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11 Reasons Your Cat Doesn’t Cover Their Poop

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Cats perform such actions from the very early phase of their life which are definitely not understandable by us! Like licking their paws and cleaning body parts! Where did they learn this from, we didn’t teach them! In the same way, felines have a generative inclination to cover their poop!

Reasons Your Cat Doesn't Cover Their Poop

In order to understand why the reasons your cat doesn’t cover their poop or if they need to learn it, keep reading our article until you reach the bottom.

1. Medical Issues like Diabetes and UTI

According to the masses, it has been observed that cats are very particular when it comes to covering their poop, they have a natural instinct to do it. You will never find a litter-trained cat, leaving her poop open. But if she is doing so, then, you need to pay close attention.

There is no specific medical condition where cats forget to bury their poop. The only reason where she witnesses such situations is when stressed. Following are some conditions where this, habit, is triggered.


A cat, who is diabetic, might require urinating frequently. This is very problematic for our poor cats as the litter box becomes very undesirable to use, due to the smell and if not cleaned on time then the mess! So eventually the cat will hate even going near the litter box.

In such cases, cats often use the litter box for the sake of doing so, they want to leave such an environment as quickly as possible, which is associated with pain.


While UTI is one of the most common issues in cats, it can be very unpleasant. They whine while passing urine, visible blood in urine, and frequent urge to use the litter box. Now you can imagine how painful and irritating it can make our poor kitty feel!

Now she will squat in different positions while peeing, and which is surely not going to be according to the setting of the litter box! This indicates her relation with the area, which is again associated with pain.

Kidney Failure

A more serious issue is kidney failure in cats. It makes the passing of urine very painful. Just like in diabetes. Cats don’t understand the meaning of why they are experiencing such pain, that’s why they associate pain with events.

For example, if she is having pain while urinating near the litter box, she will relate the pain to litter box. And that’s how the urge to rush away from it develops.

2. Cat Not Covering Poop Can Be a Behavioral Issue

You check past the medical issue column, and you figure out that your naughty buddy is having none of the medical conditions. The possibility of bad behavior issues can be one reason for this kind of cat behavior. Mostly, wild cats have this inbuilt natural instinct of covering their poop.

Cat Not Covering Poop Can Be a Behavioral Issue

Cats in our house are deprived of this practice, as a kitten, they are supposed to learn these habits and sharpen their natural skills, but pampered kittens and cats are less likely to follow them.

Kittens, when domesticated, don’t see the natural process of covering poop by their mothers, so they fail to inherit this set of skills. And that’s why you need to teach them how to do so!

Litter box behavior is very necessary to be taught to your kittens from the early stage or else they will end up being more and more ignorant.

3. Dominating Their Territory

You must have been very familiar with the fact about dogs that they urinate on the desired spots to show their dominance. Now, what do our beloved cats do? they are always one step forward from dogs!

A dominant cat often uses the technique of not covering its poop, to show domination. When you make any cat a new member of your family, you will find her exploring each and every corner of the house, and that too in her way, you might face this difficulty for a smaller duration.

Having a house full of other cats, or introducing new pets with the older ones, have more chances of developing this issue. It could also happen with a newly adopted cat.

4. Your cat might be stressed

Stress is such an element that can even disturb a human’s thinking system, so these are our cats, just imagine how hard it will be for them to cope up with this issue. The most common symptom your cat will show is around the litter box!

 Your cat might be stressed

There are a number of issues your cat might face when under stress, but let’s stick to our topic and concentrate on why your cat doesn’t cover their poop!

Your cat will not just leave her poop to uncover for you, but she will also do it outside the litter box, this can be super annoying and the cleaning process can be draining.

What can you do to ease it up?

  • Firstly, you need to book an appointment with your cat’s veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.
  • Secondly, you can be around her whenever she is going to use the litter box, after it’s done you need to hold her paw and teach her how to bury their poop.
  • I know it sounds gross, and you might just don’t want to do it, but she’s your baby, and in such times she needs you! Plus, it’s going to get better in the future, or else it might just get worse as she developed this pattern very strongly of not covering her poop.

5. Noisy Surroundings

Just like us, cats can also have a book of unregistered litter manners for humans to follow while they are short, our elite cats prefer to poop when there is a quiet sounding.

You need to respect their privacy during this time because they are more vulnerable at this time. It can be the major reason behind Cat doesn’t bury poop.

Now you might have to shift the litter pan to a more peaceful place inside the home. And for a house situated in a traffic area, consider shifting to another place where the noise is not that prominent.

