Why Do Cats Sometimes Not Cover Their Poop?

Cats are known for their cleanliness and grooming habits, but sometimes they don’t cover their poop in the litter box, leaving their owners confused and frustrated. This can be a real issue for most cat owners, but the good news is there’s a few reasons why your cat is doing this.

Your cat not covering it’s poop can be caused by a variety of factors, including: medical issues, stress, litter preferences and territorial marking. It’s important to know exactly which factor or factors to address in order to help your cat and your house from stinking to high heaven.

Luckily for you we have a great list of some of the reasons your cat might not be coving his/her poop.

Reasons Why Your Cat Isn’t Covering It’s Poop

Medical Issues

Medical issues can lead to a cat not covering its waste. Urinary tract infections, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems can make it difficult or painful for a cat to bury its waste. If a cat is experiencing these issues, it’s important to visit a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.

For example, some cats may be suffering from a condition called megacolon, in which the colon becomes enlarged and loses its muscle tone. These cats may have difficulty defecating and may not have the strength to bury their feces.

Additionally, if a cat has arthritis, it may find it difficult to bury its feces, and may avoid using the litter box altogether.


Stress can also cause a cat to not cover its waste. Changes in the cat’s environment, such as a new pet or baby, can cause stress and lead to this behavior. Additionally, if there are multiple cats in the household, and not enough litter boxes, this can cause territorial marking and stress.

A cat that feels stressed may not have the energy or desire to bury its feces, and may instead leave them uncovered in the litter box.

Hates The Litter Box

Another reason why cats may not cover their feces is that they simply dislike the litter being used. Some cats may not like the texture or smell of certain litters and will avoid using the box. It’s important to experiment with different types of litters to find one that the cat prefers.

For example, some cats may prefer clumping litters while others may prefer non-clumping litters or litters made from natural materials such as pine or paper.

Litter boxes also play a role in this behavior, some cats may not like the location of the box or the size and shape of it, this can also cause them to avoid using it. It’s important to place the litter box in a quiet, easily accessible location and to provide a box with a size and shape that the cat is comfortable with.

If you’re looking for some great litter boxes, here are a couple we recommend.


Lastly, some cats may not cover their waste simply because they feel too lazy to do so. This can be particularly true for older cats or cats that are overweight and have difficulty moving around. These cats may be less inclined to bury their feces because it requires more effort than they are willing to expend.

Territorial Marking

Territorial marking can also be a factor in a cat not using the litter box. If a cat feels threatened or territorial in their designated litter area, they may choose to eliminate elsewhere as a way of marking their territory. It is important to observe the cat’s behavior and make sure their litter area is in a quiet, low-traffic location. If territorial marking is suspected, consulting with a professional behaviorist may be helpful in addressing the issue

What You Can Do To Prevent Your Cat From Not Burying Poop

To prevent your cat from not burying its poop, there are several steps you can take. This includes providing a clean and comfortable litter box, offering a variety of litters, ensuring the litter box is in a quiet, low-traffic area, and addressing territorial marking.

To help get a better understanding here are a few tips to help you out

  • Provide A Clean and Comfortable Litter Box
    • Make sure the litter box is cleaned regularly and that the litter is changed often. The litter should be of a texture and scent that your cat prefers.
  • Provide Enough Litter Boxes
    • This gets overlooked by many cat owners. It is recommended to have one more litter box than the number of cats you have.
  • Offer A Variety Of Litters
    • Different cats have different preferences when it comes to litters, so try offering a variety of litters to see which one your cat prefers.
  • Ensure The Litter Box Is In A Quite and Low Traffic Place
    • Like humans, cats often prefer a quite quant are to to their business.
  • Rule Out Medical Issues
    • Consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical issues that may be causing your cat to not bury its poop.
  • Address Territorial Marking
    • If you suspect territorial marking may be the issue, consult with a professional behaviorist to address the problem.
  • Provide A Stress Free Environment
    • Provide a safe and comfortable environment for your cat and try to minimize any stressors in their life.
  • Train Your Cat
    • As Surprising as it may be, not all cats know how to use a litter box. Positive reinforcement training can help your cat learn to bury its poop in the litter box.
  • Monitor Your Cat
    • Observe your cat’s behavior and keep track of where it eliminates, when it eliminates, and how often it eliminates. This can help you identify potential issues and address them quickly.

Remeber, it’s essential to rule out any underlying medical issues, provide a stress-free environment, and monitor your cat’s behavior. With a little effort and patience, you can help your cat learn to bury its poop in the litter box and maintain a clean and healthy environment.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, cats not covering their waste in the litter box can be caused by a variety of factors, including medical issues, stress, litter preferences, territorial marking and laziness. By identifying the root cause and taking the appropriate steps to address it, cat owners can help their furry friends maintain good litter box habits.

It’s important to be patient and understanding of our feline friends, as they may have specific needs and preferences that we are not aware of. With a little patience and understanding, we can help our cats maintain good litter box habits and keep our homes clean and odor-free.

We hope this article has helped you figure out why your cat is refusing to cover it’s poop. Let us know in the comment section below if your cat also has this issue, and what helped. Also feel free to checkout our other great articles on cat behavior!

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