Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why Do Cats Cover Their Waste?

"Oh No She Isn't!" Ohhhhhhhh yes I am! I'm going down that road. I'm cranky, slap-happy and tired and was having a miserable time trying to come up with an idea for my "Why Do Cats........?" blog  that I feature on Wednesdays.....soooooooo I was flipping through some info and call it being sleep deprived (YES, Cody is STILL scratching the carpet and door of the bedroom at night, I thought the dilemma was solved but I obviously thought wrong, more on that another time).....to those that have absolutely no idea what I am referring to in reference to Cody scratching the carpet and door, please refer to my previous blogs.

Ok, back to the pressing question about poo-poo and pee-pee, number 1 and 2, doo-doos, wee-wee or whatever you want to call it, we as cat owners think our cats are superior to dogs on many issues but one that we have always been particularly proud of is the diligence with which they work that litter box! After your cat does his business, if you are nearby.......watch!!! He will scratch, push, kick, and work those paws in an attempt to not leave any trace of his most recent deposit clearly visible in the litter box and often he will not even think of exiting the litterbox until it is "just so".

I always read (and thought), that cats did this because they are fastidious by nature, I just found out today in "Pawprints and Purrs" that that is not necessarily the case!

It appears that when a cat is in the wild only "secondary cats bury their waste to protect their trail from predators. The dominant feline will actually display his or her feces prominently. This sends a strong message of dominance."

But, in the world of house cats it is an entirely different story. The cat views YOU as the "dominant animal" and being the polite and sensitive little creatures that our kitties can be they choose to not offend us by leaving their "gifts" exposed for our viewing pleasure. They make it a point to carefully bury their waste so as not to interfere with "what they perceive as the natural order."

One can't help but wonder for those of us who have dogs what THEIR opinion of us must be........


  1. I'm fairly certain that among me and my two cats, I rank last on the "dominant animal" list. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

  2. Very interesting...Sometimes our cat leaves her poop there without covering it up. I think its when it's a stinky one - she just wants to get out of there. HAHA http://www.cat-toure.com

  3. "alone" frankly I think that is the case in my house most of the time too and I agree with you.

    Jeff too funny!!!!!!! Mine does that too!

    Thanks to you both for reading and for commenting!!!

  4. I have 2 males that do not cover their waste....I am presuming that it is a male competetive issue....what do you think? Purrs, Lisa

  5. Lisa that is an interesting point and I think you are onto something. Males of all species are so darn territorial.....your males could be having a "Battle of The Poop!!" lol!!!!!

    Also, maybe they are trying to show you that they think they are the boss?

    I find it interesting that Jeff said his female cat doesn't always cover hers (particularly when it is stinky! lol)....

    I our dog goes nuts when another dog tries to do its' business where he does his so maybe your males are being competitive.
    I love the comments and thank all of you for leaving them, keep 'em coming!

  6. So interesting Caren, again, love the blog!! -our adopted feral sweetie instantly went to the litter box w/out being taught and used it (thank goodness)- certainly wondering now what she was doing out in the wild before this, fotunately, it's no longer our yard :) ms. z.

  7. Ms.Z-thankyou! I truly thrive on yours and everyone's comments and I deeply appreciate them!
    I didn't know you "adopted" one of your feral cats! She is inside? How is she adjusting? Or is the litter box outside?
    Were you able to rustle up all of the ferals with your move?

  8. Ms.Z, I also meant to ask you, did you get a chance to check out the blog about the cat website that I found that is fantastic?? Not sure if you saw that blog, it was the one before this one!