The other reason for your cat to not cover her poop is multiple users for one single litter box! Many times cats don’t like when her litter box is accessible to other cats.

What can you do to ease it up?

  • If you have a house with multiple cats, consider buying separate litter boxes for each of them.
  • Give your cat her personal space when she is doing her business.

6. New Home or Surrounding

Adjusting to a new home can be as difficult for your cat as it is for you! Cats are not always fulsome when it comes to express their feeling to you, even if it’s affection or discomfort. But they do have body languages which gives you a medium to understand them.

New Home or Surrounding

So if you are facing this issue after shifting to a new home, cut some slack for your little buddy! With passing time, she will get back to her daily routine.

What to do if she doesn’t get back to covering her poop?

  • Stay around the corner while she’s using the litter box, after it’s done you need to hold your kitty’s front paw and teach her how to cover her poop!

7. No Proper Setup of Litter Box

Many times being a cat owner, we think that buying a litter box does the job! But no, you need to place it in a proper setup, keeping in mind the nature of your cat and her surroundings. Usually, cats prefer a quieter environment.

If you disturb your cat during her poop time, she will probably end up creating a mess and will try to leave as quickly as she can. Take care of the size of the litter box, because cats required one size bigger than their own size. as they need to comfortably turn around and cover the poop.

Last but not least important, the litter! In order to make sure your cat is covering her poop, you also need to check if she is liking the feel of the litter or not! Ok, I know cats can’t speak, but they will express their disliking by quickly running off from that particular spot.

So if you see your cat doing such kinds of action, it’s time to switch to a new brand!

8. Natural Instinct

This is the most interesting result on why your cat doesn’t cover her poop! Many times when we look at our cute cat she is either licking her paws or cleaning herself, now take a pause and think you never taught her to do so! Nor even do you lick your legs or clean your body by using your tongue.

Natural Instinct

Where did she learn all this from?

Natural instincts, often, suggest your cat perform such activities. The other way is learning from the mother cat. So if you had adopted a kitten from the very early phase, there are chances she might need good training for such activities.

In fact, one research witnessed female pet cats poop 58 times, with only two instances of the cats attempting to dig a hole first or covering it afterward.

9. Wrong Litter Choice for Her

To buy the perfect kind of litter for your cat, you need to take note of two things:

  • The size of your cat.
  • Age
  • litter type

All the above mention elements are very necessary to be followed! Finding the ideal litter tray for your sweet kitty might seem like a heavy task, but not an impossible one!

If you follow the vet’s choice, then unscented clumping litter is best.

Apart from that, always keep the litter box clean and in such a location which is desired or preferred by our cats. We know how much picky they can get, if you follow these then there is a good chance that your cat will start covering her poop!

10. Wrong Litter box Size

The size of the litter box matters a lot! Do you want to know why? It is because cats not just cover her poop after she’s done, but she will take a big turn and then do the after poop rituals!

Wrong Litter box Size

If the litter tray is too tiny, it will be a problem. Also, if you think that your kitty is tiny and won’t need a big one, then you can be right, but don’t choose the smallest one or the exact size of her.

Choose a larger litter box that gives her enough space to sit or stand and even after that more space is left to explore, this provides comfort, and eventually, she will cover her poop regularly.

11. Senior Cats often Stop Covering their Poop

Cats have a natural habit to cover their poop and cleaning themselves, which means that they don’t like to be around a dirty atmosphere.

Senior cats often stop covering their poop as they are prone to many health issues! Let’s look at some medical conditions in which a senior cat is more likely to keep her poop uncovered:

  • Arthritis or mobility issues, even the bare minimum activity of excretion for cats becomes so painful with this condition.
  • Diabetes, kidney failure, or a urinary tract infection with this condition, your cat will feel too sick or too tired to even move, so in such case it would be understandable that she won’t cover her poop.
  • Cognitive (CDS) is a disorder that leads to deficits in memory and learning, changes in awareness, as well as lower responsiveness to stimuli.
  • The last but not the least is injury. Cats get injured on parts like paws will make it hard for her to cover the poop.


If your cat doesn’t cover their poop, it could be because the litter hurts his paws, or she just doesn’t like the smell or feel. You can encourage your cat to cover her poop by trying different litter and litter boxes, calming products, and decreasing the stress in her life.

For cats having a medical condition, it could be hard for them as they barely get the energy to be bothered by such things. Apart from that, passing urine, or poop can be very painful. You need to cut them some slack. Cats with behavior issues can always learn how to do it properly!

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