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Why Do Cats Dig In Their Litter Field?

Have you ever ever questioned concerning the rituals our cats undertake after they go to the toilet at residence? In case you are a cat proprietor, you’ll greater than probably be aware of the sound of your cat scratching and digging of their cat litter field.

Fast Overview


The primary cause cats dig of their litter field is to cowl up their feces to be able to maintain themselves clear and canopy their scent.


Different regular causes cats dig within the litter field embody depositing pheromones or enjoying with the litter.


Extreme digging within the litter field may point out an issue equivalent to gastrointestinal upset, urinary points, stress, or conflicts with different cats within the family.

It’d appear to be an odd (and messy) factor to do however there are literally many good causes cats do that. A few of the causes are fully regular and part of their routine based mostly on their instincts. A few of the causes can imply that there’s something stressing or upsetting your cat or that they’ve a well being drawback.

It’s essential to search out out why your cat is digging of their litter tray and if there’s something it is advisable to do about it. This text delves into the potential explanations and what you are able to do as an proprietor to assist the one you love cat.

1. Pure Instincts

Within the wild, cats bury their feces to cover its scent so predators can’t monitor them down.

A few of the causes cats dig are fully regular and are simply your cat exhibiting typical feline habits pushed by their instincts.

Some cats dig to cowl up their feces. They dig a small quantity earlier than they go to the toilet to make an area to deposit into, then they dig afterward to cowl up no matter they’ve accomplished.

Traditionally, this was to maintain themselves clear and in addition to cowl their scent in order that predators and opponents for his or her prey gained’t be capable to monitor them. It’s not so necessary in domesticated animals however the intuition remains to be current.

Additionally Learn: Why Does My Cat Scratch and Dig Round His Meals?

2. Communication

When cats scratch and dig within the litter field, they go away pheromones behind.

Cats in a multicat family typically use scratching and digging within the litter tray as a approach of letting the opposite cats know that they’re utilizing or have used the litter tray.  When cats scratch, this causes particular chemical messengers known as pheromones to be launched from scent glands situated of their paws.

Depositing these pheromones is one other approach of speaking with different cats. It sends out a sign that the litter field is occupied and it’s a approach of marking their territory.

That is regular pure habits. Nevertheless, it is very important keep in mind that if cats are claiming the litter field as their very own and different cats want to make use of it, you may want to put out a number of additional trays in several places in order to keep away from competitors and confrontation. Litter-box politics may cause massive points for multi-cat households.

Additionally Learn: How Many Litter Containers Ought to You Have Per Cat?

3. Play

Some cats develop a behavior of enjoying within the litter field as kittens and proceed the habits into maturity.

Some cats genuinely get pleasure from enjoying with their kitty litter. They see it as a form of enrichment of their setting. Some cats view the litter tray as their “joyful place.” It’s generally a behavior they’ve picked up from an early age as a tiny kitten—they simply get pleasure from it and it’s one thing they do out of behavior as grownup cats.

One more reason may be that they’re digging and rolling round to unfold their scent within the litter tray and to try to extend the realm that they see as their territory by flicking litter about.

This isn’t so enjoyable to scrub up and it’s clearly not essentially the most hygienic place for them to play, so you’ll be able to try to tempt them away with a toy or take away them and provides them some consideration for those who don’t need them enjoying in there.

Additionally Learn: Are My Cats Taking part in Or Combating?

4. Stress

Digging within the litter field is regular, however when cats do it excessively it may imply they’re feeling careworn.

Cats are very difficult animals and they’re delicate to even the smallest of adjustments to their setting. In the event that they all of a sudden begin extreme scratching or digging of their litter tray, this may very well be an indication of stress.

In case your cat feels careworn or threatened by one other new member of the family (feline or human) they may begin making an attempt to bury their meals and/or feces as a part of an innate survival intuition kicking in. Within the wild, that is to keep away from being stalked by predators. In a domesticated cat, this may manifest as extreme digging of their litter tray.

Typically it may be one other cat utilizing the litter tray as talked about above. If that is so or if one in all your cats begins going to the bathroom in different places in the home, you may profit from some extra litter trays unfold out in several rooms.

Additionally Learn: My Cat Doesn’t End Pooping In Litter Field: Is This Regular?

5. Litter Field Logistics

When cats aren’t pleased with the dimensions of the litter field or depth of the litter, they may scratch and dig excessively making an attempt to make it work.

The scale and form of the litter field might not be appropriate on your cat. Some cats like a very deep mattress of litter and if it isn’t sufficiently protecting the tray they will begin digging to try to bury their feces.

Equally extreme litter within the field may cause them to dig and scratch to make a gap to go to the toilet in. If the litter field is simply too small, your cat may really feel like they haven’t received sufficient room and dig round to try to make house. You may want to purchase a particular measurement litter field in case you have a big cat. It’s all the time greatest to evaluate and guarantee they will transfer round correctly within the field with ease.

