his paws will significantly contribute to leaving his waste uncovered.

This is very common if you have recently declawed your cat.

You’ll probably see your cat trying to cover their feces while using the litter boxes, but they can’t.

Serious health problems that make your cat feels pain while using the litter box can also contribute to this behavior.

If your cat doesn’t cover urine in the litter box, it could be due to pain felt due to urinary tract infections.

Observing your cat when they visit the litter tray can give you hints if there are underlying medical issues.

As a cat owner, ensure the cat food is of high quality to avoid digestive problems.

4.    Litter Box Issues:

Factors such as size and cleanliness of the litter box matter when burying the feces are involved.

A small litter box means that the movement in the litter box is restricted and your cat can’t turn around.

Your cat might feel uncomfortable in the box. If your cat can’t turn around in the box freely, your cat may leave the poop uncovered.

Your cat usually has a sharp sense of smell. If the litter box is dirty, your cat might dislike it and hate every second he spends in the box.

As soon as he finishes pooping, he will dash out of the pungent smell, leaving the poop uncovered.

To solve this problem, clean the litter box and have a smell-free house.

5.    Cat Litter Issues:

Don’t forget to check cat litter for possible problems.

The texture of the litter can significantly influence the love your cat has for the litter box.

Your furry friend will fail to cover the poop if he hates the feeling of the litter in his paws.

This is common if you have transitioned from a more refined particle litter to bigger particles.

Cat in litter box

How to Get Your Cat to Cover Poop in the litter box?

1.    Teach Your Cat the Social Skill of Burying:

Some cats have never learned how to cover their poop. The only solution to force your cat to bury their poop is for you to be the mother and teach them this vital procedure.

It is easy to litter train your cat since he already has a natural instinct to cover his urine and feces.

To do this:

Accompany your cat to the litter box and when he’s done with his business, gently use your cat’s paws to cover the uncovered poop.

Each time your cat finishes covering the poop, you should reward him with a treat. Repeating the process will help you solve the problem of your cat not covering poo and pee.

2.    Add More Litter Boxes to The Household:

If you are a cat parent with more than one cat in the house, there is a need to cater to every cat. You can start by adding more litter boxes in the house. It makes insecure wild cats not to be territorial.

Getting at least one litter box for each would greatly help to solve the problem. You should also add an extra one just in case.

The litter boxes should be placed in different locations to give each cat his territory.

They should be located away from distracting noises that can make your cat forget to cover the poop.

3.    Change the State of The Litter Box:

Proper management of your cat’s litter box should be a top priority.

Behaviors such as cat scratching the litter box’s side indicate that your cat isn’t enjoying the litter box.

You can adjust the situation by getting a large litter box if your own a huge cat. The comfort of the litter box will encourage your cat to cover the poop.

Ditching your current litter box for a lower-sided one will relieve your cat from the trouble of using the litter box. Cats with medical issues such as hip dysplasia will be able to climb the litter box without feeling any pain. This will encourage the cat to bury their waste.

The smell of the litter box also matters. You should clean the litter box thoroughly to remove any scent. Scooping waste from the litter at least once a day will significantly help.

4.    Try Different Types of Litter:

Changing the condition of the litter can also influence your cat’s litter box behavior. It would help if you tried various litter textures such as pine, grains, and shavings.

Your cat may prefer litter with small particles. To save yourself the hustle, you should first use litter with small partials like sand.

The texture of the small particles always brings a great feeling to many cats’ paws. This will encourage your cat to cover the poop after eliminating it.

The level of the litter in the box should also be on point. If it’s too shallow or too deep, your cat may fail to cover the poop.

5.    Get Veterinary Advice:

If you are wondering how to get your cat to cover his poop, talking to your veterinarian should always be the first thing you do.

Schedule a vet visit on regular basis for checkups.

Pro tip:

A health problem could be the main reason why your cat might suddenly stop covering his waste.

The only way to eliminate any medical issues is by going for a check-up. For a correct diagnosis, you should only trust your veterinarian to examine your cat.

No cat will refuse to cover his poop just to get back to the owner. The problem is always within the cat or her surroundings.

With the keen observation of your cat, you will have clues as to why your cat’s behavior has changed. Many cat parents will be surprised to know that the solution was always under their noses.

Why do cats cover their poop in the litter box?

Cats cover their poop in the litter box to ward off any sign or scent. This is a natural instinct to ward off predators.


If your cat doesn’t cover up or bury their poop, that’s just one of the many challenges of cat ownership.

Sometimes, cat owners aren’t even aware that their cat has answered the call of nature until they see the wet litter.

Other times, owners notice the pile of poop in their cat’s litter box or even smell it.

There are various reasons why this unappetizing behavior has become part of your kitty’s routine.

No matter how much your cat tries to convince you otherwise, covering their poop is a healthy practice that results in a cleaner litter box.

It might take a little time for you and your cat to adjust to this new routine, but the benefits outweigh any initial complications.

Your kitty’s body will thank you, and so will your nose!

Davis Wilkins

Davis Wilkins is a dedicated cat lover, with three cats under his care. He grew up in a cat-loving family, nurturing these feline friends. As a result, he purposed to share his cat knowledge with the universe. Wilkins has been writing professionally for over four years, specializing in feline care with a keen interest in litter box care and handling. He hopes to help other feline lovers achieve their pet care goals.

Keep Reading