Why Is My Cat So Messy In Their Litter Box?

The joys of living with a feline companion are many, to be sure. They offer cuddles and they entertain us with their silly antics. We can’t forget those purrs and fun cat sounds when they try to communicate with us humans! But cats can be rather mysterious creatures, can’t they? And occasionally, they may create some stress for us in our roles as cat guardians. One example of this is the litter box.

On the one hand, it is awfully convenient to live with a creature that doesn’t need to do its business outdoors like dogs do. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with dogs, but I live in Minnesota where we have more cold, inhospitable weather than mild days, so I for one really appreciate that my cat takes care of his business indoors.

On the flip side of this litter box convenience: messes. Cats are usually pretty tidy, but sometimes they do make a mess in and around the litter box. If you find yourself asking in exasperation why your cat is so messy in their litter box, you are not alone! Let’s explore some of the reasons that could be contributing to this mess.

why is my cat so messy in their litter box?

Change the Litter

If you’re noticing that your cat is “missing” his box when he’s doing his business, this is a big signal to pay attention. It’s especially true if kitty is not normally one to leave urine or feces outside of his litter box. The simplest reason, and the first thing to check if your cat is making a mess, is how clean the litter is. When was the last time you changed his box? Is there enough litter in the box for him to dig and scratch and bury? The easiest thing to do is simply add fresh litter.

Clean the Box

While you’re at it, you may want to clean the litter box before you pile on fresh litter. If you’ve ever changed a cat box before, you know those can get pretty disgusting. Luckily for me, my husband typically takes on litter box cleaning duty. Sometimes, that’s all you need to do in order to ensure your cat keeps things in the box, so to speak.

Location, location, location

The location of your cat’s litter box can also be a factor. Think about it like this. Would you want to use the restroom in a high traffic area where you couldn’t have any privacy? If your cat is making a big mess outside of their litter box, think of the location. A high traffic area is not a good place, so it’s best to position a litter box in an area of your home where your cat can feel comfortable when they do their business, and not as if they have to poop and run as not to be seen.

why is my cat so messy in their litter box?

Get a Bigger Box

If you’ve tried cleaning the box and adding fresh new litter and your cat still is making a mess, consider the box itself. Is it a new purchase? Perhaps your cat hasn’t quite adapted to using it yet. It could also be that the box is too small for your cat, especially if you adopted a kitten who is now growing into an adult cat. If you have a senior cat, it may be that the reverse is true: the box is too big. Senior cats sometimes have trouble with litter boxes that have tall edges.

Mitigate the Mess

If you’ve changed the litter and cleaned the box and still don’t see an improvement, you may need to find some mitigation strategies. We purchased a little floor mat with rubber loops that grip the cat litter so less of it gets tracked all over the house for us to step on. I also try to vacuum around the litter box regularly to clean up after my spoiled cat. After all, we all know that it’s the cat’s house—we just happen to live in it!

Did you learn anything new and interesting about our feline friends? Share this article with other cat lovers that you know so that they can learn something, too. 

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