This is a common problem that affects many cat owners. There is nothing worse than experience cat scratching litter box excessively, each and every night. All of the noise that this causes will negatively affect the sleep of your family members. You know that sleep should be a priority after a long day at work.
When I adopted my cat Garfield, I had a lot of trouble falling asleep. The scratching noise coming from the small covered litter box was enough! I even received late night calls from my neighbors to ask me to stop whatever I was doing that late. He was scratching the floor, walls, litter box high sides and even the air.
After spending lots of time reading informational posts, posting on various cat forums and what not, I managed to fix this issue through trial and error and experimenting, once and for all. Luckily for you, you’ve stumbled upon the right web page. All you have to do is read this ultimate guide, put everything in action and make the cat scratching litter box excessively be a thing of the past.
There are numerous things that you can do to greatly minimize, or even stop this annoying cat behavior. The hardest thing is that I cannot give you a universal guide that will be helpful to every single cat. Each cat has it’s own personality and behavior.
If you want me to give you a detailed guide on how to fix this issue for your particular cat, I have to watch the cat’s behavior and see what kind of litter box you use. Check out this how to get a kitten to use a litter box guide if your cat is having difficulties adapting to the new environment.
However, don’t be discouraged. Every cat’s scratching is in different patterns. Each pattern shows a particular problem. I am going to present you all of the causes of why your cat is scratching everything in and out the tray. All you have to do is pay attention to the cat’s behavior and analyse the litter box and litter your cat uses.
5 Reasons Why Your Cat Scratches The Litter Box Sides
First and foremost, you should know the fact that cats love playing inside the litter box. It is their natural instinct and behavior. Most of the scratching happens after your cat defecates inside the litter tray. It is natural for them to dig the litter and cover the smelly feces.
But, sometimes this is very excessive and the cat continues to scratch absolutely everything. Underneath this uncontrolled scraping, lays a bigger issue. If this lavish scratching continues to happen constantly, it is time to step up.
I will present you with the top five reasons why your cat is scratching everything both inside and outside the box.
1. Litter Box Is Not Big Enough – This is probably the main reason why your cat is scratching on the walls furiously. Cats love space and litter. They see this as a playground. They love to roll around, throw litter around or even scratch inside it. If the litter box is not big enough, the litter digging will translate into constant side scraping.
What you need to do is invest in an extra large (XL), or even jumbo litter box. It doesn’t mean that they are more expensive than others, just because of their size. Once you get this type of box, your cats will be so happy and astonished by how huge their playground has become. Scratching the sides will be the last thing on their mind.
2. Not Enough Litter – If you already have an extra large, fancy litter box but your cat is still scratching on the sides, there is probably deficit of litter. Always pour around 3 inches of litter inside the box. If your box is filled with less than those standard three inches of litter, it would be prone to extravagant scraping.
After your cat defecates, it will want to cover all of that nasty scent. If there is no litter, your cat will continue it’s digging and swiping motion, translating to the walls of the box. It is their instinct to do this. Cats that live outdoors can’t come across a problem of this kind. There is always enough sand and ground to cover their mess.
3. Box Maintenance – It is a rule of thumb to scoop the litter inside the box every single day and change it every week or so. This applies if you don’t have an electronic automatic, compact litter box cabinet. If you forget to do this standard process, your cat will be effected by the bad smell that will affect the insides of the box.
Cats are very clean creatures. They don’t like the mess inside it’s property and will do everything in their power to fix that. There comes this cat scratching litter box excessively problem. Don’t ever penalize your cat for this annoying scrapping. Most of the times it is your lack of discipline for cleaning the litter box that causes this problem.
4. Box Is Covered – In most cases, this excessive scratching happens in hooded litter boxes. Cats think that the irritating noise they make cannot be heard outside the closed box. Some cats even scratch the lid of the box.
Also, most enclosed litter boxes like the Booda Clean Step litter box are located in a frequent area like the living room. Cat’s love and value their privacy a lot. You should move that hooded litter box to a quiet location like the bathroom or washing room.
If you move the box and the scratching continues with the same intensity, it is time to purchase an uncovered box. You can get the same benefits of hooded box by investing in a high sided litter cabinet.
I came across multiple cat owners that swore that ditching the cover of the box was the fix for the issue. I agree with them. If you don’t like to purchase another litter box, I recommend you cut the cover and letting the box be open.
5. Your Cat Has Soft And Smelly Poop – This is another reason why your cat may be scratching the litter box immoderately. Cats have a compact and advanced smelling sense. They hate being near objects affected with germs and bacteria that spread nasty scent.