One other factor that may upset your cat is that if the litter field hasn’t been emptied and they should go once more, if they arrive to a unclean litter field they may begin digging to bury what’s already there earlier than they really feel snug utilizing the tray.

Cats also can get careworn if they’ve an uncovered litter field or the litter field isn’t in a relaxed and quiet location the place they really feel they will have some privateness. A lined litter field is commonly a very good resolution for this or transferring your litter field to a extra secluded and personal location.

Additionally Learn: The 6 Greatest Computerized Self Cleansing Litter Containers

6. Gastrointestinal Points

Cats with an upset abdomen may go to the litter field often and dig greater than typical.

In the event you discover your cat utilizing the litter tray extra often and digging in there, this may very well be a sign of intestine issues. You may discover one thing apparent, equivalent to diarrhea or blood current of their poop. It may nevertheless be one thing extra delicate like them simply visiting the tray roughly often than typical.

Many gut-related causes could lead on cats to digging of their litter tray. If their feces is simply too unfastened or too exhausting they may dig excessively to try to cowl it. If their poop has a distinct scent, if there’s blood current or if they’ve a parasite an infection.

These can all trigger nice discomfort and misery to your cat and end in them frantically flinging their litter about. In case you are in any respect uncertain or have a priority, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian for recommendation.

Additionally Learn: Cat Intestinal Parasites: Causes, Signs, & Therapy

7. Urinary Points

Cats affected by varied urinary situation may return to the litter field often, digging and scratching as they go abnormally small or giant quantities of urine.

A typical drawback cats encounter is urinary tract illness. If they’re digging of their tray it is perhaps the signal of an an infection or irritation of the urinary tract, inflicting them to have cystitis. If they’re visiting the tray to go urine very often, or if they’re passing unusually giant quantities of urine, that is additionally an indicator of illness, equivalent to kidney failure.

There are different well being points that may trigger adjustments in urination habits. You probably have any issues in any respect about your cat’s well being, guide an appointment along with your veterinarian instantly to get them checked out and put your thoughts at relaxation.

An important level to notice: In case your male cat is straining and digging frantically of their tray, and it doesn’t appear to be he is ready to go urine, this might imply he has a blockage of his bladder. On this case, it is advisable to go straight to your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary hospital to be checked out as this can be a medical emergency. It’s all the time higher to be secure than sorry.

Additionally Learn: Bladder Stones In Cats: Causes, Signs & Therapy​

8. Paw Patrol

Cat may scratch and dig of their litter to exfoliate their paw pads.

Your cat’s paws can generally develop into tough and dry, in case your cat is an outside cat they will get callouses on them. Some cats benefit from the sensation of rubbing their paws within the litter to scratch their dry pads. They could even be scratching if clumps of litter get in between their toes, to try to dislodge them. It’s all the time a good suggestion to patrol these paws and examine them often.

Additionally Learn: The 5 Greatest Cat Scratch Deterrents

Ultimate Ideas

Anytime your cat’s litter field habits change, together with a rise in digging or scratching, it’s greatest to go to the veterinarian for a checkup.

Our cat’s habits may be complicated at the very best of occasions. They’ve many causes they may begin extreme digging of their litter tray. A very powerful factor to do is to determine why they’re digging. Upon getting received to the underside of that, then you’ll be able to resolve whether it is an precise drawback on your cat or regular instinctive habits.

If it happens as a sudden change of habits, it’s a good suggestion to make a journey to your veterinarian for a checkup to rule out any medical points. It’d simply be an cute quirk your cat has, by which case you’ll be able to allow them to dig to their coronary heart’s content material.

Additionally Learn: Why Is My Cat So Annoying? Cat Consideration-Looking for Habits Defined

Steadily Requested Questions

How do I cease my cat from digging of their tray?

Upon getting established the underlying trigger for the digging, it is possible for you to to cease your cat if it is necessary. If it is an issue that wants fixing such because the litter tray is simply too small, or there’s competitors between cats, you are able to do that with ease by changing the tray with a bigger one or introducing extra trays.

If there’s nothing flawed along with your cat and it is simply an intuition, you’ll be able to attempt distracting them or offering enrichment toys and scratching posts of their setting.

How typically ought to I alter my cat’s litter?

The litter trays needs to be scooped out each time your cat passes feces in them. How typically you exchange the litter will depend on what number of cats you might have and in addition the person habits of the cats.

A common guideline for normal clumping litter is changing it two to a few occasions per week. Nevertheless, you may have to do it each different day for those who begin to discover odors sooner. In case your cat appears to be not utilizing it earlier than it’s due a full clear you may want to interchange it with contemporary litter extra often.

How a lot litter ought to I put within the tray?

Roughly two to a few inches is the correct quantity for the common cat. Don’t be concerned in case you are uncertain, your cat will let you recognize in case you have put too little or an excessive amount of in, often by doing precisely what we now have been speaking about, digging within the tray! Preserve an in depth eye on them and you’ll quickly know if they’ve sufficient litter and are pleased with their litter depth.



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