The sense works as a defensive mechanism that keeps them away from diseases. If the feces are pretty soft and smelly, your cat try harder than normal to cover the mess. All of that desire to do this will result in excessive scratching on the sides.
Also, your cat will be afraid of putting their paws in it’s nasty poop. It will try to cover the poop by putting litter on it from a distance. If the box is not big enough, the scratches will be placed on the sides, thus resulting in annoying noise.
If this is the case, you should change the cat’s food. It is the main reason of soft stool and smelly poop. The cat’s poop shouldn’t smell that bad. If it does, there may be some problem that affected the health of your lovely feline friend. This is a clear sign to bring it to the veterinarian.
If you do everything right, like I’ve mentioned above, and you cat is still scratching absolutely everything around the box, it is time to change the litter. I experienced with various litters, ranging from lightweight clumping litter, to using the new blue crystals.
The number one litter that I recommend that stopped my cat from scratching the sides of the litter box is the World’s Best Cat Litter for multiple cats.
Why Does My Cat Scratch In The Litter Box For So Long
First of all, you have to make sure your litter box isn’t prone to all of the issues that make your cat scratch the box. This will greatly lower the chances of your cat scratching the box. However, if you have an elderly cat that has a habit that was cultivated over an extended period of time, it would be more difficult to stop cat from scraping the litter box so heavily.
If your cat was watching it’s mother behavior, back when it was a kitten, there are high chances that your cat will act just like it’s mother. The habit can be broken by investing in an object that will take the cat’s attention away from the litter box.
This is usually done by getting a decorative, cool and fancy cat toy. Placing it near the tray will be the most effective way to stop the box scraping.
Using distractions is your sure way to answer the classic question of why does my cat scratch in the litter box for so long. This is because if your cat doesn’t have nothing more entertaining to do other than playing in the box, it will continue cultivating it’s strong digging and scratching habit.
You have to stop this habit from forming completely, before it is a part of the cat’s personality.
Why Does My Cat Scratch The Wall After Using The Litter Box
Even though you see your cat passionately damage your indoors and wall, don’t panic. This is a common cat behavior that can be easily fixed. It probably happens right after your cat urinates or defecates in the litter tray. This speaks loudly about how improper the litter box and the litter you use for it is.
The first thing you should purchase do is purchase an affordable, uncovered, extra large (or jumbo) litter box that has at least 3 inches of litter poured inside. If you are not a fan of boxes without a lid, I’d recommend you get a top entry litter box, like the CleverCat top entry litter cabinet. It will do almost the same trick as high sided uncovered box. Check out this list of the greatest top entry litter boxes on the market today.
The second thing you can do is move the litter box away from the wall. Once you do, the habit of your cat scratching the wall after using the box will be broken. This is everything you need to do to stop asking the dreaded question of “why does my cat scratch the wall after using the litter box”.
Reason Why Your Cat Scratches The Floor After Using The Litter Box
The reason why your cat scratches the floor differs from the reason why your cat scrapes the sides of the litter box. The determination to scratch the floor is found in the cat’s DNA.
Before being adopted in households as pets, cats were actually creatures that lived in the wilderness. Their survival depended on how well they worked as predators. Hunting other smaller animals or even stealing food from other cats was the key for their survival.
When some part of the food was left uneaten, they scrapped and dragged certain nearby object to cover this left food for further use. That part stopped the smell coming out from the food.
If they didn’t do this process other predators would know that there is some food left nearby. There are special dog proof litter boxes that prevent dogs from eating the cat’s food and poop.
Modern, indoor cats still possess this natural instinct in them. After eating out of the food bowl or after doing their business in the box, they begin scraping the floor or litter box mat. This is a completely natural behavior that can be fixed by getting the right litter box and litter. I understand that this is damaging the expensive wooden carpet that you have.
Cat Scratching Litter Box Liner
If there is a liner inside your litter box, it may be a clear target of scratching. However, in this case, liners can be greatly damaged by the intensity of your cat’s paws.
To fix this, the same principles apply. Purchase the right litter box. If you are not disposing the litter inside the liner every regularly, it may be prone to scratching. If you still cannot fix the issue of cat scratching litter box liner, you should invest in a scratch-proof tough liner. I’ve had the best experience using the Jonny Cat Cat Litter Box Liners.
It is thick enough. It was created for cats that loved to dig and scratch. It is very strong and handles all of the litter inside, when you are throwing it in the thrash bin. If you purchase in bulk, you will save lots of money. The best part is that has strong drawstrings that can cover even the most tall and round litter box on the market today.
Using this product, you will say goodbye to the cat scratching litter box liner problem, once and for all!